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Category Archives: Travel Photography

5 Simple Ways to Manage Your Photos While Traveling

From Jason at Lightstalking we get this article addressing the problems of image storage when travelling. I think all his options are good, as with everything to do with photography all options are ultimately a compromise of some sort. I have found that travelling with a card reader and a stack of data sticks is the answer. They are suitably cheap now, 7 Day Shop have 64gb USB sticks for less than £13, I usually download in an internet cafe or hotel computer and put my images on 2 sticks for back up and keep them in different places in my luggage. Anyway here are the 5 suggestions from LS

Travelling with your camera is one of the great pleasures in life. Capturing the sights and emotions of far flung cultures is a great way of learning and understanding the world around you. When you are travelling, photography seems somehow easier, you take more images and often lose the self consciousness that you may have at home. However, with this glut of new shots, how can you manage them whilst on the move? I am sure many of us have experienced the pain of a failed card or drive, a pain that would be intensified if it were to happen on a trip of a lifetime. So what are your options?

Laptop and a Spare Drive

This is perhaps the most efficient option but also the heaviest and, of course, there is the risk that your laptop could get stolen. However, with small form factor and powerful laptops available such as the Apple Air series, combined with software such as Lightroom and a spare external hard-drive to back up to, this can be a great option. Some of the advantages here are not having to worry too much about hard drive space, the ability to catalogue and keyword your shots whilst away and being able to do some image post production work, the last two being significant time savers for when you return home.

Palmyre The Venice of the Sands under threat

In 2009 I was lucky enough to visit Syria and join my friend John Wreford who then lived in Damascus. He took me on a tour of the country. One of the highlights was our visit to Palmyre. Now it is under threat as reported on the BBC website

Palmyra is in danger. As Islamic State fighters clash with Syrian government forces around the historic site, it is worth considering what the loss of this wonder, dubbed the “Venice of the Sands”, would mean for the world’s cultural heritage.

Palmyra is the last place anyone would expect to find a forest of stone columns and arches. Travellers in the 17th and 18th centuries were repeatedly astonished by what they saw: a vast field of ruins in the middle of the Syrian desert, roughly half-way between the Mediterranean coast and the valley of the River Euphrates.

For anyone visiting, however, the key reason for the site’s prosperity is immediately apparent: ancient Palmyra sits at the edge of an oasis of date palms and gardens.

It was as a watering place on a trade route from the east that Palmyra’s story begins, and the very name Palmyra refers to the date palms that still dominate the area….read more here

We have seen how ancient sites in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya,  and Syria have been destroyed during the wars in those countries, such unbelievable loss, of course overshadowed by the loss of lives.

Here are some images from my time at Palmyre

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

 

Palmyre, Syria

Palmyre, Syria

John Wreford is now based in Istanbul, here are links to his work

http://wreford.photoshelter.com/

Here is a link to the DEC SYRIA CRISIS APPEAL

You can see more of my pictures from Syria here

 

Travel Photographer Of The Year Exhibition

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Image: Japanese Macaque © Jasper Doest/tpoty.com

An exhibition of images from the Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) awards are to go on show in an outdoor exhibition for the first time at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, the birthplace of photography.

These award-winning photographs, submitted by amateur and professional photographers who beat entrants from almost a one hundred countries in 2013, drew some 37,000 visitors when they were displayed in London last summer, giving visitors who may have missed the London exhibition a chance to enjoy them now.

The photographs in the exhibition offer a glimpse into our magnificent and poignant world. From sweeping landscapes to bustling city scenes, from a lion on the hunt to a ‘snow monkey’ having a relaxed bath in Japan and some fascinating moments of human life, these images will take people on a journey around the world.

Running from 5 June to 12 July, Travel Photographer of the Year at Lacock Abbey gives photography fans the chance to view these images in the unrivalled and highly appropriate setting of the National Trust property which is considered the birth place of modern photography where Henry Talbot captured the first photographic negative.

The exhibition will be on show in the abbey’s Tudor courtyard, an historic part of the building’s 800 year history. It was also a location Talbot often used to take pictures and many of his famous photographs, including ‘The Open Door’, were taken there. This year the National Trust team at Lacock closed the courtyard to vehicles, making it a more relaxing and enjoyable space for visitors. TPOTY will be the first event held here.

Travel Photographer of the Year, 5 June to 12 July, daily from 10.30am to 5.30pm, in the Tudor courtyard at Lacock Abbey. National Trust members and under 5s go free. For more information please call 01249 730459 – 

Here is a link to our previous post

Travel photographer of the year 2014 winners – in pictures

There is also a showing of the 2014 winners in London, here is the information on that

2015 exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society in London

24th July until 5th September 2015

One of the joys of doing well in TPOTY is having your images displayed at the TPOTY exhibitions and being seen by thousands, sometimes millions, of people.

The home of the Travel Photographer of the Year exhibitions is the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). The Society’s gallery is situated close to Hyde Park on the corner of Kensington Gore and Exhibition Road, and adjacent to the Royal Albert Hall, in the heart of London’s museum area.

Exhibition dates:

The 2015 exhibition is open every day from 24th July to 5th September 2015.

Opening hours

Sunday to Thursday – 10.00 to 17.00 hrs

Friday & Saturday – 10.00 – 19.00 hrs

The main exhibition is FREE

We also run a Travel Photography Course, here are the details, next starts 25th June 

 

Huang Qingjun – The photographer who photographs families revealing everything they’ve ever bought online

We featured Huang Qingjun a little while ago with his series  of earlier photographs of people with all their possessions showed the social changes that have taken place in China. “People’s lives have changed enormously,” he told the Magazine in 2012. “Maybe their incomes haven’t been affected as much as in the cities, but their thinking has.”

Now he has moved up a gear and as we learn from the BBC photographs the things people have bought on line

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Liu Jun and his family have lived as nomadic herders for generations – he settled in a town but still lives in his yurt every spring and autumn. When he’s on the grasslands he shops online, waiting five days for orders to arrive at a nearby outpost.

Photographer Huang Qingjun is famous in China for his photo series, Family Stuff. Since 2003 he has been asking subjects to pose with everything they own, neatly displayed in front of their homes.

Huang has eyes that crinkle at the sides when he smiles. It’s a friendly face, and a huge asset when he asks people to do things that you might expect would result in a flat refusal.

“I look for people from all corners of China to showcase what they have. It’s a transparent and interesting way to look into people’s lives,” Huang explains.

“People usually only invite good friends to their homes, because it’s a private space, but my pictures show what people possess. They satisfy our natural curiosity.

Huang’s new project is based on a similar idea – this time, he asked people to display everything they’ve ever bought online. The results are a testament to the overwhelming popularity of online shopping, particularly China’s most popular internet shopping platform, Taobao.

“Taobao saw my Family Stuff project, and asked if I wanted to do a special series looking at online shopping,” Huang says. “I agreed to do the project, but I had a few of my own ideas in mind. I wanted to find people from all directions: east, west, south and north.

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This 28 year old woman in Beijing received some of her Taobao items as wedding gifts last year, including her favourite item, the mirror adorned with a decorative bird.

More than half of China’s 1.4bn population can access the internet via a broadband connection. Many also have access to mobile internet and can shop online using their smartphones.

Internet sales rose 49.7% last year, according to Chinese government statistics, in comparison to a 12% rise in all retail sales across the country.

For people living in remote areas, internet shopping is a lifeline to the outside world – a way to access a host of products that would never be seen where they live. In some of China’s more inaccessible places, delivery crews must sometimes abandon their vans to drop off packages on foot.

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Wang Jafeng runs a youth hostel near China’s border with Mongolia and has spent more than $35,000 (£22,800) online. He says internet shopping is a “big joy” in his life.

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When he was four, Gyatsoling Rinpoche was deemed a reincarnation of a Living Buddha. Now 25, he graduated from the Tibet Medical College and works at the Buddhist Research Institute in Chandu, Tibet. He finds religious items, including yak butter lamps and candles, are cheaper online than in local stores.

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A recent film school graduate in Beijing, 26-year-old Li Nian has been a model plane enthusiast since he was a small boy and now runs an aerial photography studio. He designs some of the equipment he needs and finds people online to build it.

Here is a link to the BBC article

And here is the link to Huang Qingjun’s website

 

 

 

7 Things to Keep in Mind When Doing Travel Photography

Our Travel Photography course is stuffed full of advice, ideas and ways of improving your holiday snaps, so just 7 seems a bit mean. However all advice can be taken and used or discarded and the 7 points made here are all points we make too.

When traveling there are things that are not in your control, especially if photography is one of the main reasons you are traveling. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there is nothing to be done. Here are 7 things to keep in mind when doing travel photography. See the magnificent 7 here

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_MG_6502Here is the synopsis of our Travel Photography Course

We have re-written this course to concentrate on the practicalities and desires of photographic travellers. The course will help you to think about why you want to take pictures when you are on holiday and how you are going to get the very best out of each situation. Whether you are enjoying a weekend city-break, a cultural holiday, a couple of weeks at the beach or trekking in remote areas, travel offers some of the most exciting opportunities for taking great pictures.

This course aims to help you make the most of those opportunities. Subject areas covered include: how to photograph city scenes, landscapes, buildings, monuments, people and wildlife. We’ll look at great images by top photographers and consider practical advice to help you make pictures that stand out from the crowd and which capture the essence of your destination.

We will consider the practicalities of travelling with your camera: what sort of accessories you might want to take with you, tips on safety and keeping your equipment working properly together with the need to be sensitive to local cultures and laws.

 

 

World city panoramas transformed into 360-degree globes

These are pretty and amazing, so pretty amazing. I have an app, as we all do, but this one I have is called Small Planet and it creates worlds from pictures taken with my phone, impressive. Then again there are these images which go far beyond my clever little app.

As see on The Guardian Website The stereographic projection technique was used to convert aerial panoramas of cities including Paris, Sydney, Shanghai and Chicago into mini-globes. 1992

Paris, FranceThe Champs-Élysées
The 360-degree aerial panoramic photos were taken for AirPano, a Russian not-for-profit project created by a team of enthusiasts

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St Petersburg, RussiaPeterhof palace

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Sao Paolo, BrazilOctvio Frias de Oliveira Bridge

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Sydney, AustraliaSydney Opera House
The original photograph was usually taken from a helicopter, although sometimes the team used a plane, hot air balloon or drone

Want to see the rest of these rather wonderful images go here

Here are some of mine using Small Planet, no helicopter, plane or drone required

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Radcliffe Square, Oxford

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Sydney Opera House

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Launceston, Tasmania

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Oriel Square, Oxford

The Natural Light Cycle for Photographers

From  Jim Hamel at DPS were find this article that clearly explains the effect of daylight as we move through the day from sunrise to sunset, very interesting

Natural light is what landscape photography is made of. Other forms of photography rely heavily on flash, but most landscapes rely entirely on the sun’s rays as their light source. That natural light from the sun is changing every second of the day. A picture taken at 9:00 a.m. will look fundamentally different than picture taken at 7:00 a.m., even if it is a picture of the exact same subject, from the exact same angle, using the exact same camera settings and focal length. Therefore, understanding these changes that occur throughout the day is critical to improving your landscape photography. By understanding these differing lighting conditions, you will know how and when to be set up and ready to take your landscape photos.

These changes in natural light don’t just affect the overall lighting and exposure level of your photos, but also things like color and contrast. Different lighting will lend itself to different camera effects. So in this article we will take a quick walk through the times of day for the landscape photographer, focusing on the unique advantages and challenges of each.

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read the full article here

10 Ways to Improve Your Travel Photography

This  Post By: Gavin Hardcastle on Digital Photo School covers some of the basics all of which I teach on our very successful Travel Photography Course

Get the most out of your travel photography and capture the moment with these 10 simple tips. Most of these tips are pretty basic and some of them are useful for traveling in general.

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see the rest of the article here

 

Best photography competitions to enter in 2015

What a useful site DCW can be, here is a list of some of the most prestigious competitions for you to enter this year

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2015

The brainchild of renowned landscape photographer Charlie Waite, Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year celebrates British landscapes. Although only landscapes taken in the UK are accepted, photographers from any country are welcome to enter, and with the grand title winner taking home a total prize worth £20,000, you might find entering is worth your while!

A Beginning and an End, Glencoe, Scotland

Image: A Beginning and an End, Glencoe, Scotland, by Mark Littlejohn

Travel Photographer of the Year 2015

Founded in 2003, Travel Photographer of the Year has grown to become one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world, receiving entries from around 100 countries each year.

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Image: By Philip Lee Harvey

International Garden Photographer of the Year

Run in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the IGPOTY’s Ninth annual competition will take place this year, with an award of £5000 for the grand title winner, and an award of £2000 for the Portfolio winner.

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Image: My Prairie Garden by Rosanna Castrini

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

The long-running and well-respected Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, now in its 50th year, is co-owned by the prestigious Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide. It now receives entries from around 100 countries across the globe. The top award for best single image is £10,000, along with a trophy and personalised certificate. There are other generous prizes for awards in other categories.

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Image: The last great picture by Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols

Sony World Photography Awards 2016

Priding itself on being the largest photography competition around, the Sony World Photography Awards attracts a large number of submissions from entrants – of all ages and skill levels – across the world.

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Image: by John Stanmeyer, winner of Contemporary Issues category

 

 

Shoot for the Light – Improve Your Composition

When I started reading this Post By: Etienne Bossot on Digital Photography School I thought he must have been on one of my courses and heard me say, as I do all the time, “look for the light and wait for a subject”. It seems so obvious to me, photography is about light, so concentrating on that is truly doing photography. I am sure you will find this article interesting and worth your time. Last night I was teaching our new Travel Photography course and I spent as much time talking about this as I did explaining how not to get ripped off by local scams which itself is very important too! I very much agree with his line “No, believe me, as someone living in Vietnam: one old lady with a pointy hat looks the same as another old lady with a pointy hat.” I was lucky enough to have a brilliant time in Vietnam in 2013 and he is right, what seems so exotic at first becomes commonplace very quickly

Here is one of my most valuable tips. The one I will offer to someone who comes to me, complaining that after 20 years of taking photos they can’t get out of their usual compositions, and want to get into a new level of creativity.

It may sound like something you have heard before. Yes, photography is all about light, and if there is a good light then there is a good photo…….Instead of that, try and focus your entire attention on the light around you. Not the beautiful sunset light in the whole sky, but the little spots of golden light right there, on the floor next to you. Yes, can you see them? Well, there is your next photo my friend.

Etienne Bossot has some excellent images to populate this article and I would recommend you spend a little time looking at them as you read his sage words. Read the full post here

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