Laos

A Big Thank You To a Great Guide - and New Great Friend in Laos


I have had many of good guides in my travels to more than 100 countries. My guides helped me get good pictures, imparted their knowledge of the area, and made the experience fun.

On my recent photo adventure to Laos, I was fortunate to spend five days with Vong a thit, pictured here having a Beerlao me.

I could not imagine a better guide. Vong knows everything about the area – culture, flora and fauna, how to get around, etc. What's more, Vong is a very, very sweet, kind, flexible and fun man.

If you plan a trip to Laos, contact Vong at vongla@yahoo.com.

Have a Beerlao with Vong for me!

Rick
P.S. It's good beer!

Quick Digital Imaging Tip 22/101: Play With Plug-ins and Expand Your Creative Horizons

This is tip #22 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip: Play with plug-ins.

Plug-ins – for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and Aperture – can expand the capabilities of those programs and expand your creative horizons.

Above image (Laos): Midnight filter in Nik Software's Color Efex Pro.

Below image (Cambodia): Antique Plate filter in Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro.


For discounts on Nik plug-ins, click here.

Explore the light,
Rick

Quick Digital Imaging Tip 20/101: Get It All in Focus


This is tip #20 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip: For maximum depth-of-field, use a wide-angle lens, set a small aperture and focus 1/3 into the scene.

Here I use my Canon 5D Mark II and 17-40mm lens @ 22mm. My aperture was f/20.

This is an HDR image from Buddha Park in Vientiane, Laos.

HDR rocks in situations where the contrast range of the scene is just too great to be captured by a digital camera.

I used Nik's HDR Efex Pro to create this image. It's a brand new HDR plug-in. Photomatix is a way-cool HDR program, too.

For discounts and info on both HDR Efex Pro and Photomatix, click here.

Explore the light,
Rick



Quick Digital Imaging Tip 16/101: Add a Sense of Motion to Your Still Images

This is tip #16 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip (from Laos): Add a sense of motion to your still images.

Experiment with different slow shutter speeds to blur the movement in a scene in which the subjects are moving. You have probably seen this effect in National Geographic magazine.

I took the opening photograph for this post at 1/30th of a second. It has a much greater sense of motion than the above photograph.

Use your camera's LCD monitor to check the areas of the scene you want blurred . . . and sharp.

Also keep this in mind: the closer you are to the subject, the more it will be blurred.

I took this photograph with my Canon EOS 7D and what is becoming one of my favorite city-shooting lenses, the Canon 14mm lens.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. If you travel with an iPhone, check out my 24/7 Photo Buffet app. Tons of travel photo tips.

Quick Digital Imaging Tip 15/101: Love Live View

This is #15 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip (from Laos): Love Live View

Live View is totally cool when you need to shoot very low to the ground... as well as way above your head. As always, practice makes perfect.

Info: Canon EOS 7D and Canon 17- 40mm lens.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. These novice monks are making lanterns for the light festival next week!