Travel Photographer

Quick Digital Imaging Tip 6/101: Planning is a Major Key to Successful Photographs

This is #6 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip: Planning is the key.

National Geographic will air Great Migrations this fall - worldwide. Personally, I can't wait for the series to begin. I am sure months, if not years, of planning went into the making of the series.

I've been fortunate to have experienced and photographed two migrations: the monarch butterfly migration in Mexico, and the zebra/wildebeest migration in Kenya. Basically, I was in the right place at the right time. However, I planned for about a year in advance of both event to be in the right place at the right time: January for the monarchs and October for the zebra/wildebeest.

No matter what your subject, planning is one of the major keys to successful photographs. Planning not only helps you be on site for a cool event, but it also helps you prepare for weather, religious customs, health precautions, tipping and so on. Web sites, and now apps, are a great way to plan a shoot.

Speaking of apps, many travel apps, including apps that tell you exact sunrise and sunset times, are available on the App Store. Apps are also available for specific locations, such as Arches National Park and Angkor Wat, where I am heading off to as I write this and post at 30,000 feet. Apps are also available to help you convert currency.

Yes, I was lucky to get these shots. However, I do know that luck favors the well prepared :-)

Explore the light.

Rick Sammon,
Canon Explorer of Light

P.S. If you are looking for a handy travel photography app for your iPhone or iPad, check out my 24/7 Photo Buffet. Tons of tips, photos and even movies.

Travel Photography How-to Week. Day 1: Be On the Lookout

When we travel, we always need to have the “radar” up – looking, rather than just seeing. It’s kinda like the difference between haring music and listening to music. Big difference.

While walking around the streets of Trinidad, I noticed this wonderful wall, which made a nice photo itself. Shortly after photographing the wall, I moved on. Then, about two minutes later, I noticed a horse-drawn cart coming down the street at a moderate speed. Because my radar was up, I saw a potential picture in my mind’s eye. The picture was the cart in front of the wonderful wall. I ran back to the wall at top speed and snapped the picture you see here – with my Canon G10 point-and-shoot camera, by the way.

The top images are Topaz Adjust images (click here for info). The bottom images are the straight shots.

So, keep up your “radar” at all times.

I hope you enjoy this week’s photos and the tips. If you want some hands-on experience, hope you can join one of my workshops.

If you are interested in joining one of my Cuba Workshops (after it opens and Americans can go legally (you need a license from the U.S Treasury Department now), keep checking my Events page.

Explore the light,
P.S. I know posting these four images together makes this post look very busy. Sorry, it was the easiest way to get my tips across. For a larger view, just click on the image.