A Complete Guide to a Road Trip in Turkey
Apr30

A Complete Guide to a Road Trip in Turkey

I was a bit apprehensive towards doing a big road trip in Turkey.  It’s a country I’ve not really travelled much, and it’s a country that doesn’t speak English.  So, I’d be lying if I said there was no stress to planning the trip.  However, it didn’t take me long to realize that most of my stresses were fairly unfounded.  In fact, I would put Turkey right up there with other great road trip countries like Iceland, The US, and South Africa.  The roads are good, the views are beautiful, and the people are fantastic. To save you a bit of time, and to maybe ease some of your stresses, I’ve put together a complete guide to planning a road trip in Turkey below. Where to Go Planning where to go, in a country that you know very little about can be a little bit overwhelming.  I searched out some places, and then tied it all together.  Below was my itinerary for Turkey, and it worked out really great. Istanbul:  You don’t need to start in Istanbul, but it makes most sense to.  You can also fly into other places like Antalya if you prefer to be in that area.  But, Istanbul is such a great city, you’ll definitely want a couple days here. Cappadocia: I made the long drive to Cappadocia from Istanbul.  It took me an entire day and there’s not all too much to see in between.  You can also fly here, but the drive is nice, and it makes sense to get your longest day out of the way at the start.  You probably need 2-3 full days here in Cappadocia, depending on how much hiking you want to do. Antalya: From Cappadocia, I crossed south to Antalya.  The city is beautiful, and definitely worth a couple days of your time. Cirali: This beautiful little beach was a great stop.  On the way here you can stop at the Phaselis Ruins and hidden beach.  Then, just outside of town you can hike down the beach to the Olympos Ruins.  If you’re around the right time of year, this is also a breeding beach for sea turtles.  You’ll likely only need 1 or 2 nights here, depending on how much beach time you want. Oludeniz: This was my favourite beach destination in Turkey.  On the way here from Cirali, be sure to make a stop at the Myra Ruins.  Also, the drive along the coast here alone is amazing.  In Oludeniz, drive up Babadag Mountain, visit the Butterfly Valley, and spend some time chilling on the beach in the Lagoon.  I spent 4 days here which was...

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We’re Going to Cuba! Join Us!!
Apr15

We’re Going to Cuba! Join Us!!

This is a long overdue announcement. I get emails on a near daily basis asking about when my next travel photography workshop and tour will be announced. And the truth is, my photography partner in crime Jeff Bartlett and I have gone back and forth on about a dozen different destinations, and dates before coming to a decision. We’ve decided to run our next big photography tour in Cuba December 2016! I can’t tell you how excited I am for this. I was in Cuba in October doing some scouting and working with local agencies to see if a trip like this is possible. And, in the end, not only is it possible, but it’s going to be an amazing experience. As you know, Cuba is like a step back in time. I’d say that since leaving Africa 3 years ago it is the most visually interesting country I’ve set my lens on. Every corner of the country is just so photogenic. The landscapes and nature are impressive, the people are some of the most friendly in the world, and the architecture and classic cars are from another era. This photo tour of Cuba will start in Havana on December 4th, 2016. We’ll visit highlights in the country such as Viñales, El Nicho, the Bay of Pigs, Trinidad, and much more. Check out the full 13-day itinerary here. The goal of this particular travel photography workshop, is not to just give you a change to take some excellent photographs with the instruction of professional photographers, but to give you an insight into life in Cuba. We will take some amazing photographs of beautiful things, but we will take away memories far more powerful than any photo. To get the full information on the workshop, head over to this page. There you’ll get information on how to sign up, the costs, and every other bit of information you’ll need. Photos From Cuba Here’s a slideshow of some images from locations this photography workshop will visit.  All of these images were shot in a 3 week period of time. Information for Americans The US government has re-opened its Embassy in Havana, so local support is available in Cuba. There are now direct flights to Cuba from Miami, or there are dozens of daily flights connecting in Central America. The American government has lessened the restrictions on visiting Cuba. However, the rules for travel to Cuba are still very strict. If you have any questions regarding your ability to visit Cuba, please refer to the information provided by your government. Please note that government policies can change, so please keep yourselves informed...

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State of the Blog from Cappadocia
Apr15

State of the Blog from Cappadocia

A change to this blog has been a long time coming.  I’ve gotten traction with the travel photography angle.  Not only do I get quite a few comments from people who tell me that my articles have helped them become better photographers, but I’ve also gotten some work from focusing on this niche.  The blog, continues to grow. However, I also feel like maybe I’ve tied in the blog to my YouTube channel a little bit too much.  The growth of my YouTube has become a bit stagnant and I feel like that’s an area I really want to be putting more of my energy.  I love creating videos, I love being in front of the camera, and I love sharing the behind the scenes of my life.  Unfortunately, I think that my YouTube channel has gotten really dry of late.  It might have even gotten boring and definitely over-technical.  Thus, there’s going to be some changes. And, those changes will effect this blog. The Change to My YouTube Channel I feel like I created this YouTube channel to give people a look at what it’s like to live the life of a nomadic travel photographer.  I mean, I’m not going to dance around it: my life is pretty awesome.  But, because of the heavy focus on education on my travel photography channel, I think that fun and excitement of my life isn’t being conveyed.  I also think it’s been very dull of late.  That’s not what I want.  I want to inspire people to have epic adventures, and take great photos along the way. Thus, the change to my channel is simple.  I’m going to stop posting formal tutorials, and such.  Instead, I’m going to move more to a vlog format.  I’m not promising that I’ll film 7 days a week, but I am aiming at 5-6 days a week.  It’s going to be less me standing in front of the camera explaining photography, and more just behind the scenes clips and fun from the road.  I think the change will provide a better insight into my life, and be a lot more interesting to follow.  After creating a couple episodes in this format, I have to say, I’m extremely happy with how they are turning out. How it Effects this Travel Photography Blog In the past, I have used the videos to support this travel photography blog.  But, that’s not going to happen anymore.  In fact, I’ve come to the realization – perhaps way too late – that the type of audience that read’s travel photography blogs is different than the audience that watches YouTube.  To give...

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Where to Photograph Cappadocia, Turkey
Apr13

Where to Photograph Cappadocia, Turkey

I had a lot of trouble finding information on where to shoot photography in Cappadocia, Turkey.  Based on the fact that it’s such a popular place for photography, I found that really surprising.  As such, I went into my trip to Cappadocia really blind, as a photographer.  I caught myself guessing on locations, and wandering around a bit more than I usually do.  In the end, though, I found some great places to photograph the hot air balloons, and some of the beautiful landscapes.  This is a bit of a guide to photography in Cappadocia. #1: Panoramic View I took a wild guess that this would be the best place to photograph the hot air balloons in Cappadocia, and I was spot on.  The truth is, you could really photograph the hot air balloons from anywhere in the area around Goreme.  There are so many balloons up in the air each morning, I’m fairly sure there’s not a spot in the region that you couldn’t photograph them from.  However, this location is ideal for a number of reasons.  For one, you have the sun at your back.  Thus, the sunrise works to light up the balloon and gives you nice warm colours and an image that’s easy to properly expose.  Secondly, from here you can use the canyon for a beautiful foreground. Most of the other locations to photograph the hot air balloons aren’t nearly as pretty. #2 Rose Valley The Rose Valley is fantastic no matter what time of day you visit.  The light always seems magical, and there’s a lot to see and photograph. Moreover, there are non-landscape images to be made here as well.  One of the coolest aspects of this valley are the stone cave churches, all of which are fairly short hikes to get to. #3 Sunset Point True to the name, this spot right above the town of Goreme is great for sunset.  There are a lot of different shots you can get from up here.  You can shoot away from the city and get beautiful shots of the phallic-shaped stone pillars in the valley.  Or, you can photograph the cave-town itself. This is also a good place to photograph the hot air balloons at sunrise.  In fact, I’d say that the vast majority of other tourists I saw came here to see the balloons lift off.  There are advantages to this spot.  Firstly, you are much closer to the balloons than at the panoramic view point.  You are also surrounded by the balloons so you have a lot of different style of photos you can make.  Ideally, you’d have one morning here...

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A Photographer’s Guide to Cinque Terre, Italy
Mar30

A Photographer’s Guide to Cinque Terre, Italy

In keeping what I’ve been doing a lot on this blog lately, this is a guide for photography in Cinque Terre. I found that there are quite a few other posts out there describing the best places to take photos in the area, but few are really that comprehensive. Thus, since I had 5 days in the area, I thought that it would be a good idea to put together a list with everything you need to know about visiting Cinque Terre as a photographer. In the video below, you’ll see where I’ve shot from and some examples of the images I took. If you want to see even more detail, I have put together a guide on Fripito that includes not only Cinque Terre, but also Florence. There is details about that further along in this article. Best Locations for Photography in Cinque Terre Of course, Cinque Terre isn’t just one town, but rather a national park with 5 villages. All 5 villages, they are pretty photogenic. However, there are 3 villages that are truly special. You can also photograph Cinque Terre from outside the villages on the hiking trails that connect towns. In this section of the guide, I’ll share my thoughts on the best locations in each village. Manarola The most popular village to photograph is likely Manarola. It’s also by far the easiest to shoot. Whether you come at sunrise or sunset, the light is almost always beautiful and there are always places to shoot images from without worrying about other photographers or tourists being in your shots. For me, there are 2 or 3 very obvious spots to photograph from in Manarola. The first is down on the rocks. It’s obvious on how to get to this spot once you get arrive. But, you’ll basically just go down to the stone pier and cross the ropes and wander onto the rocks. Be careful down there though, the waves can be intense, and if it looks like the seas are too rough or the tides too high don’t go down there. The other location that really worked for me was up at the cemetery. From the cemetery you can get a nice clean view of the city and the seas behind it. That said, there really is only one or two compositions that can be shot from here. Finally, along the walking trail that leads to Corniglia, the views are great for photography as well. Here, you have the luxury of having the rocks below in the foreground. Vernazza This is the village I stayed in Cinque Terre. It’s a favourite of a lot of...

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An Introduction to Photographing Venice
Mar28

An Introduction to Photographing Venice

It might seem crazy to some people that I’ve travelled 6 continents and nearly 100 countries and had never set foot in Venice.  In so many ways, Venice is the quintessential travel destination.  A place that so many people visit within their first travel few travel experiences.  Well, I’ve obviously always been a little bit different.  I’ve chosen to go well off the beaten path, and have spent more time riding scooters around Africa, and hitch hiking in the Guianas than I have in major European cities.  But, that has started to change a bit as I’ve now started to base myself in Europe.  As such, I’ve started also to visit places, like Venice, that I’ve long neglected. My stop in Venice was a quick one.  I really didn’t have an assignment here, or any photography task I was hoping to achieve.  In many ways, I was just photo location scouting for potential future assignments or projects.  I ended up wandering nearly the entire city looking for cool angles and compositions for photography in Venice.  I definitely found a few.  I also made a trip out to the islands of Murano and Burano which were absolutely beautiful. The Challenges of Photographing Venice Venice is such a photogenic city.  It really is.  It seems like around every corner there’s a new image to be made, or a killer photo waiting to develop.  But, it’s really not as easy as one would expect.  Especially when you first arrive and see how beautiful it is, it feels like it should be an easy place to shoot.  But, these are some of the challenges I faced. No Open Spaces: Most of the photogenic parts of the city are really hard to photograph.  There’s simply nowhere to set up a tripod. There are very few bridges, for example that cross over the Grand Canal.  Thus, the best views of Venice are often from the boats.  And well that’s fantastic, it doesn’t really work well if you’re trying to shoot long exposures. Lots of Boat Traffic: Speaking of boats, they caused havoc for me as well.  When set up on bridges or view points, there was a constant stream of boats going through. And well blurring them slightly in the early evening and morning made for some cool shots, as soon as the exposure got over about 5 seconds, the boats left horrendous looking light trails in the images. Hard to be Original: Since there are only a couple really perfect locations to shoot from in the city, it can be hard to be original in your photography.  For example, I created an image down...

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