15 Pieces of Photographic Evidence of Why You Should Come to Namibia
Nov27

15 Pieces of Photographic Evidence of Why You Should Come to Namibia

Namibia Photography Tour! I’m ecstatic to announce that I’ll be running a photography tour in Namibia October 2018.  And, even more exciting, this will be my first “exclusive” trip.  What does that mean? It means that there will only be 4 participants brought along.  More hands-on learning, more time shooting, and more time living the life of a travel photographer in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. If you’re interested in joining the trip to Namibia. All the information is here. And, if you were wondering if Namibia is a worthy photography destination, I’ve got all the photo evidence right here. I’ve been to Namibia twice now, and both trips were far too short.  But, that didn’t stop me from filling memory cards like crazy.  It is one of the most photogenic countries on the planet.  And, here’s the photographic proof – in case you needed it. The Dunes Sossusvlei is home to the most photogenic sand dunes in the world. And, I think I can say that having been to big deserts on nearly all the continents.  Moreover, the dunes in Namibia are fairly accessible, especially as a photographer. Ever See a Cheetah? There are actually quite a few cheetahs in Namibia. It’s one of the best places in the world to see them. The big open landscapes are perfect for their speed. Incredible animals. Ever Watch a Pack of Hyenas on the Prowl? Prior to Namibia, I had never seen a hyena. But, over in the eastern part of Etosha National Park I followed a pack of hyenas for a couple kilometers. It was an incredible experience to watch them on the move. Deadvlei Maybe the most photogenic place in all of Africa is a dried up salt flat in Sossusvlei known as Deadvlei. It is just unreal. I’ve been here 3 times, and I feel like the compositions have changed each time. It’s almost like this old trees have moved. Ever Watched a Rhino from 100 meters away? It’s not easy finding Rhinos in some of the parks of Southern Africa. However, each of the 2 times I’ve been to Etosha National Park I’ve seen rhinos at this same watering hole. On our trip, we’ll be staying at this lodge and can go down to watch the wildlife at the watering hole at night under the black light. The Best Roads in the World Honestly, Namibia has some of the best roads in the world. And, I don’t mean that in terms of quality infrastructure but rather in how open they are. Sometimes, it feels like you have this country, and the roads,...

Read More
Mistakes (Nearly) Every Photographer Has Made
Nov21

Mistakes (Nearly) Every Photographer Has Made

20 Mistakes Every Photographer Makes I posted a vlog over on my YouTube channel this week discussing a series of beginner photography mistakes.  But, when I was editing I realized there are dozens of other ones that I could have probably listed.  Then, I started to think that there are probably mistakes that even non-beginner photographers have made. I know that long after I might be considered a beginner I still occasionally make these mistakes. So, I thought I’d list some of these out in blog format.  Also, I’ll use my imagery from the UK as examples. I just realized that I’ve never posted a blog post with my photos from the past couple months, so it’s fitting. Leave Things Behind I’m almost guilty of this more now that I was when I was new to shooting. And it’s more of a laziness thing than it is a rookie mistake.  But, how many times have you gone out shooting only to realize you forgot your battery, tripod, or a certain lens? The Solution: Set up your camera before you leave. Try to take a picture in your room. If it works, pack it all up.  You’ll realize quickly if you’ve forgotten something.  If you’re leaving on an early shoot, pack up everything before you go to bed and it’ll be ready for you to just grab and leave first thing in the morning. Leave too Late Sunset is at 6pm, and you rock up at 530pm.  It makes sense, but it just doesn’t give you enough time to look for a composition, and can leave you a little bit rushed to get a cool photo.  And, there are times that sunset or sunrise isn’t the best time to shoot, sometimes it’s just before or after.  Another example is markets.  Let’s say a market opens at 8am. The best time to shoot it might actually be 730am when all the shop owners are setting up. The Solution: Add an extra 30 minutes to whatever time you think you need to get to a location. No Location Scouting So many new photographers just rock up to a location and think they can get the best images. However, you need to location scout. Not only is that going to make it easier to find compositions in the right light, but it’s going to lead to a less rushed shoot. The Solution: In the middle of the day, when the light is terrible, go look at locations and eye-ball some shots. Not Moving Jeff Bartlett and I noticed this on our photography workshop in Iceland recently, a lot of newer photographers just don’t...

Read More
My Photography Workflow –  From Shot to Sale
Nov14

My Photography Workflow – From Shot to Sale

My Photography Workflow I started doing a vlog post about this and then I realized that it probably made sense to chuck out a blog post that also outlined my photography workflow as well. It might be easier to follow along. So, here it is. This is the process, and these are the steps I take in my photography workflow and selling my photos. If you prefer following along in video, there’s my vlog about this below. And, to add a little colour to this text-heavy article, I’ll include my photos from yesterday’s shoot at Phra Singh Temple here in Chiang Mai. Step 1 : Take the Pictures I know this seems like an obvious step. But, if you plan on selling your photos, you can’t just take them and sell them. They not only have to be well shot, but they should have been shot in RAW so that you can edit them a bit later. Moreover, you have to think about who you might be selling the photo to.  What is their style preference. What things do you have avoid having in your photos? That’s especially true for micro-stock photography. Step 2: Computer and Hard Drive Transfer It’s important to keep your RAW files in a couple different places so that you don’t lose them somehow. Personally, I keep them in 3 places: 1) I keep them on the memory card I shot them on. 2) I copy them directly onto my computer where they’ll stay temporarily. 3) I copy them onto a SSD where they’ll stay forever. Step 3: Importing I import the RAW files that are on my SSD into Lightroom. Step 4: Editing Editing, of course, is such an important process. But, there’s not much to explain from a workflow standpoint here. Since this isn’t my editing workflow, but my filing workflow. I’ll just say that I do the vast majority of my photo editing in Lightroom. I avoid Photoshop as much as I can. But, I do from time to time bring files over there to do work. The beauty of using Lightroom is that even if you decide a file needs to be adjusted in Photoshop, you can bring the file back and forth between the two. So, it’s actually really efficient. The last thing to say about the editing step in the photography workflow is that you should edit from the place that you want your files to stay.  Lightroom creates a file which it catalogues to each image. So, if you want to go back and edit your raw file a bit, and don’t want to have to start from...

Read More
BIG Announcement: Come with Me (and Thomas Heaton) to Patagonia!
Nov07

BIG Announcement: Come with Me (and Thomas Heaton) to Patagonia!

I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be running my next photography tour and workshop in Patagonia! And, what’s even more exciting is that I’ll be join along all star guest Thomas Heaton.  I mean, doesn’t it just make sense to bring one of the best landscape photographers in the world along on a trip to a location like Patagonia which has some of the best landscapes in the world? The trip is going to run from April 20th to May 1st, 2018 and has really limited space.  We’ll be only bringing along 10 people. So, if you’re interested, please visit the link below for the information on the trip: Patagonia Photography Tour & Workshop Patagonia in Photos Since you may never have heard of Patagonia, I thought that I’d lay out this amazing destination for you in photos and a quick introduction to the region. Patagonia is that little point at the end of South America.  Well, actually, it’s essentially the entire southern cone of Southern Argentina and Chile.  It stretches all the way north to Bariloche, and down south to Tierra del Fuego.  However, our trip is going to focus on Southern Patagonia.  We’ll also be focusing on the most photogenic time of year: fall.  And, the fall colours in Patagonia are some of the most impressive anywhere in the world. The photos below were all taken at locations we’ll be shooting on our Patagonia photo tour.  In fact, we’ll hit more locations than I’m sharing here!  There are some absolute gems.  I’ll list the locations based on the chronological nature of our itinerary. Puerto Natales When I first visited Puerto Natales, it was a quiet little seaside fishing town.  These days, it’s the gateway to Torres del Paine. It is special. And, we’ll be spending a lot of time here either crashing for a couple nights or stopping in to stock up on snacks.  We’ll also be shooting it, and thankfully it’s stunning. Perito Moreno Glacier I’ve seen a lot of glaciers in my life, never have I seen a slab of ice as impressive as Perito Moreno Glacier.  This is going to be one of our stops, and while the weather there is almost always tough – the ice creates its own micro-climate – it is always beautiful. El Chalten The town of El Chalten is a landscape photographer’s playground. Around here, there are dozens of locations to shoot; most of which have the stunning Mount Fitzroy in the backdrop.  We’ll try to get some star photography on while we’re here. Salto Chorillo Just outside of El Chalten, Salto Chorillo is a beautiful little waterfall. ...

Read More
Packing for Iceland as a Photographer
Oct15

Packing for Iceland as a Photographer

I just did my packing for Iceland.  And, if you follow my YouTube channel pretty closely, you know how much I hate packing. It is the bane of my existence.  But, usually packing means throwing all my things in my suitcase and cleaning up a hotel room that I managed to destroy and in which scatter all my worldly possessions in a span of a couple days.  This time, I’m leaving a lot of things behind in Kent and packing a very small kit for Iceland. Of course, this following list of things I’m packing for Iceland is geared (pun intended) towards a photography kit.  But, honestly, I think that anyone can follow this packing list.  I think most people that travel to Iceland also pack a bunch of camera gear, even non-photographers. Still, this is primarily a packing list for photographer’s visiting Iceland. I’m not going to get all fancy with a lot of talk and text. I’m basically just going to list everything with some notes. Clothing Iceland is all about layers and staying dry. It’s also about keeping the wind off you.  In general, Iceland isn’t that cold (compared to Canada in the winter), but it can be dangerous because of the wind and rain.  So, my advice is to bring regular clothes with you. Then, bring a fleece or down jacket, and if you need it because it’s windy or rainy put a shell over it. Thus, my clothing list is pretty basic. Bring your regular clothes and then the following: Wind Resistant Trousers Wind and Rain Resistant Jacket Shell Water Resistant Gloves – I have some new Vellerret gloves that are built for photographers A wool hat Footwear Again, pack things for Iceland that are going to keep you dry and warm.  I suggest that you bring a pair of waterproof/resistant hiking shoes that you can wear for most situations.  Then, you might also want to pack gumboots for situations where you’re walking across rivers.  Photographers will definitely want rubber boots to get into rivers and creeks for photos.  Serious photographers might want to consider bringing hip waders. Bring lots of socks! You’ll be changing them more than you think. Camera Gear Obviously, everyone is different.  And, everyone’s kit is different. So, instead of listing what you should bring, I’ll list what I am bringing. This is my camera gear packing list for Iceland as a photographer: Camera Body = Canon 6d Lenses = Canon 16-35mm f/4, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, Canon 50mm f/1.4, and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Drone = Mavic Pro Video Camera = Sony a6300 with kit 16-50mm lens and Zhiyun Crane Gimbal...

Read More
Some Thoughts on Kyrgyzstan
Sep10

Some Thoughts on Kyrgyzstan

This is my last post from Kyrgyzstan, and I really just wanted to get some thoughts on paper/web.  I think reflection is such an important thing to do, and I’m often so busy that I don’t have time to do it.  It’s now a month since I left Kyrgyzstan, and I’ve spent a day looking back on the trip and thinking about the country, and my experience.  I thought I’d sort them in a blog post. On Pre-Conceived Stereotypes I think it’s so hard to not think in stereotypes.  And, I think the idea of stereotypes is so often correlated with racism.  But, it’s really not.  I worried a lot during my stay in Kyrgyzstan that my pre-conceived ideas of the country made me a bit of a western-snob.  However, when I came home to Canada and thought of the stereotypes that others must imagine before coming to the country, I realized that it’s totally normal to imagine the stereotypes of the country to be a reality.  In fact, it’s so often what our tourism boards promote.  It’s no wonder that people think Canadians ride in dog sleds, live in igloos, and have bears in their backyard; that’s what we promote. I thought Kyrgyzstan was going to be wilder, more nomadic, and that everyone would be getting around on horseback.  Essentially, I thought Kyrgyzstan was going to be Mongolia.  And while it was free and wild, it was totally different, more developed, and more urban than I expected.  But, based on all the imagery of eagle hunters, nomads, and wild horses in the back country, it’s easy to assume that’s all there is in the country. But, there’s so much more. And that’s definitely not a bad thing. On Tourism in Kyrgyzstan The idea of tourism in Kyrgyzstan is interesting to me.  When I go on these projects that are meant to promote tourism to a destination, I’m always left wondering “but is it REALLY a viable tourism destination? Will people REALLY want to come here?”.  And, I think the answer is yes. But, there are some challenges for sure. One of the things I always look for in a tourism destination’s draw is does it have something iconic, or unique.  Brazil has Christ the Redeemer, Peru has Machu Picchu, and Cambodia has Angkor Wat, for example.  Iconic locations draw tourism in a massive way.  The growth in visibility of an iconic location can change tourism for an entire country; just look at what Machu Picchu has done for Peru’s tourism. I don’t think Kyrgyzstan has that. But, that doesn’t mean that Kyrgyzstan doesn’t have something unique.  I just...

Read More