Category Archives: Photo travel

Travel Photography Portraits

Portrait of a young teenager of the Himba tribe, Namibia
Portrait by Michel Piccaya

Travel photography portraits are a great way to tell the story of any given culture. We're re-posting an article that was not available online by photographer Jim Zuckerman that was first published at Pixiq website. Needless to say that we found it very interesting because it throws away the misconception of magical photo serendipity.
I have seen and heard many great travel photographers illustrate the same concept: You need to plan accordingly, and be ready in order to take a great photo.

It's no secret that models and light need direction and sculpting. Both require knowledge thus is important you assume the director role while on location. A great travel photography portraits can sometimes be a more effective connection with the audience, than a landscape or candid photo.

Here's the original post reproduced here:

Guaranteed results with careful planning

Travel photography is often frustrating because you can’t always be in the right place at the right time with the right lighting. What usually happens, though, is you breeze in and out of a village or town relying on serendipity to get good shots.  This is not the way to do it.

I learned a long time ago that it takes forethought and planning to guarantee great pictures of people in other cultures.  Sure, serendipity does happen sometimes where everything comes together as a pleasant surprise.  We all know, however, that this doesn’t happen often.

Therefore, when I travel to a place like Africa, I make a list of the types of images I want to take in tribal environments.  For example, my preconceived idea list when I took a photo tour group to Namibia looked like this:

  •  Silhouette of Bushman archer in tall grass
  • Bushmen hunting party
  • Silhouette of Bushmen against large sun
  • Himba family in sunset lighting walking toward the camera
  • Himba girls dancing

To get these kinds of shots, I have to wear a director’s hat and set these images up.  I use my local guide to arrange the time of day (usually sunrise or sunset), the location (which I have scouted), and I always select the models to make sure they are the kind of people I want to photograph. The fee is negotiated before the actual shoot, of course.

At the appointed time, through a tribal interpreter, I direct the action.  For example, I’ll tell a mother with children to walk to the camera from a particular place.  I instruct them to forget about the cameras and to pretend we are not there.  Or I will tell a group of Bushmen exactly how to stand, look, crouch, or aim a bow.  In this way, I get perfect pictures for my photo tour group and me.

Travel Photography Tips – Travel Photography like a Professional

Travel photography is an exciting thing. As a photographer, I always look forward to my next travel adventure as soon as I get back home from a recent trip.

Here are some 5 ideas to have in mind while you prepare for any travel photography:

Travel Photography Smart Gear Checklist:

Sling_photo_bag

  1. When on the go, it's very important to have comfortable access to your equipment. That can be anything from camera bodies, lenses, filters, batteries, etc. Long are gone the days of the classic photographer camera bags!
    There are many new alternatives such as the photography back-packs, messenger bags - and my all time favorite - sling photo bags. I like them best since they force me to pack light. The added advantage is the extra support for changing lenses and filters. Beware, always make absolutely sure you close those zippers tightly.  I had lenses drop and damaged because of unzipped pockets.
  2. black_widow_holsterCamera holsters are amazing helpers for traveling photography excursions. I only recent came accustomed to use them and they have made my traveling photography much more enjoyable. I use the black window camera holster. It allows me to 'snap' my camera to the holster, which is attached to my belt. This provides an extra level of independence, without putting pressure on your neck, releasing your neck and extremities from the extra weight. Say goodbye to the regular camera straps !
  3. Camera Memory ReadersMemory readers and an extra sets of cables are a must for traveling photography. No matter if you're in a remote location or in the middle of a urban area, proper back-up of your content should be a serious endeavor you devote yourself once you finish with your photography traveling. I pack an extra set of cables and camera readers just in case of failure. A precious moment perhaps cannot be reproduced on a later date (weather, people, conditions, etc) it's important to always be prepared for safeguarding your photography
  4. photographer_extreme_weahterAre you planning to take your equipment in extreme weather ? Plan to protect it with a rain or dust coat. Sometimes the inclement of the weather can play adversely to your plans. It's smart to have options and protect your gear investment
  5. Batteries and memory cards. I cannot stress this enough. Redundancy is everything. Pack enough batteries and memory to last you for the entire day. Nowadays, both memory and batteries are affordable enough. Make sure you pack enough juice and room to last you for your planned photography traveling and also consider how accessible these are while on location. You don't want to miss a shot due to a dead battery!

 

Quebrada de Humahuaca – UNESCO Heritage site

Quebrada de Humahuaca an UNESCO Heritage Site

The Quebrada de Humahuaca is part of our photography tour at the northwest part of Argentina and was introduced as a UNESCO world heritage site list back in 2003.

Panorama of the mountain of fourteen colors, Quebrada de Humahuaca against a blue sky, Northern Argentina. Photo by Michel Piccaya

The ravine is defined by an extensive mountainous valley with an asymmetric profile that extends from North to South for over 34 miles. It can be found at the northwest of Argentina at the province of Jujuy.
Its cultural heritage dates back 10,000 years and it's very significant. It follows the major cultural route, the Camino Inca, for the movement and transaction of goods for all the Andean region.

The valley shows abundant and confirmed evidence of its use as a major trade route over the past 10,000 years.
It features visible traces of prehistoric hunter-gatherer communities, of the Inca Empire (15th to 16th centuries) and of the fight for independence in the 19th and 20th centuries.

La Quebrada de Humahuaca is a highly representative example of the south Andean valleys, due to its exceptional system of communication routes and economic, social and cultural exchanges.
This is the most important physical linkage between the high Andean lands and the extensive temperate plains in south-eastern South America.

La Quebrada de Humahuaca impressive natural environment is kept almost intact, with hundreds of archaeological and architectural sites that bear witness to its long and rich history.

Humahuaca City

Humahuaca's church in Jujuy ArgentinaHumahuaca is part of the Magical Argentina photography tour coming up in December of 2017.

The city of Humahuaca is the historical capital of Humahuaca's ravine. There you can still find the very picturesque cobbled streets and iron forged street lamps from colonial times.

Its church, was completed in 1641 and has been declared a national historic monument by the Argentina's congress. Churche's clock tower holds the image of San Francisco Solano who every 12 hours comes out to bless its people.

San Francisco Solano at Humahuaca's church tower

Photography Tour Advantage

Humahuaca is a very photogenic site, surrounded by history and a beautiful landscape for photo tours. Please join us in our upcoming dates for an amazing photographic experience with cultural exchange and immersion. Another advantage of Photo Tours South America

Cafayate at Night

Cafayate at night provides a very picturesque postcard. The principal plaza serves, as in many small towns, both as the main attraction and the classic point of gathering for locals and tourist.  Proof of this can be observed by the vibrant art and restaurant scene around its perimeter and the constant vibrations produced by the influx of people coming and going to the area.

You can find the, now famous, emapanada salteña almost at every culinary stop. This has become a staple on the northern cuisine. Expect also to discover many small wine shops with the most delicated wine bottles produced in the region.
Due to its altitude and terroir, Calafate presents an outstanding opportunity to the growth and development of wine production. It's local variety, Torrontés, provides a very fresh and cool wine that can be pair with almost any flavor. It's a favorite on Asian and thai food, due to its acidic and crisp balance. In its many acres, wine producers grow Tannat, Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, etc.
There are many wineries open to visitors and also a Museum specialized in the production and distribution of wines from the region. Cafayate is considered as a top contender for wine production in the world. Some experts prefer their wine production to the other regions of South America such as Mendoza in Argentina and Coquimbo and Atacama regions in Chile.
There are many beautiful activities and journeys to proceed while on the Northwestern region of Argentina. Cafayate presents a very competitive opportunity due to its established infrastructure, accessibility and proximity to many landmark sites: From the Quebrada de las Conchas (Shell's Ravine), to the many great wineries, to the local and vibrant art scene, there are many interesting plans available in a close radius. A ideal start for your photo tour in the Northwest.

Enhancing your Photography Tour skills

Fire Flies by Keith Carter
Fireflies by Keith Carter

There are many photographers that claim that you only have to step outside your door to capture amazing photos. That's the case of Keith Carter, who would not travel more than a 50 miles radius from its location to capture very interesting photos. It's true that not everyone is Mr. Carter and also the fact that, as wisely expressed by the Greco Roman mythology, which tells us that it's not the final destination, but the journey what matters.  A photography tour, in many instances, can produce a feeling of trepidation at exploring a new horizon, but the experience from conquering a new landscape can't be ignore lightly.

We believe that the discovery has an equal effect with the task at hand, say a photography tour or a new perspective on things.
It provides a fresh new set of eyes for the old problem and a more relaxed approach to the technical aspect related to the craft.

Sure, after traveling so many miles, it would be a shame to lose the perfect shot, that's true, but it's more likely that due to the distance and the fresh look on things there will be more than one, but many other 'perfect' or idyllic shots to enhance what you're doing.

The shared experiences is also a valued plus, since you don't have to translate what you're saying. Many people have gladly exchanged social media users after a favorable trip, and wanted to keep in touch with others, which in part, have also contributed to the harmony of the journey.

Either locally or in a far away land, the important thing is that you keep inspired and productive. A photographic tour is an excellent strategy to comply with both, while at the same time, meeting fellow photographers and establishing links around your 50 mile local radius.

We hope you can join us at any of our Photo Tour South America

The Longest Way Home

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There are many travel resources out there. We at Photo Tours aspire to provide you with some amazing resources for your trip.

Traveling and sharing your story

Dave is a photographer and has done some similar work while sharing his travel and photo experience with the world audience. At his website The Longest way home he shares tips and information from his extensive travel experience which are invaluable for beginner and seasoned travel photographers.
Check out his blog and specially his gallery, which contains a diverse array of excellent pictures from around the world.

Researching a location before traveling is very important. As we all know, there might be many variables to take in consideration: Time of the day, sunset and sunrise, weather and climate conditions (two different things!).

Information is a key factor planning your journey and, depending on the situation, might be a crucial one. If your journey takes you abroad, the challenges might pile up, from language to local customs but don't be dither to take them on. Information and guide are your most important allies for a successful journey.

Mapping an area, finding out what's of interest to you and planning accordingly should be your top priorities.

Money also matters, so be sure to research the exchange rate and reputable exchange options at your destinations. It can sometimes be at your hotel, but most likely the rates would be higher than on the street. Perhaps consider taking a new credit card with no international exchanges fees. Those are great ways of paying for expenses as well as shopping abroad. This way it takes away the extra burden of carrying cash with you (but of course not all countries and areas are so keen to electronic and plastic sales. Infrastructure might not be the same elsewhere)

Research first, plan ahead and enjoy the journey. That's what it's all about.