4 Misconceptions People Have About Travel Photography

I’ve had many discussions about photography with average people who might own nothing but a smartphone camera. Time and time again I’ve seen the same misunderstandings pop up. Many of them I totally understand as I believed the same things when I started out as a photographer. However, I think it is important to dispel many of these myths as it affects everyone’s ability to take good photos.

1) More expensive cameras take better photos.

I've taken many bad photos with very expensive cameras
I’ve taken many bad photos with very expensive cameras

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Backing up Photos While Traveling

How to Back Up Photos When You Travel

One of the biggest challenges facing photographers is backing up their images. For many photographers, it isn’t that challenging because you can go home after a shoot and backup your photos immediately. For travel photographers, you don’t have the luxury of going home at the end of the day to make sure everything is backed up properly. It might days, weeks, or even months before you are back home. Moreover, while you are on the road you are often dealing with slow wifi speeds and can only carry around so much gear.

This article will go over my current photo backup routine. This has changed considerably over the 11 years I have been traveling around the world.

Back in 2008, I remember holing up in a guest house in Melbourne, Australia to back up my photos to stacks of CD’s and an old iPod I was carrying with me (the old white ones with a hard drive and the wheel in the front). Since then, things have changed considerably.

Over the 11 years I’ve been traveling, to the best of my knowledge, I have never lost a photo (knock on wood). It is a streak I hope to continue for the foreseeable future. Here is how I currently do it as of 2018.

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Travel Photography Academy Webinar: Photographing People with Darlene Hildebrandt

Travel Photography Academy Webinar: Photographing People with Darlene Hildebrandt

Every month over at the Travel Photography Academy, we do a travel photography webinar with a professional photographer, interviewing them with an eye on their type of photography, what they would share with beginning photographers no matter their focus, and talking about how they get some of their best shots.

Usually, the webinars are only available to the public when they are live. This time we decided to offer up the entire webinar to the public.

This month, I hosted Darlene Hildebrandt and she graciously agreed to join our webinar on photographing people. Darlene’s specialty is photographing people both in natural lighting in their native environments.

Listen to these tips and more in the webinar.

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Behind the Lens – Jellyfish Lake in Palau

jellyfish lake palau

One of the most incredible things I’ve ever done is gone swimming with jellyfish in Palau.

Palau is a small island country of approximately 20,000 people in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and north of Indonesia. It is also home to, what I believe, is the greatest diving in the world.

The most unique feature of Palau however, doesn’t require any SCUBA gear to experience: the jellyfish lake.

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Behind the Lens – The Milky Way over La Palma, Canary Islands

astrophotography la palma canary islands

I am not an expert in Astrophotography. Nonetheless, I had the chance to try my hand at it when I was on the island of La Palma back in 2011.

La Palma, along with Mauna Kea in Hawaii, is one of the most important locations for professional astronomy in the world. It is the location of the world’s largest single mirror telescope as well as many other high end devices. The reason why La Palma is such a great place to do astronomy is because the top of the mountain there is almost always above the clouds which means there a large number of nights each year where you can see the heavens.

I had the opportunity while I was on La Palma to go out one night and shoot the stars with my camera with a local amateur astronomer. I jumped at the chance.

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1,827 Photos Later….

My first daily photo posted on Nov. 24, 2007
My first daily photo posted on Nov. 24, 2007
On November 24, 2007 I decided to post a photo to my website. It was an image I took of Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati out of the window as my plane was landing early in the morning.

The next day I posted another photo, as I did the day after that, the day after that and the day after that.

Saturday marked the 5th anniversary of my daily photo. It means that I’ve posted an image from my travels every day for half a decade, or 1,827 days in a row.

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Why You Absolutely Need To Be Editing Your Travel Photos

After EditingYou are on vacation. You vist some exotic destination, have a great time and take a ton of photos.

When you get back home you plug your camera into your computer, download your images and declare victory. Maybe you print a few to hang on the wall and the rest you share with your friends on Facebook.

Nothing to it right?

Well, you can leave it at that, but if you take just a little bit of time, you can make those vacation photos really stand out.

I wish I could tell you how often I see bland photos which people take on their trips which could be made much better with just a few tweaks. I’ve seen this happen on Facebook as well as on popular travel blogs. Ugly photos which could be made respectable with less than 60 seconds worth of attention.

The one single thing which any amateur photographer can do to improve their photography is to take the time to edit their photos. It isn’t complicated and many of the tools are available for free online.

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An Ode To My Lens: 2007-2012

My old and trusty 18-200mm lens
My old and trusty 18-200mm lens
I am here to say goodbye to an old friend. A friend who has traveled with me for the last five years and has seen most of the same incredible things which I have. A friend who has stuck by me when everything else left. A constant companion who has never left my side though good times and bad.

I am of course talking about my Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR DX Zoom Nikkor Lens.

The vast majority of photos you’ve seen on this site have been taken with the same lens. The 18-200mm VR Nikon lens is probably the most versatile lens in the world. It can take reasonable wide angle shots as well as zoom up to 200mm. When ever I go out for the day, I know I’ll have a 95% chance of dealing with whatever I come across with this lens.

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