Join Me in Peru AND Bolivia for a Photo Adventure
Apr01

Join Me in Peru AND Bolivia for a Photo Adventure

It’s with great pleasure that I announce that I’m now booking a second photo tour in South America in 2015! Since the booking for the first workshop – which is taking place in Peru, May 2015 – has been so successful, we decided to add another date to accommodate the people that couldn’t make the first trip’s dates.  Specifically, we had in mind the many teachers who let us know that they could only come in the summer months.  Well, here’s your chance. Get all the booking info here. A Bolivian Twist This tour, which will run starting July 13th in Cusco, Peru will not be the exact same workshop as the previous, however, as well be adding a Bolivian twist to it all. The tour will commence in Cusco, Peru where we will visit famous Peruvian sites like Ollantaytambo, Lake Titicaca and, of course, Machu Picchu.  From there, we will work into Bolivia and experience some incredible places such as the Uyuni Salt Flats, the Potosi Mines, and the great city of La Paz. All of the places we visit on this trip are tremendously photogenic, and we’re going to have a blast.  I hope you join us! Dates and Prices Start Date: July 13, 2015 in Cusco, Peru End Date: July 26, 2015 in La Paz, Bolivia Cost Per Person: $2,990usd For more information on the itinerary, FAQs, and what’s included in the tour, please head over to the info page for the photo workshop on Adventure.com What’s a Photography Workshop? I can’t speak for all photography workshops, because everyone operates differently.  However, in our workshops the goal is to have a genuine travel experience well not feeling rushed to take our photos, as well being in the right places at the right time for photography.  Moreover, these photo workshops give participants a look into what life is like as a professional travel photographer.   Our workshops also include 1-on-1 time with the professional photographers to discuss things like photo editing, and to do image critiques.  Of course, a big part of a photography tour is also meeting other people who have a passion for photography. So, whether you’re a professional photographer looking to build your portfolio quickly, an amateur photographer thinking about making the jump to pro, or just a hobbyist that doesn’t want to feel rush in the hobby, these trips are for you. More Information If you need some more information from me directly, you can always get a hold of me on my contact page.  So, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a quick...

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Creating a Star-Lapse at Horseshoe Bend with “The Radian”
Mar19

Creating a Star-Lapse at Horseshoe Bend with “The Radian”

Way back when I was in Djenne, Mali I first experimented with star-lapse photography.  I was extremely happy with the result even back then on my first try.  Fast forward 2 or 3 years now and I really haven’t done it since.  The reason is that I had been reluctant was because I didn’t want to push the sensor of my only camera.  Now, however, I have a Canon 6D, and I’ve been using my old 60D for some time-lapse experiments like star-lapse. Moreover, I’ve gotten some really cool products to help me push the boundaries of my time-lapse a little bit.  One of those products is called “The Radian” and it is produced by a company called Alpine Labs.  What the Radian is meant to do is put your camera on a swivel while it shoots time-lapse.  Thus, adding some motion to the footage, which is something that I sorely needed.  And, since I can’t travel with a giant slider system, this really is a great alternative.  For my first real test of the product, I headed to Horseshoe Bend and shot about 4 hours worth of star-lapse footage over the night.  These are the results, and a bit of a review on the Radian. About the Footage Truth be told, the footage came out grainy, but to no fault of the Radian. Personally, I botched it a little bit.  I used my Canon 60D, which works OK.  But, to bring out enough light in the canyon at Horseshoe Bend to show any of it, I really needed to push the ISO.  As a result, the canyon looks very grainy.  If I had used a full frame sensor camera, I would have definitely gotten better results here. The Radian, however, worked perfectly. It created very smooth footage, and the motion looks great.  I tested both panning from side to side, as well as using the L-bracket to create a tilting motion, and both came out very well. How to Set up The Radian The Radian is incredibly easy to set up.  And one of the benefits of it is once you program it, your work is done and you can just let it operate. You can even remove your phone once the information is uploaded.  This was my basic set-up: Download The Radian App:  It’s available for iPhone and Android.  Of course, my beloved Windows Phone gets snubbed. Choose your Pan: I set up a pan of 45 degrees.  You can pan as much as 360 degrees. Select How Often you want to Shoot:  I was shooting 25 second exposures, so I fired a photo ever 26 seconds.  The...

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Photos from Dead Horse Point and a Quick Photography Hack
Mar13

Photos from Dead Horse Point and a Quick Photography Hack

I’m on a roll!  Three articles in 3 days, look at me go! We made it up to the town of Moab which is a place I was really looking forward to photograph.  There are so many cool places in the area: Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park.  Now, the truth is that Dead Horse Point was the place I was lease interested in photographing in the area.  In fact, the only reason we went up and photographed the place was because it was closest to our hotel and we were late on the go the day we photographed it.  I’m glad we made the trip, it ended up being one of my favourite photo shoots of our entire US road trip.  The light was fantastic, and the views were other-worldly. Of course, the cliffs were unnerving as well.  And, hanging $3000 worth of camera and tripod over the cliff was quite nerve-enduing.  Luckily, Tiffany came up with a bit of a photography hack that saved our nerves a bit.  Check it out in the video. The Blackrapid Strap or Indigo Marble Strap Photography Hack The hack is pretty simple, which is why it makes it so ingenious.  When you use a sling strap like my Indigo Marble camera strap, or the popular blackrapid straps, the strap hooks into the tripod mount.  This causes a problem if you’re  planning on using your tripod.  Thus, photographers have only a couple options: 1) pack around a bulky L-bracket so you can use your strap and tripod, 2) re-attach your classic camera strap to the camera strap hooks, or 3) freestyle it with no strap at all. Now, normally not using a strap isn’t that big of a deal.  If you drop your camera it’s only a small fall.  However, at a place like Dead Horse Point, if you drop your camera it’s gone. The simple hack that Tiffany came up with requires just a sturdy key chain ring.  You can then put the ring onto one of the traditional camera strap hooks on your tripod and clip in your sling strap to it.  This will allow you a safety in case you accidentally knock over your tripod, or your camera somehow comes loose.  It’s not perfect, as key chain rings aren’t super sturdy either, but it’s a pretty good photography hack if you ask me. Photos from Dead Horse Point Like I mentioned in the intro, I was extremely pleased with my shoot at Dead Horse Point.  It was some of the most beautiful light we got the entire US road trip, and the scene itself...

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How to Enjoy a Cruise as a Photographer and Using Cruise Miles
Feb27

How to Enjoy a Cruise as a Photographer and Using Cruise Miles

It’s not easy being a photographer on a cruise ship.  Photographers require a bit of liberty to explore, and the time to wander.  But, on cruise ships the name of the game is rest and relaxation.  Of course, there’s no relaxation for a traveller with a camera, is there?  Photographers want to be shooting images as often as their shutter allows them to.  Thus, cruises are sometimes avoided by photographers.  But, it doesn’t need to be that way.  In fact, there are plenty of shots to be had on a cruise ship.  In this article, I’m going to show you how to photograph a cruise, and how to take advantage of a cruise miles rewards programme and how to spend cruise miles. Embrace the Cruise Culture As they say, “if you can’t beat them, join them!” Accepting the cruise culture should be the first thing you do on your trip.  Embrace the buffets, pool lounging lifestyle and photograph it.  Cruise ships are full of interesting characters as well which makes them a fantastic place to shoot some great, if not quirky, portrait or “street” photography.  It might not be the style of photography you usually do if you’re a landscape or nature photographer, but it’s a great opportunity to engage in a fun photography style. Go Free on Land Excursions Instead of joining one of the tours when you’re on land, explore on your own in one of the nearby destinations.  If you land in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for example, instead of doing a city tour, grab a map and explore on your own. That way, not only will you not feel dragged around and rushed, but you’ll not have to fight with the crowds of the tour in your shots.  On any cruise I’ve ever done, my favourite moments were always when I explored a destination on my own at random. Find the Ship Architecture It’s easy to forget the fact that cruise ships are amazing feats of engineering and architecture.  There are plenty of opportunities to shoot images of the ship itself, both inside and outside the boat.  From the giant cavernous music halls to the walkways with sea views, there are some stunning aspects of the cruise ship itself that are worth photographing. Go on Expedition-Style Ships Try to catch ships that have a bit of an expedition edge.  Doing so will mean that there are likely fewer people on board and you’ll have more time away from the crowds.  It’s also more likely that there will actually be a photography programme on board the ship for photographers. Take Advantage of Cruise Miles Rewards Programmes...

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Planning a Winter Sports Holiday? Be Snow Savvy and Prepare Before You Go
Feb20

Planning a Winter Sports Holiday? Be Snow Savvy and Prepare Before You Go

Excellent snow conditions and cheap European breaks are encouraging an increasing number of Brits to head off to the slopes for a winter break. If you’re planning to take part, it’s important to prepare your body for the physical exertion of winter sports. Proper preparation can help get you into shape and ready to don your skis or snowboard with confidence. A simple six week regime will let you get more from your snowy fun, and help prevent you returning with an unwanted injury. Five Simple Exercises There’s no need to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of preparing for your winter sports holiday. You won’t need to spend endless hours in the gym. Five simple exercises is all it takes to strengthen your core and be ready to take on the demands of the slopes. Basic Squat: stand with your hands on your hips and your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back then slowly bend your knees, keeping them over your feet. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Imagining you’re about to sit on a chair can help you achieve the correct position. Return to standing position to complete. Do 3 sets of 10, 4-5 times a week. Stabilisation Lunge: stand with your feet apart, one in front and one behind you. Slowly bend your knees to a 90 degree angle. Keep your front knee positioned over your foot and don’t let your back knee touch the floor. Hold for 20 seconds before slowly returning to your starting position. Switch legs and repeat the exercise. Do 3 lunges on each leg, 4-5 times a week. Straight Leg Lift: Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other straight out in front of you. Tighten your thigh muscle in your straight leg and slowly lift it about 12 inches from the floor. Hold for 20 seconds before lowering to the floor. Try to keep your upper body relaxed and your tummy taut to prevent straining your back. Switch legs and repeat. Do 3 to 4 on each leg. Calf Raises: stand with your feet hip-width apart and try to balance your weight evenly across both feet. Move to the tiptoe position, raising your heels from the floor as far as you can comfortably manage. Slowly lower your heels back to the floor to complete the exercise. Use a chair or wall to maintain balance if you need to. Do 2 sets of 10, 6-7 days a week. Hamstring Curls: with your knees close together and your hips still, bend one knee and raise your heel toward the ceiling as far as you...

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A Drivelapse in the Florida Keys
Feb20

A Drivelapse in the Florida Keys

I’ve always been a big fan of time lapse videos.  I think time lapse brings the best of photography and video together into one great format.  I haven’t shot a lot of time lapse over the years for a couple reasons.  The first is that I only had a Canon 60D up until a couple months ago.  The problem there is that 1) I want to be shooting images on it, not time lapse, and 2) with only one camera body, I didn’t want to risk burning the sensor out.  But, since the arrival of my Canon 6D and a GoPro Hero 3+ Silver, I decided that it’s time to start doing some more.  So, you can look for more time lapse work and tutorials on this site and my photography YouTube channel. For my first real time lapse episode, I’m going to show you how to create a “drivelapse” style time lapse.  For the perfect scene, I shot images on the drive from our campsite in Sugarloaf Key to Key Largo in the Florida Keys. This is how how I made it. Setting up the GoPro Hero 3+ Silver I used a GoPro suction cup accessory to stick the GoPro Hero 3+ to the roof of my car as we drove from Sugarloaf to Key Largo.  Those GoPro suction cups are said to be able to handle speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.  So, going only 60 miles per hour wouldn’t be a problem, and it wasn’t.  I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little bit worries about the GoPro flying off the roof though. With the camera attached to the roof, I used the GoPro iPhone app to make sure the camera was lined up properly.  Then, I set it to shoot an image every 5 seconds.  To be honest, something like 3 or 4 seconds would have likely been more smooth, but I was worried it would be too many images.  5 seconds wasn’t terrible, but with all the stopping and starting in the towns on the Keys, it was a little more choppy than I would have liked. Once I got to Key Largo, I stopped the GoPro, and the process moves over to Adobe Premiere Elements Editing in Adobe Premiere Elements Before I jump into this part, I should say that I skip a step out of laziness.  If your really want, you can edit your images in Lightroom before and then export them again once they’re edited.  For a sequence like this, I felt it was an unnecessary step. So, once the photos are shot, put them in a folder on your computer by themselves....

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