BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER A PHOTOGRAPHIC TRIP
By John Rogers
Before the trip
1 - Search the internet for possible photo opps...
I use Trekearth, 500PX, Flickr and also CIA World Facebook. Don't rely on Lonely Planet type books as they are usually out of date by the time they are published.
Google Earth is great for finding locations and discovering likely viewpoints.
Also google "Where to photograph in xyz? destination.
Read forums for other people's first-hand experiences, especially on how to access difficult areas for photography and what time of year is best to go.
Once I know the names of potential photo locations, I’ll do more research. Which time of day has the best light? How difficult is it to reach certain vantage points? What time does an attraction open, and when will tourist traffic be low? What will the weather be like?
2 - List of camera gear to take... Check off list.
3 - Make a page with all your Travel Dates on it. Time can get lost when travelling over borders and time zones.
4 - make up a check off list with all non photography items to take. Shirts, toothbrush etc.
5 - Have some proof of your gear so when returning it can be proven that it was not purchased overseas.
I use small tupperware containers to keep my memory cards in till I get home.
Always take a backup camera.. spare batteries too.
Tripod. You’ll have greater creative control over your camera’s manual settings when using a tripod. This doesn’t mean you have to lug a tripod around with you absolutely everywhere. I don’t.
Don't Obsess Over Equipment
TALK TO PEOPLE
MAKE PHOTOGRAPHY A PRIORITY
GET LOST ON PURPOSE
Fit in with the scene. Understated is always best. Again, sensitivity for the mores and norms of where you are goes a long way to being accepted. A female photographer may want to wear a scarf to cover her head in some cultures. It's one of the most visible ways to show respect for local sensibilities. I also avoid looking like the stereotypical photographer (black cargo pants or vests with lots of pockets).
Your subjects are giving of themselves. Don’t abuse their gift of sharing their lives. Don’t treat them like models. Send back some prints, cherish the moment, and treat them well. Don’t promise if you don’t intend to deliver. In this age where many people are digitally connected, it has become easier than ever to email a jpeg to an address for your subjects to share.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT LODGING
Staying on the center of town, or having a room with wonderful views can create a lot of great photo opportunities
AFTER THE TRAVEL
Consider what to do with your images. If you have some good shots you could make a photobook, enter a Travel Competition, upload them to an image stock site, approach magazines, travel guides or tourism websites.
Use the images to arrange a discount or free stay on your next trip. Simply contact the hotel manager and ask do they need any promotional photos.
MOST OF ALL... DON'T GET LOST IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY WHILE FORGETTING TO EXPERIENCE THE MOMENT