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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Photographer's Guide: Getting Ready To Travel

Follow these tips to help you plan your next photography trip, so you‚’ll be ready to get the shot

Layer MasksThis Article Features Photo Zoom

Mkgadikgadi Salt Pans, Kalahari Desert, Botswana, Africa Mkgadikgadi Salt Pans, Kalahari Desert, Botswana, Africa

Great photographs don’t usually happen by accident. Being in the right place at the right time is an essential element of successful photography. When you’re traveling to a new location, advance research, preparation and scouting can make all the difference between grabbing a few snapshots and making great images. Depending on the location you’re visiting, how much time you have and in what type of photography you’re interested, there are a variety of techniques you can use to make the most of your destination.

Study The Work Of Other Photographers. One of the first and simplest steps to take before you travel to a new location is to look at the work of other photographers who have already been there. Whether it’s coffee-table books or online photo galleries, there are plenty of example images for almost any photogenic location.

Umin Thonze Pagoda, Sagaing, near Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar)Umin Thonze Pagoda, Sagaing, near Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar)
One exciting new tool is the geotagged photo overlays available through Google Earth and Flickr, where you can browse to a particular area and click on image galleries that have been captured there. Your goal should be to learn about where the images were taken, what the light conditions were and imagine variations you might want to try to create.

Study Seasonal Weather And Other Photo Conditions. Think about the seasons, the weather, sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, and tides. For example, snow can greatly enhance an image if you plan your trip carefully. One of my favorite times to catch snow is in the early morning after a fresh snowfall. By knowing where the sun will rise and having scouted locations the day before, I can get footprint-free, cleanly lit shots just after sunrise in places like Yosemite Valley.


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