Here and Far Photography
Traveling to exotic places and being inspired by spectacular scenery seems to go hand in hand with fine photography. Indeed, the brilliance of past masters capturing places previously unseen to the larger world has inspired hobbyists and professionals the world over to explore for themselves the magic of new lands and cultures. Do not be fooled, however, by the polished end result. Taking good travel pictures may sound easy, but any amount of preparation done to insure a final good result is time well spent that almost always pays off.
Preparing yourself for a photo trip means doing some research. Here are some common guidelines that can be followed for most photo travels.
- Familiarize yourself with the climate of the region
Spending a large sum of money on an airline ticket to a place that looks great in the brochure does not entitle you to great photographs or lessen at all the usual demands of good photography. You may be able to impress your friends with your travel credentials, however, you will be more productive as a photographer and getting great images by knowing your surroundings in advance. Even the most beautiful places do have their moments where they shine the brightest. Traveling in theWestern States of America, for example, would not be as productive (photographically speaking) in July or August as in the spring or early summer. Everything there turns to a brown monochrome by mid July because of the arid conditions and the greenery so common to the Midwest is nowhere to be found.
- Insure your equipment
Insuring your camera gear against theft or damage is usually a good idea, even more so for professional photographers who travel often with expensive gear. Remember to record serial numbers and model numbers of your gear. Taking digital pictures of your insured equipment is a great way to keep a record of it. Also, if you want to be absolutely sure you will not pay a customs duty on camera gear brought back into the country, you may want to register it through a local US Customs Office.
- Know how to pack
Believe it or not, one of the bigger challenges of travel photography is knowing how to transport your gear from place to place. The classic dilemna of what to bring and when to bring it will be top of mind for many of your photo journeys. Not only is this a problem during your trip abroad, but also in the airports when it comes time to finally leave for or from your destination. Because it is not recommended to put film through an X-ray scanner that airports use for checked luggage due to their ability of fogging film images, you should never leave photographic film, especially exposed film, in any checked baggage. One way around all this is to find a photo lab you trust and develop your film at a local lab before getting to the airport. If you cannot find one locally, consider mailing the exposed film to your home address.
PhotoTravel Information on the Web
||Great site for any photographer with an excellent section for travel photography and locations
||Certificate of Registration forms for clearing personal goods through Customs and other documents and regulations regarding travel
||Database of travel guides, catalogues and bulletins for perusing or purchase of North American destinations with a photographer's focus. Find guided and independent tour information here.
||Among the many wonderful resources you find here are product guides, contests, tutorials, workshops, member galleries and a fantastic trip planner section for photo travelers .
||Travelers who need to board an airplane will find useful up-to-date travel alerts and airline-related information here.