Monday, October 31, 2011

Traveling To India

A Budhist monk is lost in thought in a Monastary in Ladakh, India. 
A Budhist monk stands before a colorful back lit curtain in a remote Tibetan Bhudist Monastary in Ladakh, India. 

Off To India
Well, I’m off to India for a three-week trip. I am hoping to add a variety of material to my archives for stock photo production. Of course I will be looking for typical travel photos, but more importantly I will be looking for raw materials for new concept imagery. Landscapes, building interiors, small business testimonial-style portraiture and urban scenes will be some of what I am looking for. I have a somewhat different approach to making money from travel photography.

Refreshed Creativity
Once a year I like to take a trip to some exotic location. It gives me a much-needed break from my typical computer-heavy schedule. Not only do I add raw materials to my archives, but I get mentally refreshed as well. Being in a new and entirely different environment than I am used to, and also escaping from my everyday concerns, combine to help me refresh my creativity as well.

Internet Cafes
My Internet access will be sporadic so I probably won’t be posting any new blog material, but then one never knows. If I can I will.  I know that finding Internet cafes is no problem, but usually they are crowded and claustrophobic and not my favorite place to conduct business.

A Travel Photography Impediment
I am under no illusions that I am a travel photographer. Believe it or not, the biggest impediment I have to travel photography is shyness! I have a strong tendency to feel like I am intruding when I take pictures of people I am not paying to model for me. I know, it’s silly, but that is something I struggle with even though my experiences of shooting people during my travels have been good. Oh well.

Learning To Be A Better Travel Photographer
I have made a little progress. I have been lucky enough to have friends like Nevada Wier who is a consumate travel photographer and helped me to overcome at least some of my phobia of approaching people. I think one thing that makes her a great travel shooter is her genuine interest in people. Show that interest and doors open!

Enjoying The Experience
While I have a passion for photography there are times when I just want to enjoy my experience without the “filter” of a camera. There have been times when I have deliberately left my camera in my hotel room in order to resist the temptation to move into “photo mode”. Of course, that is kind of a bold move because as of that ever-present possibility of some incredible shot that will me missed.

Too Darn Lazy!
Another fault of mine is that I am too darn lazy to record all the essential caption information when shooting travel images. I get back home and a few months down the road get around to editing…and can’t remember where I was when I shot the various photos…or which model releases belong to which people. I know, I know, there are a million apps that can solve those problems for me. But I’m not taking my iPhone with me…and besides…I just don’t want to bother with all that stuff. I’m afraid I am stuck just being a conceptual photographer…at least for a living.

Equipment: Traveling Light
For those of you interested in equipment considerations, I am traveling light! I am taking my Canon MKIII, three 16 gig cards and one 12 gig card, two LaCie Rugged Drives, my 24-105 zoom lens, my 16-35 zoom, and a Canon 100-400 zoom. I am bringing my Gitzo carbon fiber tripod with a ball head (geez…I don’t remember what model tripod or even what brand of ball head I have…but it is a small one purchased with weight in mind. I hate carry a lot of weight around. I will also be lugging around my laptop, a 17inch  Apple MacBook Pro with a 250 gig sold state drive.  Finally, I will have a Canon 580 flash. That’s it! Okay, you may have noticed that I am not taking a back-up camera, but I am taking my partner Stephanie and she is bringing her Canon 5D, so if worse came to worse we could end up sharing a camera. Hey, more time to live the experience rather than photographing it!
Anyway, time to finish packing!


Jaak Nilson said...

Have a nice trip !!!

alistairkerrphotography said...

I hope you have a great trip, it's one on my wish list to take. Enjoy.

Sean Locke said...

Have fun! Don't drink the water...

Shalom said...

Bon voyage, John! I hope you have a wonderful trip, and I look forward to seeing the images that you create during your travels.