Thailand - A Land of Surprises


[media:20110629145055372 align:left width:180 link:1 border:0 src:disp © Namrata Sen]

I went to Thailand with 2 of my friends in Jan this year, a 4 night 5 day get away from the v busy work life. At the planning and budgeting stage, I got inundated with loads of offers / quotations from the travel agents, however finally I made my own itinerary after researching for 2 months. End result: I saw more than double the number of things to see at half the cost!!

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An Engaging South Pole Millenium


© Patrick Flynn
© Patrick Flynn

Wanderlust is as much a disease as malaria, infecting its host like a mosquito bite that will never stop itching. Anyone stricken with it will not mistake its symptoms, yet few of us ever seek a cure.

Most people I've met with this condition can point to a seminal moment when they first caught the relentless fever for travel. For me that moment came in my final semester of college when I undertook a round-the-world voyage by ship. My travel resume up to that point was meager and uninspired, consisting of a few domestic car trips, one Mexican border crossing, and a single flight across the pond for an English music festival. That shortsightedness changed forever in one fell swoop in the spring of 1995, when I joined a small academic community in sailing around the globe.

 

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TPN DC Photo Outing Trip Report


© Walter Rowe
© Walter Rowe

Roger Maki and I first made friends through the Traveler's Photographers Network photo posting forum, on the new TPN 3.0 a few weeks after it launched. Roger had posted a photo of a Richmond battlefield memorial, and I asked him in a comment whether he was a Virginian, expressing an interest in getting together for a joint photo shoot at some mutually agreeable location.

Roger emailed me soon afterward, and it turns out he is a Marylander from the Eastern Shore, actually a couple of hours away from my home in Northern Virginia, USA. His distance from my home was farther than I expected, but such trivial distances are seemingly insignificant to TPNers, as Roger almost immediately agreed to join me for a photo shoot at the famous Great Falls along the Potomac River just outside of Washington, D.C. Great Falls is famous for attracting the elusive blue heron species, due to the excellent fishing that is typically available at the bottom of any waterfall which pushes such a great volume of water through such a narrow strait. Great Falls is known regionally to kayakers as the best rapids within several hundred miles - and is known equally well to herons as the best location for, almost literally, shooting fish in a barrel!

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Ailsa Craig


© Ruud van Ruitenbeek
© Ruud van Ruitenbeek

A great one day trip to a special place in Scotland.

A few weeks ago I went to Scotland for the day. Normally I would say that you need at least a week there to make it worth the journey from Manchester (as most of you live much further away I'd say two weeks). Anyway, a lifetime is not long enough to photograph the beauty of this great country. This time though the trip was organized by a friend and it turned out that one day was perfect. We went to one specific place: Ailsa Craig.

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Cliff Dwellings: Icons of the Southwest


© Matt Blaisdell
© Matt Blaisdell

Snake!

But this wasn’t the slithery, scaly variety we’d seen nearby. Ancient hands had pecked it deeply into the black desert varnish of a boulder. And it seemed to point straight into the narrow canyon slicing the cliff in front of us.

What born-and-bred desert rat, much less devoted photographer, could resist following a pointer like that?

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Capturing the Essence of Cuba


© Ralph Velasco
© Ralph Velasco
As a travel photography instructor, author and international tour guide (see PhotoWalkingTours.com), my main goal is to help photographers of all skill levels - from beginner to advanced amateurs - to recognize and successfully capture more and better photo opportunities on their travels, whether venturing around the world or around the corner.  

In 2010 I was part of a humanitarian trip to Cuba, and I'll be returning in April 2011 and hopefully at least once a year indefinitely (ask me how to join future trips).  Having photographed in over 40 countries on 6 continents, Cuba is now my favorite destination to photograph, so I thought I'd use it as the backdrop for this article about bringing back a well-rounded portfolio of images that truly gives your viewers a sense of the destination you're shooting.  It's based on a class I teach called Capturing the Essence of a Place.

Any comments or questions would be welcomed.



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Kolkata to Phoenix on 80 Rupees


© Bob Miller
© Bob Miller

Yep, 8000 air miles on less than two dollars.

It was the morning I was to leave Kolkata, West Bengal, after 3½ weeks in North-east India. I took a rickshaw a few blocks to a bank for cash to pay hotel expenses and have a little for the taxi to the airport. I didn’t want to return with foreign currency, so I withdrew the minimum necessary. 

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Sri Lanka 2011


© Avi Hirschfield
© Avi Hirschfield
© Avi Hirschfield
© Avi Hirschfield
Smiling faces are what greeted us in Sri Lanka from the moment we arrived until we left. The people were so warm and curious, and there inquisitiveness made for some interesting interactions as you can see by the photos of the kids at the central bus station in Colombo.

We met with Lucy and Lipton and spent hours wandering and talking photography which was great. The diversity of people, places, views and the whole country is a photographer's paradise. We, of course, being there for the first time, took a driver and did the basic tourist run because of a lack of time. Definitely the next time I travel, it will be like the locals, on the trains (buses).

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White Sands National Monument


© Hank Pennington
© Hank Pennington
White Sands National Monument is a gem. And like a gem it’s small and easy to overlook in a remote area of New Mexico far from better-known photo locations and major transportation hubs. Even as you pass through its gates White Sands won’t yield its beauty to the casual photographer.  You have to look closely to discover its many facets. But photographers will be enchanted if they overcome the travel challenges, allow time for exploration, and enjoy a little sand in their shoes.  So much so in fact, they will be reluctant to leave when the gates close each night, and will strive to be on hand each morning when they reopen.

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2010 Soccer World Cup Carnival


© Bettie Coetzee-Lambrecht
© Bettie Coetzee-Lambrecht
Colour, laughter, dance and joy.  That wonderful sense of being happy to be human are the lasting memories that a game of football brought to South Africa. For the first time ever the FIFA Soccer Worldcup was hosted on African soil. Who cares that masses of overseas expertise, money and effort, not to mention the FIFA-bosses insistence on keeping deadlines assured this success. The entire Africa claims the resounding success for itself!

The accolades to South Africa, the host, that managed to rise to the occasion in such a grand sweep of style and energy, are still rolling in. Indeed to be wallowed in. Especially because the amazing success, some say, “the best in history” was so contrary to all expectation! Didn’t many friends and family plan to escape the cities with newly built soccer stadiums? Who wanted to be close when the hooligans took over, foreigners get mugged, traffic congestions and more road rage hit us?

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