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The Making of a National Geographic Photo Contest Winner, and Loser

Harry Fisch's photograph Preparing the Prayers at the Ganges was chosen as the winner of the Places category for the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest.

The picture was later disqualified as the organisation considered that the digital removal of a bag on the right side of the frame was in direct violation of the contest rules. In the words of the National Geographic Senior Photo Editor, Monica C. Corocoran: "..it is unfortunate you did not crop the bag out or just leave it in, as it really had no impact either way. But digitally removing anything from a photo is in direct violation of the contest and we must follow our own rules... "

Harry Fisch designs and leads Photographic Expeditions to different countries in Asia, Africa,South America with his firm Nomad Photo Xpedition.

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Capturing Cultural Portraits

As I have been traveling frequently over the past two+ years since I have lived in Singapore, I have had the chance to photograph many distinctive places in Asia. I have always been a fan of wildlife and landscape travel photography, but one of the subjects that I have been shooting more and more of lately are the amazingly unique people and cultures. The diversity of these natives in this part of the world is truly amazing and taking their portraits is becoming a major part of my travel portfolio. I have had others ask me how I am fortunate enough to capture these shots, thus, I thought I would take the time to jot down some of my techniques and experiences.

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Choosing a Photography Workshop or Tour

With so many companies offering a wide selection of workshops, tours and safaris worldwide, choosing the best photography adventure can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Not all websites are well-indexed by search engines, so that great opportunities may be overlooked. We have put together a set of twelve guidelines that will make this process easier, faster, and more efficient for you.

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How (not) to Buy a Camera

The Bait

Writing this article is embarrassing, but those out to defraud us rely on our silence. When I decided to upgrade from my Nikon D50. I researched thoroughly:

  • I spoke talked with my daughter, who has a BFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology.
  • I checked various sites online: Nikon, Amazon, Cord Camera (my local vendor), and B&H Cameras to find out what models were available.
  • I visited my reliable local camera shop and spoke with a knowledgeable manager. This also gave me an opportunity to handle several cameras.

All of these were prudent steps. I now knew that I wanted a Nikon D90 camera body kit. I decided to buy on the Internet to avoid sales tax, knowing that I could get free shipping from most vendors. I found a ‘deal’, the camera would be $150 cheaper from BestPrice Camera than most others. This should have been a red light.

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Travels With Tony - It's Not the Horse, It's the Rider

What if I told you that the best camera on the market today is readily available and that it had every bell and whistle you can imagine, complete with easy-to-use controls and menus and a variety of creative shooting modes? What would you say if I told you it was available right now and that you can get it for nothing - zero, zip - it's free? Wouldn't you want one?

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Travels With Tony - Voyaging is Victory

When we say "Travel Photography" - what does that really mean? As a former National Geographic photographer, traveling and shooting in over 30 countries during my 20 years working with Geographic, I've learned that great photography requires more than common travel - it requires a greater and more challenging sense of voyaging. Great photography happens only when one truly voyages to destinations and immerse themselves into the culture. Great photography takes time, effort and a willingness to "lose yourself" in the culture, language and customs of the place you are shooting. I like to quote the Arabic saying "Voyaging is victory!"

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Should You Go Candid or Posed?

I'm currently in India participating in a FAM, or familiarization, trip sponsored by the Indian government and Globus Travel, the company I use to coordinate many of the trips that I lead.  We've had the incredible opportunity of visiting the Golden Triangle, a popular tourist route that takes in Delhi, Agra (home of the Taj Mahal) and Jaipur.  I hope to be posting quite a few more articles over the next few months with some really incredible photo opportunities I was able to take advantage of, especially here in Old Delhi.  If you've never been to India, I highly recommend it, although it's not for the faint of heart!

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An Adventure in Corruption and Recovery

© Joe Becker
© Joe Becker

It was bound to happen sooner or later; after all, I’ve been shooting with a digital camera for over six years. But did it have to happen to my Olympic sunset shots? To make it worse it was my own fault. A corrupt compact flash memory card and all those shots of that great sunset were gone in a flash. Or were they?

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A Simple Guide to Saving Money when Buying a Small Digital Camera

As a professional photographer I get asked very often “I want to buy a new small camera. Which one is the best to buy?”

There is no absolute correct answer but I can outline in guide below some considerations that will help you with your choice and purchase and hopefully save you some money and indecision. Buying a camera can be an emotional experience. I believe that most of this emotion.

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