Photography Tips for Your Trip

 Michele WestmorlandWant to take that perfect photo on your next trip? Renowned photographer Michele Westmorland shares her tips for capturing those memorable images.

1.  Ask permission when photographing people.

Respect will get you a long way when photographing people in foreign lands. Engaging a person and getting their approval is the cornerstone of cultural photography. Of course, with large crowds, that is not always possible, but when singling one person out,  just ask or move on.

2.  Pack light and review equipment needs.

Review all your equipment needs and make a list. Not only will this ensure you don’t forget any important gadgets but it will also help you to be selective and abide by airline weight restrictions.

3.  Lenses

I tend to select my lenses based on weight and needs. A wide-angle zoom lens such as a Canon 16-35 will provide the capability of photographing landscapes and large groups of people. A medium zoom, such as a 24–70mm, will give you nice portrait photos or detail shots. Then to finish, a telephoto zoom will provide the best results for wildlife, such as birds.

4.   Details

It’s easy to just focus on capturing the “big picture” but don’t forget to get the details. When taking portraits, focusing on interesting elements such as the hands, an interesting piece of clothing or jewelry or a musical instrument being played.

5.    Circular Polarizer

I never leave home without mine. A polarizer allows those rich forest images or puffy clouds to really pop.

6.   Back-Up Those Images

Don’t rely on just your laptop or viewing device—I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about people losing their precious images from device failure. Small portable drives are inexpensive and can give you peace of mind that you will get all of your images home safely.

7.  Why RAW 

If your camera has the ability to shoot in RAW format—use it! RAW format this is like having a negative of your image—it allows you to post-process the images the way you saw the scene through the lens. JPEGs take up less space but they compress the image, limiting your post-processing options.

8.   Know Your Camera

Make sure you understand your camera. I am always happy to help sort out cameras but with so many cameras on the market it’s impossible to know the details of all of them. If you do not know the ins and outs of your camera, bring or download the manual—it will come in handy.

Experience Papua New Guinea with Michele this June on our “Through The Lens” small group trip. Michele Westmorland, a veteran of dozens of trips to Papua New Guinea with deep local connections, will facilitate wonderful cultural interactions and provide expert technical advice.This is travel as artistic endeavor, a deep immersion in the sound, shape and color of the world’s most kaleidoscopic land.

How Much Luggage Can I Bring to Asia?

Your dreams of traveling to enchanting Asia are finally about to be realized. Your flights are booked and your plans are settled, but are your bags packed? As you attempt to balance preparedness with efficiency, keep these tips in mind to help make sure your luggage is as ready for your Asia journey as you are.

· Baggage restrictions vary by airline. Some U.S. airlines allow passengers flying internationally to check two bags, each weighing 50 pounds or less. However, some carriers allow considerably less. Check with us or your visit your airline’s web site before you travel for specific information about checked baggage costs and oversized luggage fees.

· Always stow copies of important documents such as passports in a piece of luggage in case the original documents are lost or stolen.

· Consult your Asia Transpacific Journeys Travel Guide often while packing – it contains a detailed packing list for your specific destination.

· Keep in mind that laundry service is available in nearly all locations, so pack light. Also note that skimpy clothing is not acceptable in some Asian countries where modesty is highly valued.

· Many travelers feel more prepared when they pack precautionary medications and basic first-aid supplies.

· Remember to bring camera equipment, chargers, travel journals, and other personal items, and bring a small bag or backpack to carry them conveniently on day excursions.

· Consider leaving some room in your luggage to bring back souvenirs or gifts. Some travelers also bring items to donate, such as supplies for a remote village school.