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.

Postcard From Our Traveler: A fabulous time in Myanmar

First, your itinerary was well-crafted to allow us to see as much as possible in the available time. We could tell that you had given considerate thought to maximizing our experience in Myanmar. I realize that there is always more one can see and that there were important sites that time and weather precluded our visiting. Nevertheless, we felt that we had a varied and comprehensive experience.

Secondly, we want to let you know that our guide, May, was wonderful. We have been on many trips and have had a number of good guides and others over the years. May is the best we’ve had in part because we didn’t feel as if we were just another pair of tourists to squire around. She made an effort to determine what we were interested in accomplishing (seeing the country, talking to and learning about the people and understanding the culture as well as using all the available time productively) and then working hard to make this happen. For example, she took us to umbrella factories, boat yards, tiny villages, school visits, medical clinics, orphanages, gold pounders, silver smiths, paper makers, palm sugar/moonshine factories, lotus thread weavers, private homes to name just a few extras. She even bought a decorated birthday cake for Adele. Most days we included several events which weren’t on the official itinerary. This was precisely the type of trip for which I was looking. We had many laughs with her and our drivers and were made to feel like part of the family.

Thanks again, Bill & Family

Bill and Adele embarked on a custom Asia trip, discovering Myanmar. Their custom itinerary was planned by Asia Travel Specialist, Tom Lastick. This was their first trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys.

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Postcard From Our Traveler: Loving our trip to Laos

La Residence Phou Vao

 

Just wanted to let you know we are having a fabulous time so far in Laos. Our national guide is absolutely delightful, knowledgeable, and a real pleasure to travel with. Our local guide today was also outstanding. It was fascinating to walk through the different ethnic villages and talk with local people.

We loved La Residence Phou Vao.  It is spectacular. And we are enjoying Muang La Resort.

But I mostly wanted to thank you for arranging the command performance at the National Ballet Theater. Wow!!!  We so enjoyed the production which ran 90 minutes.  The main ballet was a representation of a Lao story that we happened to discuss at length the day before with Pon, as it was captured in a mural on a wall at Wat Xieng Thong.

Suffice to say that your careful attention to detail have been most
appreciated.

Thank you!
– Susan

Susan and Lawrence embarked on a custom Asia trip, discovering: Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos. Their custom itinerary was planned by Asia Travel Specialist, Eric Kareus. This was their first trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys.

Less Stuff, More Vacations Brings Happiness

We had a hunch all along: a recent article in the New York Times makes the case that leisure time, not consumer goods, is the key to lasting happiness.

New research finds that experiences—such as travel, being with friends, a day at the ballpark—purchase the most happiness bang for the buck. Acquiring possessions, by contrast, is an endless, unfulfilling cycle, the studies show.

If unbridled acquisition results in clutter and deflated hopes, while travel with friends and family creates joy and enduring satisfaction—happiness, in other words—what are you waiting for?

Only one component of consumption is positively related to happiness—leisure consumption.” DeLeire, University of Wisconsin; Kalil, University of Chicago

It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch.” Dunn, Van Boven and Gilovich, Harvard University.

Investment Strategy: Join a Small Group Trip or let us create a personally tailored Custom Journey for you today. It’s the best investment in happiness you can make.

Call a Travel Specialist at 800-642-2742 or email us directly about your Asia travel plans.

For the Traveler Who Has Seen It All


Mongolia, the Last Frontier

This summer, traverse the golden sands of the Gobi Desert to discover untouristed, vast and untamed Mongolia—heir to a remarkable history and clinging to ways of life that have endured for centuries. On Mongolia—In the Path of the Nomad you will:

• Ride a camel in the Gobi Desert
• Explore desert, steppe, forest and mountain
• Savor lunch with nomads, and Mongolian feasts
• Stay in a ger, the traditional collapsible yurt of the nomad
• See archery, wrestling and horse racing at the Nadaam Festival
• Experience authentic song and folk dance performances

Dr. Steve Halkovic

This in-depth journey will be led by Dr. Stephen Halkovic, who holds a Ph.D. in Inner Asian Studies. He is the veteran leader of nearly 100 trips to Mongolia. Scholarly and passionate about the region, Steve’s in-depth knowledge, infectious laughter and engaging style make this a once-in-a-lifetime Mongolia adventure.

This year, don’t just take a vacation. Journey Beyond the Ordinary™ with Asia Transpacific Journeys.