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Directing your subject: a practical example

A farmer near Hoi An, Vietnam looks at his field, pointing to something out of frame

About a year ago I published an article titled “how to direct your subject in travel photography“. I suggest you head over the link if you haven’t read it yet, as it will help you understand clearly what I am talking about here. Basically, when taking photos of people it is possible to direct your…

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Doing Travel Photography in bad lighting conditions

A fisherman's silhouette is seen holding up a net at night with head torch lit

  Focus on details, get closer, get rid of the sky: As the thick cloud cover remains upon us, we can easily end up in backlit situations. As the sky and clouds are often brighter than the subjects on the ground (the bright clouds will reflect most of the sunlight), shooting wide and towards the…

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Lesson learned from not staging photos

Mirissa fisherman at sunset

While in Sri Lanka for my exploration trip, my friend Kevin and I were looking for the fishermen on stilts outside Mirissa. This iconic photo of Sri Lanka is something I would have liked to capture, under the condition that the fishermen were “real”. I heard many stories about them posing for tourists in exchange…

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How to photograph busy situations

Crowded Places, Many Faces! To get people pictures, you have to go where the people are. Immersing yourself in markets and other crowded situations present a lot of photographic opportunities, but can also be quite challenging, and even overwhelming if you’re not used to the hubbub of Asian villages. For this tutorial, I present my…

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Contact sheet #15

Vietnamese couple

This will be a long one, finally! I have tried in the past as much as possible to find great series of images to be able to show you the creative process that goes in a photographer’s mind when approaching a scene. The problem is that very often there are only a few images before…

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The thing about the ISO

Sunrise on Tam Giang lagoon

At least once a week on a photography workshop someone will ask me: “How far can I push my ISO?”   I used to answer that it depends. It depends on the camera you have, it depends on what you are going to do with the images, either print or simply use them on social…

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People asking for money when doing Travel Photography

The sun was on the horizon, a perfect orange ball. It was another beautiful sunset in Hoi An, Vietnam and we were out on a photo tour through a local village – taking advantage of the dreamy light. While the group spread out to take photos of people harvesting rice in the paddies, I noticed…

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Contact Sheet #13

man fishing in Lang Co lagoon

I had a very productive weekend of shooting during my most recent 3-day photo workshop. The attending group was small, the light was perfect, and I made sure to take extra photos to use for contact sheets. (All the photos here are the .jpg in “Classic Chrome” Fuji film simulation – removed directly from my…

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The ethics of Travel Photography

This article is a retranscription of the Talk I gave for the Travel Photographer Society in May 2017 in Kuala Lumpur.  If you’d like to watch the video scroll down to the end.   In today’s world where lying has become common practice, in the world of fake news, I believe we all need to…

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Body Gesture : The Travel Photographer’s Decisive Moment

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression. – Henri Cartier-Bresson   According to photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, the most profound photographs are those that capture the decisive moment…

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