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Entries in travel photography (3)

Tuesday
Jun122012

Bali Photo of the Day ~ Beach Boys Loving Life in Sanur ~ Balifornian Villas and Tours

Our Art and Culture Tour stopped by beautiful Sanur Beach yesterday to photograph the fisherman, the colorful painted catamarans and the many photographic opportunities avalible on one of Bali's best beaches. Thats all the encouragement this fun-loving group of young boys needed to willingly pose for some fun shots.

Bali Photography Tour VillasBeach boys loving life on Sanur Beach in BaliIf you like photography and want to learn to take better images what better way to do it then in paradise on our newly released Culture and Photography tour

Bali~ Deep Culture Photography Tour. October 19th-26th, 2012

The September tour is already sold out but spots are still avalible for the October tour. Click here for more information.
Deep cultural submersion, professional guidance and instruction, and personal enrichment. Not only will you be exposed to exquisite natural beauty and ancient culture unlike any other on the planet, you will be lead by experienced guides in well-appointed accommodations. This unique tour is far from a generic tourist trip to a paradise island. Each location has been carefully selected for its photographic challenges and rewards. It has taken decades of experience to create this tour and we welcome you to join us for eight days in Bali’s fascinating and vibrant culture, its majestic natural landscape and the warmth and generosity of its people.
For full information please go to
www.balifornian.com/bali-photography-tour-intensiv/
and sign up today to reserve your spot.

These small custom tours only allow 12 people so you get more instruction and the locations YOU want.

Happy travels!

Sunday
Feb122012

Photo of the Day ~ Borobodur Bokeh ~ Balifornian Villas, Tours and Travel Blog

Hello and good morning!

I thought i'd share a photo today of one of our favorite places and a spot where it is near impossible to take a bad photograph.

Borobudur, located in Central Java in Indonesia
, is the largest and widely hailed as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world.  It is about 42 km from Yogyakarta city one of the hippest spots in all of Indonesia. It's a college town with a rich history and tradition and is definitely worth a stop on your Indonesian itinerary.
Bali Indonesia villas tours borobodurMassive Borobodur looks out over central Java, Indonesia
Here is s shot featuring one of the 72 stupas looking out into the landscape on Java. Borobodur was built around 800 AD.  Thats about 300 years prior to Ankor Wat in Cambodia and way before any of the great cathedrals in Europe.

Borobodur is just one of the incredible sites you will see on Balifornian's Eco-Adventure Tour, The Photo Safari Tour and can be worked into any one of our iteneraries.

For more on Borobdur, it's history and many more photos, please click HERE for our Definitive Guide to Borobodur

Contact us today to help plan your trip of a lifetime!

Happy Valentine's Day to all our loved ones out there and enjoy!

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Friday
Feb102012

The Best Tips, Tricks and Gear for Travel Photographers

The Best Tips, Tricks and Gear for Travel Photographers

Just announced ~ The Bali Deep Culture Photography Tour ~ Click here to reserve your spot today!

Part 2 of this post has been completed and can be viewed HERE

Here is the list I wish I had 20 years ago when I started traveling the world taking photos.  After years of leading photography tours to Bali and Indonesia, I have had the pleasure (and sheer frustration) of using a myriad of gear, gadgets, cameras, clothing and more. Here I breakdown those that have made the cut and saved me time after time.

A quick disclaimer. I am in no way affiliated with any of these products. I have searched high and low to find the best, most durable, handiest products I could find at the best value and provided them here for you. I encourage you to use the links provided below for items you are interested in. It is easiest to right click and open in a new window or tab so you still have the window with the blog post open. In the new tab or window you can get more information and pricing. If you like what you see, simply click “Add To Cart”. I greatly appreciate you using the links to purchase directly from the blog as I get a tiny percent to help keep the blog alive. I have selected items at the best prices and all are through Amazon so you can trust the seller. Thank you for supporting us! If you want to browse The Balifornian Store at Amazon please click HERE.

I will not cover cameras and lenses, as that is a whole other blog post (and perhaps tome).  I will convey a humorous story I heard the other day from the Morro Bay Photo Group illustrating the importance of the artist behind the camera and not so much the camera itself.  At a dinner party a professional photographer was showing his work and the host was so impressed she said, “My, you must have an amazing camera”. His reply, “The food was incredible this evening, you must have a fantastic oven”.

Prior to any trip, I will start a packing list weeks prior.  By now my gear is pretty much set, but there are always new challenges with every adventure- new gear to try, or leave behind (or smash into a thousand pieces). I find a great way to keep track of this list is the Evernote app http://www.evernote.com/ It allows you to make lists, capture photos, use voice notes, etc. to remember things and it sync with your iPhone and computer so you have it anywhere you go (even without an internet connection which is crucial in some remote areas we travel to).  Had a great bottle of wine?  Too drunk to write down the name? No problem, just take a photo of the label with Evernote and it will not only keep it for you but it can use automatic character recognition to transcribe the label text for you to make it searchable.  This is great with CD’s, DVDs, even stuff I find on the web and want to remember.

In fact, the iPhone and its millions of apps have replaced many items in my travel bag like an alarm clock, music player, compass, flashlight, etc. Although, I always carry a spare of the last two just in case.   

Now lets get to the fun stuff- The Gear.

A handy item I always include is Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger by Belkin

bali travel photography tips

Its small and it can save your precious equipment from irrecoverable destruction via electricity surges which are a common event in many countries.  The cleverly designed unit also includes two USB ports so you can change your phone and other gadgets at the same time.  This little guy not only comes in handy in other countries but also in that all to familiar airport hunt for an open outlet.  I always chuckle when I see travelers huddled on the floor around one of the few open outlets to charge their laptops and phones during a layover. Become the hero and save the day as you can not only always plug in but allow a couple other people to have access as well. It’s $25 but you can buy it here for only $12!

A product I discovered recently and really love is the iStabalizer

bast tips bali travel photography

Its $30 and is a great mini tripod not only for the iPhone but will fit any camera phone or small camera.  I used to use the gorillapod tripod but now it forces you to use its cumbersome iPhone case and is not usable with other gadgets.  The best part about it is the flexible strong legs that can wrap around many objects to secure the tripod in many otherwise impossible positions.  Wrap it to a fence, sign post, even your rear-view mirror for a great time lapse of your travels. Another cool feature is the mount unscrews ant fits right into your full size tripod when needed.  I love to set it up and do a time-lapse as I set up my big boy gear for a more formal shoot.  They also manufacture a cool video steady cam for $99 but that might be a bit much for iPhone style video shooting. You can buy the tripod here.

Speaking of time-lapse, if you have not tried it yet, do it right away.  Its fun, provides great additional coverage and is so easy to do.  There are many apps out there but I like iTime Lapse best. It’s free and has some good options.  Here is sample of one I created

Thankfully, these days most electronics will work in most countries. The safe voltage required for my iPhone, Canon battery chargers, Mac Book Pro, etc. is found in most destinations so a bulky, expensive and heavy converter is normally not required as it was many years ago.  Now a simple, lightweight and inexpesive adapter is all you need.  Simply search the web for the outlet configuration and order the proper adapter.  Just be sure you do this before you leave as it is often times very hard to find in country and if you can locate it, it will be 500% more expensive.  Most electronics are now universal but check the manufactures web site to be sure.

Pockets, pockets, pockets. I love me some pockets.  The leader in ‘modern pocket technology’ as I call them is - www.scottevest.com   They offer some great travel pants with tons of storage space and some nifty pockets that even the most skilled pickpocket (or David Blaine) can’t penetrate.  They also offer a fleece jacket with zip off sleeves that can accommodate an iPad, water bottle and tons of other gear. It even comes with a lens cleaner shammy.  The company sponsors people to do an around the world trip with no luggage, only using the pockets in their products.  While that may be a bit extreme, it can offset some of the ridiculous additional costs the airlines shove down our throats for luggage.  The downside of course is the more pockets you have, the more places you need to check so work out a system to remember where your stuff is stashed. I commonly carry pens, lens cleaners, model releases, water, etc.

Bali can get hot so I recommend wicking shirts with lots of pockets like those from North Face but you can find great deals on these at the discount stores.

My backpack is a Tamrac Aero Series Speed Pack.travel gear photographyGreat photographers travel gear by Tamrac It fits my 17 inch MacBook Pro, some gear, a couple lenses (even a 220-400 beast), but the coolest part is the quick access pocket that allows you to get to your camera in seconds without even taking the pack fully off.  This allows me to catch shots that I would otherwise have missed.  It also features weatherproof zippers so the rain or splashing waves wont get in and ruin your gear.  I love it and you can get yours here. Its not fully waterproof so I also carry a rain cover like this one

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Pack-Rain-Cover/OU4060,default,pd.html

In the back I always stash some granola bars, a headlamp, carabineers, etc.  I use a carabineer to clip my Leatherman multi-tool to the front of my pack, not inside, so I always have it handy for many uses including protection.  Obviously you can’t bring it on the plane so remember to always put it in your checked gear so it doesn’t get confiscated or get you locked up in the pokey. Purchase yours HERE

bali indonesia travel photography

 

Camera gear and lenses are very expensive and heavy so you may want to look into renting gear specific for the type of adventure you are embarking upon.  In some countries you can even rent the cameras, lenses and equipment there so you don't need to lug them back and forth (also saving you some money on those bogus luggage fees).

Of course I also travel with an external hard drive.  Lacie makes good rugged drives that are known thier reliability.  Here is a link to purchase.  I also like Western Digital's drives but they are not as good for traveling.  www.wdc.com I also carry a card reader, extra batteries, polarizing filter, etc.

A good final tip is too make your expensive gear look as crappy as you can.  Some people are attached to their labels and brands but I don't want to stand out and be a target.  I use a sharpie to cover up labels, brand names, etc.  I also switch out my Canon neck strap for an aftermarket one. It’s more comfortable too.

I hope these tips and tips are helpful and please share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you. Do you have any gear you cant live without?

Come join us on one of our Photography tours and learn even more tips, trick and ideas.  Please check out some of our tours and we specialize in fully custom tours to see exactly what YOU want.

http://www.balifornian.com/upcoming-tour-dates/

Aside from Bali, we can take you to Borneo, Papua, Komodo, Tana Toraja, and any other of the 17,000 islands of Indonesia.

http://www.balifornian.com/komodo-dragon-photo-safari/

We have lead teams of documentary filmmakers and amateur and professional photographers from all over the world. We know many secret spots that most people never see and we have special access to help make the trip as unique as possible.

Part 2 of this series has been completed and can be viewed HERE.  You can EMAIL me to get on our mailing list to be notified for future updates.

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