Interview with Travel Photographer Emily Mott

‘All too often we disregard local stories in favor of the more “exotic” but if you look there are always lots of interesting tales in your own back yard.’

Our series of interviews with inspiring photographers from around the globe continues with West Sussex-based photographer Emily Mott. After graduating with a degree in English Literature, Emily discovers her passion for photography and applies to Art Center College of Design in California. Since then she has worked for major publications such as The New Yorker, Vogue UK, Rolling Stones, Travel + Leisure, Esquire, Time, and has had impressive travel assignments. St Lucia, Amalfi, Borneo, Mali, Brazil, Mexico, and Sardinia are just a few of the fascinating destinations documented in her photography. Emily now lives in West Sussex with her husband, daughter and son, ‘surrounded by cows, owls and apple trees’ as written on her bio page. Let’s find out more about the inspiration and vision behind her travel work.

field and blue sky photographed by emily mott in Puglia

Puglia © Emily Mott Photography

G.M. Could you please tell us about your first encounter with photography? What made you start as a photographer?

E.M. I came late to photography. After graduating from University with a degree in English Literature, I was an editorial assistant and journalist. It was only when a story about Cowgirls fell through because the photographer couldn’t make the shoot last minute that I decided it would be good to have total control over a story with both words and pictures. I enrolled in a night course and when my portfolio was sufficient, applied to Art Center School of Design where I studied photography for two years.

St Lucia Beach Photo by Emily Mott

St Lucia Beach © Emily Mott Photography

G.M. Your photography captures diverse cultures, people and places. How do you interact with your subjects? Is there a particular story or moment you’d like to share with us?

E.M. Perhaps one of my favorite stories was for Conde Nast Traveller when I took a boat up the Niger in Mali to Timbuktu. It was an incredible experience. We motored slowly up the river over the course of 10 days and each night stopped at a village to camp so there was plenty of opportunity to meet people and take photos. It was a good time to be in Mali—but now things are much more unstable.

I speak French and a little bit of Spanish and Italian but usually travel with an assistant/translator who can help me communicate.

Lemon Picker in Amalfi Photographed by Emily Mott

Lemon Picker [Amalfi] © Emily Mott Photography

G.M. What are your favorite destinations for your travel photography?

E.M. I have loved every single assignment from the far flung Borneo to stories in nearby Portsmouth. My favorite destinations have been Mali, Brazil and Mexico. All too often we disregard local stories in favor of the more “exotic” but if you look there are always lots of interesting tales in your own back yard. 

Sunset in Kintyre photographed by Emily Mott

Sunset [Kintyre] © Emily Mott Photography

G.M. How important is post-processing in your work? Is there an editing software you prefer?

E.M. I was trained on film which was good discipline. We worked with 4×5 negatives and had to get everything just right in just a few shots. With digital, I try not to overshoot but it is a challenge! I’d say most of the time spent in post is editing. I don’t manipulate much but I do try to tone down the saturation. I use Lightroom to process from RAW.

G.M. What camera gear do you currently use? Do you take with you any additional equipment on a shooting day?

E.M. I use a Canon 5D Mark 11 mostly with one zoom lens that I use for my travel work. Depending on the shoot and subject matter, I’ll hire lenses.

G.M. Where do you find inspiration? Could you name a few photographers that you consider influential for your style?

E.M. There are so many! If I had to choose, I admire Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Sally Mann, Pieter Hugo, Roger Ballen, Liz Hingley.

G.M. How would you define your photography in three words?

E.M. Simple, true, straight.

Lemons in Amalfi captured by Emily Mott

Lemons [Amalfi] © Emily Mott Photography

G.M. If you could start again as a photographer is there anything you would do differently? Are there any sectors you’d like to explore more?

E.M. I was really lucky to start working while I was at school and never had the opportunity to assist. If I were to start now I’d just go out and try to assist four different photographers for a year and then go to school. I am currently learning how to shoot motion and look forward to shooting a documentary.

G.M. If it weren’t for photography, what else would you do?

E.M. I would consider being a social worker or work for an NGO.

G.M. Any words of wisdom for photography enthusiasts at the beginning of their journey?

E.M. If you think of yourself as a witness to life, people, struggles, joys and you can share that in a beautiful way that increases understanding across generations, communities, religions, cultures, then I think it is all worthwhile.

G.M. Can you tell us a bit about your future projects? 

E.M. I have an ongoing project working with Muslim women on identity/self in the UK. I’m also researching a story about the migration crisis in the Mediterranean and planning a story on that for this September as well as travel work in Morocco.

Thanks to Emily Mott for sharing insights into her photographic journey and passion for travel photography. Discover more of her work on her official website.

Image Sources: All photographs featured in this post belong to Emily Mott and are protected by copyright.

Top 10 Travel Photographers

Our Top 10 Travel Photographers includes worldwide professionals, some more experienced than others, but all equally passionate and brilliant in what they do. What you are about to discover is inaccurately entitled a ‘top’. It is though a top selection of fabulous travel photographers listed alphabetically. Enjoy!

Name: John Huba

Location: New York, NY

Bio: John Huba is a travel and portrait photographer based in New York. He moved to Manhattan by the age of 19 and immersed in the art of photography as an assistant of the renowned photographer Bruce Weber. He is also a filmmaker working on documentaries, interviews, and cinematographic projects. He has been published in top magazines like Vanity Fair, Travel & Leisure, Town and Country. Among his favorite travel locations, Africa takes first place.

Website: John Huba Studio

John Huba photography Massai Children

© John Huba – Massai Children / Photography on Almanac Weekly

Name: Kacper Kowalski

Location: Gdynia, Poland

Bio: With a background in architecture, Kacper Kowalski is a pilot and award-winning photographer specialized in aerial and urban photography. Over the years he has received awards like World Press Photo award, the Picture of the Year International (POYi) award, the Best of Photojournalism (NPPA) award and the Sony World Photography award. He is also the author of a photography book entitled Side Effects published in 2014. Polish Autumn is maybe his most famous photographic project, one of the images being among the 50 most popular Travel 365 pictures of 2013 on National Geographic website.

Website: Kacper Kowalski Photography

kacper kowalski eastern pomerania poland

© Kacper KowalskiPolish Autumn / Eastern Pomerania, Poland, appeared on National Geographic

Name: Chee Keong Lim

Location: Bentong, Malaysia

Bio: Chee Keong Lim is an award-winning photographer, occupying a place in Top Five Travel Photographer Asia Contest this year. His passion for photography goes back to his high school years when he began capturing the beauty of the world around him. Lim is also interested in visual education and believes in the importance of technical proficiency. He enjoys capturing amazing landscapes, but he is a master of travel portraits as well.

Website: you can find his some of his works on Travel Photographer Asia or follow him on Facebook.

Chee Keong Lim  Bull Race Photo Indonesia

© Chee Keong Lim – Bull Race, Indonesia, appeared on National Georgraphic

Name: Emily Mott

Location: West Sussex, England

Bio: West Sussex-based photographer, Emily Mott is an Art Center College of Design graduate who worked for clients like Rolling Stones, Vogue, Esquire, Travel & Leisure Golf, NY Times and Washington Post. St Lucia, Borneo, Sardinia and Bohemia are just a few of the inspiring travel destinations she documented in her photography.

Website: Emily Mott Photography

Emily Mott Travel Photo Borneo

© Emily Mott Photography – Borneo – on American Photo Magazine

Name: Vivek Prakash

Location: Mumbai, India

Bio: With a background in editorial and commercial photography, the Australian photographer Vivek Prakash moved to Mumbai in 2011 and worked extensively as a travel photographer across Asia. He describes his style as versatile, his portofolio including business pictures, portraits and photos inspired by everyday life. Prakash has been published in top magazines and newspapers such as The Guardian, Washington Post, The National, Le Figaro, The Telegraph, The NYT, The IHT.

Website: Vivek Prakash Photography

Mumbai Train Station Vivek Prakash Photography

© Vivek Prakash– Mumbai Train Station – on National Geographic

 

Name: Jim Richardson

Location: Lindsborg, Kansas

Bio: Jim Richardson is a well-known photojournalist working for National Geographic Magazine and contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler Magazine. He has traveled the world in search for stories and inspiration. Beside his photographic work, he is the author of black-and-white documentary work about rural Kansas life, where he now lives and owns a gallery – Small World: A Gallery of Arts and Ideas on Lindsborg’s Main Street. He has been published in major publications, from Life and Time to New York Times.

Website: Jim Richardson Photography

Machu Picchu Jim Richardson Photography

© Jim Richardson – Machu Picchu, appeared on National Geographic

Name: Colin Roohan

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Bio: Colin Roohan is an enthusiastic travel photographer interested in documenting both his experiences and the cultures he encounters while on the road. He has been published in authoritative magazines and newspapers around the world like AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Groove Magazine and The Royal Geographical Society’s Hidden Journeys.  His passion for photography took him to Taiwan, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bermuda, United Arad Emirates and South Korea.

Website: Colin Roohan Photography

Colin Roohan Photography Duong Dong

© Colin Roohan – Duong Dong

Name: Joel Sartore

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Bio: Joel Sartore is a famous contributor for National Geographic Magazine, but he is also an author and teacher, captivating his audiences with his sense of humor. His work has taken him around the globe, from the High Arctic to Antarctic to capture wildlife in a variety of challenging environments. Passionate about nature photography, he is a master in landscape photography as well. Over the years he has contributed to prestigious publications including Audubon Magazine, The New York Times, Life, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated. He is the author of The Art of Travel Photography: Six Expert Lessons.

Website: Joe Sartore Photography

Joe Sartore - Penguins St. Andrews Bay Photo

© Joe Sartore – Penguins from South Georgia Island’s St. Andrews Bay – on National Geographic

Name: José Luis Vilar Jordán

Location: Valencia, Spain

Bio: Valencia-based image technician, José Luis Vilar Jordán started his photographic journey as a self-thought and ended up leading workshops on photography and video editing. He is experienced in the art of nature, urban and commercial photography, but also in portrait and minimalist photographic techniques. This year he received Spain National Award in the Sony World Photography Awards.

Website: JLV Photography

Jose Luis Vilar Jordan The Eye Spain National Award

© José Luis Vilar Jordán – ‘The Eye’ – appeared on ufunk.net

Name: Achmad Zet Zaeni

Location: Bali, Indonesia

Bio: Bali-based photographer and designer, Zet Zaeni is the first runner-up of Travel Photographer Asia Contest 2015, reaching this position with a travel portrait of a Papuan during a cultural festival. His vivid images talk about exotic places and cultures. Apart from exploring natural beauty in his photographic work, he enjoys capturing humanity.

Website:  Zet Images

Zet Zaeni Garuda Indonesia World Photo Contest - Children of Papua

© Zet Zaeni Photography – Children of Papua – appeared on Garuda Indonesia Photo Contest Page

4 Photo-Editing Tricks & Tips for Landscape Photography

Planet Earth is incredibly beautiful and diverse. There is always something to see, some new miracle to uncover and, hopefully, capture on camera. Landscape and travel photographers are among the luckiest in the world. Although in-camera technique is essential for photography, excellent Photo-editing and rendering skills can turn the dullest of images into an awe-inspiring capture. The prowess of photographers in the digital darkroom is becoming increasingly crucial for the success of images. It is even more important for landscape photography, for which a bit of contrast and luminance tricks could completely redefine the overall appearance.

Whether starkly beautiful, bursting with colour or magnificently minimal, no other type of photography offers more potential for stunning imagery than landscape.

 (Source: www.digitalcameraworld.com)

There is always something to see, even if you look past your back-window. In this guide we will provide you with much needed tricks & tips for landscape photography. They are fundamental for highlighting the natural beauty of the landscape you have captured. Approaches to landscape shooting may have changed in the past few years, but the main rules remain the same: creating an interesting composition with the help of quality lenses, getting the time right, and enhancing a photo via post-processing tools.

1. Blending Raw Exposures

3. Virtual Photography 1

Photo cameras struggle to present scenes in high-contrast (it cannot record everything that our eyes see). With the Raw files you can create incredible results, because they contain an enormous amount of information. The Raw tonal controls now surpass those of Photoshop (especially when working only with RAW files). Here’s how you can blend raw exposures to add more depth and contrast to your landscape:

  • Processing for Shadows: Insert your RAW image in Photoshop. From the basic panel set exposure to +.63, shadows to +63 and clarity to +55 (or a setting that looks good for your scene). Shift+Click the open object button to make it a smart object.
  • Processing for the highlights: go to your layers panel and choose a New Smart Object via copy. Send the thumbnail back to Camera Raw. Now go to the Exposure, Shadows and Clarity menu and reset the values to -0.20 exposure, -50 highlights, and -19 whites.
  • Blending Layers: Go to the Add Layer mask icon, and then grab the Brush tool. Choose the black color and set opacity to 30%. You can now paint the foreground to hide parts of the darker layer and reveal the light treatment bellow. Press X and paint with white to reveal the top layer more.

2. Lightroom Adjustment Brush

Lightroom adjustments are vital for color landscape images. No matter how hard you try to get details using ND grads during the shoot, there are still areas of the foreground and background that are shadowed or not very powerful (especially at sunsets or sunrises). With the Adjustment Brush you can lighten shadowed areas, and add warmth. It is particularly effective for lightening mountains and trees that can be found above the horizon. It can also be used to fine-tune and color the sky.

3. Creating Panoramas

3. Virtual Photography 2

Landscape photography can sometimes result in majestic panoramic scenes. If your lens isn’t wide enough to fit your entire scene into one frame, you can take multiple photos of the same scene and blend them together into a panorama. This can easily be done in Photoshop by overlapping frames and then sticking them together. The best thing about post-processing panorama building is the fact that resolution will be 4-5 times better than a camera panorama.

Use a tripod to take the shots). Go to your Adobe Bridge menu, hold down Shift+Click and select your desired images. Go to Tools->Photoshop->Photomerge and click OK. The results may not be perfect, but if you experience with different layout options in the photomerge box it will turn out well. Get rid of messy edges, and edit your image for contrast, saturation, luminance etc.

4. Surreal Landscape Editing

3. Virtual Photography 3

Surreal Landscape photography has become the next best thing. If you are interested in such projects you should definitely follow this advice. Using a simple landscape base image can make your surreal photo look a lot better. In this example we have concrete, clouds and a funny looking plant. Add some moody sky effect to it, a hazy horizon, sepia colors and burnt shadows and you get an interesting surreal image.

3. Virtual Photography 4

To make magic happen you simply have to add the photos one on top of the other. Add a Layer Mask and plot a black to white gradient to blend the land and sky together. Plot a white to transparent reflected gradient on the horizon to create the misty effect, lower the opacity of the element and drop any other element you would like. Desaturate it and make proper adjustments so that it becomes part of the photo.

The Brief Guide to Golden Light Wedding Photos

They don’t call the golden hour ‘the magic hour’ for no reason. There’s a certain soft, joyous quality to images taken in that kind of light that makes it ideal for the most wonderful portraits, be they for glam shoots or wedding shoots – or just about any other type of photography that involves human subjects. Of course, there’s something to be said about shooting in window light, shade, backlight, and even in direct sunlight. But there’s nothing quite like shooting portraits at magic hour, which is why today we bring you our very own version of a quick guide to golden light wedding photos. There is simply no match for it, neither in terms of artificial lighting or post-production. You can’t replicate it no matter how hard you try and how many filters and actions you try. So let’s delve right into it, then:

The unmatched qualities of golden light wedding photos

Christina McNeillSoftness

The thing about golden light wedding photos is that they can actually be taken with the subjects staring straight into the sun without so much of a squint. Light at that time of day is softer because it takes a longer time to reach the surface of the Earth, as it has more distance to travel across the universe.

Warmth

Another quality that’s unique to golden light wedding photos is the temperature of the light. In somewhat more technical terms, at magic hour the blue wavelengths of light particles are more scattered, which is why there are more reds and yellows in its makeup. This will make your wedding portrait subjects look almost golden – sort of naturally tanned-like.

Depth

Magic hour is essentially that time of day right before sunset, which means the sun has descended lower in the sky. This low angle will effortlessly add depth to your photos. Since your subjects will have longer, softer shades at that time of the day, the pictures will look more dynamic and more profound, in terms of depth-of-field. Golden light wedding photos simply look like more accurate 2D representations of this three-dimensional world.

When to take perfect golden light wedding photos

golden-light-wedding-photos02The ‘magic hour’ is actually about two hours each day: one right after sunrise and one immediately before sunset. The span of time you have at your disposal also varies according to where on Earth you live or the place to which you’ve traveled for the photo shoot. The rule of thumb is that the closer you are to the Equator, the shorter the golden hour is going to be. Seasons also extend or shorten the magic hour (with less natural sunlight in the colder season, it goes without saying that there’s going to be less golden light then). And, of course, the weather also plays a major role in how much time you get for taking golden light wedding photos. Clouds in the sky are not a good sign, if you’re going for that warm, soft vibe of magic hour portraits – though they can work wonders for achieving sharper shadows and a more dramatic quality to your pictures. In the case of weddings, the golden hour will usually catch you right after dinner or during the meal, so try to inform your clients of this in advance, so you can sneak out into the great outdoors with them for a few beautiful portraits.

How to shoot golden light wedding photosgolden-light-wedding-photos03

There are lots of great options in this sense, since golden light is so permissive. You can have your subject directly facing the light, or you can get a warm glow with backlit portraits. In this second scenario, you can also try to obtain a rim of light outlining the silhouettes of your subject, which will make it stand out from the background and appear aglow. You can also try to obtain a flare, which will differ greatly from one specific aperture to the next, from one lens to the other – try to find the best kind of effect for your subjects. And, of course, golden light allows for a ton of experimentation, so just go out and have fun with it!

The Travel Photography Location Shoot Checklist

travel-photography-location-shootIf you’re an aspiring travel photographer, there are probably some inherent mistakes that you’re going to fall victim to. Don’t worry about it – take everything thrown your way as a learning experience and a spring board to better skills and more amassed know-how. That being said, though, there are certain mistakes which you can avoid: that’s why today’s post brings you the travel photography location shoot checklist. Make sure you skim, scan or actually take the time to read through it, then start packing. Each voyage to a new location to photograph is an experience worth enjoying through and through.

Read up

No one expects you to know everything about your chosen destination, since most things related to local customs, for instance, you will learn about on site. However, there are plenty of great guidebooks out there, that will paint an informative picture for you in broad strokes, which will prepare you for your travel photography location shoot. Some of the best ones include Lonely Planet, as well as the Rough Guides Series. It’s also a good idea to check out tips for lesser known locations, for instance, on online forums.

Pack light

It’s easy to get carried away when packing for your first travel photography location shoot – and it also happens to more experienced artists. However, try to tone it down, especially since weight restrictions on most lines are getting stricter these days. Here are the essentials, which you are absolutely going to need, no matter where you’re headed to:

–          Battery chargers for your camera and phone (and a travel adaptor, depending on where you’re headed to);

–          A laptop, both for storing and editing your photos on location, but also for keeping in touch with your family and contacts;

–          A removable HDD for secondary backups. Remember, you’ll be on the road quite a lot for your travel photography location shoot, so you don’t want to risk losing your work to theft or destruction;

–          A sunrise/sunset calculator, which will keep you up to speed on light changes, in accordance with local sunset and sunrise times.

Explore the magic hour

Traditionally, the magic hour for photographers, also referred to as ‘the golden hour’ is that time of the day late in the afternoon, when the sky is dappled in the most amazing colors, just before the sun sets below the line of the horizon. This time of the day is likely to help you produce some amazing shots in all natural lighting. However, there’s also another magic hour, which happens very early in the morning. The light is almost just as great, and there’s another perk to working before everyone else is awake. You don’t have to deal with the morning rush of tourists.

Check your travel photography location shoot kit

Check it twice, thrice, four times if you need to, before leaving for your travel photography location shoot. There are few experiences more frustrating for a photographer than arriving at an amazing location, only to discover they’ve left their most adequate lens at home. Here’s a rough guide for what to pack and take along:

–          A DSLR body;

–          A good, lightweight tripod;

–          A wide angle zoom (10-24mm, or 16-35mm);

–          A mid-range zoom (24-70mm, for instance);

–          A telephoto zoom (70-200mm);

–          A cable release;

–          A polarizing filter – as well as some ND grad filters, if you havethem or use them;

–          Optionally, take along a 1.4x tele-extender and a macro-lens – you never know when the mood might strike you for some good macro shots on location.

Your gear should always travel along with you, as cabin luggage. If it’s too heavy, stuff some lenses inside your pockets, but never-ever leave it elsewhere, as you may risk having it damaged or stolen.

15 Things You Should Be Doing To Improve As A Travel Photographer

So you just got back from your trip and you have hundreds of images sitting on your computer. You know some of them are good. You know some of them are great. And with a little tweaking, they could be phenomenal.

A lot of photographers dream of having their travel images purchases. Wouldn’t it be great to make money while traveling the world? Yet just like any other niche in the photographic industry, becoming a paid, recognized travel photographer takes work. If this is the direction you want to head this year, take a look at these 20 items and see how many you’re doing … and how many you have to schedule in to your to-do list.

1. Organize your photos

Too often our “extra” images get lumped into the bottom of our work stack. Travel images can end up sitting on cards, or in a catch-all file on your computer labeled something non-descript, such as “travel photos”. Then when you find an opportunity, you can’t locate the image you had in mind. Start the organization process now. Start by filing them according to date and location.

2013 Photographers Market

You may also separate the great from the good … from the not so good. The easier access you have to your great work, the more potential you have to work with.

2. Define what travel means to you

The biggest mistake travel photographers make is thinking of themselves as travel photographers. It’s hard to find opportunity as a travel photographer; but it its easier finding someone who needs images from Brazil. What is it about travel that captures your heart? What do you want to do, where do you want to go, and what do you want to sell? Only after you’ve defined your clear picture can you move forward.

3. Invest in 2013 Photographer’s Market

In order to sell things, you have to know and understand who’s buying. Even if you are still unsure, this resource could open up your eyes to hundreds of possibilities. This is a resource you’ll want to keep on your desk and open it up every day to find a source to promote to. [Read more…]

7 Things You Have To Know Before Becoming A Travel Photographer

Ahhh, the good life.

Imagine hopping on a plane on Thursday morning, off to some far away location. You have a great flight, check into a wonderful resort, and spend the next few days touring a place you’ve never been before. You eat at the finest restaurants. You visit the local tourist attractions. And you leave a few days later relaxed and ready to take on the world.

Sounds good, right?

When most people hear the term “travel photographer”, that is what they think. They think “travel photographer” means you have an amazing life with very few bumps along the way.

And while it can be true in some circumstances, it isn’t always that way … especially if you haven’t carefully thought out your plan of action.

Just like any other business model, you have to have every aspect of the business planned out BEFORE you start taking action. Without it, you’ll never make the money you need to succeed in the travel photography world. Especially know in this more difficult economy.

Yet don’t let it deter you. It still is a great life and one with a lot of potential. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started by going through the 7 questions you need to build up your travel photography plan.

What do you want to do?

This probably sounds like a trick question. “I want to travel,” you may be thinking. But in order to succeed, you need to look at it from a different viewpoint. In your overall business plan, how will travel photography fit into your lifestyle?

Some people sell their images to microstock houses. Some photographers create fine art and sell it to galleries. Some people run online art stores and sell directly to the public. Some people offer photo tours. Some people shoot weddings. Yep, the list can go on and on.

Have you really thought about what travel photography means to you? Do you want to interact with people on a regular basis? Or do you prefer to be in a remote location where your only interaction is with nature itself? Sit down and define how you can see spending your 365 days of the year. [Read more…]

Capture The Colour – Having Fun With Your Photography And Winning Too

So you want to be recognized as a travel photographer. Maybe now is your time.

Chances are you have a file full of travel images you love. Yet maybe no one else has seen them. Maybe you’ve been saving them for the day you can use them to gain a little recognition for yourself. Maybe you’ve been waiting for the right moment to share them online with thousands of others from around the world.

Maybe now is your time. Pull out your computer and start sifting through those files. Look through each image and start asking yourself a few questions.

What makes a photograph special?

Is it the subject matter? Is it the look and feel within the image itself, sharing a tiny bit of insight into what that particular point in time was like?

Is it the lighting? The way the highlights and shadows make you feel as if you are still there?

Is it the story the photograph portrays? Letting you instantly go back to that special place any time you choose?

Or is it the colors? The rich saturation making you stand back and say WOW each time you view the image?

Or is it all of the above?

As a photographer, I know you like to shoot all the time. I bet you have your camera with you as you travel to some of the most magical places on earth. Now you can show off your talents, and maybe win a special prize too.

I recently came across a fun contest in which you can enter your photographs and win some great prizes too. Wouldn’t you love to win £2000 to spend on traveling, or one of 5 iPads?

Its easy to enter, and is open to all bloggers ready to showcase their travel photography talents.

The contest is called Capture the Colour. And its easy to enter.

  • Put together a blog post with five images representing all five colours – blue, green, yellow, white and red. Within your post, mention the competition page so your readers will know what Capture the Colour is.
  • Then nominate 5 other bloggers to take part in the Capture the Colour contest near the end of the post.
  • Accomplish all of this by August 29, 2012, and let the judges know by Facebook, Twitter or email (the details are on the contest details page).

Its that easy. Make sure you head over and read the rules at TravelSupermarket before you enter. Here are my images:

Blue – Costa Brava, Spain

Driving along any coast is almost always a memorable experience. There is something about land meeting water that puts you into a different frame of mind. As we made our way down the northeastern coast of Spain, each hairpin turn brought breathtaking views. Where else can you see a mix of old and new –  boats in the harbor, swimming pools behind fantastic homes, and medieval walls hugging the cliffs.

Green – Girona, Spain

Girona, Spain is one of the most magical places I’ve been to. As you walk along the stone walls, each turn brings you to a new experience. A portion of the original Roman wall still exists, and you can climb several staircases to access the wall. You walk up and down, discovering breathtaking views as you go. At one turn, we could climb down into a garden and explore beyond the gates. We came around the corner to this view. The green splashed over the rugged stone, definitely giving you the feeling you just reached paradise.

Yellow – Panama

Panama is an interesting place to site see and people watch. As we entered small towns and villages, the kids would happily run up to us, trying to sell us small trinkets and jewelry. It’s a place where you can witness some of the poorest conditions around. Yet the beauty often stands out from everything else. This restaurante showcases how much people care about what they do have. A small boy stands near, watching his friends play in the distance. Nothing but a gravel path leads up to the place. Yet the detail painted on the walls is warm and inviting.

White– Lucca, Italy

Once upon a time, the Romans had an idea. They decided to create towns all over Italy, encasing them within walls for protection. Since that time, the walls have been torn down to make room for progress; except in Lucca, Italy. Whether you are walking around the wall or visiting the quaint streets within the wall, you quickly get the feeling of what it must have been like back in Roman times. That feeling carries through as you begin to head out of town and come across Lucca’s aqueducts. Even though these were built in modern times – during the 1800’s – it still gives you a unique perspective on Roman life. I love this image as it pulls together the beautiful coloring of the aqueduct, the surrounding green farmland, and the stark whiteness of a modern day home.

Red – Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida is the place to kick back, put your feet up for awhile, and enjoy the views. And of course a margarita or two. Key West brings together the laid back lifestyle so many tourists crave, which is why its usually filled with people enjoying all it has to offer. Two hours before sunset, the natural migration occurs as tourists make their way to the Sunset Celebration. Yes, you can get some amazing photographs of the sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico. It brings out the most beautiful boats that add into scenery. Yet its what happens on the docks that adds into the fun too. Many locals bring out their wares: food carts, street performers, psychics, and of course arts and crafts vendors. Rows and rows of bird houses were stacked on one table, giving you the chance to bring a bright piece of Key West home with you. A friendly reminder of what life could be like if the snow starts to fall in your neck of the woods.

Now that you see how its done, create your own posts and have fun! Be sure to comment here or let me know through Facebook or Twitter as well. I’d love to see what you do.

My five nominations:

Ralph Velasco
Jim Goldstein
Gavin Gough
Andrew Pateras
Steve Z Photography

One Great Idea – How To Spend Two Years On A Motorcycle

Who says you can’t use your photography to live life anyway you choose?

Meet Serdar Sunny Unal

A few years ago, this professional photographer decided to leave Los Angeles for a five month expedition down to Latin America. His epic adventure – now nicknamed “LA2BA” covered over 40,000 miles through 15 countries, and gave him the opportunity to photograph like never before. From the moment I read one of his quotes, I was hooked into his story:

“By the time I found myself on a sailboat heading to Colombia, I’d already realized that a new chapter in my life had begun, and things would never be the same.”

Right now, the world is all about change. The concept of a job doesn’t mean what it used to. Security doesn’t mean what it used to. Nor does the concept of risk.

And some professions just seem to be more flexible to change things up and do something completely out of the ordinary.

When Serdar was pressed with the question “why?”, he answered:

“I suddenly got terrified by the speed of time, and decided not to wait for tomorrow to live my dreams. And once I managed to get out the door, there was no reason to ever go back”.

A concept we should all take to heart.

So what did his epic adventure turn into?

The largest travel book ever put to an iPad app.

You can purchase Los Angeles to Buenos Aires, over 1200 pages of journals and images in the iTunes store.

Or on February 28, the first 500 people to his site will be able to download a short cut – a condensed 380 page excerpt covering the Central America legs of the expedition for free. Just to see what its like … and to give you your own ideas for an epic journey.

Of course once you get the sneak peek, the full version will be a click away, and be your own blueprint to the future you’ve been dreaming about.

Market Your Photography Business So You Can Travel and Live Anywhere

Many people dream of the day they can quit their jobs, throw a camera in a bag and travel the world. We love to travel and experience new things. Taking pictures is a way to remember each step of the way. And if you can get paid for doing it as well, why not start today.

If traveling the world with a camera in hand has always been on your bucket list, the only way to make your dreams come true is to do it.

Self Promotion

With many career paths, they can be time consuming and expensive. If you open up a retail store, you are pretty well locking yourself into a location.

But if you want to be a travel photographer, the only investment is camera equipment, a computer, and a website. Then you can create your images and load them up to your site for any type of promotion you choose.

Need some inspiration? Check out Stuck In Customs, one of the best travel photography sites online.

Build Your Portfolio

With WordPress, you can build a sophisticated web presence in no time. You can add to it anywhere in the world you have Internet access. And you can connect it up with many different sites to give you even more exposure – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube and SmugMug.

In years past, you had to connect with people on a personal or one to one level. Now everything can be done via online. If you are connected to editors through Twitter, you can communicate on your time. If they run across your Pinterest boards, they can evaluate you on their time. If you build a SmugMug portfolio and gain an incredible following, you’ll have more traffic than you can handle. And it will all be something you can build when you have the time – leaving you free to shoot on your time.

Dig Deeper: The 10 Advantages Of WordPress For Designing Your Photography Site [Read more…]