Tourism Review Online Magazine - The Art of Travel Photography by milada


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 The ArT of TrAvel PhoTogrAPhy

                     Taking pictures is not as easy as
                     it may seem. Taking travel pho-
                     tography is even more difficult.
                     get familiar with some of the
                     simple tricks that will help you
                     to take fabulous pics while on
                     the road.
                                                                                          PROFESSIONAL          th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

       travel PHOtOgraPHy:                                                                               February are as crucial to the travel industry
                                                                                                         as Christmas is to retailers so it’s going to be a
                                                                                                         tense period for many companies for the sec-

        selling tHe dream
                                                                                                         ond year running.
                                                                                                           budgets for good travel photography have
                                                                                                         been hit hard in the last few years. Much of the
                                                                                                         travel industry, somewhat surprisingly, sees
                                                                                                         photography as a luxury despite the impor-
                                                                                                         tance of the image in “selling the dream”. Cou-
                                                                                                         pled with the explosion in digital imagery, and
                                                                                                         the perception that anyone can take a photo-
                                                                                                         graph, only a limited number of forward-think-
                                                                                                         ing companies now seem to value the skills of
                                                                                                         the professional travel photographer.
                                                                                                           The travel industry is all about selling aspira-
                                                                                                         tions and depends on great images to do this.
                                                                                                         Increasingly, it’s also about selling the experi-
                                                                                                         ence of the tourists themselves, rather than
                                                                                                         the images of local life that used to be the
                                                                                                         standard. This takes us away from the endless
                                                                                                         images of poor people in far off lands (why
                                                                                                         do travellers rarely photograph the wealthy
                                                                                                         or even ‘regular’ people?) to shots of travel
                                                                                                         experience and the more conceptual imagery
                                                                                                         which is so important in the world of advertis-
                                                                                                         ing. with the dream and the experience comes
                                                                                                         the emotion. Capture that in an image and you
                                                                                                         have a winning shot.
  Father and daughter, Shine-Ider area, Mongolia.
  Photo: Kym Morris, Australia                                                                             It’s a global marketplace and the internet
                                                                                                         has made it easy for someone in, say, japan
                                                                                                         to source an image direct from a stock agency
It’s that time of year again! The media is full of      The global economic problems, and the            in England or Italy. They can also easily find a
advertisements, selling us dream destinations         changes in exchange rate have an immediate         photographer based in any destination, mak-
and exciting adventures to tempt us into book-        effect on people’s travel plans and many travel    ing images readily available to any interna-
ing our next holiday. So as our thoughts turn to      companies are waiting nervously for the phone      tional tourist destination.
travel, it’s a good time to reflect on the state of   to ring. will people not take their annual holi-     Some believe that in a recession holidays
travel – and of travel photography.                   day or will they just book later? january and      become more important, and are one of the

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                                                                                       PROFESSIONAL          th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

                                                  images which take a contemporary or even
                                                  artistic approach.
                                                    The 2010 winners include beautiful and
                                                  intriguing black and white images, together
                                                  with joyous, vibrant and engaging images
                                                  which transport the viewer right into the heart
                                                  of the experience. Too often travel images are
                                                  simply observational, yet the new winners of
                                                  this truly international and prestigious award
                                                  are much more elegant and insightful about
                                                  the places, the people and the experiences
Temples and pagodas at sunset, Bagan, Myanmar.    which they share with the viewer.                   Mass ordination of 34,000 monks, Wat Phra Dham-
Photo: Christopher Martin, Canada                   Travel photography is very much alive and         makaya temple, Pathum Thani, Bangkok, Thailand
                                                  kicking but not as it’s been conventionally per-    Luke Duggleby, UK
few things which we’re reluctant to forego        ceived. It’s changing, and photographers must
completely. If this is true, and people cut       adapt to survive. If they can, there are oppor-     to pay a little more to travel with companies
back on other non-necessities, then the           tunities. Especially as the tourism industry        which provide peace of mind. These same
market for travel photographs will still be       clamours and competes for our holiday dollar,       consumers will see a travel company’s reluc-
there. but they’ll have to be the right travel    euro or pound, with good imagery an effective       tance to pay for good photography as an indi-
photographs, so photographers who shoot           way to get us to spend. The forward-thinking        cator of a company’s attitude to providing a
travel need to rethink what and how they          companies, who pay attention to the photog-         better quality of service to their paying cus-
shoot.                                            raphy which they use to promote their prod-         tomers.
  The winners of the 2010 Travel Photographer     ucts, are the most likely beneficiaries whilst        To see all the winning images in TPOTy 2010
of the year awards have just been announced.      those who only want the images they can get         visit
Over the years these awards have showcased        for free, or for very little money, will undoubt-
some marvellous and varied imagery. They          edly struggle.
have also mirrored, and sometimes lead, inter-      From the travel consumer’s perspective,           By Chris Coe
esting trends in travel photography. Of course    there is a growing realisation that a holiday       Chris Coe is a travel photographer and organiser of the
many photographers are still producing the        that is inexpensive can have its drawbacks,         prestigious international Travel Photographer of the
same type of travel images that were fashion-     when things don’t go to plan or acts of god         Year awards.
able 10 years ago, but of more interest are the   intervene. with this will come a willingness

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                                                             PROFESSIONAL   th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

   PHOtOgraPHy tOur                                                  mornings, the preferred time of year for clear
                                                                     skies and quiet villages. One of my highlights
                                                                     along this journey has been watching the first

at tHe tOP Of tHe WOrld
                                                                     light on the peaks of nilgiri and knowing we
                                                                     are the only people in town who've noticed.
                                                                       Further up the road we reach Muktinath, a
Photography in Nepal is full of diverse riches,                      holy destination of immense significance to
from the newari villages of Kathmandu Val-                           the Hindus. Pilgrims walk from northern India
ley, the colours of Hinduism and the wilds of                        just to dip their head in the holy waters of this
lowland jungles in the south of the country.                         temple. buddhists also have a connection here,
but the Himalayas are what makes nepal truly                         and the hillsides around the complex are lay-
unique, with or without the camera.                                  ered with prayer flags in all directions. Chorten
  There's a new road that takes travellers into                      make silhouettes against the sky and prayer
the high reaches of the annapurna Ranges,                            flags flutter in the wind.
one of nepal's most scenic regions. Dirt track                         This is our highest point on the tour, and high
is perhaps a more suitable expression than                           enough to feel the effects of altitude sickness
'road', and the only vehicles that can get up                        if you didn't take it slowly. go slow is one of
and down are Indian built 4wDs that rattle and                       the core philosophies for my photographic
shake as rocks and dust slip about beneath the                       adventures. Slow is good, slow leads to better
tyres. The drivers are cowboys, young guns                           photos. when you rush about trying to shoot
with hip-hop Hindi music blaring and their hair                      everything there is a danger of capturing noth-
tied back with a bandanna.                                           ing. going slow means taking a moment to
  Travel photography demands you get off the                         reflect on your inspiration, having a chance to
beaten track at every opportunity, and that                          connect with local people and cultivating your
sometimes means trading comfort for adven-                           own expression with your photography.
ture. It's a bumpy ride in the 4wDs to reach                           To me the camera is like a paint brush, and in
towns like Kagbeni, but once you've arrived                          the hands of different people it will tell differ-
the camera is entertained with snow-capped
peaks, goat herdsmen and the charms of
Tibetan people. This is the lower edge of the                                          get Packing
upper Mustang, where nepal meets Tibet.                                 Ewen Bell’s Nepal Photography Tour is a
                                                                        16-day adventure taking place in February
  getting to Kagbeni requires some careful                              each year and costs $4300 per person with all
planning and I tailor the tours with a slow tran-                       meals and internal flights included. Visit www.
sition through the altitude, adjusting to the                  for details. Other itineraries
thinner air and getting in a few early starts to                        include China, Bhutan, Thailand, Laos, Cambo-
watch the sunrise. It's icy cold in the Spring                          dia and Australia.

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                                                                                       PROFESSIONAL          th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

ent stories. Every act of photography is an act     tography, debating philosophies and discover-     ter-sweet, and the better the travel the more
of expression, and I try to help our travellers     ing new perspectives. Coming to grips with the    reluctant we are for the journey to end.
find better ways to express themselves. This        power of wide-angle photography, discovering        Fortunately our moments will live on in the
is why small groups matter so much, so I have       new ways to compose images with a shallow         photos. Every image will take on a new life as
the time to share my time with everyone who         depth of field or just gaining some confidence    we share them online, print them in books or
travels in my group. Too many photographers         when approaching strangers are all opportuni-     publish them in magazines. being on a photog-
in one place is also a problem, frightening off     ties to expand your camera skills.                raphy tour is an experience that lasts a lifetime.
the subject matter and creating competition           Muktinath is our turning point for the nepal
between cameras.                                    tour, and sitting above the temples with prayer   By Ewen Bell
  My definition of a small group is just 8. Small   flags around me I am mindful that we begin        Ewen Bell is an award-winning photographer from
is good.                                            heading back to Kathmandu from here on.           Australia who leads photographic tours across Asia. He
  Sharing two weeks with a group of like-           It's always a little sad when journeys come to    is also a contributor to the travel media in Australia,
minded people, and sharing my experience            an end, sad to be closer to saying goodbye to     and publishes a website with free advice for photogra-
and ideas is one of the most rewarding ways to      new friends and sad to return to the real world   phers who enjoy travel.
travel. For two weeks all we talk about is pho-     that waits for us at home. Travel can be bit-

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                                                            PROFESSIONAL   th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

quick tiPs – HOW tO take                                              Respect other cultures. Try to blend in as
                                                                    much as possible. we wouldn’t like a foreign
                                                                    photographer to intrude in our homes or dis-

  gOOd travel PHOtOs
                                                                    turb a church service after all...
                                                                      Try learning a bit of the language. Even a few
                                                                    phrases may go a long way – in many countries
When photographing people, there are some                           people do not expect foreigners to do so, but
things to pay attention to:                                         are pleasantly surprised as this shows that you
                                                                    really take an interest. by the way: this may
                                                                    result in new contacts, prices may drop and
                                                                    you may be able to get the consent for a pic-
  Know your camera well before setting out                          ture more easily.
on an important trip – you may not be able to                         Read up on your destination. use web
repeat it!                                                          forums, newsgroups etc. to get some first-hand
  Know the characteristics of your film – it                        information and travel tips. a very good way
“sees” things differently from you! being able                      of finding some scenic spots not mentioned in
to predict those differences helps prevent                          the major guide books.
unpleasant surprises.
  Try to choose the best light for your subject                                     cOmPOsitiOn
and make the best use of the light you have.                          Position your subject outside the centre,
                                                                    think about the “rule of thirds”.
                                                                      Learn more about the rules of composition.
  bring enough film and batteries (for the cam-                       Experiment with breaking those rules.
era and other items like an external flash). It                       Eliminate unnecessary clutter. Check the
may be difficult to obtain your favourite film                      background before pressing the shutter, espe-
on the road and it may have been stored incor-                      cially for portraits.
rectly.                                                               get your horizon straight. you will see even
  Make a list of items you want to bring with                       small deviations from a straight line.
you well before travelling and check that you                         not everything has to be sharp in a picture.
have everything well before leaving.                                Try to concentrate on the main elements by
  On flights, never check in film with your main                    reducing depth of field, especially if you have
luggage.                                                            an interesting subject in the foreground (e.g.
  before photographing people, make sure that                       portraits)
they do not object. This is not only polite – it                      For good reasons, wide-angle lenses are
often results in better photos.                                     often used for landscapes. However, this makes

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                                                                                          PROFESSIONAL          th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

                                                                                                         light of midday and overcast skies can create
                                                                                                         very special atmospheres that will also look
                                                                                                         more “unusual” as most photographers just
                                                                                                         put away their cameras at this time...

                                                                                                           a tripod is very useful for low-light situations
                                                                                                         and when using a strong tele-photo lens.
                                                                                                           a flash can be more helpful in broad daylight
                                                                                                         (as fill flash) than at night. Remember that the
                                                                                                         inbuilt camera flash will have a range of only a
                                                                                                         few meters.
                                                                                                           when using filters, always take an unfiltered
                                                                                                         version of the picture as well (except for uV or
                                                                                                         daylight filters).
                                                                                                           a polarising filter can eliminate reflections or
                                                                                                         enhance saturation.
                                                                                                           a neutral density grey filter covering the
                                                                                                         bright parts of a picture can help reduce con-
                                                                                                           a good lens is more important than a camera
                                                                                                         with many features.
it especially important to look for something        changing film etc. If you do not have a tripod
interesting in the foreground.                       with you, try to use an elevated object like a            lOOking at yOur Pictures
  For portraits, tele lenses usually are best. you   wall instead.
may need a different film to produce natural           when in doubt, bracket (take several shots          If you buy very expensive photo equipment
skin colours. Choosing a different angle can         with different exposures), especially when          but then print your images on a cheap printer,
hide or pronounce physical characteristics.          using slide film which is much more unforgiv-       you may not be doing them justice. The lens
                                                     ing of wrong exposures than print material.         of a slide projector is as important for the per-
  get close. The face is the most important part                                                         ceived image quality as is the lens of your cam-
of your subject. a portrait will usually be much       Try to shoot mainly in the morning and eve-       era. The same goes for prints, computer moni-
more impressive and personal as a close-up.          ning as the light usually is better for most sub-   tors and even the canvas you use for a slide
Showing the whole body rarely is necessary.          jects.                                              show.
  when shooting at night, use a tripod and             In less perfect weather conditions, you may
a cable release or the self timer. a flashlight      find subjects that look actually more interest-     By Laurenz Bobke
can be very handy for checking the setup and         ing than on a sunny day. Rain, fog, the harsh

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                                                                                    PROFESSIONAL          th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

           taking interesting                                                                      don’t have to check your teeth for food either
                                                                                                   as the camera is not right in front of your face.
                                                                                                   xshot and Quickpod are two of the more popu-

           “i Was Here!” sHOts
                                                                                                   lar brands.

                                                                                                            set tHe camera dOWn
                                                                                                     not every shot has to be held so close! It’s
                                                                                                   ok to put the camera down (if you’re not wor-
                                                                                                   ried about someone swiping it) on just about
                                                                                                   anything. It often helps to place a coat, soft bag
                                                                                                   or something squishy under the camera so you
                                                                                                   can reposition it as needed. use the live view
                                                                                                   feature on the LCD to make sure everyone is in
                                                                                                   the shot (as a tall person, I have been chopped
                                                                                                   off more than once in these scenarios). use the
                                                                                                   self timer, they’ve been standard on most cam-
                                                                                                   eras for decades. newer cameras also have the
                                                                                                   possibility of using a remote control which
                                                                                                   gives you ultimate control if the crowd you’re
                                                                                                   with gets unruly.

                                                                                                                 be gOOfy, POse!
                                                                                                     Have fun! well, that is, if you’re having fun.
                                                                                                   Chances are you want to memorialize your
                                                                                                   location, and the fact that you were there,
                                                                                                   because it’s something you enjoy. Show that!
Let’s spice things up a bit! not every photo     same task. They are those, how do I describe      Pose. Show off. grab a stranger and bring them
of you during a trip needs to be taken while     them…”arm extenders”. The telescoping poles       into the shot (as long as they’re friendly!).
holding the camera at arms length with various   with a camera mount, perfect for point and        Liven it up!
national monuments in the upper right corner     shoot units, that allow for a better composed
of the screen. Here are some options for spic-                                                       grab a prop if something is near by. anything
                                                 picture. Placing the camera further away from     will do. a wig, a dog, previous vice-presidential
ing things up a little.                          your body allows more of the background to        candidates. anything to cause confusion for
                                                 show up. Instead of your head being half of the   your viewing audience back home. It’s a digi-
          extend yOur reacH
                                                 screen and the Eiffel Tower taking up 1/12th,     tal camera after all, if you don’t like the shot
 you might have seen them around. They           you can create a more fun, exciting composi-      just delete it and shoot another. Speaking of
go by different names but all accomplish the     tion showing more of the city. The bonus is you   which….

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                                                                                        PROFESSIONAL          th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y
             multiPle sHOts                         and the camera will allow you to choose the        a peak. Or the first person to rock climb a partic-
                                                    number of photos you wish to take on self-         ular route to the top. I was paging through the
  One popular application for the iPhone is         timer mode, sometimes as many as ten. Some         photos of my fellow rock climber, bill urbanski,
called Photobooth. It works like the classic pho-   cameras even have the option to start taking       that he took on a recent roadtrip and began
tobooths still around in many malls, arcades        the photo when they detect your face is in the     to notice a theme; at every state border sign
and carnivals. Drop you coins in the slot, step     picture, making the mad sprint from camera to      he not only stopped for the photo, but he also
inside and Poof! Poof! Poof! Poof! Four shots       pose a thing of the past. Check your manual, you   decided to climb to the top. now, mind you, bill
in rapid succession. The iPhone app does the        might have this feature and not even know it!      is an experienced rock climber, so I wouldn’t
same thing and can be a lot of fun.                                                                    suggest attempting this dangerous sport unless
  and most people don’t know their regular                       climb On stuff                        you have some type of coordination, or you’re
digital camera can do the same! a number of                                                            crazy like bill. but coupling this technique with
newer cameras have this feature built into the       There’s an illustrious tradition in rock and      the face recognition self timer makes for some
auto-timer setting. Scroll through the menus        mountain climbing of being the first person up     fun photos of his “first ascents”. He hopes to
                                                                                                       have all 50 done soon but I’m not so sure there
                                                                                                       is a tall sign for Hawaii. Don’t tell him that.
                                                                                                         “I was here!” doesn’t have to be boring and
                                                                                                       repetitive. It can be lively and fun, especially for
                                                                                                       those back home who will be paging through
                                                                                                       your 400 images of Rome when you return.
                                                                                                       give them something to remember!

                                                                                                       By Peter West Carey
                                                                                                       Peter West Carey is a world traveler who loves sharing
                                                                                                       his experiences and knowledge at photography work-
                                                                                                       shops, through photo presentations and photo tours.

februar y, 2011                                                       — 23 —
                             PROFESSIONAL   th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

       bOnjOur vaHza – PHOtOgraPHing
         madagascar’s cOuntryside
                                     There are a few ways to see all that Madagas-
                                     car has to offer. Each method presents its own
                                     unique experiences as well as challenges. The
                                     conveyances you use to get around depend
                                     strongly on your time constraints, your com-
                                     fort level in unusual situations, and the overall
                                     goal of your trip to Madagascar.

                                            traveling tHe cOuntry –
                                                  tHe basics:
                                       The cheapest and most rustic way to see Mad-
                                     agascar would involve hopping on a taxi-brusse
                                     and spending hours on the road shoulder-to-
                                     shoulder with people, pigs and chickens (and
                                     turkeys, ducks, etc). although you’d get some
                                     stories, meet some people (as well as have a
                                     character-building opportunity), you will have
                                     a hard time getting photos. These bush taxis
                                     are on a schedule that doesn’t including stop-
                                     ping for grand scenics. If you are seeking to
                                     experience Madagascar rather than just pho-
                                     tograph it – and you speak French – this is your
                                     best option. I look forward to reading your
                                     article on traveling through Madagascar on a
                                     shoestring while quietly marveling at your self-
                                       If it is your first time exploring a developing
                                     nation, or if your French language skills are
                                     non-existent, a guided tour is probably your
                                     best choice. Transportation, guides, food, and

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                                                                                           PROFESSIONAL          th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

lodging will all be taken care of which leaves
you to focus on photography – and gigantic spi-
ders! a guided tour does mean that you’ll miss
some opportunities. you are forced to abide by
someone else’s timetable and this can be prob-
lematic if you’re the only “serious” photogra-
pher on the tour. by doing a little research and
asking pointed questions you can find a guide
service that is both flexible and willing to cater
to your specific photographic needs.
  Do you speak fluent French? Do you laugh at
the thought of armed cattle rustlers “sharing”
your rice for a strip of zebu pulled from a dirty
backpack? If you’ve answered yes then another
travel option presents itself. Hiring a dedicated
vehicle with a driver/guide is an excellent way
to get off the beaten path. The flexibility you’ll
gain in having a vehicle all to yourself is hard
to beat.
  when hiring a vehicle a decent four-wheel
drive is a must. Madagascar’s roads turn to vast
expanses of red mud during the rainy season
– late november to March – and no amount
of pushing will set you free once stuck. Costs
for a rental with driver run $50 to $100 uSD
a day. you’ll need to pay for diesel, which can
be quite expensive, so make sure you’ve got          guides, etc.) have suggestions for lodgings           your driver sleeps never, ever, leave anything in
enough money before leaving the city. Larger         and can be a great help in finding accommoda-         the car overnight. If you’ve an overdeveloped
towns might have banks to exchange money             tion in a pinch. a mosquito net or travel tent        sense of decency, most hotels will have driver
if you run short while on safari. The rates at       for sleeping indoors is a necessity. Take your        rooms available at a reduced rate.
these establishments are less favorable than in      malaria medications. Cerebral malaria occurs
the capital and you’ll need to budget one to         in Madagascar and getting it isn’t a story you’ll
                                                     get to share with friends.                                       develOPing a Plan:
two hours for waiting in line.
  If you forgo traveling with a tour for the free-      generally your driver will insist on sleeping in    now here comes the big question – “what
dom of self-directed exploration you’ll need         or near the car. This is often company policy to      would you like to photograph?” Exotic ani-
to plan ahead for accommodation. Many of             prevent theft of the vehicle while other times        mals? Rare flowers? Scenic landscapes of the
the travel books (Lonely Planet, bradt Travel        it is just driver preference. Regardless of where     desert, rainforest, and sandy beaches? Colo-

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                                                                                       PROFESSIONAL        th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

                                                                                                     “Les baobabs amoureux” – two large baobabs
                                                                                                     intertwined in a lovers’ embrace.
                                                                                                       Madagascar’s southwest is home to the
                                                                                                     Sakalava and Vezo people. Traditionally these
                                                                                                     groups have depended on the sea for their sur-
                                                                                                     vival and at sunrise, villagers take their canoes
                                                                                                     and outriggers out towards traditional fishing
                                                                                                     grounds. During the harsh light of mid-day it
                                                                                                     might be best to focus your photography on
                                                                                                     the details of island life. Local fish markets,
                                                                                                     families mending fishing nets and the distinc-
                                                                                                     tive and colourful Vezo and Mahafaly tombs
                                                                                                     present some wonderful opportunities. Later
                                                                                                     in the day, palm trees with long white sand
                                                                                                     beaches render classic sunset images.

                                                                                                                  tHe east cOast:
                                                                                                       with the Indian Ocean lapping at its beaches,
                                                                                                     the east coast of Madagascar is significantly
                                                                                                     wetter than the dry and spiny forests of the
                                                                                                     southwest. along with this difference in
                                                                                                     humidity comes a change in topography. The
                                                                                                     long meandering rivers and large flood plains
                                                                                                     are replaced by steep escarpments and quickly
nial history, pirate history, or a mix of african   a wonderful combination when you are on a        flowing rivers. The east coast has large areas of
and Indonesian cultures? Don’t worry – Mada-        schedule.                                        forest as many areas are too steep to cultivate.
gascar has you covered.                                                                              Stands of bamboo and palms are common on
  I’m a plan kind of guy. Even if it is a loosely                                                    the road from antananarivo to the coast.
                                                             tHe dry sOutHWest:
assembled list of towns or regions, I like to                                                          a short drive east of Tana is analamzaotra
have an idea of where, when and how. Divid-           The southwest of Madagascar offers exotic      Special Reserve and the national Park of anda-
ing Madagascar into three broad areas with          flora, lemurs, wonderful bird watching and       sibe-Mantadia; also known as Perinet to the
antananarivo as your base will help you plan        the fishing culture of Madagascar’s Sakalava     ex-pats. Lemurs, including the world’s largest
your photographic tour. Madagascar is a large       and Vezo people. The large coastal city of       lemur – the Indri, birds and reptiles present
island and if you decide to travel by car you’ll    Morondava is a good starting place for find-     photographic opportunities here. while the
be at least a day away from anything. Flying is     ing the iconic images from this region. nearby   wide-open spaces of the southwest provided
an option but can be expensive and unreliable,      you’ll find the “avenue of the baobabs” and      too much light, the rainforests of the east coast

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                                                                                         PROFESSIONAL           th e a r t o f tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h y

can be thick and dim (much like me). you’ll        help reduce dust spots. If you need to switch                         cOcOnut rum:
need to be working with a high ISO and fast        lenses just remember to turn your camera
lenses to capture the wildlife here. Flora         body off first – nothing attracts dust like a fully     after a week or two on the road, it is finally
and macro enthusiasts will find enough sub-        charged sensor.                                       time to reward yourself for stepping outside
jects to keep them busy as well. Remember                                                                your comfort zone. Madagascar has some of
to bring your off camera flash to freeze the                                                             the best sugar cane rum in the world. Vanilla
action and give your images sufficient depth
                                                           tHe nOrtHern reacHes                          and lychee flavoured are both very good –
of field.
                                                              Of madagascar:                             but my money is on the good old fashioned
                                                                                                         Coconut Rum. be daring one more time and
  If the thoughts of andasibe-Mantadia and           Last but not least, are the northern reaches        find the homemade concoction sold in old
analamzaotra whet your appetite for wildlife       of Madagascar. If you’ve been waiting for me          water bottles. It looks cloudy and mysteri-
photography, a trip to Ranomafana national         to mention underwater photography you’re              ous and the bottles are always a little sticky,
Park is a must. a day’s drive from Tana, Rano-     in luck. The northwest is wonderful for diving        but if you’re so inclined it is glorious stuff.
mafana is one of the best known destina-           and snorkeling, especially around the large           Find yourself a beach, put down that camera,
tions in Madagascar for ecotourism. Lemurs,        island of nosy be. whale Sharks, Manta Rays,          and take a little time to watch the world go
reptiles, birds, and butterflies can be found      coral reefs, and if you dive deep enough,             by. you’re no longer a Vahza in Madagascar –
amongst sweeping vistas, tumbling rapids and       Coelacanth can all be seen off this coast of          you’ve gone gasy.
rain – lots of rain.                               Madagascar.
                                                                                                                                               (text shortened)
  Madagascar is nothing if not challenging           If undersea adventure isn’t really your “cup
photographically. During your time in Mada-        of tea” don’t fear, there are plenty of land-
gascar you’ll either be trying to keep your gear   based opportunities. The Masoala (Mawsh-
free from dust or dry. although zip-lock bags      whawl) peninsula on the northeast coast is            Photos: Author
will work, upgrading to a dedicated protec-        Madagascar’s largest protected area. Lemurs           By Aleksei Saunders
tive cover (Kata Elements Cover or something       and tropical birds inhabit the rainforest found       After stints as a whale trainer, mechanical engineer,
similar) will give you more piece-of-mind. In      on this large appendix of land dangling out into      and fisheries consultant Alex Saunders arrived at the
                                                                                                         Denver Zoo in the mid 90’s. Photography has been a
relation to replacing a camera body, such cov-     the Indian Ocean. During the austral winter           constant thread throughout Alex’s many careers; a
ers are relatively cheap. Changing lenses is       humpback whales visit the bay of antongil to          passion he pursues along many paths and genres.
another matter and there is no foolproof solu-     breed and give birth to young. nearby is nosy         A display of his work from Madagascar can be found
tion. Carrying an extra body is always recom-      Mangabe, one of the best places to find the           on his conservation website
mended for long trips. Equip it with your sec-     nocturnal aye aye–certainly one of the strang-
ond favorite lens to minimize lens changes and     est looking mammals on the planet.          

februar y, 2011                                                       — 27 —

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