Brazil’s first digital nomad village opens this month, here’s why you should go

Brazil is the first country in South America to offer a visa for digital nomad, and the first to create a digital nomad village.   –   Copyright  Canva

By Giulia Carbonaro  •  Updated: 13/11/2022

After living in lockdown for the best part of two years, the idea of packing a bag and moving to the other side of the world is very tempting – especially as the cost of living crisis bites.

If you’re able to work from anywhere in the world, you should consider doing so from sunny Brazil: the country has a thriving digital nomad community and plenty of things to see and do when you’re not working.

“Think of anything and you’ll find it in Brazil”, says Rafael Luisi, Assessor of Embratur’s Presidency, the Brazilian Tourism Board.

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“If you talk about culture, we have it. We have the best gastronomy, and it’s very different from the south to the north. If you talk about ecotourism and nature, we have that too. When you think about Brazil, you think about sun and beach tourism. It’s much more than that.”

How can I become a digital nomad in Brazil?

The country’s digital nomad visa is called Temporary Visa VITEM XIV, and people can apply for it at any Brazilian consulate.

The visa costs €97 ($100 USD) on average, though it can vary, and lasts for one year, but can be extended for a second. During that time, you can leave the country and come back.

Among the most important requirements is proof of employment or a relationship with a company based outside of Brazil and a minimum income of €1,455 ($1,500 USD) per month, or a bank balance of €17,460 ($18,000 USD).

Is it expensive to live in Brazil?

Brazil isn’t the cheapest country in the world, or in South America. But the cost of living in Brazil is much lower than in European countries.

According to the website Expatistan, food is 101 per cent more expensive in France than in Brazil, while housing is 131 per cent more expensive and transportation 41 per cent more costly. Overall, the cost of living is 67 per cent more expensive in France than in Brazil.

In Germany, the cost of living is 74 per cent more expensive. While in Italy, it’s 46 per cent more expensive. In the UK, it’s 99 per cent more expensive.

When should I move to Brazil?

Between November and March, during the Brazilian summer, is usually the best time to go, though it’s also the time when most tourists travel to the country.

The weather is usually sunny and warm, perfect for hitting the beach after work. And in case you want to catch the world-famous Rio de Janeiro Carnival, you can do so in February.

During the Brazilian winter, temperatures are still quite warm compared to European standards, at an average of about 18 degrees Celsius.

Where should I stay in Brazil?

Brazil is a massive country, double the size of Europe. Every area is different, so deciding where to go might depend on your specific tastes and interests. But these four things are important to every digital nomad: cost of living, fast Wi-Fi, community, and nightlife.

For all these things, these are the best places to move to.

Pipa

The first digital nomad village in South America is going to be built in Brazil, in the small northeastern beach town of Pipa.

The village will be created by the Lisbon-based start-up NomadX, who have named the project ‘Nomad Village Brazil’. The village will offer a range of accommodation options and facilities for digital nomads (including a swimming pool), and will open this November, with an initial run until 30 April 2023.

“You have the beach just in front of you, with the water temperature at 24 degrees Celsius”, says Luisi, adding that the village is in a great location for visiting other states in Brazil.

Florianopolis

White sandy beaches, dramatic-looking mountains, and a buzzing nightlife: Florianopolis, an island in the south of Brazil, has everything a digital nomad could dream of.


Florianopolis has one of the most thriving digital nomads communities in the entire country.
Canva

This is probably why the city, considered a paradise on earth, is a favourite destination for digital nomads in Brazil. There’s a thriving digital nomad community here, and plenty of co-working spaces to meet like-minded people.

Jericoacoara

The small fishing village of Jericoacora, or Jeri, has grown in recent years, becoming a magnet for digital nomads looking to work while surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of this secluded beach town.

Encircled by stunning white sand dunes and crystal clear blue waters, Jeri is located in the middle of a preservation zone and it’s known to be a haven for kite and windsurfers

The small town of Jericoacoara is for those digital nomads looking to relax by the beach.Canva

Belo Horizonte

Belo Horizonte is a big city, but not as busyas Rio or Brasilia.

Living here would be less of a tropical dream and more of the perfect balance between work and fun, rest and productivity.

The city has a vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bar hopping and networking opportunities. On the negative side, working from a cafe isn’t really something people in Belo Horizonte do, so you might struggle to find a place to work outside of your apartment.

Brasilia

The charm of Brazil’s capital is often overlooked, but the city has a lot to offer. Brasilia’s construction was heavily influenced by the writing of Dom Bosco, an Italian monk who dreamed of a utopian capital city in the ‘New World’. Shaped like an aeroplane, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to many impressive buildings, parks and unique architecture.

Brasilia’s Congresso Nacional is considered one of the most iconic building in the capital. Canva

The city is very safe and every embassy is based here, so if you only speak English, you’ll be just fine.

Rio de Janeiro

Once in Brazil, Rio is a must-visit. The city is just so representative of Brazil, and it’s the first place people think of when they imagine Brazil.

The traditional carnival parade in Rio takes place every year in February. Bruna Prado/AP

If you need to build up your confidence to move deeper into the more secluded spots in Brazil, Rio, with its several co-working spaces, cafes and the international community, is a great place to start.

São Paulo

If you want to be at the centre of life in Brazil, go no further than São Paulo.

The metropolis is the country’s economic powerhouse, and you’ll find plenty of start-ups, multinational companies and digital nomads

The Catedral de Se de São Paulo is one of the most majestic churches in the city. Canva

With so much to do, it’s almost impossible to be bored here, plus São Paulo probably has the fastest internet in the entire country.


BRAZIL
REMOTE WORKINGBEACHTRAVELDIGITAL NOMAD

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52 Motivational Quotes that Will Change Your Life

QUOTESAUGUST 28, 2020

Curated Article https://memphisvoyager.com/

A COLLECTION OF OUR QUOTES OF THE WEEK FROM THE PAST YEAR

1. “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself” – Unknown

2. “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” –John Lennon

3. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” –Benjamin Franklin

4. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” –Robert Frost

5. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” –Farrah Gray

6. “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

7. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

8. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” –Vince Lombardi

9. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

10. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” –Albert Einstein

11. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” –Steve Jobs

12. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. –Sheryl Sandberg

13. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” –Michael Jordan

14. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” –Arthur Ashe

15. “Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.” – Ancient Indian Proverb

16. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

17. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –Chinese Proverb

18. “The best revenge is massive success.” –Frank Sinatra

19. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” –Maya Angelou

20. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” –Aristotle

21. “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” –George Addair

22. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” –Anne Frank

23. “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” –Chinese Proverb

24. Education costs money. But then so does ignorance. –Sir Claus Moser

25. “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” –Rosa Parks

26. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

27. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” –Ayn Rand

28. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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29. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” –Henry Ford

30. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

31. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

32. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

33. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

34. “It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J. K Rowling

35. “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” – Swami Vivekananda

36. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn

37. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs

38. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” —Alice Walker

39. “If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” —Vincent Van Gogh

40. “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” —Leonardo da Vinci

41. “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” —Jamie Paolinetti

42. “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” —Ronald Reagan

43. “Nothing will work unless you do.” —Maya Angelou

44. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

45. “Tough times never last, but tough people do” – Dr. Robert Schuller

46. ““Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali

47. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

48. “Someday is not a day of the week.” – Denise Brennan-Nelson

49. “Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated” – Russell Warren

50. “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

51. “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti

52. “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote

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Travel Photography Equipment Guide for Beginners

September 4, 2020/in Seasonal & Travel Photography/by Infocus Guest Author

Every picture tells a story and I’m passionate about telling stories and sharing my travel experiences through my landscape and travel photography websites.

Quite often, people ask me about what kind of camera gear I use to capture my images. Back in the 1970s, I started out shooting with a simple Olympus film camera. I am a photographer that doesn’t rely on a lot of fancy technical gear. There’s a lot of people that think that if you don’t have the perfect camera, the latest gear, or the best accessories, then you’re not ready to be an effective travel photographer. But, it’s not the tools that make the photographer. Tools simply help you to bring your ideas to life. If it’s my iPhone that’s in my pocket when I see the perfect shot – then that’s what I shoot with.

Travel photography at golden hour with a wide-angle lens

Having had the privilege of working with Canon Canada for 14 years, I’ve had a chance to meet and work with some incredible photographers. Their stories and experiences have changed the way I look at things. I’ve also had the privilege of trying out a lot of different types of travel photography equipment. Listed below are some ideas I’d like to share.

Unlimited Photo Storage

Travel Photography Cameras

So, what makes the best camera for travel photography? This is a complicated and constantly-evolving question to answer, but it’s probably a camera that allows you to capture great-quality images and doesn’t weigh a ton. Camera manufacturers are always changing their line-up with the latest and greatest features, but the things to look for in a good travel camera is image quality, long battery life, size and weight, simple to use, and that doesn’t cost a fortune. The most important thing about a travel camera is that it doesn’t get in your way of enjoying the adventure and at the same time delivers stunning images. The best travel camera for you is going to be very dependent on your needs and situation.

Fine Art Black & White Photography

I’ve gone through a number of camera bodies throughout the years but, for now, have settled on the Canon EOS 6D full-frame DSLR camera. I have investigated and tried mirrorless cameras, but because the weight wasn’t significantly less, I’ve stuck with what works for me and gets me great photos. The Canon 6D is one of the lightest weight DSLR cameras (1.7 pounds with the battery). The camera battery gives me decent life (if I’m not using GPS). The processor delivers enhanced noise reduction and exceptional processing speed, all in a compact body. Because if it’s compact size, it fits into my hand like a glove.

Camera Lenses for Travel Photography

Whilst it would be wonderful to have a large range of lenses to take with you on trips, the reality of travel is that you can only carry so much before you feel like a weighed-down camel. It’s better to try and focus on getting a smaller number of lenses that work well in a wide variety of situations. I personally use three lenses 99% of the time. When we consider travel photography, we capture landscapes, portraits, street scenes, architecture, and so on — all of these subjects require different lenses to be properly framed.

So, let’s look at a few lenses.

  • The “Do It All” Camera LensThe 24-70mm lens or 24-105mm lens is enormously versatile. The 24-105mm lens is the one I use mostly because of its versatility. It gives me a wide-angle to nearly telephoto range and allows me to capture large landscapes, close-up portraits, and everything else in between without having to change lenses. It’s a good size and doesn’t weigh a lot.
Travel Photography with Canon 24-105 F4 Lens
  • My Canon EF 24–105mm F/4L is II USM  camera lens is a great general-purpose lens and was a great value when I purchased it with my 6D DSLR kit. If I could only take one lens while I’m hiking or biking, this is the one. AT 24mm, it is especially valuable for landscape photography and for capturing images in tight places. The 105mm focal length on the long end is really useful for a wide range of subjects, including portraits.
  • The Ultra Wide Zoom LensThe 16-35mm lens or something close to it is the ultimate go-to lens for a travel photographer looking to capture landscapes, cityscapes, or even internal building spaces. Not all wide-angle lenses are the same, so you need to do a little research. You want to make sure it creates sharp, beautiful images with little to no barrel distortion or fish-eye effect. Some lenses are better at this than others.I love my Canon 16-35 F/4L IS wide-angle lens and it has been popular with many landscape photographers. It’s an extremely sharp ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, delivering prime-grade image sharpness right into full-frame corners. A stellar-performing image stabilization system makes this lens a great lens. I can use it at the top of a windy mountain and shoot incredible quality, deep depth of field imagery without the use of a tripod. I had the Canon 11-24mm F/4L fisheye lens out in the field many times, but it was heavier and necessitated me carrying a larger camera bag.
  • The Telephoto LensHaving a good quality telephoto lens in your travel kit is a big plus for landscape photography. Sometimes you just need that tighter close-up shot to get more detailed photos. I would recommend a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens because of its versatility. You can get a little longer, like a 100-400mm, but it adds weight and costs a lot more. The 70-200mm f/2.8L is what I use, but it’s also the heaviest lens in my kit.
Frozen flowers with a Telephoto or Macro Photography Lens
  • I use Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM telephoto lens for my travel photography. This lens gives me an impressive image quality and focuses accurately very fast. It has a 4-stop image stabilization, weather sealing, and has become one of my favorite and most-used lenses. I love the image stabilization on this lens which helps me to obtain sharp images even while I’m hand-holding the camera.

So, for travel photography, it’s better to try and focus on getting a smaller number of lenses that work well in a wide variety of situations. That way, you are more likely to take them with you and use them.

Fotor 300x250

Camera Bags for Travel Photography

There are a lot of camera bags on the market today and so many options to choose from. It can get a bit confusing trying to figure out which one is the best bag for travel photography. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you must do your research. Being a travel photographer means you have to look at not only size; but also… do you need one that’s completely waterproof, crush-proof, designed for climbing rocks as well as hiking? If you are swimming through the Zion Park Narrows – then that’s a completely different story.

Landscape photography by Peter Dulis

The following are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I want the bag to be multi-functional so it can act as both a camera bag and a day pack?
  • Do I want to carry a laptop computer or tablet in the bag?
  • Do I need a trolley strap included so you can attach it to rolling luggage?

Camera backpacks are one of the most popular options for carrying around your gear, but you may also consider a shoulder bag. Sling bags that have one strap offer quick and easy access to a camera. Holster cases are designed to be used with a camera and a single lens if you want a lightweight option for biking. Spending money on the right bag to protect your gear is cheaper in the long run. So which bag is the best bag for you?

Long exposure travel photography using a tripod – Niagara Falls, Canada

I think it’s best to take your gear to the store and try out a bunch of camera bags – that’s what I did. So, here’s what I use:

  • My Lowepro Classified 160 AW shoulder bag is great for one camera plus three lenses and goes with me everywhere. Plus, the bag is easy to store in overhead bins on a flight.
  • The Alta Access 28X shoulder bag is what I pull out when I have a few extra lenses to haul around. The bag effortlessly carries a professional gear kit which consists of my Canon 6D DSLR, 4-5 lenses (up to 70-200mm), a flash, and a multitude of accessories. It also is no problem to store in overhead bins on a flight.
  • I also use a Lowepro holster bag when I’m biking. It provides good protection in a small package for my camera and attached lens.
Nomatic

Other Useful Travel Photography Accessories

  • I highly recommend carrying a lightweight carbon fiber photography tripod. I love my Sirui T-025SK carbon fiber travel tripod. It’s super lightweight and folds up into a 12-inch length. It’s maybe not the sturdiest of tripods, but it’s so much easier to carry around when hiking and biking.
  • I also carry a circular polarizer filter which helps to reduce reflections and glare by filtering out light that has become polarized due to reflection from a non-metallic surface. It cuts down on certain types of light in a way that can benefit your images.
  • 6 to 10 Stop ND filters can be really useful for landscape photography when you want to slow down your shutter speed to capture creative landscape photos.
Wide Angle Lens Photography from Jokusarlon, Iceland

Not Just Camera Gear

Besides camera gear, it is also important for travel photographers to dress properly to handle cold and stormy weather. When I’m out and about and the temperatures start falling, there’s nothing better than a great winter jacket. I love my Eider Men’s Lillehammer III Jacket with underarm air vents in case it gets really hot. Good, waterproof hiking boots and thick wool socks are critical. I have owned a pair of Guardo boots for about one year and love them. They’re stylish, comfy, warm, and have a super grip on slippery surfaces. I find that if you don’t want to get sick, keep your head, chest, and feet warm. This merino wool t-shirt is top quality and offers great warmth.

Travel photography isn’t just about making photographs; it’s about choosing a life of curiosity, exploration, and wonder… immersing yourself in the world around you. If you want to be an effective travel photographer, it is important to carry the right photography equipment and know how to use it. I hope you find these tips useful to get started. Do you have any questions? If so feel free to ask them in the comments below:

Having had the privilege of working with Canon Canada for 14 years, I’ve had a chance to meet & work with some incredible photographers and printing experts. Their stories and experiences have changed the way I look at things. Photography isn’t just about making photographs; it’s about choosing a life of curiosity, exploration, wonder, and immersing yourself in the world around you. Follow our adventures at – www.photographyadventures.ca and get your FREE e-book today – “5 Truly Amazing Places to Visit Before it’s too late!

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Gentilly Fest

New Orleans LA

For this particular festival, the stage backdrop could not have been better.

This gospel choir was performing in a huge tent. Very dark. I shot shutter priority and set auto ISO. From this focal length, the grain is seems to be relatively low.

Using a telephoto lens in this scenario has its challenges. I have to use high shutter speeds to avoid focus blur. Somehow in this shot, my subject was dancing and her action was basically frozen. yet the passerby shows motion.

Candid shots of participants are my personal favorites.

Sometimes you just have to DANCE!


Get Seasons | Desktop by Rebecca Stice as Photoshop Actions or Lightroom Presets

All photos from this event were shot with; my first generation Nikon Z6 mirrorless, coupled with my Nikon 18-300 mm zoom.

I chose this particular setup for two main reasons; it allows wide-angle shots of the stage as well as crowd interaction. Secondly, I am able to quickly get long range candid portrait shoots. (my favorite) I had to park quite a way from the event so I chose not to carry any other equipment. Very wise choice!

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Gospel Brunch…Ground Zero…Biloxi MS

I was given the amazing opportunity to do my thing with Low Light Photography. Low-Light Event Photography is one of my favorite genres.

I think I enjoy the challenge. In order to create a photo, the main ingredient is of course LIGHT. And, as you can see there is very little of it.

My low-light photography requires some degree of post-processing. I use several programs including PhotoShop. (considered by most to be the Holy Grail)

Sometimes I go a little further. In this photo, I used Photoshop and PhotoScape. PhotoScape has been my “escape” from Photoshop’s demanding learning curve. PhotoScape’s main drawback seems to be its approach to layering.

When shooting any event. I am constantly looking for opportunities to showcase crowd interaction and emotion.

I try really hard to not use flash. (sometimes it’s impossible) I am constantly looking for ambient light. I try to stay completely away from flash!

When I absolutely have to, I pray for walls to bounce the light. Oh yeah, I often use flash for promo shots with the artist, before or after the performance.

From a personal point of view, this is my favorite shot. Black and White, contrast, showing texture, and illuminated with ambient light.

I began this shoot using my first generation Nikon Z6 Mirrorless, coupled with my Tamron 24-70mm, f2.8. Later I switched to my Nikon 18-300mm FX lens. Not known for its low light capabilities, but excellent for long-range candid shots. I ended my session with my go-to; Nikon 50mm, f1.8 Prime.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Owners and Management not only for the opportunity to practice my craft but also for the opportunity to participate in an event for such a worthy cause; The Mississippi Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Watch for upcoming opportunities to support Brest Cancer Awareness and Research During the month of October. Ground Zero’s integration into the Biloxi community is having a phenomenally positive impact!



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New Orleans Holiday Cocktail Crawl

There’s perhaps no place better than New Orleans for a holiday cocktail crawl. In addition to signature cocktails, festive decor is found in abundance throughout the French Quarter and Central Business District. Block out an afternoon or evening for the spots below, and please remember to drink responsibly on your crawl.

Davenport Lounge Holiday Cocktail (Photo: Justen Williams)

BAR MARILOU

Bar Marilou may be the newest spot on this list, but it makes for an excellent starting point before heading off into the French Quarter. Enjoy a handful of holiday cocktails including Diable de Noël with vodka, ancho chili liqueur, Cynar, dark chocolate Godiva, pomegranate, cranberry, and disco snow.

THE SAZERAC BAR

Head to the Roosevelt Hotel next, first to ooh and ahh at their lobby decorated with over 60,000 twinkling lights. Then pop on over to The Sazerac Bar to sip on the Winter Old Fashioned, a holiday-spiced twist on the old drink with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, apple-clove syrup, and cranberry and orange bitters.

Carousel Bar (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

DAVENPORT LOUNGE

Our next stop is the festive Ritz Carlton, which will be fully decked out for the season. Head to Davenport Lounge for jazz and a cocktail during your stop.

CAROUSEL BAR

Located inside Hotel Monteleone, Carousel Bar is as whimsical as it sounds. Add the lobby’s festive decor, and it makes for a perfect holiday cocktail setting. Enjoy the Reveillon Buttered Rum or Holiday Sidecar this December.

French 75 Bar Holiday Cocktail (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

FRENCH 75 BAR

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar serves classic New Orleans cocktails and tasty bites, including their famous soufflé potatoes. Stop by to see which seasonal cocktails they have up their sleeve.

BOMBAY CLUB

This spot specializes in martinis, but we’d recommend the Brandy Milk Punch, a sweet, creamy Cognac drink perfect for the holidays.

RIB ROOM

Step inside the Rib Room at Omni Royal Orleans Hotel for a special holiday cocktail: Aged Creole Eggnog. Enjoy the notes of bourbon, Cognac, and dark rum all while cozying up to the bar. 

For even more holiday cocktail ideas, and for everything Holidays New Orleans style, see here.

Post Written and Produced by; neworleans.com

Find the perfect accommodations & book NOW @ https://willielumpkin.inteletravel.com/booktravel.cfm

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Urban Stroll…

Houston TX…..H Town

sometimes you just look up and you just SEE things….

In my beginning attempts to enjoy this particular niche within the scope of “urban architectural street photography”(my terminology), I quickly realized that you must keep your head on a swivel.

Keep an EYE out for perspectives that just jump out at you. They are everywhere, left, right, UP, and down. By the way; when they jump out at you, please UNDERSTAND, it came from “with-in.”

This caught MY eye. The foliage seems to envelop the buildings in the background. Not only creating a natural frame but, also adding to the feeling of depth.

I absolutely Love the color contrast in this shot. Looks like October to me, this was actually taken on Christmas Eve 2021.

reflections everywhere….

I shoot around water often, and the reflections always suck me in. Be careful, they will get you too!

i call this “symmetrical lines”

I have always been taught to use and follow lines. Which ones should I follow?

sometimes i just get real crazy….for some reason i like it this way….

When I returned to the hotel, downloaded, and began to sort, I realized immediately that CONTRAST identified with my Spirit. Light, Color, and Geometrical contrast is what made this shoot unique to me.

When I continued to sort through, I realized that the sky was very flat. Actually, this is one of the first things I noticed when I began my stroll. I remember thinking, that “I will just add clouds during post-processing” Which is simple enough to do.

So I added clouds to a few shots and realized that “I” liked the contrast between the structures and a blue sky. The results speak for themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stroll downtown ” H Town”. When you get to a place in life where you truly enjoy what you do; it truly brings your Being (YOU) to “Heaven On Earth”. I am truly GRATEFUL!

Health Wealth & Love! Lump

All photos were taken with Nikon Z6 (first generation mirrorless), coupled with a Tamron 24-70; F2.8)

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How to choose the images you want to sell online

Author

Philip Mowbray

Philip is the Editor of Focus. View all articles

You’ve decided you want to take the plunge and start selling your photos, so what’s the first step? Well, you want to begin with your core product -and that is of course your images

Contents:

– Overview
– Different types of customers & their image needs
– Get to know image licensing
– Best practices for selecting photos for your store
– The best workflow tricks to select your images
– Pricing

Overview

The process of taking an image and then selling that image are both very different and there are a few key points to consider before you jump into the world of selling photography.

First, you should consider what it is exactly you want to gain from selling your images, having goals in mind will help you stay accountable for the work you put in. How should also consider how you want your images to be used, and also, how you want to appear as a photographer – a lot of this will come from the images you choose to make available for sale and how your storefront appears to customers.

We recommend thinking about yourself those questions before you start looking through your images for what to sell, and getting your plans ready for your store.

The different types of customers & their image needs

A lot of the success from selling your images depends on the type of customer your photography is suitable for, and how you market to them. As we’ve mentioned above, the type of images sold for wall art tend to very different to images used for commercial or editorial use and it’s important to keep this in mind.

If you’re unsure about a particular market that your photography might cater to, or you want to sell your images to all types of customer that’s absolutely fine, and in fact, this is what most photographers do. It’s just worth noting the different types of customers, to ensure that your offering is the best it can be, and it’s also the best way to start thinking about how to select images.

Generally speaking, photography customers fall into these three types:

Commercial

These customers purchase images for the purpose of ad campaigns, marketing collateral, products and so forth – basically anything that has a commercial objective associated with it.

Usually, commercial customers are be looking for technically sound, good-quality images that are a true representation of the subject. What we mean by this, is images that are natural-looking and haven’t had too many filters or edits applied to them. Commercial customers normally apply their own edits to fit with their campaign or product – so allowing them that flexibility will, ultimately, increase your chances of selling.

See more detailed tips on how to prepare photos for commercial use with our dedicated guide – and you may find that when it comes to your shooting habits or the type of image you find most aesthetically pleasing, this is where personal tastes can differ.

Commercial buyers might use your images for marketing and advertising campaigns, and you never know – you could even see you image on a billboard! Photo by Levent Arslan

Editorial

These are customers that will use license your images for things like magazines, book covers, online articles and so on. And similar to commercial customers, editorial customers generally need clean, neutral and natural-looking images that accurately represent the subject.

Editorial customers are likely to use your images to illustrate their features and publications. Having your image on the cover of a magazine is one of the most prestigious ways your images can be used. Photo by Leon Puplett
Top tips from the pros:

“Always think about editorial space – this is ‘empty’ or clean areas of images where text can be added for advertising and page layouts. For instance, if shooting a landscape format image, compose with the subject on one half of the frame rather than in the middle. For portrait format images, leave space above and below the subject.”

– James Abbott, Professional Photographer and Writer

Personal

Private customers looking for images for personal use, usually for their wall can make up significant slice of a photographer’s revenue stream and it’s often an area that’s overlooked.

This is where you can be a bit more creative too, as generally, the more bold and striking your images are, the better they are for wall art. There’s still some general rules for what makes a good image for wall art, which you can read about in our dedicated guide.

Private customers (i.e. those buying your images for personal use or wall art) can make up a substantial part of your customer base, and shouldn’t be overlooked. Photo by Jason Kessenich

Get to know image licensing

When you’re selling images in an online environment, whether that’s something you do of your own accord, or via an agency or library, you’re almost always going to be selling them on a licence basis.

Image licensing refers to the practice of selling a license to use your image in a specific way, rather than selling your photo outright to a buyer. It is the industry-standard method for selling photos for editorial, commercial and advertising use, as well as wall art in the form of a personal licence. Licenses typically take the form of an agreement which stipulates precisely the terms in which the buyer can use your image in return for the fee. Licenses are used to give you, as the photographer, greater control over how your images are used. They also protect your copyright.

So to clarify, when someone purchases a licence for your photo, it means that they cannot use the image in any way they wish, or claim the image as their own. They’ve bought a licence to use your photo in a specific way, not the image itself.

Further reading:

We have a beginner’s guide which breaks down exactly what image licensing means when selling photography – and we’d recommend you read this in full.

“When you’re selling images in an online environment, whether that’s something you do of your own accord, or via an agency or library, you’re almost always going to be selling them on a licence basis.”

Best practices for selecting photos for your store


Think about your buyers first

Taking the above information in mind, look through your images and ask yourself the question, who would buy that image? How might a customer use this image? Getting into this mindset will help you the best select your shots.

Less is more

While it can be tempting to include your entire library of images, you really want to be showing only your best work – it will make your offering stand out much more.

Having a finely-curated selection of images in your portfolio will show you’re careful and considerate about what you’re displaying. Browsing photography should be a pleasing experience for the viewer – nobody wants to sift through hundreds of images to find what they are looking for, you should be guiding their eye right away to what they should be buying.

It might take a bit of tough love to whittle down your images, and it can also take time, being able to critique your own photos is a skill to learn, but it’s important to do, and it will help you with your photography development. You should also ask your peers, friends and family for feedback and their thoughts too – having an objective eye on your images can be really refreshing.

But you still need a good number of images

While it pays to be selective with what you include in your portfolio, you also need to ensure that your image offering isn’t tiny. What we mean by this, is that it’s unrealistic to expect that having a portfolio or store with just a few images will reap huge rewards for you. The more (curated) photos on your site, the bigger the chance that you’ll have an image that connects with a buyer.

If you’re just starting out and only have a small number of images that you feel are your best, that’s fine–but if that’s the case, get out there and start shooting more so you can build up your portfolio.

Quality matters

Choose your most technically-sound images. Look at your shots at 100% to check they aren’t out of focus, blurry or have any other defects. Selling a bad quality image could easily land you with an unhappy customer, and repeat business might make up a significant amount of your revenue over time.

You also want to make sure that your images have a good level of sharpness. Also, make sure they are free of heavy noise artefacts, usually caused by high ISO settings.

Video tutorial:

See how to best sharpen your photos (and not oversharpen them) with our demonstration.

The bigger the better

Choose the biggest possible size for your images in terms of pixels as this will open up their selling potential. Larger images will allow for a greater scope of use, for example, larger print sizes. We’d recommend sticking to the original size of the image as much as possible.

If the original image size isn’t very large (as is the case with some smartphone images), you can use Photoshop’s Super Resolution feature to increase the image size without compromising on overall quality.

Video tutorial:

See how to use Photoshop’s Super Resolution feature with our video tutorial.

Authenticity is key

Customers, whether they are commercial, editorial or personal will expect your images to be authentic and a true representation of the scene. Keeping your edits small and simple, actually increases their commercial potential.

Video tutorial:

See the signs that you may be overediting your images as demonstrated in our video.

Customers, whether they are commercial, editorial or personal will expect your images to be authentic and a true representation of the scene.”

Show off what makes you original


Your very best images should be what you display on your store and in your portfolio. The images that you are the most proud of, worked the hardest to get, those serendipitous moments – all should be included. Customers want to see what makes you and your work original. And with this in mind, being able to develop a unique style over time could help you immensely in the long run.

Work in series

If you work in lots of different photographic areas, or have images based on specific locations, subjects, or events – you should select and sort them based on their series (and subsequently display them as a set). Also, this way, if someone is looking for a specific type of image, you’re guiding them to a place with more similarly-themed images to browse and choose from!

Top tips from the professionals:

“Always capture images in both landscape and portrait format if it suits the subject; this gives buyers more options if they’re looking for a specific format.”

– 
James Abbott, Professional Photographer and Writer

The best workflow tricks to help you select your images

Image editing programmes like Adobe Lightroom and CaptureOne are perfect for helping you identify what images you want to sell with their handy workflow tools, you’ll see a couple of them below. The following are specific to Lightroom, but they also aren’t dissimilar to other workflow programs and in general, will all follow the same processes.

Adobe Lightroom is an excellent resource for managing and organizing your image workflow

Import all of your images & review in one place

This is the best way to start to go through all of the images you’ve taken; to help decide what you want to include in your store. Also, it’s always a good idea to take another look through your older images too, as you may find that you’ll discover some hidden gems you disregarded the last time round.

Create Lightroom Collections

Simply put, Collections in Lightroom are a way that you can group images into a set. In this case, you can use collections to group images, for example, based on your favorites, or images ideal for wall art, editorial or commercial use. This again will help you whittle down the images you want to include.

Use the Ratings system

This is where you can give your photos a star rating between 1 – 5, so for example, you can quickly and easily rate images a particular number to mark those you want to add to your store or portfolio. You can also sort views by ratings so you can see how all of your images look together.

Export your images in one go

When you’re ready to create the files to upload to your store and/ or portfolio you can export them to dedicated folders and locations which means you wont risk missing important settings for some of your files.

How to price your images

Choosing the price you want to sell your images is a very personal choice, and ultimately it’ll be down to you to decide. But it’s also worth doing some market research to make sure you’re not pricing yourself out of the market.

Look at other photographers who shoot similar subjects to you and see how they are pricing their images. It also helps to think about the lowest amount you would be happy with for your shots and work your way up from that figure.

That doesn’t mean you should be undervaluing your work, however, and sometimes photography should warrant a high price to reflect your hard work. Particularly if the image shows a rare subject, or if it was complex or challenging to photograph.

The photography world is ever-evolving and changing, so with this make sure you review your prices constantly too.

The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Photography

Everything you need to know to start selling your photography online, drawn from decades of experience from industry leaders, professional photographers, and Focus’ in-house experts.

Continue Reading:

Where to sell your photos online

All articles from this series

Links and resources to help you sell your photography

The dos, dont’s, & best practices for selling your photography

Ideas for how to diversify your photography business

How to grow your photography store

How to keep the momentum with selling your photography

How to set up and launch a photography store

Where to sell your photos online

How to choose the images you want to sell online

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The Keys to Clarity

How to create success on your own terms

JEFF KENT • PPA…….AUGUST 2022 ISSUE

We all get frustrated in our work sometimes. Often, that dissatisfaction stems from a lack of clarity in our purpose and our actions. But what if you could learn how to focus on the right actions, for the right reasons, and in the right order? What if you could start moving forward in your business with a clearer, more defined objective?

Debbie Peterson is a certified trainer and master practitioner in neurolinguistic programming through the Association of Integrative Psychology. She’s also a nationally recognized speaker and the author of “Clarity: How Smart Professionals Create Career Success on Their Terms.” In her book, coaching, and speaking engagements Peterson asserts that even the most confused entrepreneurs can achieve clarity by taking a few basic steps in their approach to work. It starts by focusing on five key elements:

Move away from thoughts like Why is this happening to me? and think about what you want to do to improve your situation.

1. Mindset. Focus on the things you want rather than the things you don’t want. It takes time to change your mindset, but it’s possible with consistent daily effort. The process begins with how you start your day. When you wake up in the morning, do you focus on everything that could go wrong, or do you focus on opportunities? Move away from thoughts like Why is this happening to me? and think about what you want to do to improve your situation. This is an empowering process of taking control of your thoughts and your future.

2. Passion. What do you want and why? Do you have clarity in the direction of your business? What is the overall goal for your business? Knowing the answers to these questions is important because it helps you tell your mind what you want to find.

3. Planning. Get your plans out of your head and onto paper. Write it down; sketch is out. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based) and plan out ways you will gain better clarity in your work.

4. People. Who can help you reach your goals? You need a support network, people who understand you and raise you up. Fill your inner circle with people who can help you get what you want. If you feel like you need to figure it out all by yourself, you’ll get stuck. Remember the proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

5. Performance. What gets in the way of your success—fear of failure, time management, other people? Think about whether you have control or influence over those things. This is important because success comes by choice, not by chance. Are you putting your time and energy into what you want or into the obstacles that are blocking your progress? You get to choose, so choose wisely.

PRIORITIZE TO THRIVE

Once you’ve organized your process around the five keys to clarity, Peterson recommends getting specific about the work you’re doing and the order in which you’re doing it. She suggests making a career bucket list. Write down all the things you want to do in your business, then divvy them into A, B, and C buckets:

  • A is critical.
  • B is important.
  • C is interesting but can wait.

“The key here is to divide them equally, so you’re forced to prioritize rather than dumping everything into the critical bucket,” says Peterson. Within each bucket, prioritize again. List each task in order of importance so you have A1, A2, A3, etc. When you’re done, you’ll have an ordered list of tasks you can tackle one after another rather than drowning in endless, cluttered lists.

You can use the bucket list exercise across many areas in your business, from to-do lists to long-term strategic plans. Peterson goes through this process weekly for her regular to-do list and at longer intervals (every few months) for long-term planning.

THE POWER OF THREE

When you run through the bucket list exercise, you’ll have an orderly list organized by importance. Next, think about the three things you can do every day to help you achieve your A1 goal. Then move on to the A2 goal and the three things you can do to accomplish that. “Every single day you are focusing on what’s most important for your business, and you’re making an agreement with yourself to move toward that goal,” says Peterson. This process helps alleviate the all-or-nothing thinking that overwhelms people. Instead of looking at everything you must do and getting overwhelmed, divide your workload into prioritized lists and give yourself the ability to tackle them one at a time.


8 STEPS TO FOCUS YOUR BRAIN

1. Recognize your brain’s limits. Prevent overload by eliminating as many distractions as you can.

2. Stop trying to multitask. You can’t do more than one thing at a time. It takes time for your brain to switch between two things.

3. Write a to-do list. Relieve your mental load by putting tasks and worries on paper instead of letting yourself ruminate.

4. Identify motivators. When you’re avoiding a task, think about the benefits of getting it done to stop procrastinating.

5. Zone out with exercise. Physical activity can increase dopamine, which drives your brain, but let your mind wander to recharge your concentration.

6. Cut the clutter. A messy environment commands your brain’s attention, making it more challenging to focus.

7. Seek some quiet. Research shows that auditory distractions can be disruptive to a brain that’s trying to focus.

8. Tip up a coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda. There’s a reason caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world. It works.

Source: “How to Use Science to Focus at Work,” wired.co


YOUR MODEL FOR SUCCESS

Clarity comes from within. Unfortunately, a lot of us look elsewhere when assessing success, and this can confuse the process. To reach a state of clarity in your work, figure out what works for you, and determine your own model of success instead of measuring yourself by what others find important. Peterson recommends taking three steps to establish your own measuring stick:

1. Understand your core business values. What does your business stand for? Determine your core values, then build an experience around what you want to create. Ask yourself how you want to feel throughout the day and what experiences you want to have within your business. Think about times when you felt motivated, when there was a natural flow to your work. That was an experience. Identify those times and work to build more of them into your work.

2. Run your own race. We all get caught up comparing ourselves to everything else we see. But what does success mean to you? Pause to truly consider this question. Then write down the answer and make it one of your goals. Otherwise, you’ll just be chasing others’ (often unattainable) visions of success.

3. Partner with the right people. Your ideal partners will fall into two camps: the people who surround you and the people who support you. The people who surround you are the folks who make up your inner circle. However, not everyone who is with us is for us. Sometimes you need to evaluate your inner circle and make sure you’re surrounded by people who believe in you. The people who support you are individuals who are trying to create something similar to what you’re trying to create. Tap into the experience and motivation of others who are on the same path. When like-minded people come together and focus on each one in turn, action is sparked. You can tap into the momentum of the group and hold each other accountable.

CONTINUING THE JOURNEY

Clarity is a journey, not a destination. This is a rinse-and-repeat system designed to help people continue down the path toward clarity while reaching important milestones along the way. Every time there’s a challenge or a new step in your business, Peterson recommends going back to the five keys to clarity:

  1. Consider your mindset.
  2. Figure out what you really want (your passion).
  3. Make a plan.
  4. Find the people who can help you.
  5. Focus on your performance.

Going back to this process, again and again, helps provide context; it defines who you are as a businessperson and what you want to achieve. When you do that, the markers start lining up, and the path forward becomes clear. You start making your own answers to questions that previously befuddled you.

“Having clarity helps you rebound and reach your potential,” says Peterson. “And you have far more potential than you realize.”

Jeff Kent is editor-at-large

Tags: bridging the gap 

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Stats: Travel Demand High Among Americans, Despite Inflation

By Newsdesk Aug 25, 2022 10:19am

(Getty Images/metamorworks)

Despite concerns around ongoing inflation, travel demand is not slowing down—in fact, Americans may be traveling more and farther this season. This was found in Tripadvisor‘s “2022 Fall Travel Index.”

The study, which revealed what and where is hot for American travelers this upcoming season, is based on a combination of Tripadvisor’s first-party search and proprietary consumer sentiment data. It shows that while the busy summer travel season is coming to an end, Americans’ appetite for vacations is not over. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. respondents (61 percent) say that they are planning a fall trip this year, even if how they travel might change. 

Transitioning from summer into fall, there are no indicators that travel demand, based on recent sentiment surveys, will subside any time soon amongst global travelers, especially Americans. To note: Nearly four out of 10 (37 percent) Americans still intend to travel as planned this fall, regardless of inflation. This marks an increase from the previous summer survey released in May 2022, which indicated that 32 percent of Americans still intended to travel as planned. Globally, Tripadvisor has seen a similar increase from the same summer survey: 30 percent of travelers surveyed said they intend to travel as planned from June through August, with an increase of 34 percent saying they intend to travel as planned from September through November, despite rising costs. While travel is seasonal, the month-over-month sentiment analysis further underscores that consumers still desire to travel despite inflation and fuel costs. 

Because of the pent-up demand for vacation stemming from several years of pandemic restrictions keeping travelers close to home, Americans are cutting back elsewhere to ensure they can still budget a getaway. Half of Americans (50 percent) said that they plan to travel more this fall than they did during the same period last year and two-thirds (66 percent) plan to spend more. 

The Tripadvisor “Fall Travel Index” indicates that spiraling costs won’t deter Americans from traveling this upcoming season. More than one-third (35 percent) will likely travel for shorter lengths of time and almost one-quarter (24 percent) said that they will likely travel somewhere closer to home than previously planned. 

Just as they are globally, continuously rising costs are prompting American consumers to alter their spending habits, inclusive of adjusting their travel plans. Two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans ranked “Cost/Affordability” as the priority criteria in the trip-planning process and 45 percent say “Price” influenced their travel dates, demonstrating that while travel is still on the books, further indicating inflation is top of mind. 

In keeping with the global trend indicated by this season’s Tripadvisor “Travel Index,” domestic trips remain the number one choice among U.S. travelers; more than four-fifths (81 percent) of Americans and almost two-thirds (60 percent) of global travelers surveyed will opt for domestic travel this fall. 

The top domestic destinations for this fall, as revealed by Tripadvisor site data are:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada*
  2. New York, New York*
  3. Orlando, Florida*
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii*
  5. Lahaina, Hawaii
  6. Key West, Florida
  7. Nashville, Tennessee*
  8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina*
  9. New Orleans, Louisiana
  10. Miami Beach, Florida*

(*Indicates cities that were also top 2021 domestic destinations)

That all said, a compelling trend rises to the top: Long-haul air travel is back. Of those surveyed, more than 40 percent of American travelers will travel more than seven hours, and nearly half (49 percent) plan to travel by plane. Also, more than half (56 percent) of Americans plan to take a trip of at least four nights this fall—one-third (33 percent) plan to travel five or more nights—and Tripadvisor search underscores travel around the Labor Day holiday weekend to be the most popular time to get away. In comparison to the Fall 2021 Travel index which indicated that 68 percent of U.S. travelers surveyed last year opted for staycation-style travel close to home accessible by car or train, this year’s Fall Travel Index clearly indicates that Americans are ready for major trips. 

Trending Destinations

Internationally, the perennial Mexican resort favorite, Cancun, is the most popular destination among Americans traveling this fall. Entertainment and nightlife mecca, Las Vegas, came out on top for the most searched domestic U.S. destinations. 

Of the locations which have seen the biggest year-on-year increase in searches on Tripadvisor by Americans for travel this fall, Turks & Caicos is at number one. Narrowing in on Labor Day weekend travel, Nayarit, Mexico, on Mexico’s scenic Pacific Coast just north of Puerto Vallarta, tops the list for strongest year-of-year growth. 

Italy continues to dominate the top trending destinations this fall, with the picturesque cities ComoMonterosso al MareAmalfi, and Sorrento among the top 15 growing destinations for Americans this season. The emergence of trending destinations across the E.U. and APAC among U.S. travelers this fall is credited largely to COVID-related travel restrictions relaxing, allowing for greater ease of travel. 

What entices Americans to travel? 

When it comes to the most exciting components of a trip, the Tripadvisor Index revealed that the top five picks for Americans are food (54 percent), activities (52 percent), followed by people and scenery tied for third (48 percent), and weather (40 percent).

Almost one-third (32 percent) said that the primary purpose of their trip is to enjoy dining and nightlife and nearly one quarter (24 percent) have booked restaurant reservations in advance. 

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Tips + Trends

Money-Saving Travel Tips with a Bonus: Getting to Know Your Destination Like a Local

By  Jessica Rigg

A few simple tricks can help save your wallet. (Illustration: Yeji Kim)

There’s no doubt about it: Traveling on a budget can be tough. It requires diligent planning and research, flexibility, and a fair amount of creative thinking. But the good news is that the most budget-conscious options (from food to transportation) are usually the ones that allow you to best absorb the local culture.

If your goal is to truly experience a place and its culture, all while saving money, here are some need-to-know tips.

As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.

Get Outside the City Center

Cities certainly have their charms, offering the culture, diversity and energy that many travelers crave. But by venturing outside city centers (especially major capital cities), you’ll save money and likely get a more up-close-and-personal look at the way locals live.

Restaurants, bars and cafés in further-flung neighborhoods and beyond into smaller towns generally charge much less than what you’d pay for a similar experience in a city. And because of the relative lack of tourists, you’ll have a better chance of interacting with people who actually live in your destination.

Shop at Grocery Stores

Going to the grocery store in a foreign country is one of the most interesting experiences you could hope to have as a traveler — it’s every bit as enriching as checking out an art museum or attending a local festival. Grocery stores can tell you a lot about the way people live. After all, these are the places that stock items that people seek out on a daily basis, not places that cater to tourists.

You’ll also get an in-depth look at new-to-you products and produce. For example, Ecuadorean grocery stores and markets have a wide array of fruits that aren’t available in the U.S.

Plus, if you have access to a kitchen during your trip (for example, if you’re staying at an extended-stay hotel), buying fresh, local ingredients and making your own meals can be a real money-saver.

Eat Street Food

Not only is street food affordable and widely available, but it’s also a fantastic way to gain access into a local culture since you’ll get to experience the way that the majority of people prepare and eat food.

You may even find that a vendor uses recipes and cooking techniques passed down from generation to generation that help tell the story of a place. Stop at street carts where you see long lines of locals waiting, which is usually a reliable sign that the food is good.

Check Out Lesser-Known Museums and Galleries

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with visiting big-name museums when you travel (especially if you can take advantage of free days and nights), it’s often the lesser-known museums and galleries that offer cheaper admission prices and provide a more specific look at a place or culture.

Smaller and less-popular museums tend to collect local history as opposed to housing global collections and exhibits — think the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, which is dedicated to the history of the city, as an alternative to visiting the Louvre.

Spend Time in Public Parks

People-watching in public parks is free, totally enjoyable, and a great way to observe parts of a community that you might not otherwise see — especially if you visit small neighborhood parks and green spaces, which are often the beating hearts of communities.

You’ll likely have ample opportunities to strike up conversations with locals, and you’ll also get to experience the local flora and fauna.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a good way to travel cheaply while interacting with and giving back to a community. Just don’t fall for expensive, ineffective voluntourism programs; be sure to go through a reputable organization. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and Volunteers for Peace are all solid options.

Take Local Transportation Instead

Make it a point to use whatever form of public transportation locals use to get around. Ride the bus, take the metro or subway, or take a train. Not only is public transportation cheaper than renting a car, but it offers a rich, immersive look into everyday life.

Walk Everywhere, as Much as Possible

And of course, there’s no better way to soak up the sights and sounds of a new place than to walk the streets. Explore on foot as much as possible and you’ll feel your destination open up to you with every step.

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5 ways to photograph castles, monuments and ancient ruins

Author

Jamie Carter

Cover image by Conor Molloy

Cover image by Conor Molloy

5 top tips for taking competition-worthy photos of incredible old buildings, structures and standing stones often found within stunning landscapes

From grand castles and imposing stately homes to crumbling ancient cities and lonely standing stones, the world is awash with historical ruins if you care to go searching for them. They can be tricky to photograph, but you don’t have to travel far and wide; there are likely some castles, churches, abbeys and ruins close to where you live.

Before making a big trip abroad to a ‘honeypot’ site, practice your skills locally, but do check opening times, car park fees and entry fees ahead of time. Here are some of our top tips to get you started…

Capture castles in context

Is the castle on a hill overlooking an epic landscape? Is there a moat around it? Is a drawbridge its visual highlight? Although castles are traditionally seen as grand military structures that were designed to be imposing, they were usually built in places that gave the inhabitants wide-ranging views and early site of any approaching invaders. Many are also surrounded by landscaped grounds. Either way, try to capture the connection between a castle and the environment it exists in.

If you want to get a castle in context then consider using a wide-angle lens, which will enable you to get more into your composition and keep it sharp. Depending on how wide-angle it is you may be able to approach the castle and capture it from close in while still placing it in its environment.

Try to capture the connection between a castle and the environment it exists in. Photo by Daniel Springgay – f/11 | 1/40s | ISO 100

Author tip:

Before you start shooting take a stroll around the grounds, getting a feel for what’s around and what you might want to include in your shots. Resist the temptation to start shooting immediately; take your time and investigate the site for details you might want to emphasise. Read about the building’s history, if only to decide what the most important structures are, and how they’re normally photographed. 

Give standing stones some space


There are thousands of prehistoric circles, standing stones, henges and burial chambers throughout the UK and Europe, yet they can be difficult to photograph. A lot depends on what’s around them; some are surrounded by flat grassland while others are on peninsulas, on tops of peaks, or nestled in forests. Your position is everything since standing circles, for example, don’t tend to look much more than a bunch of stones unless it’s captured from above, or at least an elevated position on a nearby hill.

Position is everything when it comes to monuments like standing circles, experiment with different angles and vantage points so you can find the perfect composition that gives the monument justice. Photo by Conor Molloy – f/13 | 1/13s | ISO 200

Author tip:

Do your research before you visit, not only about the monument’s environment, but about theories on its history and function. If you’re going to photograph a burial chamber that’s aligned with the rising Sun, consider visiting at sunrise to shoot a ‘sun star’ shot. You can do that by using a large aperture and a slow shutter speed. 

Create an unusual composition

Looking for something that no one has seen before in an ancient monument, and getting the shot right, is difficult. But it’s what good photography is all about. Sometimes it can be something as simple – at least in retrospect – as capturing a reflection and turning it upside down (see above). Another way to treat this same shot could be to capture it at night and have stars reflecting in the river.

Find interesting items for the foreground of your image. Vary your height; take shots from low to the ground for an unusual point of view. Look for leading lines in walls, pathways, drawbridges and corridors.

While the wide-angle shot has likely been done before many times, where you can do something new is with close-ups. So pack a zoom lens, which will allow you to isolate architectural details from crumbling walls to rusty door handles. Try to shoot through a window or upwards where the roof used to be. 

Avoid clichés and find a way to put your personal spin when when photographing well-known landmarks. Photo by Peter Warson – f/8 | 1/250s | ISO 200

Author tip:

Look beyond the cliches. The photos on the postcard or guidebook cover and the ones to avoid, not the ones to replicate. If there are lots of visitors, avoid getting them in your photos by watching where they’re going and heading to the other end of the site. It can also be worth finding out if the monument in question is illuminated at night; if it’s not you could try some long exposures that include stars or possibly, in summer, the Milky Way.

4 Wait for an unexpected event

A legion of photographers have taken shots of Stonehenge at day and at night. Sure, there are literally 360º opportunities to take something different even from a distance, but they mostly end up looking very similar.

So wait for something genuinely different to happen in the sky above. That could be an eclipse of the Moon or the Sun, or it could be something not predicted by science at all, like the arrival of a comet. That happened for just a few weeks in July 2020, with savvy photographers heading to the old stones to get a shot of Comet F3 Neowise. For many it was a simple repeat of a shot they had mastered years before, but with the added bonus of a space rock hurtling through the sky above.

For a truly spectacular shot, wait for a rare or unexpected event taking place near over the the place you want to photograph – such as when Comet Neowise was seen over Stonehenge in 2020. Photo by Ben Sasson

Author tip:

If the sky above is all-important when photographing monuments from afar, the weather is your friend. If there are clear blue skies a polariser will enhance them and also help reduce reflections. Clouds can often be exaggerated to seem like a bubbling storm. Sunrise is a great time to be at ancient monuments, not least for the possibility of rising mist, which can add an ethereal dimension to your inherently mysterious subject. It also maximises your chance of being there alone. Close to sunset you may spot crepuscular rays in the west. 

Get off the beaten track

Head to Angkor Wat, the Colosseum, the Pyramids or Machu Picchu and you’ll have to constantly battle crowds, queues and restrictive opening times. That’s going to reduce your chances of taking original shots. The more popular they are the less likely they are to allow in tripods, while some ban photography altogether (or charge extra for photography permits). Better to head to lesser known, but equally as dramatic sites where you’ll have lots of time and the place to yourself.

Get off the beaten track to find lesser-known monuments where you’ll have the place to yourself. Circular Inca ruins at Moray in the Sacred Valley near Cusco, Peru. Photo by Jeff Kraft – f/5.6 | 1/200s | ISO 200

Author tip:

Although most famous monuments have something lesser known and just as picturesque close by (such as Beng Mealea north of Angkor Wat, and Kuélap, Llactapacta and Choquequirao close to Machu Picchu in the Sacred Valley), you can find UNESCO World Heritage Sites sprinkled throughout the world. 

  • AuthorJamie Carter

Jamie Carter is a journalist and author focusing on stargazing and astronomy, astrophotography, and travel for Forbes Science, BBC Sky At Night magazine, Sky & Telescope, Travel+Leisure, and The Telegraph.View all articles

Photography by subject

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St. Kitts & Nevis Scraps COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Protocols

By Newsdesk Aug 16, 2022

St. Kitts

The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has scrapped all COVID-19 related entry testing and vaccination protocols. The destination is open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, including citizens, residents and international tourists.

Additionally, it will no longer be necessary for travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter St. Kitts and Nevis. This change has been introduced under the leadership and guidance of Dr. Terrance Drew, the prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, who also serves as minister of health.

“The removal of entry testing and vaccination requirements comes at a time when traveler confidence is on the rise. The combination of increasing demand and more seamless travel processes will make St. Kitts even more desirable to visitors abroad,” said Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “We are pleased to communicate the removal of restrictions, which would improve the destination’s travel experience.”

Good to know: Travelers considering a last-minute escape can book until August 30 and avail of St. Kitts’ summer promotion, “Sweet Side of Summer,” offering up to three nights free at participating hotels. Guests can enjoy a range of cultural, relaxation, culinary and outdoor adventure activities. The “St. Kitts annual Grill Fest” will be held in November, showcasing local grill masters, and F&B experiences.

For more details, visit www.stkittstourism.kn and www.nevisisland.com.

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10 Best Photo Editing Tips for a Faster Workflow

by Jenn Mishra

Do you enjoy taking photos but find yourself buried in unprocessed images? This article is for you! I’m going to give you my top 10 photo editing tips for speeding up your workflow.

I do most of my post-processing in Adobe Lightroom. But the basic principles apply regardless of the editing software you use.

The goal is to get from import to export efficiently. Don’t lose your photographic mojo or let your favourite photography gather digital dust.

10. Fix Your Images In-Camera to Save Time

Often, you will take a photo knowing that you’ll have to fix something later in post-processing.

But if you can fix it now in-camera, you don’t have to fix it later. With a quick spin of a dial, you can change the exposure. Zoom in for a tighter crop. Straighten that horizon line. It’s better than fussing with straightening it later in post-processing. Especially if you have to adjust 100 horizon lines individually.

You can make adjustments later. But why wait until tomorrow for something that you can do today?

Save on post-processing time by slowing down in the field and looking at the scene. You’ll probably need to take fewer shots to get the one you want.

The closer the in-camera image is to your final image, the less post-processing you have to do.

Images by Jenn Mishra

9. Use Import & Export Tools

Set up your editing software to do things automatically. Lightroom’s import and export tools are a great place to start.

On import, you can add global keywords and metadata like titles and copyright information. Keywording is a pain, but you can’t find your images unless you keyword. By taking a few seconds to apply keywords on import, you will save a lot of time later.

I have a lot of options in the righthand panel of the import screen in Lightroom.

You can even add a develop preset which applies your favourite settings to the imports.  You can tweak settings later, but lay the foundation of your post-processing edits on import.

When you’ve finished working, you also have export tools. You can rename images and apply output sharpening. Lightroom makes the changes automatically. You don’t have to think about it.

8. Have a System to Find Your Images Faster

I’ve wasted a lot of time looking for images. If I only had a few, I could probably remember where I put them. But after 1,000 (or 100,000), I need a system for storing images.

Put files in a place where you can find them later. It doesn’t matter what your system is, it’s having the system that’s important. An example of this might be Photographs>Wedding>2018.07.15 – Scott & Wendy.

Speeding up your workflow isn’t just about faster post-processing. It’s about having images at your fingertips when you need them.

Images by Jenn Mishra

7. Edit Only the Best Images

Photographers who fly through post-processing aren’t spending time on each and every photo. They only work on the best of the best.

This means having an effective culling strategy. Culling means deleting photos that didn’t work and targeting ones that did.

Rank your favourites with hearts, colors, flags, or stars. I go through my images quickly to make an initial selection. Then I do it again, narrowing down my favourites. My top shots get more stars. You don’t have to use my system but have a system.

I use a system of flags and stars in Lightroom to find my best images. Only my 3-star images get full post-processing treatment.

I’m only going to post-process my favourites. I’ve been burned too often. I’ve post-processed an image only to find better light or composition on the next image.

To make this process faster, use a tool like Photo Mechanic. This is a program designed specifically to speed up the culling process.

Post-processing only the best of the best will greatly speed up your workflow.

6. Eliminate Keystrokes

Photo adjustments can be highly repetitious. Use any keyboard shortcuts offered by your post-processing program.

If you are able to do with one keystroke that would normally take two, you’ve saved yourself time and energy. It might not seem like a lot but think of all those thousands of photos in your catalogue. A one-second keystroke becomes a lot when multiplied by a 1000 or 100,000.

For instance, use Lightroom’s Auto-Advance function. To activate this, place a checkmark next to Photo>Auto-Advance. When you add a flag or star during culling, Lightroom automatically advances to the next image. This saves you hundreds of keystrokes each time you cull images.

Images by Jenn Mishra

There are many Lightroom shortcuts. “X” for reject. “D” to switch to the Develop Module. “V” to convert to black and white. Here’s a complete list of Lightroom shortcuts.

5. Use Presets and Auto For Quick Adjustments

It’s quicker to tweak adjustments than apply them from scratch. Start post-processing by using auto options or presets.

The auto-icon usually looks like a magic wand. The software analyzes your image and makes changes. You can check to see what settings Lightroom recommends by clicking the auto button in the Basic panel. If you don’t like the results, you can always undo the changes.

I like a lot of the settings Lightroom suggests, but others I tweak. I tend to like a lot more contrast than Lightroom suggests.

Final image by Jenn Mishra.

Presets or filters apply a look to your photography with one click. You can download filters or make your own. In Lightroom, you can save favourite settings as a preset. To do this, click the “+” next to the Presets panel in the Develop module. Select Create Preset.

Lightroom screenshot showing how to create a preset.

In Photoshop, I save a series of commands as an action.

Saving settings as a preset means that I can apply these with one click.

4. Use Batch-Editing

You may often photograph a series of photos in the same scene or with the same subject. They will have similar lighting and camera settings. There’s no need to post-process each image separately. Instead, batch edit.

Batch editing means post-processing more than one photo at a time.

There are a couple of ways you can do this in Lightroom. You can copy and paste the settings or use the Sync button.

Start by editing one photo.

To copy your settings, select the image you’ve edited and go to Edit>Copy (Ctrl or ⌘C). A dialogue box will appear asking which settings you want to copy. You can check all or individual settings. Then select an unedited image and paste the settings Edit>Paste (Ctrl or ⌘V).

To sync settings, select all similar photos starting with the photo you’ve edited. Click the Sync button in the Develop module. That’s it! Your settings will be applied to all of the photos. It doesn’t matter if you selected two or two hundred.

3. Streamline Your Editing Process

Once you start editing images, have a system. It doesn’t matter what that system looks like – just that you do the same adjustments in the same order.

Some photographers go straight down the Develop Module panel in Lightroom. They fix the Basic settings first, then move down the list. Skip over the settings that don’t apply to your photographic style.

My first change is composition. I crop the image. There’s nothing worse than removing dust spots, straightening lines, and adding a vignette – only to then crop out my hard work. After cropping, I move onto contrast, highlights, shadows, color, and details.

Images by Jenn Mishra

Decide on the settings that you care about most and make changes in the same order. If you often have to go back to readjust a setting, change the order. For instance, adding dehaze often darkens the image. This means I have to readjust exposure. The more you can automate your editing, the faster you will be.

2. Edit on the Go

I have found myself sitting on a plane, train, or bus home from a session, itching to start post-production. Put that time to work.

Set up a mobile post-processing workspace on a laptop or mobile device. This won’t necessarily replace your primary workspace, but you can get started editing. By the time you’re home, you can have your images imported into Lightroom, added keywords, and started culling.

1. Be Decisive

When I think about the things that slow down my workflow, I have to admit that most of the time it’s me.

There are a thousand ways to edit a digital image. I am at my most efficient in post-processing when I’m decisive. I waste time when I vacillate between possibilities. There’s no harm in trying a few different ways of post-processing an image. But then I need to make a choice.

It’s easier if I only have two choices in front of me. This photo or that? This white balance or that?

Images by Jenn Mishra

There is no right way of post-processing an image. It only matters that you like it.

Conclusion

There you go. My top ten photo editing tips to speed up your workflow. This article is more about streamlining how you deal with your images than on how to edit photos. Spending more time at the beginning of the process will stop time being wasted later on.

I use these tips when it comes to my work, and it took a while for the process to become streamlined. Find your own way and share your tips in the comments below.

Want to learn more? See our Effortless Editing with Lightroom course. 

Want More? Try Our Lightroom Processing Course

Do you know how to use Lightroom to bring out the details hidden inside your images?

Lightroom is a great program, but with countless sliders and tools… it’s hard to know how (and when) to use each of them.

That’s why we’ve created the most complete and up-to-date training on Lightroom

Jenn Mishra

Jenn Mishra is a fine art travel and landscape photographer based in the St. Louis metro area. Jenn is an active photographic educator and has been invited to speak at conferences such as Out of Chicago. Her photos have been featured in a number of solo exhibitions. Her studio is Wits End Photography. You can see more of Jenn’s photo at http://www.jennifermishra.com or visit her Instagram @jennatwitsendMore By Jenn Mishra >

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Earn Unlimited-Never Ending-Residual Income As A Travel Advisor

Take a moment and think of what you want, and how you are going to get it. Regardless of what it is that you want, It will take MONEY to get there!

“A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but Money answereth all things”..Ecclesiastes 10:19 (yes, check your bible, it’s there)

Money can’t buy you happiness, but if you are going to be happy you Will Need Money. Looking at people who have acquired great Wealth, I have recognized they basically have three things in common:

1. Multiple streams of income

2. Residual Income

3. Unlimited, continous, never ending income

Networking marketing (ie..Pyramid) has always gotten a bad rep. Let’s take a closer look;

  • # Low start-up cost
  • # Turn-Key (everything needed to get started built in price)
  • # Low monthly business expenses
  • # The opportunity to Franchise(without franchise cost)multiple sources of income (travel commissions, direct sales commissions, rep overrides)
  • # Never-ending residual income (make money once, and receive it continually)
  • # Worldwide market

This being said I consider myself as being a very astute Entrepreneur who utilizes the tool of NETWORK MARKETING to acquire wealth. The Network Marketing tools I use are; PlanNet Marketing (continuous never-ending residual income), and InteleTravel (travel sales commissions)

Direct Sales Commission

The PlanNet Marketing Rep who sells the InteleTravel home-based Independent Travel Agency (“ITA”) business earns a direct sales commission. When you, as a PlanNet Marketing Rep, sell the InteleTravel Independent Travel Agency business (an ITA sale) for $179.95 and $39.95 monthly, you are paid a Direct Sales Commission of $50.00. There is no limit to the number of $50.00 Direct Sales Commissions you may earn.

Build a Rep Organization and Earn Override Commission

The PlanNet Marketing Rep, in addition to selling the InteleTravel business opportunity, may also choose to build a Rep organization and earn override commissions on Reps in their organization who do the same.

PlanNet Marketing offers the Rep who chooses to build a team and Rep organization, financial freedom and flexibility in achieving that goal. As a team-building Rep, you are provided with an online, feature-rich Virtual Office, complete with all of the marketing and sale tools and support that you need to grow your business. When you enroll someone as a PlanNet Marketing Rep (initial fee $19.95 and $19.95 monthly*) and they make an ITA sale, you, as their Sponsor, are paid a 50% Match ($25.00) on their ITA sales. There is no limit to the number of 50% Match Commissions ($25.00) you may earn. And that’s just the start!

As you continue to enroll Reps, and they, in turn, do the same, your team grows and so does your earning potential. As your business grows, you become eligible for increased levels of earning. Click here for our exceptional compensation plan and explore the many benefits available to you as a PlanNet Marketing Rep.

PlanNet Marketing is committed to your success. We want you to live life the way YOU want to live it, to achieve financial security on your terms, and to improve your life and the lives of others. 

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The Power of Choosing a Niche

Travel insights from Elisa Parhad, contributor to The Compass

It might seem counterintuitive but focusing on a specific corner of the market — whether that be multi-generational travel, cruising or European vacations —is key. Doing so can turn your travel agency into a powerhouse, enabling your business to attract more clients, while showcasing you as an expert in a specific area. You’ll also spend less time researching trips as you continue to build your knowledge about your specific target audience and their needs.

This philosophy is one that Sharon Little, Owner of Bespoke Travel Group, always believed. She knew that, at some point, she would become known for a niche of her own. After all, she had always worked in one, initially in sports travel in the United Kingdom, and then in romance travel thereafter. But an even more specific corner of the market became clear in 2011 on a trip to Jamaica.


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“I noticed at every property I visited, there were several weddings each day,” says Little. It turns out that Jamaica is one of the easiest places for Americans to get married legally, and the island offers several other perks for couples, including tropical vibes and close proximity to the East Coast and Midwest. Little also loved the island, so the decision she made was easy: her agency, Bespoke Travel Group (formerly known as Wedding and Honeymoon Travel Group), would focus on couples headed to Jamaica for weddings or honeymoons. “It was my niche within a niche,” Little jokes.

For three to four years, Little only booked these two types of trips, despite getting inquiries for other destinations. Working with top suppliers and vendors, she quickly achieved her goal and became the leading agency for weddings on the island. Although Bespoke Travel now offers trips to a variety of other islands and Mexico, Little is first and foremost an authority on Jamaican romance travel.

“If you’re good at what you do, and you have that knowledge, you become the authority for that niche and the go-to person,” said Little. “Not only were we getting referral business from our customers, but the partners that we worked with often recommended us to their clients, too.”

By zeroing in on a specific travel segment, Little’s reputation precedes her. Her job also requires far less research than if she were booking for a broader range of destinations, saving her valuable time on a day-to-day basis.

“We know what time the sun sets and what time the sun’s actually going down. We know how windy that location is. We know how long it’s going to take the bride to get from her room to the altar and we know what the walkway looks like. Essentially, we know every minute detail. To me, that’s a huge benefit I can offer clients,” Little says. “It also makes the job exponentially easier. Once you have your niche down, you basically know everything, or the majority of the knowledge that you need for every single inquiry.”

Another advantage of a specialization is that competition is reduced and the return on budgeting dollars — because they are focused — is higher. “I’d much rather be laser-focused on a smaller audience but convert them to clients at a much higher rate,” says Little.

How to find your own niche

This starts with discovering your passion. Little suggests asking yourself what you enjoy selling. Whether it is retreat trips for artists, deep-sea fishing excursions or heritage travel to Eastern Europe, it is crucial that you truly enjoy that type of travel and crafting those itineraries.

“If you’re a generalist right now, look at all the different types of travel you are booking,” Little suggests. “Maybe you love planning European itineraries or multi-generational families getting together and having a great experience. Regardless, it must be something you really love. If you aren’t excited about it, it’s not your niche.”

Next, research the market to understand if you can make a living on that slice of the pie. Is it big enough? Is it already saturated? In finding or developing your niche market, ensure it has accessible customers, room for growth, and no dominant competition.


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Identifying and researching areas you are passionate about can be the fun part. Where most advisors get stuck is committing to their chosen niche. For a period, this likely means turning down work and getting through a hard transition period with a lower income stream. In Little’s case, she planned for a slow period of three to six months — the approximate amount of time it took her to change her message and let it filter down to her target customers. The success that followed is a testament to the idea that the foundation for a great business takes time and patience.

Little’s advice to weather the transition is to be prepared for short-term losses, partner with the best vendors and suppliers, and keep your eye on the long game. Now with 10 years of business behind her, she says the payoff is worth the initial hardships she had to overcome. Luckily for her, in just 12 to 18 months she was pulling in over a million dollars in revenue.

Get your message out there

Like so many elements of business today, social media is a key to keeping clients informed of any pivot your agency makes. Use these channels to communicate what your agency is learning and where it is going. “You’re just trying to get the word out there,” says Little. “’Hey, I’m doing this class today,’ or, ‘Hey, I’m in this destination today, and I’m learning about this.’ It’s about involving them in your learning process. In keeping them updated and letting them know what it is that you’re doing, you’re developing your education and keeping clients informed.”

When Little was starting out, social media wasn’t what it is today and she didn’t have a significant following. She turned to referrals, which is another classic tool to help grow a niche market. In the world of romance travel, it is likely that every bride getting married knows at least three other brides getting married within a couple of years. Little seized on that opportunity. “We would go to our brides with a referral program and ask them if they knew anyone getting married or getting engaged,” she explains. “We would ask them if they knew anyone or heard of anyone who’s looking for this type of service, to please keep us in mind. And, that has worked really, really well for us.”

The work of having an agency focused on a niche isn’t done after you have a regular roster of clients booking trips. Tending to your niche is just as important as committing to it. “It’s a partnership and a relationship that needs continuous nurturing,” says Little. “There’s high turnover in the hotels and the wedding teams, and properties constantly have new products, new packages and new customizations you need to know about.”

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Focusing on a niche requires finding your passion, committing to your corner of the market and constantly nurturing its growth. “I don’t want to be a Jack of all trades, master of none,” Little says. “I want to be a big fish in a small pond. Because for me, sticking to a niche has absolutely worked.”

In searching for your own portion of paradise, remember that new niches are created all the time — think film tourism, trips for those who only travel with pets or adventure travel for women over 50. For Little, it was a perfect pairing of romance and an accommodating island in the West Indies. For you, the opportunities are endless.

Originally appeared in the spring 2022 issue of The Compass Magazine.

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How to Sell Yourself as a Travel Advisor

Travel insights from Steve Hirshan, senior vice president of sales at Avoya Travel and contributor to Travel Professional News

Here’s the one question customers usually ask themselves that can make or break your sale: “Am I willing to invest my time and trust with this person?”

How do you ensure you get the ‘yes’? By ensuring you’re selling yourself to your clients. As a travel advisor, your experience and knowledge help you design unforgettable travel experiences for your clients – this value that you bring is what you want to be selling. By ‘selling the product’ first and not yourself, you run the risk of your clients saying to themselves, “I can buy this online.”

Compare this to the large-scale travel websites today that focus on selling the product first. Following this strategy is sure to guarantee that your authenticity, uniqueness and human side get lost in the mass market of potential sources for booking travel.

Here are four tips on how to best showcase your value as a travel professional to your clients (and how to win over new ones).

Showcase Your Expertise

Don’t just focus on selling the deal, sell your knowledge and expertise. Being a jack-of-all-trades (but a master of none) isn’t going to help you stand out in the marketplace, so be sure to focus on a niche to specialize in and communicate that expertise to your clients. To get started, choose a few destinations, products or types of travel experiences and make those your specialty. Incorporating a niche may seem like you’re narrowing your prospects, however, it can create more business than you think by winning over prospective clients’ trust.

Focus On Personalization And The Human Touch

In today’s digital world, personalization is a must, and that doesn’t exclude the travel industry. Travelers are seeking out that personal touch more than ever, which is your opportunity to step up and fill those shoes.

Large-scale online travel agencies often make travelers feel unimportant and unknown, and clients can be made to wait on hold when complications arise. Travelers want to be assured they can talk to a real person, not a machine or call center agent – someone who gives that personal support even while clients are traveling.

You’ll also want to take the time to get to know your clients’ interests. Travelers are seeking out personalized trips partial to their interests and hobbies. You may have a customer looking at going paddle boarding, exploring coffee houses, different cuisines or cliff diving on the other side of the globe. Whatever their interest is, creating a personalized itinerary that reflects the traveler is key to success.

Sell Your Services

When it comes to the value you can bring to a booking, people usually think of the assistance you can provide when things go wrong, the time you can save clients by sifting through a myriad of travel options and the details you can tend to on their behalf that make trips go more smoothly (especially during these last two years).

Travelers are not coming to you for something they can easily book online themselves. They want to see the value of using you. Add different complexities to remind your customer that only you can plan a vacation like this – unique recommendations, unforgettable excursions, first-hand experience – the possibilities are endless.

Define Your Elevator Pitch

If you had only 30 seconds to sell yourself (and the value you provide), the same amount of time it would take you to ascend five floors in an elevator, would you be able to convince someone to book their travel through you? A good elevator pitch will help you establish yourself as someone with the ability to create great vacations for your clients; not just a representative for various travel companies, but the go-to source for all things travel.

Take the time to define what makes your agency different than the large-scale OTAs or other travel advisors out there. Is it an interesting backstory or a focus on a specific travel expertise? Make sure you know who you are and what you’re able to share with your clients. If you’re not clearly defining your value, your clients won’t be able to see it either.

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Germany Drops All COVID-Related Entry Requirements

By Matt TurnerJun 7, 2022 08:52am

Berlin, Germany (Photo by bluejayphoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Just in time for summer travel season, Germany has dropped its “3G” rule—which stated that tourists had to either show proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or provide a negative test when entering Germany—for travelers coming from the European Union, Schengen Area or other countries where the epidemiological situation is deemed acceptable by the E.U.

This means that, from the United States, visitors can now enter Germany without carrying any kind of proof of their COVID status. The modification is set to stay in place until at least August 31 and comes at a time during which many tourists make their summer travel plans, according to the German National Tourist Board.

Good to know: Germany had also dropped its mask mandates earlier this year; the only federal rule still remaining in place requires people to wear masks on public transportation.

Entry from any other country beyond those that fit the above criteria for any purpose (including visits and tourism) is only possible for fully vaccinated people. For people not yet vaccinated entry from other countries is only possible in exceptional cases and is conditional on there being an urgent need. Travelers that may have stayed in an area of concern within 10 days prior to their entry to Germany must observe special regulations, which includes registering before entry, providing a negative PCR-test result and quarantining for 14 days.

A total travel ban is in place for countries with widespread occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants of concern.

For the latest information, visit www.auswaertiges-amt.de.

This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.

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6 of the best location-scouting apps and websites for all photographers

By

Jamie Carter

Need some inspiration? Or have you got a great photo location you want to share with other photographers? These apps and websites will do just the job

Discover the best apps below to help you find the perfect locations for your photography. Photo by by Jaromir Chalabala

Finding amazing places to explore with your camera can be challenging particularly if you’re after something unusual. Thankfully there are plenty of apps that will help, from those offering simple inspiration and directions to others that will help you plan when to be there and at what time to get a specific kind of shot.

Here are some of the best location-scouting apps to help you find a great place to take your camera…

1 Atlas Obscura


Although it’s not specifically aimed at photographers, Atlas Obscura is hugely useful if you’re after something unusual.

“If you’re looking for something unusual, unexpected and, for the most part, largely ignored by my Instagrammers, Atlas Obscura is a must-have to check…”

Based on a website that’s been around for over a decade, its database of almost 25,000 unique places in the world depends on user-generated content and mostly comprises unusual and obscure travel destinations. We’re talking deserted buildings, weird architecture and things that appear to be out of place.

Some of them aren’t particularly photogenic – they’re only here because they have an interesting backstory – but a great deal of them are must-see, must-photograph places. If you’re looking for something unusual, unexpected and, for the most part, largely ignored by my Instagrammers, Atlas Obscura is a must-have to check before you go … anywhere. 

Author tip:

Perhaps because it’s been around for a long time, the database behind the Atlas Obscura website helps the app seem both professional and polished. For example, for each location you not only get directions For Google Maps, but you also get a link to the official website, where appropriate. you can also add any location to a list, make edits to existing entries and even add your own photos. However, you can use the Atlas Obscura app without signing-up or logging in. 

2 PhotoPills


If you want to shoot a sunset, sunrise, or a rising or setting full moon then you simply must download the PhotoPIlls app. When you’re in position you can use its augmented reality mode to display on your smartphone exactly where on horizon the Sun and the Moon will be at a specific time. It means you can can get in an exact position at an exact time to photograph, say, the Moon rising between two buildings.

It works really well when you’re in position, but its ‘planner’ page – a map with the exact direction of the Sun and Moon, as well as the times of golden hours, blue hour and even the length of shadows – is excellent for helping you scout out a good location in advance.

Author tip:

As well as being great for getting your angles right for the Sun and the Moon, PhotoPills is also an excellent source of information about meteor showers. Although displays of so-called ‘shooting stars’ tend to be hyped up by the media, the brightness of the Moon can render some of them completely invisible. PhotoPills includes dates for all active meteor showers, but crucially also includes the phase and illumination percentage of the Moon. 

3 MapAPic

MapAPic doesn’t offer you any inspiration or information on new photo locations. Instead it enables you to get as much out of places you’re currently in, you’ve recently been to or that you intend to visit soon. For example, if you’re in location or you’ve recently been somewhere and you’ve taken a photo that includes GPS data – likely from your smartphone or connected camera – then this app will create a new location, and then give you the option to add a photo.

However, the magic comes from its ‘sun insights’ page, which for very specific places will give you the exact times for astronomical night, dawn, the morning and evening golden hours, and the evening blue hour. You can also make notes about the location, back-up your favourite locations to Dropbox and share and print PDFs. 

Author tip:

MapAPic is a unique resource for photographers who intend to return to specific destinations. It gives you the exact times on any given date that you need to be in position to get a specific shot. However, given that this app is taking-in incredibly detailed information from all kinds of photographers it’s a shame you can’t browse others’ stored locations. 

4 TripBucket Mobile

Recently re-named (it used to be called Roadside Attractions Guide), this app has the tag-line “dream it, plan it, do it, share it”, which neatly summarises what it’s all about. The main way to interrogate its contents is by allowing it to see your location, which it uses to show you large thumbnail photos of attractions and things to do nearby.

However, you can also zoom-in on a map, browse via category or see upcoming events. Scan down the list and it takes you farther from your location. Click on the thumbnail and you’ll see a brief description, a useful gallery of photos, driving directions using the usual smartphone navigation apps, and even the current weather. You can also add your own photos and share each location with others. Annoyingly you have to create an account to get access, but once you’re in it’s really easy to use. 

Author tip:

A polished yet relatively simple app, TripBucket Mobile is essentially for travellers looking for inspiration and ideas when planning trips, so it should appeal mostly to travel photographers. It also has a fabulous section of about 100 virtual tours where you can choose a destination or theme – including Tokyo, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the U.S. National Parks – and then see 360º photos of those top attractions. It’s useful for planning potential shots. 

5 rGPS (Really Good Photo Spots)

What the aptly-named Really Good Photo Spots lacks in content it makes up for with in-depth detail. It’s a fairly simple database of interesting places, which you can interrogate by asking the app to look for spots around you using your phone’s location, or buy a manual search. You can also add your own spots and create trips, though the latter is a premium feature only.

What makes rGPS different to some of the more travel-centric apps is that not only is it focused purely on photography, but for each location, it also gives you the exact GPS coordinates. However, the app does have a fairly rudimentary feel about it, and each page features ads, albeit rather small.

Author tip:

You don’t get a friendly welcome on rGPS. First it asks for your email and a password to sign-up – with no Facebok or Apple/Google auto-signup possible – then immediately asks  for £8.99 for a one-year, auto-renewing subscription. That gets you no ads and the ability to both create and save trips, as well as save locations for offline access. That could be useful if you’re away from mobile phone networks and WiFi.

Photomapper


Here’s an app that has a lot of potential, but so far lacks content. A crowdsourcing app that relies on photographers submitting their own photos and details of where they were taken, Photomapper presents a map of the world that you can zoom in on. As you do you see photos for various locations with a small blue number indicating how many shooting locations are included for that city, region or country. You then just click on the thumbnails to reveal small versions of all the photos submitted, with each one including information on the best time to go and details about entrance fees, if relevant.

You’ll need an account with Photomapper to start adding your own photos and tips, but you don’t need to sign-up or login to passively use Photomapper.

Author tip:

For each photo it’s possible to get the exact location of where the photo was taken. It opens using either Google Maps or, on an iPhone, Apple Maps, so you can navigate straight to it. You can also use either Mapbox or OpenStreetMap for the world map.

More apps:

Discover more brilliant resources for your photography with our recommended photography apps.

Jamie Carter

Jamie Carter is a journalist and author focusing on stargazing and astronomy, astrophotography, and travel for Forbes Science, BBC Sky At Night magazine, Sky & Telescope, Travel+Leisure, and The Telegraph.

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THE TOP CARIBBEAN DESTINATIONS FOR A COMPANY RETREAT

Born FreeBusiness TravelThe Top Caribbean Destinations For a Company Retreat

Going on company retreats has many benefits that can help the overall productivity of your business. Having fun as a team can build a family-like atmosphere and can help workers feel more comfortable with one another. This leads to better overall communication. Kelsey Meyer, writing for Entrepreneur Magazine, suggested that company retreats can even help managers discover hidden talents in their employees. By using out-of-the-box team building activities, managers can get a better look at potential or hidden leadership skills.

If your company is ready to take a trip to the Caribbean to build a better team, Fare Buzz suggests that you consider these affordable destinations:

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a great choice for company retreats because you won’t have to worry about making sure everyone has their passport. As long as everyone on the trip has a valid photo I.D., you shouldn’t have any problems getting to this fantastic Caribbean island.
In San Juan, there are many excellent traditional resorts, but if you’re looking for something unique, consider taking your team to Old San Juan where you can explore beautiful streets lined with 16th century architecture. Use company bonding time for exploring shops and historic districts and enjoy your dinners near breezy, tranquil coastline. You may create a scavenger hunt where teams of coworkers find different stores to take selfies, or purchase and bring back cultural merchandise to feature at a post-game dinner.

U.S. Virgin Islands
Another destination that doesn’t require a passport is the U.S. Virgin Islands. They offer more traditional resort opportunities, and you can use the meeting rooms at the resort to hold conferences and work on team building activities. Afterwards (or maybe in the morning before the meeting), your team can spend some time soaking up the rays on a white sand beach.

When you’re all ready to do some exploring, you can check out some of the great places the island has to offer, such as Blackbeard’s Castle, a tower built in the 1670s.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Ready to sip on a coconut and relax in style? Then consider taking your team to beautiful Montego Bay. Here you can enjoy some Jamaica’s best cuisine such as jerk chicken, saltfish and curried mutton. You can even rent a boat for a day trip into the bay for a fishing adventure. The office will be the last thing on everyone’s minds by the time you get back to the hotel at the end of the day.

CHECK OUT OUR EBOOK on MONTEGO BAY

Want a unique way to bond with your team members as well as sea creatures? How about taking a dip in the ocean among the dolphins? In the Bahamas, visitors can swim with bottlenose dolphins and take a dive among the colorful sea life below the blue waves. When you’re not taking a dip in the sea, the Bahamas has a lot more to offer, including boat tours, art galleries, and historic buildings. These options lend to positive business retreat experience. Let Fare Buzz help you find the perfect resort in Nassau or the other locations in the Bahamas to host your stay!

When everyone gets back to the office, the feeling of camaraderie and friendship will be higher than ever. Not only will your team be fully relaxed and rested, they’ll be ready to get back to work and be more productive than ever.
Now the only remaining question is: How will Fare Buzz help me find the perfect destination for my business retreat?

Answer:
• Call the Support Team at Fare Buzz at 1.800.847.1963 for assistance and for an unpublished fare!
• Sign up today to become a Rewards Member and start earning points towards future travel plans.
• You can even book online for business travel with Fare Buzz & receive $100 cash back!

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YOUR GUIDE TO LUXURY RESORTS IN CABO SAN LUCAS

Born FreeHotel UpdatesYour Guide to Luxury Resorts in Cabo San Lucas

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Cabo San Lucas is a resort town situated at the tip of the Baja California peninsula in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. A favorite with sun-seeking vacationers and celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Will Smith, and George Clooney, Cabo San Lucas and its neighboring town of San Jose del Cabo make up the resort area, popularly known as Cabo.

As with most ocean-facing vacation hotspots, Cabo San Lucas offers a plethora of attractions. Numerous bars and restaurants line its beachfront and a multitude of water-based recreational activities set forth from its main Medano Beach. The resort city also has a large marina with yachting facilities and hosts famous landmarks such as the unusual natural formations at Land’s End; an outcrop located close to a small island that is home to two aptly-named beaches, the tranquil Playa del Amor or Lovers Beach and the tumultuous Divorce Beach.

As for accommodation, in Cabo, it’s all about grand, luxurious resorts, many of which offer all-inclusive deals ensuring that guests have no reason to leave their premises.

The Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf and Spa Resort

The Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf and Spa Resort is an adults-only, all-inclusive luxury boutique property located within a fashionable residential area of Quivira Los Cabos, a mere twenty minutes drive from the Cabo San Lucas Airport. The property is one of three properties that belong to the group that owns two other resorts in Cabo, namely the villa-only Monte Cristo and the all-inclusive Sunset Resort.

Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf and Spa Resort is an exclusive hideaway consisting of a 201-room boutique resort that offers easy access to both downtown Cabo San Lucas as well as a private hotel beach on the Pacific Ocean.

Guests at this lux enclave also enjoy exclusive access to the Quivira Golf Club and its signature Jack Nicklaus Golf Course.

The resort has a wellness retreat onsite in the form of the expansive Armonia Spa that offers a whole host of relaxing and detoxifying treatments, which are expertly administered using only the finest organic ingredients.

Other amenities at this design-forward resort include five restaurants, including a Japanese restaurant that offers fresh sushi and five bars, one of which is a beach bar with a fire pit.

The well-appointed air-conditioned rooms at the resort feature the essential amenity – free Wi-Fi – along with a balcony and a kitchenette. During the whaling season from December to April, you can book a whale-watching trip through the resort, which arranges these tours for their guests.

Marina Fiesta Resort & Spa

The Marina Fiesta Resort and Spa enjoys an enviable location in the heart of the resort city within proximity to Medano Beach. All the luxurious suites at this resort property offer marina or pool views and feature private balconies, kitchenettes and sit-out areas along with free Wi-Fi. The resort has a large outdoor pool with a swim-up bar, a full-service spa, and a fitness center as well as a business center.

The Marina Fiesta resort offers an all-inclusive dine-out concept at a selection of fine dining and casual eateries that are located in the Marina Golden Zone and at its sister property, the Hacienda Encantada resort.

The resort’s central location grants easy access to other Cabo attractions such as Puerto Paraiso Mall and the upscale shopping hub, Luxury Avenue.

Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos

This all-inclusive resort occupies a cliff top between downtown Cabo San Lucas and the Pacific Ocean. The Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos is a family-friendly all-inclusive resort, and the staff organizes an array of activities daily to keep young guests entertained.

If spa treatments are your priority while on vacation, you will not be disappointed with the natural treatments at the luxurious Spa del Mar. The beautiful spa offers a warm and inviting ambiance as it occupies a space carved into one of Cabo’s hills.

For discerning guests, the resort offers spacious, private, and luxurious accommodations with amenities like Jacuzzis and VIP pool access. The resort offers buffet as well as specialty restaurants and bars on site along with a well-equipped fitness center.

Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos

This large, all-inclusive lavish resort offers 527 well-kitted-out rooms and suites in the exclusive gated development of Cabo del Sol. The hotel has a private beach and is within proximity to the Cabo del Sol golf course to which its guests have access.

This extravagant resort also offers a full-service spa, nine diverse eateries, and six outdoor pools and Jacuzzis. All rooms at the resort feature private balconies, deep soaking tubs, free Wi-Fi and LCD TVs with a multitude of TV channels.

Other Cabo attractions such as the Arch at Lands End and downtown Cabo San Lucas are accessible via a short drive if you feel the need to leave the resort at all.

Get your trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico started

Spend a week or two at a luxury resort in the stunning resort town, Cabo San Lucas. With daily flights to Cabo, Fare Buzz travel specialists can find a discounted fare that matches your travel needs and budget.

Start here:
● Fill in the Request a Quote with your travel details and a travel specialist will research options and contact you shortly
● Call 1-800-847-1963 to speak directly with a travel specialist

✈️ Plan your trip to Cabo San Lucas today!

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Navigation and browsing improvements for SmugMug.

We recently shared our forward looking for 2022 and are excited to talk about the latest improvements made to SmugMug for our photographers. Read on to learn more.

Announcing global navigation changes and browsing enhancements.

SmugMug is for more than just photos. We’re here for your videos and RAW files, too. Therefore we are making some terminology changes in our global navigation to reflect this. These changes include Photos renamed to Library and Photo Site renamed to Site.

Before:

After:

Finding items in the SmugMug Library is done by browsing and searching. This release includes a number of features to enhance the search and browse abilities in the SmugMug Library, namely:

Focused Search Page.

A focused context-sensitive search interface allows you to filter, sort or refine your search results. Once you have found the items you were looking for you can select one or many items and take actions, such as deleting, downloading and modifying keywords.

Finding items in the SmugMug Library is done by browsing and searching. This release includes a number of features to enhance the search and browse abilities in the SmugMug Library, namely:

Focused Search Page.

A focused context-sensitive search interface allows you to filter, sort or refine your search results. Once you have found the items you were looking for you can select one or many items and take actions, such as deleting, downloading and modifying keywords.

Recently Added.

Want quick access to the items you most recently added to SmugMug? Recently Added allows you to quickly access the photos and videos that you recently added to SmugMug.

Smug Improvements

Browse By Date.

Most users use dates to organize their SmugMug items, but run into problems finding a specific photo when they don’t remember exactly when a photo was taken. Browse by Date provides an interactive way to browse your SmugMug Library, surfacing the time periods when photos and videos were created and a simple way to visually browse your photos within that time period.

First, you are presented with a grid grouped and labeled by the year the item was captured.

You can further drill into a year by clicking the image and you are presented with each month that contains items.

Once you have clicked on the desired month, you are presented with a search page that displays all of the items captured during that month. From here, you can further refine your results, by filtering by type, sorting and entering search terms and results are generated in the context of that month.

This is just the start of an amazing year and beyond. We are dedicated to sharing out changes and improvements as they are made. Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or start a conversation on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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Copyright Law: Understanding Your Rights as a Photographer

In the age of social media, a clear understanding of your rights as a photographer is crucial to receiving the credit you deserve. But with so much information out there, you might find yourself asking:

  • What laws are in place to protect photographers like me?
  • What do I do if someone uses my photo without permission?
  • How long do photographers have ownership of their images?

Here you will find an overview of what copyright law is and how it impacts your photography business. We’ll also take a look at the downloadable copyright resources and copyright infringement tools available to PPA members.

What is Copyright?

Copyright law in the United States prohibits the unauthorized copying of a “work of authorship.” In 1988, the following amendment was added to address visual works including photography:

“Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works” include two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, diagrams, models, and technical drawings, including architectural plans. Such works shall include works of artistic craftsmanship insofar as their form but not their mechanical or utilitarian aspects are concerned; the design of a useful article, as defined in this section, shall be considered a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”

Phew. That’s a mouthful of legalese! So what does it mean in English? Basically, copyright law says that when you take a photograph, you become the copyright owner of the image created. This means you hold exclusive rights to:

  • Reproduce the photograph
  • Display the image in a public space
  • Distribute the photo
  • Create derivatives of the image

Seems straightforward, no? But what’s considered a “derivative?”

A “new version” of a work that is already copyrighted falls under the term of a “derivative” work. Special re-edits of movies, art reproductions, and literary translations all qualify as derivatives. A film based on a book or play is another common example.

In the realm of photography, any time someone creates a photograph that is a copy or “substantially similar” to another copyrighted work, they are potentially infringing upon the original owner’s rights.

By comparing and evaluating a derivative work to the original, a court of law can determine if any copyright laws have been violated. In other words, a photographer who went to great lengths to recreate an original work’s composition, lighting, and other creative elements would be more likely to be found guilty of copyright infringement than a photographer who simply takes pictures of subjects that already exist in other photos (i.e., monuments, nature). This means many different photographers can take photos of, say, the Golden Gate Bridge without infringing on each other’s artistic rights.

If you suspect your image has been used without your permission, use PPA’s copyright infringement tool to help you determine your next steps.

Mercedes Benz & Detroit’s Eastern Market Murals

In addition to looking out for your own rights, you as a photographer need to be aware of ways you may unknowingly infringe upon another artist’s rights. The last thing you want to do is misuse another creative’s work!

Take for example Mercedes Benz’s 2018 ad campaign featuring the company’s new vehicle “barreling through Detroit’s boho Eastern Market district past commercial buildings painted with vibrant murals.” Cool concept, no doubt. But the artists who created those murals that contributed so much color and atmosphere to the campaign were never asked permission to use their work, let alone credited:

“While Mercedes sought municipal permission to make beautiful shots of its vehicles on public city streets, it did not seek the muralists’ permission to make and post images of their works on Instagram. Copyright infringement? Mercedes thought not. The muralists—James Lewis, Jeff Soto, Maxx Gramajo, and Daniel Bombardier—thought otherwise.”

Read the full story at PPmag.com. The Mercedes Benz ad campaign is important for two reasons:

  1. It shows the importance of being aware of how others’ work appears in your photographs
  2. It serves as an example of how your work may be misused

The exception to copyright law is when the reproduction of a photograph or visual work is deemed “fair use.” The next section digs deeper into this term.

Fair Use

Fair use is an exception when it comes to copyright law. Journalism, critiques, research, and teaching materials are examples of specific types of writing that allow the reproduction of copyright-protected works without the permission of the “author”.

For example, if you exhibit your photography in a gallery, an art publication generally does not need permission to reproduce your image if they’re using it as part of a critique. Or, conversely, a newspaper may publish photographs of works and use them as part of an article. Both of these are examples of copyrighted work being used under “fair use” guidelines.

When considering whether a reproduction of a work is fair use, the U.S. Copyright Act says “the factors to be considered shall include whether:

  1. The use is of commercial nature or if it is for nonprofit education purposes
  2. The copyrighted work is highly creative or if it is fact-based
  3. Part of the entire original work was reproduced or just a part of it
  4. The reproduction reduces the value of the original work or has no effect

One important thing to keep in mind is that social media marketing’s use of images very rarely falls under “fair use.” If your photographic work is being used without your permission, check out the resources from PPA below for help determining if you need to take further action.


Resources

Remember: If a company uses one of your images in their marketing—on social media or otherwise—without your approval, they are violating your rights as a creator. So, what do you do if you suspect your work of being used without your permission? PPA has resources to help you understand copyright law, and even a Copyright Infringement Tool to leave no question in your mind whether or not your rights as a creator have been violated.

Protecting your work is vital to your success as a photographer. For more PPA resources, click here. 



Sources:
https://ppmag.com/news/photographers-should-be-cautious-about-using-murals-as-backdrops
https://blog.hootsuite.com/understanding-image-copyright/
https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-are-derivative-works-under-copyright-law
https://copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html


 

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Stats: 70 Percent of Americans Plan to Travel in Next 12 Months

By Matt Turner Mar 30, 2022 10:31am

(Photo by jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Seven in 10 Americans are planning to take a leisure trip in the next 12 months, according to a recent survey by NerdWallet conducted online by The Harris Poll. More than 2,000 U.S. adults were asked how the COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to effect travel plans; beyond the 70 percent planning to travel, nearly half of respondents (47 percent) said they were planning on taking two or more leisure trips in that span.

When it comes to those hitting the road more than once this year, Generation Z (ages 18 to 25) and Millennials are more likely to do so than members of earlier generations (60 percent of Gen Zers and 58 percent of millennials, versus 41 percent of Gen Xers and 40 percent of Baby Boomers).

Nearly one-quarter of Americans who have a travel rewards credit card (23 percent) are saving points or miles to pay for a luxurious or special occasion trip; 17 percent are saving them to pay for an international trip; and 16 percent are saving them because they want to visit a destination not currently accepting tourists due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

About two-thirds of Americans who don’t plan on traveling for leisure in the next 12 months say their reasons are COVID-related: 37 percent say it’s because they don’t feel safe traveling due to current or future COVID variants; 19 percent say it’s because they are concerned about COVID-19 case rates at their planned destinations, and 12 percent say it’s because the COVID-related restrictions at their desired destinations are a hassle. Among those not planning on traveling for leisure in the next 12 months, Baby boomers (ages 58 to 76) are more likely to avoid travel for COVID-related reasons than are members of later generations. A little over three in five Boomers (61 percent) cite COVID as a reason for not planning travel, versus 45 percent of Millennials (ages 26 to 41) and 43 percent of Generation Xers (ages 42 to 57).

Source: NerdWallet

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Five spectacular subjects for springtime photography

By Jamie Carter

From a sea of blue flowers and pink blossom to new life and an uptick in celestial activity, spring brings photographic opportunities galore

Flowers in bloom. Rushing waterfalls. The birth of new life. After a long winter, the beginning of spring is the ideal excuse to dust off your camera and get creative outdoors.

Nature comes alive in spring, with the longer days and warming temperatures leading to colorful sights such as wildflower displays and cherry blossoms, young animals frolicking, and even a little-known uptick in ‘space weather. Here are some of our top tips for taking full photographic advantage of the change from winter to spring…

Bluebell woods

Bluebell forest, taken at sunset in Micheldever Woods in Hampshire. Photo by Stuart Rouse – f/14 | 1.6s | ISO 100Micheldever Bluebells

A carpet of bluebells is an evocative image of spring, but like cherry blossoms, the season for capturing bluebells is short and sweet. They flower in April and May in the UK – home to over half the world’s bluebells – so you’re only going to get a short window to visit a bluebell wood to photograph them.

Although it’s a classic spring shot, bluebells can be tricky to capture. The options are endless. A wide-angle lens will help you create a dreamy scene, though you’ll need a very thick carpet of bluebells for that to work well. A telephotos lens can help you zoom in on a section of bluebell growth for a more luscious look. You can also attempt some macro shots of the flowers themselves. Close-ups are best done after rain when you can see droplets on the flowers, but you’ll likely have to be very patient because even a breath of wind can make a macro shot very difficult. 

Author tip:

Be really careful when in a bluebell wood because the flowers are very sensitive despite being perennials; they take many years to colonise a wood and if you stand on one it’s likely to die. So stick to paths and if attempting macro shots be very careful where you put your feet. There are actually two types of bluebells in the UK; the sweeter smelling British bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) and the less scented Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica).

Three lambs running across a field. Photo by Kieran Metcalfe – f/6.3 | 1/1000s | ISO 1250

Lambs gamboling in meadows and ducklings following their parents across streams and rivers; both are classic springtime photos, but they’re not particularly easy to get. A mistake a lot of casual wildlife photographers make is standing up. For a more interesting point of view crouch down to the eye-line of the animal. That way you’ll get a more natural-looking shot.

What lens to use depends on how far away the wildlife is, of course, but count on at least a mid-telephoto lens such as 300mm. Once you’re in position you have another problem because young animals move fast! So you have two choices; use a really fast shutter speed to make the animal sharp (but the background likely blurred) or a slightly longer shutter speed – and a smaller lens aperture – to keep both the subject and the background reasonably sharp. Exact settings will depend on your lens. For ducklings, go near sunset for more chance of activity and both reflections and silhouettes. For lambs, try to capture them in mid-gambol and be careful not to oversaturate their pure-white wool. 

Author tip:

There are ethics to consider before you stake-out a young family of animals to photograph. The golden rule is never to disturb wildlife, and that applies as much in your local park or a farmer’s field as it does when on safari. Firstly, don’t wear luminous or garish clothing. Secondly, keep as still as you can. Thirdly – and perhaps most importantly – don’t get too close to them. Your focus should be on making yourself as invisible as possible. That way you won’t disturb your subject and you’ll also get more natural behaviour.

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossom in Kyoto, Japan. Photo by Yuval Shoshan – f/4.5 | 1/100s | ISO 100

The sudden flowering of cherry trees is a sure sign that spring has sprung. Incredibly photogenic, you’ll find the beautiful, fleeting pink blossom across the world everywhere from Europe and Asia to North America. Surely one of the more iconic places to head to photograph cherry blossoms in Japan, where the sakura tends to bloom from the last week of March until the middle of April.

The fleeting flowering of the country’s thousands of cherry trees is a national obsession and there’s even a blossom forecast on the TV to track the blooms from south to north as spring unfolds. The most popular, and therefore most crowded, places to capture the sakura are Kyoto’s Philosopher’s Walk canal, Osaka’s Okawa River, and Tokyo’s many urban parks, though it’s much quieter – and just as impressive – in the southern state of Kyushu and even in South Korea, which have far fewer tourists. 

Author tip:

Since blossoming cherry trees are so bright they tend to work really well as foregrounds in nightscape photography. Easily reflecting any ambient light or moonlight, they can work well against a starry background, and thus also as the centrepiece of a star-trails composite photo. In manual mode and on a tripod, put your camera in front of the cherry tree and set it to ISO 800, the lowest f-number your lens has, and use a 30 second exposure. Make adjustments then take the same image repeatedly for at least an hour (put your camera on continuous mode and use a shutter release cable in the locked position). Then use the simple and free StarStaX software to produce a drag-and-drop composite photo. 

4 Northern Lights

The northern lights dance above the lighthouse in Andenes, Norway. Photo by Chris Rohner – f/2.0 | 2s | ISO 1000

Not many people know that the aurora borealis – also known as the Northern Lights – are at their most intense around the equinoxes in late September and late March. It’s because the axis of our planet is perpendicular to the Sun, which makes its solar wind – the cause of the optical phenomenon – more likely to push charged particles down the field lines of Earth’s magnetic field.

However, before heading for 66-69° North latitudes (or thereabouts) to pray for clear skies in northern Scandinavia, northern Canada, or Alaska for March ’20s vernal equinox do check the phase of the Moon. Displays tend to be easier to photograph away from a full Moon. Once you’re there the manual photography side of things is simple; wide-angle lens, tripod, 10-25 second exposures, ISO 800-1600, and infinity focus.

Author tip:

If you’ve always wanted to photograph the Northern Lights then get ready to start planning. We’re now entering a once-a-decade period when they’re going to be at their most frequent and intense. That’s because we’re in a new solar cycle and the Sun is waxing towards ‘solar maximum’, which will probably occur in mid-2025. The Sun has a 11 years cycle, with solar maximum being when the most sunspots are seen on its surface. That means more charged particles being hurled at Earth’s magnetic field, so more Northern Lights.

5 Waterfalls in full flow

The wonderful Buachaille Etive Mòr with the tumbling Coupal falls on a perfect spring day. Photo by Douglas Ritchie – f/16 | 4s | ISO 200

Like a lot of spring subjects, timing is everything if you want to capture a waterfall at full throttle. That’s mostly likely after heavy rain, of course, but there’s something else you want if you want to create that classic ‘milky’ motion. Clouds. Since you’re going to have to use a long exposure – between a second and two seconds – it massively helps if there is no direct sunlight on the waterfall, which instantly over-exposes your shot.

On a dark day, you can get away with stopping down your aperture (using a bigger f/ number) or using the shutter priority mode on your camera, and even using a circular polarizer. All will reduce the amount of light coming into your camera, but the easiest technique is to use a 1-stop or 2-stop Neutral Density (ND) filter, which lets you increase the exposure time.

Author tip:

If you want to capture something special alongside a waterfall then head for Skógafoss on the Skógá River in the south of Iceland. This 60 metre waterfall is south-facing, which means three optical phenomenon are possible; rainbows (and even double rainbows!) in its spray, the Northern Lights behind it at night (best seen between September and March), and Moonbows or lunar rainbows when a full Moon is low in the sky. If you’re really lucky you can get the latter two together!

Jamie Carter is a journalist and author focusing on stargazing and astronomy, astrophotography, and travel for Forbes Science, BBC Sky At Night magazine, Sky & Telescope, Travel+Leisure, and The Telegraph.

Jamie Carter

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Ideas for Getting out of a Creative Rut

by Karen Foley

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I mean look at Groundhog’s Day. Every year furry aficionados gather on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in the freezing cold at sunrise and look to a cute little rodent named Phil to tell them if there will REALLY be 6 more weeks of winter. Trust me folks, regardless of what Phil wants you to believe, there is still 6 weeks left of winter, and nothing he says or does is going to change that!

As photographers we have a tendency to fall back on our favorites too – a favorite lens, a favorite subject, or a favorite style of shooting – and then we cannot understand why our art is not growing and evolving as fast as we would like.

To break free of the creativity hamster wheel (get the rodent reference?), use this Groundhog’s Day to try something new to spur your artistic growth.

Imitation is flattery

We all want our art to be original, but the idea of finding inspiration from the past is an age-old tradition. Every art student studies art history and is encouraged to go to museums to view and even sketch masterpieces of old. Use that same concept to study other photographers to hone your skills and gather some inspiration.

Look here on Dreamstime.com at the Editor’s Choice area, or choose your favorite topic and sort by best selling images. Study your favorite pictures and ask yourself:

1)What is it about this image that I like? This could be the composition, lighting, color scheme, special effects, etc.

2)How can I use that in my next image?

3)How could I recreate this image?

4)What would I like to do differently to this image?

5)How could I cover the same topic in a completely new way?

Enter Assignments

Every month Dreamstime.com hosts a new assignment focusing on a different topic or theme for stock photos. Challenge yourself to cover every single assignment from as many different angles as possible – you have up to 10 entries in each contest. Then go back afterwards and look at how others covered the same topic – see which ones won and look at those that were voted highly by the contributor community and ask yourself the same questions as above. If you have the time, try your hand at recreating your images using the answers you glean.

Challenges

Speaking of challenges, try your hand at a 365-52-12 challenge this year.

365 Day Challenge is just what the name implies. Challenge yourself to take a picture (or video or illustration) a day for 365 consecutive days. Some people have taken this to mean take a picture of the same place/theme/topic everyday, while others take it to mean just create an image of SOMETHING everyday.

A 52 Week Challenge takes a little of the daily pressures off while still providing a creative jolt to the system. In this challenge, you have a new theme every week designed to motivate you to shooting or drawing.

Dogwood Studio has created a 52 week challenge that can be started at anytime during the year. Choose the original version, or the advance challenge or combine the two to meet your own needs.

Or make up your own list of weekly themes entirely. Shoot a single image, a series of images over a few days, our use this as your guide to shoot daily around one theme or topic for a full week.

Create your own 12 month challenge. Having a full month to cover each different theme allows for lots more time to develop and explore the theme or concept. Google the topic of 12 month photography challenges to get a suggested list of themes – or make up your own.

Every month has one or more holidays, falls within a season, is either hot or cold, will have food/drink specific to that time of year, etc. etc. etc. Anything can be used as your monthly theme. Try shooting through out the month to tell a more complete story. See how creatively you can cover one single topic or theme.

Exercises

Creativity is a lot like muscles in your body – the more you use it the stronger it will get. So set up a schedule to try one or more of these creativity exercises on a regular basis.

1)Take 12. Stand in one spot and take 12 unique images of what is around you without moving.

2)Take 10. Choose one small object and take 10 unique or abstract images.

3)Take 4. Shoot one subject framing it in each of the four corners of the image without moving locations.

4)Make it artificial. Try restricting yourself to shooting for a week (or day or month) with a lens, or in a location, or at a time, or using a composition style, or any other restriction you can think.

5)Shoot a roll. Limit yourself to shooting only a “roll of film” (24 or 36 exposures) during any outing.

6)Take baby steps. Choose a number of steps (5,10,100) and shoot one picture for every step you take.

7)Take your subject. Take the same object to different locations and see how creatively you can shoot it.

8)Use a Favorite. Recreate your favorite photo. Or take a photo from an ad or a magazine and see if you can recreate it exactly.

9)Shoot only B&W.

10) SOOC. Shoot only straight-out-of-camera without post processing to force yourself to control all the aspects of the image in camera.

Hopefully one or more of these ideas can get your creativity juices flowing again for this Groundhog’s Day and beyond.

Photo credits: Gow927Karen FoleyKeantian.

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New Places to Experience Unlimited-Luxury® in Mexico This Winter

Travel insights from Apple Vacations

This time of year, escape the winter blues and adventure to AMR™ Collection’s newest resorts in Mexico. This winter alone, AMR™ Collection is offering three all-new ways for adults to experience Unlimited-Luxury®, and add some anticipation to their 2022 planner

Breathless Cancun Soul Resort & Spa

Since opening its doors on December 7, the all-new Breathless Cancun Soul Resort & Spa has caught the eye of chic travelers searching for their next beach retreat. Singles, couples, and friends alike will want to experience the Hotel Zone’s hottest arrival. From its two towers, each of the 429 junior suites and suites gazes out at Nichupte Lagoon or the Caribbean Sea, with nearly half giving oceanfront views.

Dial down the energy and unplug at another highlight: the two-story relax Spa by Pevonia®. Hydrotherapy, a sauna, steam room, juice bar, and treatments like the Tropical Escape Body Wrap set the tone to full bliss. Ramp it back up to renewed “Energy” at the activity pool, or wait for sunset for the fire pit plaza to come roaring to life. Beach parties, acrobatic shows, and live music keep the vibe vibrant all night.

For the best panoramas, though, head to the top of xcelerate Tower. Your clients will go for the backdrops—the resort’s most breathtaking—but stay for the scene. Daytime parties, DJ-spun tunes, and a rooftop infinity pool make it the place to be.

Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen—Two Resorts in One!

Located on a white-sand beach ten minutes from the famous Quinta Avenida, Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen and resort-within-a-resort Secrets Impression Moxché will welcome their first guests just in time for Valentine’s Day, on February 11. Suites designed to create an atmosphere of earthy sophistication add refinement to romance, while unexpected touches like a rolling in-room bar hint at Secrets’ fun side.

Eleven restaurants in total, including three at Impression, means plenty of variety for all guests, encompassing the flavors of Southeast Asia, France, Mexico, and more. Nightly entertainment at Moxché Theatre continues the global experience, as does the spa. Couples can make an afternoon of wellness; shared treatments take them on a “journey.”

Over at the boutique Secrets Impression Moxché, a rooftop pool, along with lounge and restaurant, brings the exclusivity as it serves up 360° of ocean panoramas. Open only to guests staying in an Impression suite or villa, access is just one of the upscale perks. Private concierge service—plus butler service for higher room categories you’ll earn 2% more on when booking through Apply Vacations—taco and tequila tastings, and upgraded amenities prove the luxury really is limitless.

Of course, that’s all in addition to the standard inclusions of the Unlimited-Luxury® that keeps sun-seekers coming back AMR™ Collection. The gourmet, reservation-free dining. The pool and beach wait service for top-shelf drinks. The endless entertainment. Nearly everything you’ll find on-property is included, leaving your clients free to spend their getaway doing what they like—without ever worrying about costs.

Booking with Apple Vacations gives your customers even more peace of mind. Secure an Exclusive Nonstop Vacation Flight for an extra 2% bonus commission that enhances your client’s experience. Roundtrip airport transfers with Amstar DMC are always included, taking care of getting there in comfort, while Travel Protection Plus lets clients get back the full value of their vacation (minus the plan cost) if they cancel—for any reason. Extensive medical and quarantine coverage provides extra reassurance.

So what will this winter be like for your customers? Will they bundle up against the cold, dreaming of getting away? Or will they live their best vacation life under the Mexican sun? Learn more with Apple Vacations today.

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Dominican Republic, Jamaica and More Caribbean Destinations Update COVID-19 Rules

DESTINATION & TOURISM  RICH THOMASELLI  FEBRUARY 26, 2022

Beautiful Caribbean beach on Saona Island, Dominican Republic. (photo via czekma13 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The Dominican Republic has become the latest nation to drop its COVID-19 restrictions, as the popular tourist destination joins many of its Caribbean Island countries is welcoming travelers back to bolster tourism.

Despite not meeting a previously announced target of having 70 percent of the country’s adults vaccinated against the virus, the Dominican Republic government nonetheless rescinded public health restrictions, according to Reuters News Service.

That includes the mask mandate as well as vaccine checks in public areas such as restaurants and hotels.

“It’s time to recover all our freedoms and way of life,” Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader said on social media and in a televised address.

Health Minister Daniel Rivera said a worldwide drop in positive cases and in the death rate convinced Dominican Republic officials to rescind the restrictions.

The D.R. was not the only Caribbean nation to start loosening COVID-19 rules in order to boost tourism, the lifeblood of most island countries.

Visitors to Jamaica will no longer need the Travel Authorization, and travel-related quarantine measures beginning March 1.

Children 12 years and older will still need to provide a negative COVID-19 test (antigen or PCR) conducted within 72 hours prior to the date of travel at check-in.

The island of St. Maarten also has a March 1 target date to transition from pandemic status to endemic. All fully vaccinated visitors or those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last nine months no longer have to show proof of a negative test upon arrival. Unvaccinated visitors will still be required to provide a negative PCR test within 48 hours arrival or an antigen test within 24 hours.

Two weeks after Aruba eased its rules on international visitors, officials said they are lifting regulations that will allow restaurants and businesses to return to normal operating hours and with no limits on capacity.

For a deeper dive on new entry protocols in the Caribbean, check out the podcast by TravelPulse island experts Brian Major and JetSetSarah for more information.

For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide:

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Photoshop VS Gimp VS Affinity Photo, Which is Right for You?

 Blog by Wisconsinart

A common question photographers ask is which photo editing software is best. Well-known applications are Photoshop, Gimp, and Affinity Photo. Factors are a combination of cost, level of editing functions needed, and to some degree, personal preference.

Virtually everyone is familiar with Photoshop and many dislike the subscription fee though it can be as low as $9.99/month. Photoshop is extremely powerful and even high-level professionals do not need or use everything the software is capable of. Having a multitude of functions at your fingertips is an enticing reason for getting Photoshop because you never know when you might need to take advantage. However, the $9.99/month can be a lot for the casual photographer.

The advantage to Affinity Photo is while it’s not as robust as Photoshop, it still is a powerful image editing package. The price is more than reasonable and it’s a one-time purchase. There is also an even lower-cost version that runs on an iPad. Affinity Photo can open Photoshop files so if someone sends you a PSD file, you will be able to open it and edit.

Gimp is an open-source application and free of charge, there is no cost to use it. It’s regularly updated, mostly by volunteer programmers. Gimp is extremely popular, primarily because of the cost and it is capable of performing professional-grade editing.

For the majority of photographers, either Affinity Photo or Gimp will suffice if cost is an issue. However, cost is not the only factor for choosing software. The time it takes to learn a complicated software package can also be considered an investment. Working with layers and performing high-level edits along with other advanced features can take years to learn. Photoshop has been around for decades and is considered to be the premier application among professionals, so it stands to reason that it will be around for a long time. Many software applications have succumbed to Microsoft products which has forced individuals and companies to start over when their software of choice was no longer available.

You also have to consider the support that is available. The internet has a virtually unlimited supply of tutorials on how to use photo editing software. There also are many different forums where users can ask questions and get help. As you may have guessed, most of these resources are going to be geared towards Photoshop. Finding a way to do something in other software packages or get an answer to a question may prove to be difficult for non-Photoshop products.

In addition, many universities and colleges have evening or weekend courses for Photoshop. Formal classroom training can be beneficial for many by having an expert user providing guidance and you can learn from other students by seeing what they’re doing and learning from the questions of others. Again, the advantage with these options is toward Photoshop.

In professional settings, Photoshop is going to be the norm. If you have aspirations for your photography to generate any kind of income or to work in settings with other professionals, you will need to speak the language of Photoshop.

As you can see, the advantages are great for going with Photoshop. Regardless, Photoshop is still not right for everyone. Affinity Photo and Gimp provide professional-level photo editing and if you’re a photographer who is not looking to move to higher plateaus, then a non-Photoshop product will be more cost-effective. This is a subject that is endlessly argued on the internet, but in the end, Affinity Photo and Gimp are the better products to use for certain individuals. But there is another option, too. Photoshop has a product called Photoshop Elements which is similar to Photoshop but is less powerful in what it can do. It can be purchased for a one-time fee. If you want to stay in the Photoshop world then this fourth option might be something to consider.

See also:

Tip of the Week: Better Photo Editing Apps

Tip of the Week: 8 GIMP Newbie Tips

Photo credits: Wisconsinart.

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Autumn in New York

Featuring LINDSAY SILVERMAN

Tips and Tricks for Great Autumn Photographs

“I am very lucky to live in a place that has distinct changes of seasons. Once September hits, we start seeing a gradual shift from greens and blues to the rich and warm tones of fall: tawny brown, red, orange, mustard yellow. Autumn in New York is a wonderful place to observe the changing colors,” says Lindsay Silverman, senior product manager for the Nikon professional DSLR line.

Silverman, who has had his hands around a camera since 1974 in order to meet college course requirements, reasons he’s produced several tens of thousand images over the course of his career—from the U.S to Latin America, around Europe and throughout Asia. Loads of locales indeed, yet one of his favorite photo venues will always be New York. Silverman sat down to offer inspirational thoughts, while dishing up some autumnal pointers.

Where do you capture autumn’s finest?

I start by exploring what is within a few blocks of my house here on Long Island. There’s always something to catch my eye over the course of the day. I favor early morning light. It has a beautiful, yet soft quality that I really like. I also revisit locations several times to observe how things alter.

© Lindsay Silverman
Reflections in water can create painterly abstracts that show texture, form and shape.

Water draws my attention. It’s a medium that can dramatically change over the course of the day, most notably this time of year since the sun is lower in the sky. I like to frame images that clearly show reflections. I also seek to create photo abstracts that display lots of texture. If you are a DX shooter, I suggest lenses with focal length ranges from 18mm to 300mm. DX NIKKOR lenses are portable and versatile. For the FX photographer, I suggest going with wide to telephoto. My favorites include the AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR and the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR. For traveling light, I recommend the AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR. All of these lenses allow ample compositional freedom.

© Lindsay Silverman
To intensify richness in the sky and help draw out textural variety and depth, consider an aid such as a Nikon circular polarizer filter.

What are some must-get seasonal shots?

Wide views that showcase nature are a must. Highlight the immense variety of tones and bluer skies; frame to convey a story. Also, a tripod and/or lens with VR image stabilization can reduce blur in your images. To intensify richness in the sky and help draw out textural variety and depth, consider an aid such as a Nikon circular polarizer filter. Fall brings dew to foliage, especially in the morning. I actually use my polarizer to help saturate colors when dew is present, or after the rain.

© Lindsay Silverman
I love how the sharp patch of trees frames the edge and that you observe the rock jutting out from the water. There is a pleasing contrast between the softness of the mist areas and the strong colors of foliage and nature.

Fall mornings can get chilly here, and as the air moves over a water source it often produces a low-hanging mist. Conditions such as this offer opportunity to create landscape views that contrast sharp to soft (branches and foliage against fog) and warm aside cool (harvest tones against steely liquid tones). When framing, consider building distinct levels within your depth of field. Here, I love how the sharp patch of trees frames the edge and that you observe the rock jutting out from the water. There is a pleasing contrast between the softness of the mist areas and the strong colors of foliage and nature. For ultra-wide views with a full frame camera, the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED and the AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR work well. For the DX-format, I suggest the AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED.

How do you frame an autumn image?

Nothing says, “It’s fall” better than harvest. Think pumpkins, gourds and wonderful apple pies observed at roadside stands. I’ll hop out of the car to photograph the display, and of course buy a pie. First to attract me is color; second is contrast and texture variety. When framing, pick a key element and be judicious about aperture setting. To really isolate the subject, shoot with a wide aperture that is anywhere from f/1.4 to f/4, depending on the lens. If you want the viewer to see more details, shoot at f/8 to f/16. Chances are you will be shooting handheld and close-in, so watch where shadows fall. Keep clutter out of the frame and consider any leading lines or curves that can outline.

Close-up and macro shots tend to put a lot of emphasis on a very small point in the frame, so focus and sharpness are important. Nikon cameras offer many options for point of focus determination. Some of the newer cameras really make it easy when using Live View, courtesy of the touch screen functionality.

© Lindsay SilvermanNothing says “It’s fall” better than harvest. First to attract me is color; second is contrast and texture variety.

© Lindsay Silverman
Make fall colors even more brilliant by setting the in-camera Picture Control to Vivid. A new favorite Auto White Balance setting of mine is “Keep warm lighting colors” which is perfect for taking pictures in the fall.

Rich and warm tones are everywhere in autumn. How do you make color pop in an image?

Make fall colors even more brilliant by setting the in-camera Picture Control to Vivid. Pay heed to the White Balance setting too. The Auto White balance on many Nikon models has evolved. In addition to the “Auto” setting, newer cameras permit you to select “Keep White,” which reduces warm colors. A new favorite of mine is “Keep warm lighting colors.” This setting makes a lot of sense for fall photography! You also have the option to set the white balance to Kelvin and apply a specific color temperature. I capture images as RAW (NEF) files. Working in RAW permits me to run files through Nikon’s Capture NX-D software, then play with the setting to see what I like best. Shooting in RAW and using Capture NX-D is a great way to learn more about photography and your camera. The software is a free download and offers many tools to help fine tune your images.

© Lindsay Silverman
Don’t overlook the obvious—when you see something that screams “fall”, get your camera out and start taking pictures.

No matter where you live or travel within the United States, the harvest season is a great time of year for photography. The light hangs lower in the sky and foliage turns dramatic. Not everyone resides in the Northeast, but I hope these few tips will help you create your best-ever seasonal photos. When setting out on your journeys, be sure to pack a camera.

FeaturingLINDSAY SILVERMAN

Lindsay is a former Sr. Product Manager, Pro DSLR for Nikon. Early in his career Lindsay served as general manager of Nikon House in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, where he hosted some of the world’s finest photographers as well as photo enthusiasts and photo writers, editors and educators from around the world. He has held technical, marketing and product management positions for the company, and for 19 years was a contributing writer, photographer and editor of Nikon World magazine.

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7 practical tips for photographing the city

By Kav Dadfar
Cities are excellent places for any photographer. Whether you like to shoot street scenes, landscapes, portraits or architecture - the urban environment offers a wealth of opportunities
By following some simple steps when planning your shoots and when you're out in the field, you'll be able to get the most out of any city that you're photographing.
New York City

Plan a shot list


The key to any successful photoshoot is research and planning. This is even more important when photographing a city.

There are many photo opportunities to be found – and to ensure that you maximise your time, you need to have a shoot plan, or otherwise known as a shot list.

A shot list is simply a list of what you want to try to cover on any given shoot. This might be a simple bullet point list places. or something more detailed like the exact location and time of the day you want to be there.

I print out maps and mark potential spots. I also include the time it will take me to get to places.

The basis of a good shot list is research and planning. I can honestly say that I spend more time researching and planning a city shoot than actually taking images.

Here’s how I go about researching my city shoots:

Define the purpose of the shoot – cities are big places and trying to photograph everything might be impractical. So, try to define precisely what you want to achieve.

Begin your research – once you have an idea of what you are going to be shooting, take time to research it. Begin by searching on the internet and make a note of any exciting locations. Look through social media for example photos of the places you are hoping to shoot. Browse Google Maps for points of interest.

Write a shot list – once you’ve gathered information, you can start to plan your shoot. The level of detail you want to go into will come down to you. I try to plan shoots on a spreadsheet almost to the hour – so that I know where I need to be. I factor in travel times between locations and even make contingency plans in case of bad weather. All of this helps me maximise my time and efficiency when on location.

I use a simple spreadsheet like this to plan out my city shoots.

2 Take your time

One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make when planning their shoots is trying to cram in too much… Trying to photograph everything will probably mean not photographing anything well.

Try to give yourself more time than you think you will need. Not only will this allow you to find unique angles and views, but it will also mean you can go back if the conditions aren’t right first time round.

Motion blur from traffic passing through the arches of Tower Bridge, over the River Thames, London. Image by Tom Wilkinson.

3 Always be ready

The great thing about photographing cities is that for all your planning, there will also always be spontaneous photo opportunities – so you need to be ready for them.

When on location, make sure your camera is out of your bag, it’s turned on with the lens cap off. The last thing you want when a great photo opportunity is in front of you, is to be scrambling around trying to find your camera.

Man crossing the street during the rain. Toronto, ON, Canada. Image by Sven Hartmann.

A good habit to get into is to continuously change your exposure settings every time you move to a different location.

For example, suppose you’re walking in a narrow, dark alleyway. In that case, you will likely need to raise your ISO so that your’e allowing more light to reach the camera. But when you’re in a main street and in bright sunshine, change your settings again by reducing your ISO.

This constant tweaking will ensure that your settings are approximate to what you want them to be when you need to take a photo.

Walking through subway with an umbrella. Image by Mark Harrop.

Get up early

If you want to shoot without the crowds, get up early in the morning.

Not only can you take advantage of the early morning golden hour light, but you’ll often find you have the place to yourself.

Crowds at Alhambra viewpoint, Granada in the afternoon.
The same spot just after sunrise. Images by Kav Dadfar.

Safety:

If you’re venturing out when there’s going to be less people around, be aware of your surroundings. If you’re not familiar with the area you’re photographing, try to go with someone else, or even ask a taxi to wait for you while you take photos.

Dawn at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi. Image by Kav Dadfar

5 Look for rivers and bridges


One of the most striking photos of any city is often its skyline.

The best places for cityscapes are often riversides or bridges as you’ll get a natural clearance to see the city.

It also means that you’ll have a spot where you can easily photograph the skyline at sunrise and sunset (using a tripod) to get those dramatic skies and soft light.

Picture taken at sunrise from the Millennium Bridge, London looking towards The Shard, with Tower Bridge is in the distance. Image from Colin Lines.

Google Street View is a great tool for finding good locations for these cityscape shots. For most of the famous cities around the world, you can pretty much find the exact spot that you need to be at using Street View.

But another good place to capture cityscapes is often from rooftop bars. Every city will have some restaurants, bars or even viewing platforms that offer great views.

The downside of these is that often they are not open at the ideal times for photography or there are entrance fees. Some also won’t allow tripods which makes it difficult to capture photos in low light conditions.

Tip:Look for hotel rooms that have a good view of the city. You can even ask when booking a room or checking-in if they can give you a city view room. I have lost count of the number of times that I have managed to take amazing cityscape shots from my hotel room.

Photographing the Bangkok skyline from a hotel balcony. Image by Kav Dadfar.

6 Head to markets

Markets are one of the best places to photograph in cities. They are a hub of activity, and if it’s a city you’re visiting – you will often be able to get a glimpse of everyday life.

From portraits of the market vendors to the moments of interaction, or the colourful variety of food and products on sale, they offer a range of opportunities for interesting and engaging shots. I always ensure I add markets to my shot list in any city.

The Rialto market in Venice. Image by Kav Dadfar.

7 Look for the details

Think of any city in the world and the first image that comes to mind is often the landmarks, but some of the most interesting shots can be found in overlooked details.

It could be architectural patterns, graffiti or even an interesting doorway. These details will help give your portfolio variety and also offer a different view of a well-photographed place.

Image by Kav Dadfar
Doorways in Pisa, Italy. Image by Francesco Del Santo.
Rooftops of Kavala, Greece. Image from Anna Sowinska.

Whether it’s a city you’re visiting, or the city that you live in – with these tips, some careful planning and some imagination – you’ll be getting those incredible cityscape shots in no time!


Kav Dadfar

Kav is a full-time photographer and author of 400+ articles. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Magazine Photography of the Year competition and leads small group photo tours around the world.

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TOP 15 SITES TO SELL YOUR PHOTOS ONLINE

SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 curated article by: Elle-Rose,

I take a lot of travel photos (it comes naturally, being a travel blogger!) and I’m always thinking of ways that those photos can make me money. I love the photos I’ve taken, so surely other people would too?

Here I’ve put together a big list of websites where you can sell your travel photos online, some are big companies you’ll have heard of – others are smaller companies – that might make a better choice if you’re taking this on as a side project for extra ‘pocket-money’. Either way – these are all great places to sell your photos online – so get reading!

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iStock Photo

Sell your images through iStock Photo and you’ll earn a royalty rate of 15% for each download. There is also an option to become an exclusive contributor and earn up to 45% instead, which is pretty impressive. These website has a good community feel to it – there are lots of forums and group discussion, which really helps when you’re trying to figure out which of your photos will sell online better than others.

Art Storefronts

Learn how to sell photos online as fine art, and get your own eCommerce website with must-have features to increase your art sales.  This is a robust website platform for professional photographers focused on selling their images as art prints.  They provide first-class educational resources, and a step-by-step Success Plan to ensure that you follow best-practices.  You can print and fulfill your own orders, choose your own lab, or use one of their labs for automated print fulfillment (“print on demand”).  There is also a members-only forum where all customers share ideas, sales strategies, and receive guidance from industry experts.

TourPhotos.com 

If you work in travel, and want to make extra money from your photos – TourPhotos is a professional photography platform dedicated to tourism and activity companies. It will help you manage and deliver your tour photos (the photographs from your activities, excursions and attractions) to your customers. You will be able to choose whether to sell or make your photos available for free (SELL plan or GIVE plan). TourPhotos charges between 19% and 25% commission on your sales with zero fixed fees (if you decide to sell photos) or a 19$/49$ (pro/business) monthly fee if you decide to share your photos for free.
With its endless features and tools, TourPhotos guarantees you, your photographers and your final customers an extremely user-friendly, customisable and professional experience.

SmugMug

This website is a lot like an online gallery or portfolio – with the added benefit of being able to sell your photos online via the tool too. It’s great as it has two purposes. The first (of course) to sell your photos, the second – to make them look awesome. And you’re more likely to sell more photos online, the more professional and awesome you’ve got them displayed.  You can set your own pricing and you get to keep 85% of the markup – but that’s not all, as well as selling digital downloads, you have the option of selling prints and greetings cards too, which is good for those of us who want more selling options.

Unlimited Photo Storage

Alamy

On Alamy photographers earn a whopping 60% royalty fee on any images they sell, so it’s easy to see why this website is such a popular choice when it comes to selling photos online. It’s one of the world’s largest stock photo libraries – so you’l have a fair bit of competition,  but maybe that’s a good thing and will help you step up your game!

Stockxpert

This is one of the smaller websites on the list, but still offers a great reach for beginners – so would make a fantastic option for anyone wanting to dip their toe into the world of selling photos online. The royalty isn’t too bad either – you’ll get 50% of the price of each photos you sell.

Dreamstime

Dreamstime is a microstock agency, and one of the best there is. Aside from being easy to use, it is well thought of and reputable too – which is just as important when making the decision of where to sell your photos online. Before you start selling, you’ll need to get your images approved by their editors (which can be a long process) but once you’ve been approved and you’ve got the hang of it, a rate of 25-50% royalty is yours for the taking.

Travel Accessories

PhotoShelter

This is perhaps one of the more well known options on this list, and if you like the idea of selling your work (but at the same time want to retain complete control and pocket more of the profit – who doesn’t want those things?) you could consider setting up a professional photography website with built-in ecommerce from PhotoShelter. The PhotoShelter system is modern, and will make your images look beautiful.

Crestock

To start selling with Crestock, simply sign up to their website, follow through the easy registration process… and you’re good to go! They’ll give you 30% royalty, so once the images have been approved by staff you may be able to start selling images within the week!

Fotolia

I like Fotolia for its convenience, fair royalties and expansive market reach. Sign up and present your work to more than four million image buyers around the world, around the clock and you’ll notice your images start selling quickly and seamlessly. Each time one of your photos sell, you earn a royalty of between 20% and 63% of your sale, which is immediately added to your Fotolia account – which takes away any money hassles.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a highly ranking website which means it likely gets a lot of online traffic – perfect for making sure you sell your photos! Shutterstock also have an approval process in place – and you’ll have to submit ten initial images for approval before you can proceed with any others. But no fear! There are many online forums on their website where you can pick up hints and tips for getting this right first time. With Shutterstock you’ll earn between $0.25 and $28 each time an image of yours sells, depending on the licence.

123RF

With this site, their royalty structure is based on your contributor level, which is quite unique. It basically means, the more images you upload, the more you can earn – good news for anyone who plans to commit to this full-time. The amount you receive could rise from 30% up to 60% if you are particularly active on the site – so get started quickly and build up your reputation.

Can Stock Photo

Can Stock Photo offers photographers a 50% royalty fee which is great if you’re just starting out. Once you’re a member it’s easy to submit images and you can get going almost immediately.

Zenfolio

Zenfolio allows you to create a portfolio site of your work, a little like Smug Mug mentioned above. You can upload photos, create galleries, password protect galleries, and make your photos available for purchase – a great option for wedding and event photographers where you might make several sales off the back of one event. There is a 14-day free trial available if you want to give it a spin first.

Red Bubble

This is a more quirky one, but I wanted to include it! If your images are more VSCO and Instagram friendly – than studio lighting and fake smiles, you may find the audience on Red Bubble more interested in what you have to sell. They don’t just sell images, it’s all about the products too – so you could sell canvases with your images on, for example.

Snap Market

This is a bargain stock photo website, so the amount you’ll make will be less per image – but if people buy in bulk, it may end up equalising anyway. With a less strict submission process that other big names on this list, it may be a good option for anyone wanting to test the water.

10 expert tips for improving your street photography

ByKav Dadfar

Street photography is one of the most popular genres for image-makers. But getting those striking photos isn’t always easy. These top tips will help you get the best results

Street photography is a genre that many will experiment with at some point in their photography journey, even if it’s not their principal subject of interest. It’s easily accessible for photographers of all levels, and provides ample opportunity to practice a wide range of photography skills and techniques. Great street photography has the power to evoke a range of emotions with the viewer, turn the environment around us into something extraordinary, and provide an unseen and intimate glimpse into the everyday life of others.

Saying this, capturing great photos within this genre takes time, patience, and above all, practice. So, to help you elevate your street photography–here are our top tips:

Travel light

One of the biggest advantages of street photography versus other photographic genres is that you do not need a lot of equipment for it. This is handy as you will be spending a considerable amount of time walking around looking for interesting scenes to capture. And you will generally be shooting handheld so those cumbersome tripods can stay at home, as can the bulk of your camera gear. 

Just pack your camera, mirrorless, smartphones and compact cameras are great for street photography as they are lighter and smaller than DSLRs (read more about different types of cameras here). Also consider a zoom lens – something like a 24-70mm or 24mm-105mm lens will be more than sufficient.

The only other accessory, besides a spare battery and memory cards, that might be useful would be a small LED light. This will help in low light scenarios by allowing you to illuminate your subject a little – instead of having to raise your ISO too high, which may impact the overall quality of your image. Read more about ISO here.

When it comes to street photography it is best to travel light. Compact cameras, mirrorless cameras and smartphones are ideal, as they are easy to carry around, more discreet, and much less cumbersome compared to larger cameras. Image by Grgrgrz

Get close and get over your inhibitions

Often street photography will involve people being in your composition, and to capture an intimate moment, it might mean taking a photo without the subject noticing. At other times your subject needs to be looking at the camera to help build that engagement in the photo. Either way, you will need to be close to your subject to get the best shot.

One of the most common issues encountered when practising street photography is shyness in approaching strangers to photograph, which might result in trying to take a photo from a distance with a telephoto lens, which won’t yield good results. If this sounds like you, the shyness will be a big hurdle that you need to overcome if you want to get better at street photography.

So how do you overcome your shyness? A task that I often set for my workshop attendees who suffer from this is to capture at least 3 head and shoulder portraits of strangers every day. This means they have to ask people which, when done enough, helps overcome that shyness. And in turn, you’ll find your street photography will become much more engaging.

You may need to get out of your comfort zone to get close to your subjects. But once you do, you’ll get much more intimate shots. Like this beautiful image of a mother and baby from Manila, Philippines captured by Edwin Tuyay

Learn to shoot from the hip

This is a useful technique for every street photographer to master – but especially for those who struggle with shyness. It involves just pointing the camera and shooting from lower down without looking at the LCD or through the viewfinder. The benefits of this technique are that your shots can feel more spontaneous and of course, people will be far less aware that they are being photographed.

But as you might imagine, without composing your shot properly through the viewfinder or LCD screen, the results will be very hit and miss. Sometimes you will capture a great photo, but you must accept that most of the time your shots will not work. Like anything, the more you practice the better you will become at using this technique.

Move your camera to your hip to get more discreet shots. With this technique you can get some great results–but it takes some practice. Without the assistance of the viewfinder or LCD to guide you, you’ll be relying on an element of luck to get the perfect shot. Image from Sven Hartmann

Make sure you’re ready

Good street photography will involve capturing fleeting or spontaneous moments. So, you need to be ready to shoot at any moment. That means your camera needs to be out of your bag, turned on with the lens cap off. You should also get into the habit of tweaking your exposure settings regularly based on the environment around you.

There are no universal settings for street photography as every scenario is different. But as a rule, I would recommend shooting in burst mode (when you hold down the shutter button on your camera to take multiple shots in rapid succession) as it’s extremely difficult to nail the perfect moment with one shot. Using burst mode, you can select the best frame later when you are editing your shots.

The other setting that you will find useful in most street photography scenarios is “continuous focus”. When enabled, if the shutter button is held down half-way the camera will continue to focus on the subject. This is vital when photographing a moving subject – as the point of focus will change every millisecond to stay on the subject.

With street photography it’s important to be ready to capture a moment in an instant. So make sure you have your camera out of your bag, turned on, and with the lens cap off. That way you’ll be ready when that serendipitous moment comes about–like with this stunning shot by Liviu Ratiu

Wait for the right moment

I refer to this technique as ‘setting a photography trap’. It simply requires you to find an interesting setting or location and wait for the perfect moment to take a photo. You could be waiting just a few minutes, sometimes a bit longer, and in extreme cases – hours!

See the visual examples below, the key is to try to pre-visualise the shot in your head, get your settings correct and wait for the perfect moment.


This shot wouldn’t have the same impact without the person in it – waiting for that moment with the shopkeeper is what has made this image by Niney Azman so striking
Places with street art can provide a great opportunity for photography. Photo by Michael Townsend
Choose a location and be patient–waiting will bring about the best moment for the shot. Image by Klaus Balszno

Look beyond eye-level shots

Every photographer is guilty of taking too many shots at eye level. You will be amazed how different your photos will look by simply raising your camera above your head or lowering it to the ground. Even just kneeling will give your shot a completely different perspective.

A lot of cameras these days come with a tiltable LCD screen that makes it incredibly easy and a lot more convenient to shoot at different angles. A good habit to get into is to take a variety of shots low to the ground, eye-level and above your head when you’re out with your camera. This will give you a nice range of images from different perspectives.