Tag Archives | travel photography

The Life of a Pro Photographer: Not Always Fun, But Mostly Fun

Climbing in the Bugaboo Range, British Columbia, Canada. Not a bad day at the office. Photo ©Mike Randolph

Yesterday I published a post on 5 reasons I regret becoming a pro photographer on the blog Digital Photography School. To balance out the picture, here’s the other side of the story.

So I told a friend I was writing a blog post about the five reasons I regret becoming a professional travel photographer.

“It’s a lot harder than people realize,” I told her.

I provided her with some illustrative examples. “Having dinner alone in a trattoria in Venice, when everyone else is on vacation with their spouse or their lover and having a great time…and you’re sitting there alone…okay, the Linguine Vongole is great, sure, but it’s not all that fun being on your own.”

I felt my honesty would elicit her sympathy. I could see that she understood that. With her usual caring, deep compassion, she said, “Awww, poor wittle baby.”

She can be quite eloquent at times, I have to admit.

Sheepishly, I acknowledged that Continue Reading →

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My Single Most Favourite Piece of Gear for Travel Photography

I get asked this question all the time: “What is your favourite piece of gear?”

It’s a tough question, because I like all of the gear I use because if I didn’t really like it, then why would I use it?

But sometimes, there is something that stands out. Maybe it stands out because it’s an elegant solution to a problem, or an inexpensive solution to a problem…or both.

In this case, it’s both. Watch the video to find out more!

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5 Things You Need To Do Before Your Next Photography Vacation

The days are counting down and you can hardly wait. It’s vacation time, finally. Precious days, away from work, in some awesome place you’ve been dreaming about for a long time. You have the photo gear you think you need, so what else is there to do until you arrive in your chosen paradise?

Well, quite a bit, actually. If you want to make the most of your trip, from a photographic perspective, there are five things you should do before the trip. Everyone thinks the photography part happens when you get there, but the truth is, it begins long before you arrive. Preparation is key to taking the best photos you can possibly take. So get the jump on your next photo vacation. Here are five simple steps to get started.

1. Practice

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Practice is the only way to get better…at just about everything.

In the weeks leading up to your trip, you should get outside and practice taking pictures. Seems kind of obvious, I know, but nobody does it. No matter how much natural talent you have, if you want to get really good at something, you have to practice. Tennis star Rafael Nadal doesn’t just show up every year in Paris and expect to win the French Open. Well, actually, maybe he does, but that’s because beforehand, even though he’s spent countless hours on clay courts over the years, he spends the weeks leading up to the tournament practicing on clay. A lot. It’s like anything. You wouldn’t give a speech in front of hundreds of people without a lot of practicing, would you? Continue Reading →

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Photokina: If You Build it, They (the Photo Nerds) Will Come

Here’s a quick video overview of the Photokina 2014 show in Cologne, Germany. It’s the biggest photography and imaging trade fair in the world and happens only once every two years. I just got back from spending five days at the show and there’s a lot of stuff to go through, but I’ll do my best to get it out as soon as I can. Look for another post later this week about an epic battle between one of the best lenses in the world and, well, one of the not-so-best lenses. Which one will prevail? Maybe you’ll be surprised, maybe you won’t. I’m not saying. You’ll be the judge, so stay tuned!

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The Secret to Finding What You Didn’t Know You Were Looking For

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I came across this accordion player while roaming my own neighborhood in Madrid. The man told me that his grandfather bought the accordion when he was a young man in Romania. “It’s 80-years old,” he told me proudly. Photo ©Mike Randolph

Earlier this year a Canadian magazine asked me to write an essay on mobile phones and travel. While working on the piece, I couldn’t help thinking that I was also writing about street photography. The similarities are clear. Street photography involves walking around and waiting (and hoping) to get lucky. That’s what makes it one of the hardest and most frustrating kinds of photography, but when it all comes together, it’s also among the most rewarding. I’m republishing it here in the hopes you find it interesting. -Mike

During a recent session of idle, aimless surfing on the internet, I was interested to discover that apparently I am what the French call a flâneur, which, it turns out coincidentally, is a person who enjoys exploring places in an idle, seemingly aimless way. There’s not much to it. Put simply, you go to some place and you stroll around. Clasping your hands behind your back is optional. Continue Reading →

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