Tag Archives | travel

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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Mezzojournal: 7 Days in Palermo, Sicily, Where Life Happens on the Street

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Noting my empty glass, the waiter didn’t even bother asking, he just brought another small carafe of the house red. The first one had disappeared with antipasti and a plate of pasta ca ancióva. The second would be helpful in dispatching the coming purpetti ri sardi, balls of minced sardines, tomatoes and capers. I didn’t ask for dessert either, but the waiter silently placed a bottle of limoncello in front of me, with a mini cannoli, a cookie, and a wedge of watermelon. On the house.

I was in Altri Tempi, a classic trattoria on Via Sammartino in Palermo. After paying the check (unbelievably, only 15 Euros), I suppressed the urge to hug my waiter and headed out into the strong Sicilian sun. I walked through Continue Reading →

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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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How Much Gear Should You Take on Your Next Trip?

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The alter of St. Peter’s in Vatican City sits just below the Basilica’s spectacular dome. Photo ©Mike Randolph

A good friend of mine is a commercial photographer. Usually, he shoots in his studio, but every now and then he shoots on location. I asked him how he decides what gear to take on the road and he answered without missing a beat, “Easy. I take everything.”

When you’ve got a few assistants with dollies and a rented cube van, well yeah, that makes a lot of sense. On a commercial location shoot, with clients and art directors and talent and make-up crew all depending on you, it would be just a wee bit embarrassing if the whole production came to a halt because you hadn’t realized you’d need that third roll of gaffers tape or whatever. The few times I’ve done that kind of shoot, I followed my friend’s advice and took every last thing I owned. Every lens, every camera, every tripod. An extra set of Allen keys. Everything.

But that doesn’t work with travel photography. Continue Reading →

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