I Want to Photograph Around The World – 7 Travel Photogs Tell How

photograph around the world

What is it like to photograph around the world? Think you could handle non-stop adventure? Time to pencil in world traveller as your occupation?

A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles. – Edward Abbey

photograph around the worldI want to photograph around the world too – that’s why I dived straight in and went to India

I’ve always wanted to get out there and live life, see and photograph the world. Over time I’ve become a tad obsessive about it.

The good news is, if you’re going to traipse off around the world then it’s handy to know what to do with all those photos you take. You can have a LOT of fun with your travel images. And they could always end up, I guess, in some unusual places…

Hmmm. Boutique hotels, resorts, galleries, stock photo sites, photo products, blogs, photo apps, magazines (& more) come to mind after an early morning cafe latte in Luang Prabang, Laos.

So I thought – let’s just ask some of the digital nomads and photo bloggers who pursue unconventional lifestyles (and a lot of time travelling) and see what these adventurers really think.

You could say these folks have chosen to live a different life to the norm (buying a home, working 9-5 to advance a career or bringing up children is sort of normal, right?) Because their passion for adventure travel really stands out.

So lets see how they balance the whole travel photography around-the-world thing.

Here’s what they said…

#1 Dave Dean

“I realised a few years ago that the most important thing in my life wasn’t money, possessions or status. It was freedom… to do what I want, where I want and with who I want, even if that meant a drop in income.”

dave dean 2014

I’m Dave Dean. For the last three years I’ve been living and working from the road – but the travel addiction started long before that.

Several times I’ve tried to settle down, buying houses, cars, pets and all of the trappings of a more traditional life.

Try as I might, though, that never quite worked for me, and after a year or two I’d find myself back travelling once again.

I am inspired by life on the road like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. After over a decade of trying to deny it, I finally realised that it was just where I had to be.

When did you start doing your travel photography and why?
I first travelled internationally in 1998, and have been doing it in some form ever since. Three years ago I decided to make it a permanent part of my life, booked a ticket to Thailand and haven’t looked back.

I’d just decided that even though I had a well-paying job and plenty of ‘toys’, a so-called normal life wasn’t for me – I needed much more freedom and excitement than I was ever going to get working in an office and having a few weeks of vacation each year.

What basic kit / equipment do you use / recommend?
I have far too much tech equipment, mainly because I work from the road and write about technology! The basic gear I use consists of an Asus UX303LN laptop, Google Nexus 5 smartphone and Olympus E-PL3 micro four-thirds camera with a couple of kit lenses (standard and telephoto).

How do you fund / pay for your travel & photography?
A variety of ways – freelance writing on travel and technology, advertising and affiliate sales on my sites. Wrote and self-published a tech guide for digital nomads.

What tools / marketplace do you use for your travel / images?
My own sites (What’s Dave Doing? / Too Many Adapters), plus all the major self-publishing outlets (Amazon, iBooks, B&N, etc).

whats dave doing? A life of passionWhats Dave doing? (And where is he?)

How do you start selling the pics or fund the travel?
As above. I make enough from all sources to fund my travels, as long as I don’t spend too much of the year in expensive parts of the world.

How do you go about planning your adventures and travel?
My girlfriend and I pick a region of the world that we’d like to base ourselves for a few months, and loosely come up with a list of countries/places we’d like to go. Plans change all the time, so we don’t tend to book anything until the last minute if possible.

What research we do is usually from reading other travel blogs and talking to fellow travellers, although we’ll use sites like TravelFish.org in SE Asia for the detailed info about guesthouses etc. But, to be honest, most of the time we just wing it.

I am inspired by life on the road like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.

How do you live your life? (what are you trying to achieve?)
I realised a few years ago that the most important thing in my life wasn’t money, possessions or status. It was freedom – in particular, freedom to largely do what I want, where I want and with who I want, even if that meant a dramatic drop in income.

Three years into this lifestyle, I’m achieving that goal – it’s hard work at times, especially when a revenue stream dries up or I’m away from friends and family at important times in life – but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

How do you edit your photography on the move?
I’m not a professional photographer – my images are used to accompany my writing rather than stand alone – so I don’t have a strict routine about it. I’ll edit as required for whatever I’m working on.

I am strict about backups though, so I copy photos from SD cards pretty much every day and have an automated backup system that sends files to external & cloud storage.

guanajuato mexico - photograph around the worldGuanajuato, Mexico – Dave Dean

What’s your travel plans for the next 2 / 5 years?
The next five years? Jeez, I rarely know what I’m doing for the next five minutes. ☺ At this point, the plan is to finish up in Asia and head to London for Christmas with my girlfriend’s family.

We’re intending to base ourselves in Southern and Central Europe for most of the year, and will likely then head to SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand when the weather gets cold again.

That’s about as much as I know right now, and everything is subject to change – usually on a whim!

shadow-ornament

 

#2 Eric Gauger

"Most travel subjects are still untouched, and the photographer who can find new travel subjects with a fresh eye will do well creatively."

Erik Gauger @ Notes From The Road

I am a self-employed father based in the Pacific Northwest. I sketch my stories on the road, with only one or two edits afterwords. I travel on tight budgets, often to what I call ordinary places.

I started my blog in December 1999 to humour and entertain my friends.

I grew up with a few unusual and useless hobbies - underwater photography, plant and animal identification, and an interest in history, archaeology and maps.

I believe that travel writing is the most wide open non-fiction template on Earth - and affords its readers the chance to dance through an amazing breadth of subjects. I don't choose my subjects; I just travel, and the subject matter finds me.

When did you start doing your travel / photography and why?
I came up for the idea of Notes from the Road in 1999.  At the time, I lived on the coast of Los Angeles, and I couldn't afford to go out with my friends on Friday nights. One day, I just got out of town. I had $36.00 in my wallet, and I drove out into the desert.

I met all kinds of great people, summited some desert mountains, had a beer with truckers in a weird bar. I realised that I spent about a third of what I would have spent going out for sushi, but I had just seen and experienced so much in a weekend. This is how I was meant to live my life!

To be a travel photographer is to inhabit a special place in the world.

What basic kit / equipment do you use / recommend?
I travel with four ‘groups of equipment.’ First and always most importantly, I travel with a large format Toyo field camera and two lenses. This use of a heavy film camera setup may seem antiquated, but I cannot stress how important it is, in the digital age, to have to edit yourself in the process of taking photographs.

I don’t necessarily recommend a field camera for others, but it works for me.

The second group of equipment is my digital Canon system. I use tilt-shift lenses, a telephoto lens and two macro lenses. I do not have any standard-length lenses, and I sort of edit the lenses I use with my digital system in order to use the large format in certain situations. 

My third group of equipment is my sketch journal. I usually carry a large-sized Moleskine journal, with black or sepia line markers, a waterproof watercolor palette, and two water pens. Sketching is important for photography: I use sketches to come up with compositions.

Lastly, I carry binoculars and a low-end birding scope with me. This sounds like a lot of equipment, but I’ve spent the last fifteen years working out a system to carry all of this, along with anything else I need to travel with just a daypack and a roller bag. 

I have always used Gitzo tripods, and I now use a very light travel Gitzo which folds up nicely into the side of my daypack, or in a carry-on.

How do you fund / pay for your travel & photography?
I plan well in advance, and I simply save for travel. I already have my next year’s travel plans roughly worked out, with a good sense of how much it’s going to cost me.

I have already saved up for, and even paid for tickets and travel expenses for several of my trips for next year. You need to be deliberate about affording travel expenses. 

There are a lot of folks out there who will say that this habit of planning ahead goes against the idea of improvising, of being able to just go somewhere and travel unencumbered!

Sure, and I am all for improvisation in travel and I consider myself to be a travel improviser. But those of us who build the habits of travel planning end up spending more time on the road.

southwest deserts erik gaugerTravel and photograph around the world and get these experiences (Southwest Deserts: Erik Gauger)

What tools / marketplace do you use for your travel / images?
I have no need to sell my travel photography or sketches. I do this for my own enjoyment. Most of my images are of swamps, marshes, insects and that sort of thing.

None of this is really marketable, but these are the images that I love to photograph, and the types of images that I believe can spark interest from others in the subjects I think we need to know more about.

If I were to start selling my photography, it would lose its value to me, and it would become work.

Professional photographers always have to think about the marketability of their work first. I get to think about composition, color and the challenge of a unique image first. When photography was invented, amateur photographers were the artists and professionals were the hacks.

When I talk to travel bloggers about what types of images we like to capture, they have their hands tied behind their backs. They have to photograph within the constraints of the genre for marketability reasons.

How do you go about planning your adventures and travel? (Online tools, etc)
For the last fifteen years, I have started planning my next year’s travels in the summer of the year before. For me, it’s important to do this planning in an analog way. I have a special Moleskine journal - it's this huge one that, when you open it up, has just an incredible amount of space per spread. 

I create a calendar of the next year with my markers and brushes, and then use sticky notes to mark off possible days to take off from work. These days, with a family, obligations to my son’s school, and that sort of thing, trip planning can be complicated.

As a young photographer, should dreamy pictures of resorts and beaches really be your destiny?

Everything is a force against travel; everything else in life wants you to not be away. But if you are deliberate about it, and you start early, you can make it all happen.

I plan my travel around seasonal events. The wildflower seasons, the green season in the tropics, that sort of time. So I have all these conflicting ideas and places to go, and I sort of map it all out. 

When its set in stone, I remove those sticky notes and use a pen to write down the dates and places. Once that happens, it would take an act of God to keep me from travelling. By doing all of this early, I can start to save up for the next year’s travels early.

How do you live your life? (i.e. what motivates you?)
I have synesthesia, which is this mental phenomena where people who are born with this have these correlations between different senses and concepts. So, when I see a color, for example, it has a corresponding number and letter. 

And when I see lots of colors, numbers and letters appear everywhere. And when I see a license plate, for example, of numbers and letters, I see a palette of color. I never knew that this was a thing; I just assumed everybody saw the world this way. 

But I realize that my desire to be a generalist; to find unity and meaning in the world, is a function of Synesthesia.

A lot of people find hobbies or a love of something in their life, but people like me are life generalists. We want to understand the whole thing. This is why I am drawn to travel photography, travel writing, travel sketching and birding, all of which I see as the most general hobbies in the world. 

Each of these four hobbies is essentially a blank canvas, upon which you need the world to paint.

walking guacamayos ridge - erik gaugerWalking Guacamayos Ridge -- Erik Gauger

Happiness, to me, is a function of outputting synesthetic energy, of taking those numbers, letters and colors that swirl around in my head every day and converting them into something that I think others will enjoy and learn from.

Travel photography is the one type of photography which houses all of Earth’s subjects. Travel writing is just a subjective form of travel writing, upon which any subject can be covered.

Travel sketching is a way to isolate a subject and consider it; to chew on it on longer than you can with photography. And birding is just the language of naturalists; to be a successful international birder, you must consider every habitat of the world. 

It’s not so much the birds, to me, but the generalist quality of it; birds are the only aspect of travel that exist throughout the world.

How do you edit your photography on the move?
I don’t. I shoot my 4x5s very sparingly, and need to wait until about a week after I return home to see the results. On the other hand, I shoot the digital Canon like a wild bandit, and I can easily shoot 800-1000 images a day. 

The idea, though, is that I am usually just trying for 4-5 good images per trip, and so editing down that heavy digital output is a big part of my life.

I use Lightroom mobile to erase images away from my Desktop. It makes it relaxing to be able to swipe away images while laying in bed.

Travel is being out and about, and covering ground, and the process of discovery on the surface of the Earth.

What’s your travel plans for the next 2 / 5 years?
I want to focus on more local travel in the next five years. I want to travel by car and foot through the Pacific Northwest. I’m in my forties now, and my son is at the age where he is ready for backcountry travel. I see more backpacking, kayaking and off-road travel in my own region.

I consider travel to be what happens when I walk out my door. Travel doesn’t mean going far. An old man in a wheelchair can get lost in his own neighborhood, and end up having more of a travel experience than a millionaire who jetsets off to Madagascar. 

Travel is being out and about, and covering ground, and the process of discovery on the surface of the Earth.

What tips do you have for new travel & adventure photographers?
Travel and adventure photographers should look at their friend’s iPhones and realize that everyone is a photographer these days. In the digital age, personal photography has become a way we communicate.

Instagram is universal, Facebook is universal, and the still image is one of the most important ways of communicating in our age. To be a travel photographer is to inhabit a special place in the world.

But in the digital age, travel bloggers who create travel imagery are a dime a dozen, and their images do not have much of a shelf life, even if there is money to be made.

As a young photographer, should dreamy pictures of resorts and beaches really be your destiny? In this age, we’re looking down the throat of massive overpopulation, climate change, loss of habitat and biodiversity. We're literally looking at the end of the things that makes photographing this planet interesting.

shopify and gopro hero4 - photographers toolsShopify & a GoPro Hero 4 - essential photographers tools?

The true calling of the travel and adventure photographer is to use the medium creatively to inspire and teach the rest of us about the many complex and interrelated subjects of our modern world.

New travel photographers should realise that most travel subjects are still untouched, and the photographer who can find new travel subjects with a fresh eye will do well creatively.

In the digital age, there are amazing professional opportunities for travel photographers.

But, if you want to be a travel photographer and retain your creative vision, you might think of it more this way: I won’t necessarily make money directly off my passion, but by continuing to dip into my own creative well without letting others exploit it, I will create opportunities for myself in unexpected ways.

Travel and adventure photography rarely pay out directly. But in the digital age, a travel photographer can create a unique voice and audience. When you have those things, you can invent your career through your passion.

shadow-ornament

#3 Kris Koeller

"Start at home. Photograph your hometown as if you were a visitor and try to capture the feel of it. Take lots of photos... then pull out the ones that evoke the strongest feeling."

kris koeller 2014

My name is Kris Koeller. I live in New York and lead the Operations Team at Quirky, but I'm also an amateur photographer, amateur travel writer and amateur web developer.

I've traveled extensively the past 15 years and have documented most of my travels on my blog. I've had a number of photos published by the AP, travel guides, National Geo and other publications.

In 2013, I was listed on GoAbroad.com's Top Travel Photographers as well as featured as a "Very Handsome Man" on Travel UK's Top 5 Photo Travel Blogs. Last summer Gap China used one my photos from Hong Kong on a t-shirt sold across China.

When did you start doing your travel photography and why? What basic equipment do you use?
I bought a Minolta for my study abroad program in Spain in 1989 and have been photographing travel ever since.  I bought my first Nikon digital SLR, the D70, in 2005 and have been a Nikon shooter since.  I currently have a Nikon D800 and f2.8 24/70 as my go-to lens. I have a prime and a zoom, but the 24-70 is my primary glass.

I use my iPhone more and more as the cameras have improved greatly. I don’t shoot much video, but I have a GoPro and some occasional iPhone video.

How do you fund / pay for your travel & photography?
My girlfriend and I work full time as busy professionals (I work in product development, she works in fashion). We’re fortunate to travel a great deal for work, and our companies have generous vacation policies. We set aside a budget for 2-3 big international trips per year, plus some domestic travel.

What tools / marketplace do you use for your travel / images?
I process my photos using Aperture on the Mac. I’m sad to see that going away, but curious what Apple will replace it with. I’ve dabbled in Adobe Lightroom, but not fully up to speed just  yet. Once processed, my photos are hosted on Flickr and embedded on my blog.

I wrote the CMS and blog software myself as a hobby, but have been thinking about switching to a hosted, managed solution like Squarespace.

kris koeller - roppingi tokyo japanRoppingi, Tokyo, Japan -- Kris Koeller

How do you start selling the pics or fund the travel?
I haven’t sold images to-date. I’m not opposed to it, just haven’t really gotten into it. Per my earlier comment, we save and fund travel with a vacation budget.

How do you go about planning your adventures and travel?
We do extensive research before and after picking a destination. We use TripAdvisor a good deal when looking at hotels, especially the candid traveler photos. We also rely heavily on the NY Times travel, NY Magazine, Frommers and magazines like AFAR and Conde Naste.

We’re very choosy about hotels and food, and probably spend the most time researching the best luxury and/or boutique hotels, and the absolute best dining. Food is almost always the primary focus of our trip, and we often choose a destination based on dining options.

We do extensive research before and after picking a destination.

How do you live your life? (& how do you know when you’ve found it?)
I have no idea. We’re very adventurous and like to see and try new things. We’re focused on our careers and our new home in New York City, but we do keep our eyes open for exciting travel opportunities.

How do you edit your photography on the move?
I download my photos daily but also keep them on my SD card. I use Crashplan to back up my laptop while traveling and have a portable SSD drive; this way I have the photos in 4 locations. I’m not paranoid, but don’t like to take many chances.

I go through the photos daily and sort and star the ones I like, and delete the obviously bad ones. I used to edit and post on the road, but our trips aren’t that long and I find it easier to do when I get back.

At home I have a iMac with 5K retina display that has quickly become an essential tool for photo editing. I’d rather wait until I’m on that machine to finalize my edits.

What’s your travel plans for the next 2 / 5 years?
We just bought a house so we’re scaling our plans back a bit, but still hope to do 1-2 big trips per year. We’d like to see Iceland, Argentina and the South Pole. Aside from that, no concrete plans just yet.

We’ve been to St. Barth three times in the past year and plan on making that a regular thing. We’d like to explore some of the other Caribbean islands, but it can be pretty expensive during the high season.

kris koeller grand canal venice italyGrand canal, Venice, Italy -- Kris Koeller

What tips do you have for new adventure photographers who want to start?
Start at home. Photograph your hometown as if you were a visitor and try to capture the feel of it. Take lots of photos (like hundreds, even thousands) then pull out the ones that evoke the strongest feeling. Its a great way to start. Any destination can be captured this way; it does’t have to be a marquee destination or world capital.

shadow-ornament

"There is no substitute for practice and if you want to take great travel photos, you have to get out and put yourself in front of beautiful things."

gary arndt from everything-everywhere.com

When I went on my first around the world trip I created a small website for the people in my office to follow my trip. The word blog wasn’t around at the time, but I suppose it was a travel blog of sorts.

I posted photos and updates, usually over dial-up connections that were available in 1999.

About 9 months into my trip I was in Hong Kong and I began thinking seriously about what I was doing online. Fast forward several years and my blog has done alright.

It was named by Time Magazine as one of the top 25 Blogs in the world in 2010. I have about 100,000 people visit the site every month and over 22,000 RSS and email newsletter subscribers.

When did you start doing your travel photography and why?
I started doing photography when I began traveling back in 2007. I started taking photos to document my travels and to share it with my friends and family. It has obviously grown well beyond that.

What basic kit / equipment do you use / recommend?
I currently use a Nikon D300s with an 18-200 VR lens, a 12-24mm lens and a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I also have an iPhone 6 I use for photos as well. I don't recommend any particular equipment. It depends on someone's budget and what they want to do. Most camera's today are pretty good, especially compared with the past.

How do you fund / pay for your travel & photography?
I began by just traveling off my savings. Now days I make money from my website and having a large online audience. I have several sponsors like G Adventures who help me travel.

What tools / marketplace do you use for your travel / images?
I host all my images on Smugmug but I don't really sell them. They are available for sale, but it isn't really the core of my business.

locals at the sani pass lesotho gary arndtLocals at the Sani Pass Lesotho -- Gary Arndt

How do you start selling the pics or fund the travel?
I make money from sponsors who I promote to my online audience. I don't actually sell photos or sell my photography services. I might do that at some point, but right now I'm not.

How do you go about planning your adventures and travel?
I don't actually do a lot of planning. I do most of my planning at the last minute. I visit so many places in a given year, that I don't have time to plan that much. I'm also a very experienced traveler at this point, so I'm comfortable showing up somewhere without a hotel or any plans.

I make money from sponsors who I promote to my online audience.

How do you live your life? (what are you trying to achieve?)
I don't know. That's a pretty deep question. I enjoy visiting new places and now traveling and photography has become my business. I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing and where I'm at right now.

How do you edit your photography on the move?
I edit everything on my 15" MacBook Pro. I'm usually traveling so much that I let my editing to do list pile up. Right now I have over 10,000 photos on my laptop that need to be processed, some over a year old!

What’s your travel plans for the next 2 / 5 years?
I honestly have no idea. I never plan anything that far out. I am going to Haiti and the Dominican Republic in February and March, but other than that I don't really know what my plans are for the rest of 2015.

infinity pool at skypark and skyline singapore gary arndtInfinity pool at skypark and skyline Singapore -- Gary Arndt

What tips do you have for new travel photographers who want to start?
Travel a lot and take a lot of photos. There is no substitute for practice and if you want to take great travel photos, you have to get out and put yourself in front of beautiful things.

shadow-ornament

#5 Sabrina Iovino

"Connect with influential bloggers and photographers, learn from them, share great stuff."

sabrina Iovino from justonewayticket.com

Hi, I'm Sabrina Iovino, the writer behind JustOneWayTicket.com, a travel & lifestyle blog that started in December 2012 and gained a worldwide audience within a few months.

My blog is all about traveling as a lifestyle: extraordinary places and adventurous activities on a normal person's budget.

I love to inspire people with my photos, with quotes and I love to encourage them to travel more and realise that this world has so many beautiful places to offer.

I'm always interested to explore new places and publish exciting stories from the road, and share stunning images from the destinations itself.

When did you start doing your travel and why?
I've been traveling almost nonstop since 2008. Photography has been always a big passion of mine.

What basic kit / equipment do you use / recommend?
I never had enough money to get the pro equipment, I only use a Canon EOS 1100 with a wide angle. I don't have the most expensive camera, but I'm a pro in Photoshop which helps a lot. Oh and I recently bought a GoPro which was a fantastic investment!

How do you fund / pay for your travel & photography?
My travel blog JustOneWayTicket.com makes enough revenue from advertising and affiliates and helps me to keep my travel lifestyle.

sabrina iovino - photograph around the world - PhilippinesOne of Sabrina's super inspirational images from Philippines

What tools / marketplace do you use for your travel / images?
I use Flickr, 500px and Deviantart.

TripAdvisor and Wikitravel helps me with my travel plans.

How do you start selling the pics or fund the travel?
I rarely sell my images, happened only a couple times. I make all my income through my blog. I should actually get into selling my pictures. So far everyone can use my images for free (Flickr).

How do you go about planning your adventures and travel?
TripAdvisor and Wikitravel helps me with my travel plans. And of course, reading blogs of people who have visited my next destination.

How do you live your life? (i.e. what are you trying to achieve?)
Not trying to make too many plans, live day by day and try to enjoy as much as possible. I don't really worry about the future. Everything falls into place. I'm traveling for the past 6 years, though I'm traveling much slower nowadays than before. Living in different countries around the globe fascinates me every day.

How do you edit your photography on the move?
Photoshop is my tool. I do everything with it.

What’s your travel plans for the next 2 / 5 years?
Honestly, no idea. I just came back from the Maldives this morning. I'll be in Thailand for the next 2 weeks and in Hong Kong over Christmas. No further plans, I rarely plan further than 3 months ahead.

view from sathorn building bangkok thailandView from the Sathorn Building, Bangkok, Thailand - Sabrina Iovino

What tips do you have for new travel and adventure photographers who want to start?
Connect with influential bloggers and photographers, learn from them, share great stuff. And don't place big watermarks on your images, personally I think they're very distractive.

shadow-ornament

#6 Brian & Noelle

"Buy a ticket, take a camera and just go. Travelling, you’ll constantly be taking pictures; it’s the best practice you can get!"

wandering on blog

We are an Irish couple, but we left our homes behind us as we set out to travel the world as much as possible.

We have built our lives around the idea of visiting as many countries and experiencing as many different cultures as we can.

In August 2009 we headed for South Korea to teach English.

Travelling became a true passion and one we embraced fully visiting the Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Malaysia and Japan.

In February 2012 we hit the road destined for Nepal, with a plan to continue through the Indian Sub-Continent.

When did you start doing your travel / photography and why?

We have both always been drawn to travel. When we first met, we took some short trips together around Ireland, Europe and we drove around France in a van we converted ourselves for sleeping, cooking, etc. It was basic but it was a great way to travel.

In 2009 we left home for a teaching job in South Korea and since then travel has become our complete focus. We’re obsessed!!

Brian has been interested in photography for a long time, although never very seriously. As a kid, he would always have a simple little camera for family holidays and events.

When we left for Korea Brian finally invested in a decent camera and has become more and more interested in photography, inspired by the amazing places we have been lucky enough to visit.

During our trips Noelle has been getting behind the lens more too, taking some great shots. We took a photography course in Seoul, which we both learned a lot from and have tried to transfer that into our photos. We have a camera in our hands now wherever we go - it’s our third wheel!

Our tag line is: Live To Travel. We stand by that 100%. We want to create a lifestyle of travel.

What basic kit / equipment do you use / recommend?
Originally we had a Panasonic G1 with 2 lenses; 14-42mm and 45-200mm. It’s a micro four-thirds system, which makes it great for travel as it’s compact and light - the quality of the photos was great without the bulk of a full DSLR. 

Earlier this year we upgraded to the Canon 70D. The quality of the photos is amazing.

There’s definitely a bit of extra bulk/weight compared with the Panasonic but it’s well worth it. We’re using the STM kit lenses; 18-55mm and 45-250mm. These two lenses cover almost everything for us.

Sometimes we would like a little more zoom but with the amount of travel we do, we are very aware of trying to keep our packs as light as possible. 

We also travel with a full tripod. It does the job but it’s quite heavy. When we can afford it we’ll look into some carbon fiber options.

We also have a GoPro in the bag and absolutely love it. There’s a time and place for it but we’ve been managed to put together a few cool videos over the last few months of the more active parts of our trips and we’re working on more videos to share soon.

How do you fund / pay for your travel & photography? 
Up until quite recently we have been working as English teachers in South Korea to fund our travels by working, saving, travelling, rinse and repeat. At the beginning of the year we started a small online writing business.

We are trying to grow both that and our travel blog to a full time income for the two of us. If it doesn’t work out we’ll work at whatever it takes to keep our travels going.

Great Wall Of China at HuanghuachengThe Great Wall Of China at Huanghuacheng -- WanderingOn.com

What tools / marketplace do you use for your travel / images?
Honestly, this is something we have been very bad at and are working on. Our photos are mostly shared on our Facebook page and our blog. In the near future we want to try out some of the dedicated photography platforms and see what works best for us.

We’re pretty active on Instagram but all our photos there are taken with our phones, we don’t upload our DSLR photos to Instagram.

Staying motivated to travel is simple for us because beyond anything else it’s what we truly want to do.

How do you go about planning your adventures and travel?
For us the process of planning comes quite easily. We’re constantly making plans about where to go & what we want to do. Our goal is to visit as many countries as we can and to spend time in them rather than just hitting the highlights and moving on.

Skyscanner is our go-to website for checking flights and we have become big fans of AirBnB, it’s a nice way to stay in the home of a real local and get a different insight into life in that destination.

You do have to be careful though as a lot of hostels, guesthouses and holiday rental people are getting on it and using it, in what we think is, the wrong way. Other travel blogs can be a great resource of information when planning a trip too.

How do you live your life? (what are you trying to achieve?)

On our website, our tag line is: Live To Travel. We stand by that 100%. We want to create a lifestyle of travel. Working a ‘regular job’, having a ‘home’, owning a car, making mortgage payments and all that jazz has never been of any interest to either of us.

The life we lead is certainly more unconventional than most but through sacrificing all these more ‘normal’ things we can focus on our dream of travelling the world and being free.

Being in a couple, we have each other at the back of it all, so we’re never on our own, we have the constant and the comfort of each other. Staying motivated to travel is simple for us because beyond anything else it’s what we truly want to do.

How do you edit your photography on the move?
We’re so bad at making the time to go through photos and edit them. Publishing articles on our website, forces us to be a bit more proactive with the process but we have to work at getting better at it.

We use a combination of Photoshop and Lightroom for edits. When we do make time, it’s normally at the end of the day in a café, our guesthouse or wherever we can find a quiet spot to have a look back over the photos.

little buddhas - wanderingon.comLittle Buddhas -- WanderingOn.com

What’s your travel plans for the next 2 / 5 years
?
Wow, great question! Well, we’re in Portugal now and are heading back to Ireland for a few weeks to be with our families over Christmas. One of our best friends is getting married in Spain next June so we’re not going to go too far until then.

Right now, we’re looking into Romania or Bulgaria for the early part of 2015 to setup for a bit and get some snowboarding in. From there we might travel some more of Eastern Europe and then go to Morocco in March/April until the wedding.

After the wedding we’ll be going to Australia, maybe stopping off in Asia along the way. From there, your guess is as good as ours. Probably New Zealand. South America is also very high on our list, as is Central Asia, the Middle East and Central America. Oh and Canada!! We’ll have to wait and see!

What tips do you have for new adventure photographers who want to start?
Do it!! No question, that is our main piece of advice for anybody wanting to get started. Buy a ticket, take a camera and just go. Travelling, you’ll constantly be taking pictures; it’s the best practice you can get!

shadow-ornament

#7 Laurence Norah

"Practice, read, and learn! We're always learning, and the best way to do that is to find other inspirational photographers and get some time to shoot with them in person."

laurence norah - photograph around the world 2014

I'm Laurence Norah, a writer, traveller & photographer slowly exploring the world. I started my journey around June 2009 after looking for a change of scenery.

My first adventure was a year long, 60,000km road trip around Australia in 2009. I then spent a summer living in Germany and travelled New Zealand by camper van.

I'm currently based in Europe, which I explore over the summer months. Before that I travelled in the USA, Central America, Africa and Europe.

When did you start doing your travel / photography and why?
When I was 13 my parents very kindly gifted me a Canon AE-1 - a film SLR. I've been taking pictures ever since - but started treating it as my profession five years ago.


What basic kit / equipment do you use or recommend?

Whatever you are most likely to carry with you as often as possible. If that's your smartphone, so be it. Personally I carry a full frame Canon SLR with a variety of lenses, filters, a tripod and so on. You can read more about my photography gear here
.

I only use my own photos for my blog and social media... my audience know that they get something original they won't find elsewhere.

How do you fund / pay for your travel & photography?

Conveniently they seem to pay for themselves, with the photography often funding my travel! More seriously, I work with a number of brands and destinations, either to provide photography services or to talk about them to my audience.

I also write articles for a number of other websites, teach workshops, give talks - a whole mish mash of projects that let me keep doing what I really love - taking pictures of beautiful places around the world.

What tools / marketplace do you use for your travel?
I only use my own photos for my blog and social media - that's very important to me and my audience, to know that they are getting something original that they won't find elsewhere.

For editing my go-to tool is Lightroom, although I also use a number of other products depending on what I am trying to achieve - I love what is possible these days with digital tools!

For travel I use a whole pile of sites - Yonderbound, Booking.com, the Google Flight Search Tool, Tripit... the list goes on. ☺

How do you start selling the pics or fund the travel? (Do the images fund your travels?)

I normally sell photos or photography services directly to brands. And yes, they do.


laurence norah in meteoraIn Meteora, Greece -- Laurence Norah

How do you go about planning your adventures and travel?
I actually don't do very much planning before I visit a place - I like to be surprised. ☺

How do you live your life? (what are you trying to achieve, how do you know when you’ve found it?)
Wow, great question. I believe in the power of being positive, and always look to find the positives in any situation. I love to meet people and experience new things, and travel is the easiest way to do that.

I'd love for people to be inspired by my photos, and maybe feel the urge to head out into the world and explore as a result of reading something I've written or seeing a photo I've shared. How do I know when I've found it? Maybe when I rename my blog you'll know. ☺

How do you edit your photography on the move?

My camera has built in Wi-Fi, so in the moment I'll pull photos off the camera and edit them on my phone using Snapseed for quick sharing during downtime (transport etc).

However I don't normally do a full edit on my computer until the trip is over, unless I'm on a prolonged trip (over a month), in which case I'll have time scheduled in for pausing and working.


laurence norah -- golden-gate bridge USAReady to photograph around the world? (Laurence photographing the Golden Gate bridge, USA)

What’s your travel plans for the next 2 / 5 years?
That's a fairly long time frame - I don't know what I'm doing usually beyond a few months out. I'd love to do some great adventures though - perhaps hiking in Nepal, visiting Antarctica, road tripping across national parks of the US. ☺

What tips do you have for new travel photographers who want to start?
Practice, read, and learn! We're always learning, and I find that the best way to do that is to find other inspirational photographers and try and get some time to shoot with them in person.

Also, there are so many resources out there for improving your craft - from learning how your camera works through to composition and editing.

shadow-ornament

Resources Mentioned

Photo gear: Toyo Field camera, Canon cameras, Nikon, iPhones, Nexus 5, Olympus, Canon, GoPro + a Moleskine journal or two.

Image Editing tools: Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, SnapSeed

Tech gear: iMac, MacBook Pro, Asus

Hosting images: FlickR, 500PX, Smugmug, DeviantArt.

Backups: Crashplan, Dropbox

Planning tools: TripAdvisor, Tripit, WikiTravel, SkyScanner, AirBnB, Yonderbound (looks great!) Booking.com, Google Flight Search Tool.


Ready to Photograph Around The World?

Points to note:

  • Use Crashplan / DropBox to automate ALL backups so it's not on your mind.
  • You can use ANY tool to shoot photos - whether that's an iPhone, GoPro, field camera or Nikon. Make use of whatever is in your hand.
  • Plan your travel and save to travel. (AirBnB, WikiTravel etc)
  • Editing your pics is part of the process - but most of us (ahem) would rather shoot than edit! (Shooting so many images that the images get backlogged and untouched).
  • If you're not selling images you can always write, promote other ethical products on your website, attract sponsorship and connect with influential bloggers in your field.

 

shopify and gopro hero4 - photographers toolsMy HD video camera finally arrived -- more on that soon!

 

So did I inspire you to go and photograph around the world? (Or book a flight ticket!) Please comment and share it with your friends by clicking the social links below.

About The Author

Martin Hurley

Location independent photographer, adventurer dude & happiness specialist. - Blog - - Instagram - Twenty20

Facebook Comments

6 Comments

  • Amanda Earl

    Reply Reply December 16, 2014

    I love it.

    I think that your blogs are really interesting and I’m not a photographer…always grew up with my uncles and grandpa developing photos in a dark room they built and was the subject of many of their photos but was on the periphery most of the time. Uncle had a box camera which was pretty amazing to use. Anyway my point is, that you drew me into your world and i have been lost there for a couple of hours travelling from page to page with the ease of your conversational style and contagious sense of adventure.

    Do you have a GoPro?

    I would have liked to know the ages of the photographers you interviewed as I feel this would put their travel objectives into perspective. I am wondering how they might be following their passion 10 – 20 years from now or if they were 10 – 20 years older. I gather they ranged from 25 – 45. Will they travel a smaller territory as their mobility declines like cats? ; – 0) Or will they take greater risks on the happy side of deceased feeling they don’t have so much to lose?

    Thanks :o)
    Amanda

    • Martin Hurley

      Reply Reply December 16, 2014

      Hey Amanda,
      Thanks for the comments – great thinking! I think I ‘accidentally’ just ordered something similar to a GoPro. Going to be fun seeing what results come from it. Going to be CRAZY! 🙂

  • Jessica

    Reply Reply December 6, 2015

    While I travel, taking pictures of everything around me is the best way to make my memories last forever. When you travel long term and visit many places everyday, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the experiences you make and it’s easy to forget about some of them. The camera is the best tool ever, it’s something everyone should bring on a travel!

    Great list, but you missed one of the best 😀 Marco Grassi of http://www.marcograssiphotography.com !

    Cheers,
    Jessica
    Jessica recently posted…China’s Rainbow Mountains – Danxia GeoparkMy Profile

    • Martin Hurley

      Reply Reply December 17, 2015

      Hey nice one Jessica Let me know more about your photography… :o)

      • Jessica

        Reply Reply December 17, 2015

        Hey Martin,

        it is not my photography actually, but my boyfriend’s 🙂

        We are currently traveling around the world seeking out some of the most beautiful destinations. While I have a travel blog, he is a professional photographer focused on landscape and travel subjects! He doesn’t post-process his photos and always achieves the image right on the field. Here’s a recent post he wrote about it https://iso.500px.com/proof-you-dont-need-to-overdo-your-landscapes-in-post/ 🙂
        Jessica recently posted…The Top Views Of ShanghaiMy Profile

        • Martin Hurley

          Reply Reply December 18, 2015

          Brilliant… BTW was just in Japan and the wow factor is heavenly there. Good to see you guys doing great things. Keep it up…

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