Category Archives: Europe

Traveling Through Iceland (Part 1)

With the winter just around the corner, some of you might already be starting planing ahead their winter trips. Why not Iceland this year?! For many years it has been a quiet place, only few travelers to test the winter conditions at the time. Now this island has become the new photographer’s paradise and is getting more and more popular. And this for a good reason : it is indeed undeniably a place like nowhere else in our world. Travelling in Iceland during the winter season is “slightly” different than during the summer time…

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The length of the day, the weather conditions, the road access or even the number of tourists will be different! Doing photography in such a cold destination can be tricky and remind you quickly how hurtful a frozen nose can be. Iceland is not the coldest place on earth, temperatures stay at a reasonable level but the windchill is something you need to be prepared to deal with.

So first of all, and before preparing your camera gear, prepare some good and warm clothes. This will definitely make you a happy photographer. Use the « onion trick » to keep warm, the more layers you stack the less cold you feel. Having some good boots will allow you to walk into snow conditions and not loosing one of your toes ! Multiple gloves is also a good help when it comes to photography.

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You need at least two different types, big and warm outside gloves and slim ones to be able to correctly use you camera gear. Also put some grip ( tennis racket grip i.e) on a section of your tripod. If not already done, you will thank me later for that when you try it!  Continue reading Traveling Through Iceland (Part 1)

4+1 Photography Tips for the Business Traveler

Imagine this scene. You’ve been walking through the forest/city for days, mentally preparing yourself for the moment your subject/scene will appear before you. You know your camera, you’ve studied the weather, the lighting, the time, you can even see with your mind’s eye that one image that you want to capture. Finally, the time and place is right. Your subject is there, the light is right, the camera is purring in your hands. You look through the viewfinder, you feel the rush, the connection between you and that small part of the world you see in front of you. Click. The perfect photo. The trip was worth it.

A view of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. A little known fact is that, according to my dodgy guide (who even introduced me to the last nephew of the last emperor, not a scam, promise) entry to the City was not forbidden, it was just that males entering the city had to be castrated to do so - which justifies the name. An even lesser-known fact is that I hiked up the hill in Jingshan Park behind the Forbidden city to take this photo wile every hung-over from a late dinner with collaborators in a business suit.
A view of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. A little known fact is that, according to my dodgy guide (who even introduced me to the last nephew of the last emperor, not a scam, promise) entry to the City was not forbidden, it was just that males entering the city had to be castrated to do so – which justifies the name. An even lesser-known fact is that I hiked up the hill in Jingshan Park behind the Forbidden city to take this photo while very hung-over from a late dinner with collaborators – in a business suit.

The above scenario is what dedicated photography trips are all about. You choose the place, the time and think about the images you want to come away with. Most importantly, you have set aside a good amount of time to allow you to concentrate on getting that perfect image. That means time to explore the scene, time to try different viewpoints and techniques, time to make sure that as many of the key elements of your image come together before that crucial final capture. This is the stuff photographers’ dreams are made of and the reason why people pay considerable sums of money to embark on these highly organised and professional led trips.

A view along the river Rhine in Strasbourg, France. Camera on a portable mini tripod, photo taken while eating a decidedly mediocre lunch with a work colleague.
A view along the river Rhine in Strasbourg, France. Camera on a portable mini tripod, photo taken while eating a decidedly mediocre lunch with a work colleague.

What if you don’t have the time and/or money to do that though? What if you do have the opportunity to travel, say since work sends you to different places around the country/world, but not the dedicated time to allow you to take photos? Is it time to give up, take some quick snapshots through the taxi, buy a souvenir at the airport on your way out and call it quits? Not to fear fellow business traveller, photography beyond casual snapshots and selfies is still possible, provided you’ve done a bit of homework and are dedicated enough to make it happen. Let’s see how you can have your cake and eat it.

A view from the top of St Peter's Cathedral in Munich, Germany. One of the good things about work travel is that lunch time can usually be your time and is also a time where popular spots are free of tourists. In this case I didn't have to cue up to climb to the top of the bell tower, which meant that I was up, photographing and down within 40 minutes.
A view from the top of St Peter’s Cathedral in Munich, Germany. One of the good things about work travel is that lunch time can usually be your time and is also a time where popular spots are free of tourists. In this case I didn’t have to cue up to climb to the top of the bell tower, which meant that I was up, photographing and down within 40 minutes.

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An Embarrassing Peek at Some of My Very Early Images

This is terribly embarrassing! Sharing hideous images I took with my then iPhone 4S with our iLHP readers. I typically spend each week selecting my BEST images to include in my article. Photos I believe will represent my current skill level and that I am proud to share. I thought it would be interesting (maybe even laughable) to take a glimpse at some photos I actually thought were worthy enough to share not that long ago.

I have mentioned several times in previous iLHP articles that my love for photography began to vastly develop about two years ago. I had just switched from a BlackBerry to an iPhone and instantly became captivated with the camera features and quality. It was routine for me to be walking along the cobblestone Parisian streets and stop to capture something with my iPhone. It was also around that time I started posting and sharing my images on Instagram.

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A few times, I have looked back through my Instagram archives (which as of today consists of 4409 little square images) and considered deleting many! When I begin to scroll and see how they progressively get worse the further back I scroll, I opt against it and leave them as a reminder of just how far I have come as a photographer in a relatively short period of time.

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A Drive Through Scotland’s Countryside

Scotland was never high on my list of must see places until I moved to Paris. My best friend for many years was born in Scotland and would invite me to go back with her every year she returned to visit. I always considered it but it never came to fruition. Just recently I had the opportunity to visit again and this time I could not refuse. This was not my first trip to Scotland but it was my first time going with the intention of photographing a myriad of places. There is an area along the River Clyde where I was hoping to shoot several buildings. However, once I reached the location I realized my battery had only one power bar left.

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The SSE Hydro | Glasgow |

I brought along two extra batteries on my trip however I failed to bring them this particular evening and left them back at the hotel. Also, I believed the battery loaded in my camera was charged at full capacity. This was only my first night in Glasgow so I still had the rest of the week to return to capture all I had wanted to before I returned home. I was hoping to capture three buildings my first night so I would not have to worry about returning another night during my short week there.

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Photographing Paris

A year has now past since I was fortunate enough to be able to call Paris my home. I am now living in Toronto again where I spent most of my life growing up.

When I said farewell to Paris, I left feeling completely heartbroken that my journey had come to an end.  I lived in a quintessential Parisian flat in the 8th arrondissement of Paris just a short walk to Avenue des Champs-Élysées.  I would glance in one direction and be able to lay eyes on the stunning Arc de Triomphe and turn my head the other way and catch a glimpse of Place de la Concorde.

Needless to say, I was not looking forward to moving back to Toronto after living so many years abroad (8 years in the US before France).  I was frightened I would not be able to search deep enough to find any creative inspiration and truthfully, just be bored.  How could one possibly compare the two cities?  Paris is bursting with fascinating history,  extreme elegance and utter romance everywhere your eyes wonder.  As for Toronto, everything appears to be common, newly built and rather uninspiring.

View from top of Sacre Coeur | 1/40 sec f / 11, ISO 160 |

Continue reading Photographing Paris