Tag Archives: Shanghai

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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The World’s Top 10 Sunsets

I have seen some spectacular sunsets around the world but there are still many places that I would love to travel to and capture with my lens. It is always exciting going to a new place and seeing new things for the first time. I love how each place has a uniqueness to it even if it is within the same country. Last summer I was out shooting a great deal in Toronto and every night the sky would paint a new picture for me to capture through my lens. The cityscape always had a different backdrop. Shooting at sunset into nightfall is one of my favorite times to start snapping.

Here are some of the places I hope to visit one day and have the pleasure of witnessing the sunset with my very own eyes:

10) Kenya

kenya sunset
Image taken by Roberto Coletta | Kenya, Africa |

Since I was wee I remember always having a fascination about visiting Africa and going on a safari. I am a huge animal lover and would love to be able to experience the sight of such spectacular animals in their natural habitat. Elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras and tigers are some of the most magnificent animals on the planet. It would be a dream come true to one day have the opportunity to capture both the animals and the sunsetting at the same time.

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10 Quick Tips for Shooting a Car Show

Here at iLHP, we are car lovers as well as camera lovers. So in celebration of the ongoing North American International Auto Show in Detroit and the many international shows to come, we’d like to take a moment to share 10 quick tips on photographing an auto show. For your convenience, below is also a list of some of the major car shows around the world this year.

2015 autoshow schedule
Current as of 1/2/2015

10. Avoiding the Crowds

If Transformers were real, they would come in this Lexus LF-C2.
If Transformers were real, they would come in this Lexus LF-C2.

Assuming you don’t have a press pass, timing determines whether or not your pictures will be filled with strangers. Try weekdays after work/school. Avoid opening day and weekends. I was at the LA auto show on a Monday. The convention center was nearly empty and I sat in every car I wanted. It made the experience that much more enjoyable.

9. Bring a Zoom Lens or a Wide Angle Prime

Zoom with a zoom lens, or zoom with your feet with a prime. The new Mercedes GLA getting the street art treatment.
Zoom with a zoom lens, or zoom with your feet with a prime. The new Mercedes GLA getting the street art treatment.

Car shows are dynamic affairs. Zoom lens, such as a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L or a Nikon 24-120mm f/4G, are great for low light, variable distance shooting, and static subjects. Larger apertures are less important here because (a) car shows are usually well lit so ISO is less of a problem and (b) you’d want smaller apertures to capture more in focus.

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“Rooftopping” – (Part 2: An Evolving Subculture)

In a previous article, “Rooftopping – Part1:  The Beginning” I introduced a craze in photography known as rooftooping that many urban photographers are exploring.  I communicated how rooftoppers were not particularly thrilled exposing where they shoot from and exposing their secrets.  Understandably because they often gain access by trespassing onto the properties they are shooting from.  The images often raise curiosity among the viewers leaving them to wonder where exactly they were captured from.  In the instances where the viewer is familiar with the city it is not too difficult to pinpoint the general vicinity where the photo was shot. However, figuring out the exact building tends to be more complicated.

raskalov
Image courtesy of Vitaliy Raskalov & Vadim Makhorov |

I want to make it clear that I am not revealing any secrets.  Many well-known rooftoppers openly discuss their experiences and post videos of them in the act.  I am friendly with several local rooftoppers therefore, it is not my intention to upset anyone.  I want to be able to share some incredible images by extremely talented young photographers, most who are self-taught.  As well as, acquaint readers with what is typically involved in such extreme photography. Continue reading “Rooftopping” – (Part 2: An Evolving Subculture)

Cities at Night from Space

If there is one type of photography I most want to explore, it would have to be astro photography.  I don’t just mean taking photos of galaxies and nebulae from a mountain top with a telescope adapter, but I mean actually taking photos while floating in space. As a mere earthbound mortal, I’m not sure if commercial space exploration will be available in my life time. But in the meantime, we can live vicariously through the photos taken by the lucky astronauts in the International Space Station.

How many cities do you recognize? What does your home town look like at night?

New York City

ISS035-E-8051
New York City (Nikon D3S @ 400mm, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 51200) – The lights illuminate the undeniable shape of Manhattan Island, surrounded by the four other boroughs of the city. North faces left in the photo. The narrow unlit area in the middle of Manhattan is central park. NYC, the city that never sleeps. With all those lights, seems about right.

Beijing 北京

Beijing (Nikon D3S @ 400mm, 1/40s, f/3.2, ISO 51200) - The concentric "ring roads" of Beijing surround the Forbidden Palace in the city center. North is up in the photo (rotated from the NASA image) and the city's brightly lit financial and commercial centers are located in the eastern parts of the city, between the 2nd and the 4th rings roads,
Beijing (Nikon D3S @ 400mm, 1/40s, f/3.2, ISO 51200) – The concentric “ring roads” of Beijing surround the Forbidden Palace in the city center. North is up in the photo (rotated from NASA’s original image) and the city’s brightly lit financial and commercial centers are located in the eastern parts of the city, between the 2nd and the 4th rings roads.

Continue reading Cities at Night from Space