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Why You Should Go on a Photography Tour

Updated on July 17, 2016
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years. Hope you enjoy my hubs! | Source

Many photographers, especially those just starting to immersed themselves in the art , dream of one day going out to an exotic and taking breathtaking images of exotic subjects.

The travelling to an exotic destination should be enough but when you add the chances of capturing some subjects that you might otherwise never be able to see much less photograph where you live, you begin to see the rewards and benefits of actually going on a photo tour.

So why go on one of these tours? To begin with the people who set them up and the people who actually take you to the location know the best times and the best places to see the subjects that they and hopefully you, want to photograph.

They would not be in business too long if they could not get their guest to where the subjects are, so they spend vast amounts of time preparing for the trip, researching and researching over and over again the best sites and they know exactly how to approach them.

The angles and the views that they can offer the budding photographer are often much better than what one could possible get on their own.

Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
public domain (CC0)
public domain (CC0) | Source

Another of the benefits of going on a photo tour is that you get to share your work with like minded individuals and the networking experience is uniquely grounded to photography.

If the photo tour is sponsored or guided by a professional then this becomes an extra opportunity to learn from the best.

You also get to know their styles, what works for them, how they approach their photography and what equipment suggestions might be gleaned from the meeting.

In other words, a photography tour can offer you the chance of not only capturing images of exotics but it also becomes an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in something that you love doing. | Source

Take this quote from a pro who often conducts photography tours:

In addition to “Why take a photography tour?,” people often ask me, “Why travel with a guide?” The answer is the ability to go deeper into a place or a subject, where you get the kind of understanding that very few people would get unless they went with someone who could share those insights and give them those aha moments, such as appreciating why a particular tree grows in a specific place or how it might be intertwined with other organisms in the forest.

From a photography standpoint, a guide can lead you to insightful light — that rarefied light for a particular subject or the best time to be at a place for an opportunity to see an animal activity. Eric Rock | Source

As far as I am concerned one of the best advantages of taking a formal photography tour is that many, if not most, of the details have been worked out for you.

Everything from airline travel, accommodations, transportation, meals and the company of others is usually pre-set and that usually takes a lot of planning off my plate.

The drawback is, according to some, that you have to share space when you get to a location. If you are savvy and inspect the location right after you arrive and just don't start snapping away, but wait for your shot, you are likely to get very good results.

But with that said, photo tours that take place on a vehicle like many African safaris, do have the drawback of space and time. You are usually crowded, you have to deal with others and their gear, the time chosen might not always be the best nor the time spent there be sufficient, and many of the resulting images are very similar to the rest.

In my opinion the best tours are the ones that are done walking or freely moving a round instead of on a vehicle and where you can freely explore the surrounding area and take your time taking the pictures.

CC0 Public Domain
CC0 Public Domain | Source

Would you take a tour if you could?

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Bottom line try to have fun and research before you commit. Is the subject matter what you are looking for?, is the price right? and so on.

Once you have made your decision and get there plan on first taking at few first shots. You want to come home with at least some good images. Once you have taken a few pictures, then relax and study the environment.

If you see the possibilities of making a better shot then proceed. Because of time constraints and the fact that others will be with you, cover your behind by taking a few pictures first and then concentrating on getting the prize winners.

You will be surprised that once you know you have taken a few good starting shots, how relaxed you can become and you start seeing the many other possibilities. | Source

Here are a few outfits that specialize in photography tours but keep in mind than most of these tours can be pricey. They can go from about $1,995 city focused to over $12,000 wildlife focused. Many tours take place in cities like New York but a good number take place in such locations as Madagascar, Bhutan and Iceland. Many are as short as four to five days but most average tours can last about 14 days.

© 2016 Luis E Gonzalez


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