Archive for the ‘Travel photography’ Category

Riding the Rails – Take a day trip on the Amtrak! Affordable and fun!

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Philadelphia Amtrak Train Station by Sheree Zielke

If you have never taken the train, or you haven’t ridden the rails in some time, then check out the nearest Amtrak station.  Especially when exploring a new city. That’s the Philadelphia Amtrak station showing above.

With the high cost of rental cars, gasoline, insurance, and with the irritation of battling traffic in a strange city, travel by Amtrak train is like a gift from heaven.

My husband and I have just decided to include at least one Amtrak day trip while traveling, and we are very glad we did.  We took the Amtrak between New York City and Philadelphia, and loved the trip.

Read on . . .

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July 4th – Independence Day Fireworks in New York City!

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

M&M Statue of Liberty Guy

With millions of people, all eager to catch a glimpse of some of the world’s best Fourth of July fireworks, where does a visitor – or for that matter - a local New Yorker go to catch the show? 

It’ll be my first visit to New York during the 4th of July, and I wanted to do this visit up right.  I have already done Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day – so I am expecting great things from New York City on Independence Day.

But I am glad I did the research first.  Here’s what I discovered about how best to enjoy the Fourth of July in New York City. 

Read on . . . 
 

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Shoot People While Traveling, But Do So With Respect!

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Boy with Dad by Sheree Zielke

 

A man ran up to our table at the local farmers market, and boom, he and his camera were in my granddaughter’s face.  No preamble, no “Hi. How are you?”  No nothing.  Just wham, bam . . . you get the picture (pardon the pun).

I was stunned.  It was all I could do not to grab the guy by his camera cord and demand that he erase the picture.  He stupidly bobbed his head, mumbling something about how he “hoped I didn’t mind,” but I knew he wasn’t asking permission.  He was just reacting to the look on my face. 

He scuttled away like the vermin he had proven himself to be.

Do you photograph people this way?  If so, you are WRONG!  And worse, you are a coward.

As a photographer, I am very opposed to this grab-and-run style of thievery.  In my estimation, it is a type of violence, a rape, if you will.   Without some form of permission, be it a slight nod of acceptance or a full model release, modern day shutterbugs should NOT be zooming in on people, and taking their photos.

Here are some suggestions to ensure you remain civilized when shooting photographs of strangers.  Read on . . .

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Bourbon Street in New Orleans – Do visit but do so in the morning!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Photo by Sheree Zielke

There are some things you must do when visiting New Orleans:  Take a Hurricane Katrina bus tour; eat seafood gumbo from a tiny deli on Royal Street; ride a streetcar to the huge St. Patrick cemeteries at the end of Canal Street; and visit haunted houses in the French Quarter.  Above all, take a walk along Bourbon Street, but do it in the morning.

Bourbon Street is a magnet for the young and lecherous among us, at night, but a morning walk in the bright sunshine, devoid of the nighttime debauchery, can be a truly pleasant experience.  Especially if you are a photographer.

Read on . . .

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Wild decision to leave DSLR camera at home in favor of a Fuji FinePix F50: Crafty or Crazy?

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

Photo by Sheree Zielke

Okay, call me a traitor, call me a fool, call me any name you like but I had to take the chance.  I made a decision, before a recent trip to southern Texas and New Orleans, to leave my heavy Olympus Evolt E-300 DSLR at home.  I replaced it with a sleek little 12-megapixel Fuji FinePix F50 compact digital camera.

My husband looked at me askance as he repeatedly asked me if I still wanted to take my DSLR camera.  I told him, firmly, “No.”  That I would take my chances.  And that I would live with my decision.  Only time would tell if I had made a terrible mistake . . .

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Snakes, cemeteries, the Mexican border: Day of adventure on the Old Military Highway, Texas

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Grave Statue on Old Military Highway in Texas

“Oh, look a snake!”

The urgency in my husband’s voice was alarming.  We had just been warned by a local Texan to watch out for snakes inhabiting the bushes.  And sure enough, in one of the older, more deserted, most appealing graveyards, just outside of Brownsville, along Highway 281, a snake crossed our paths.

Read on. . .

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Rule of Thirds: Be sure to BREAK this photography rule AFTER you learn it!

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Would you like to improve your photography?  In a split second?  Then try “splitting” your frame.  Into thirds. It’s a tried-and-true photographic compositional technique called the “Rule of Thirds.”Photographer by Sheree Zielke

Once you’ve learned the rule, you should break it.  But only with intent.

Read on . . .

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Travel Accessories: Marking Your Possessions for Easy Return to YOU!

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

 

Do you like good service?  How about great new products?  Especially products that make your life easier?

 

Me, too.

 

And, if like me, you travel a great deal, you know that any product or service that will make your travel experience better, is very welcome.  I have found at least one.

 

Read on . .

 

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How to Lose Your Camera and Achieve Instant Fame in 2 Easy Steps

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

You’ve just returned from your vacation.  You had a good time – partied hard, did a few things that maybe you shouldn’t have done, and took the pictures to prove it.  But now you realize you have misplaced your digital camera.  Is there anything worse than a lost camera full of vacation photos?  Yes.

It’s having those private pictures show up on the Internet for the entire world to see.

That’s the brainchild of University of Winnipeg student, Matt Preprost.  This newest Web guru has created a site designed to help unite lost digital photos and cameras with their (embarrassed?) owners.  It’s called, www.ifoundyourcamera.net.

Preprost’s wild idea has already netted results.  In only the first few days of the ifoundyourcamera.net site’s launch, photos were reunited with their takers.

A combination of your creativity and Matt’s site, could be your ticket to fame…read on…

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New Zealand Fiordlands: Explore for a Truly Wild and Wonderful Experience!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Dusky Sound and David by Sheree Zielke

If you are native to the lands of the Northern Hemisphere, then Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds may mean very little to you; Nancy, Charles, and George Sound will mean even less.  But if you visit New Zealand, down in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll find all these places; they are part of the Fiordland National Park, on the southwesterly corner of New Zealand’s south island.

But if you have ever visited North America’s northwest coastline, in particular, the coasts of Oregon, British Columbia, and Alaska, then the topography of these wild and richly forested terrains may seem familiar.Chairs with a view in the New Zealand Sounds by Sheree Zielke

Perhaps the most satisfying way to visit these New Zealand Sounds is by land but local tour companies offer exploration nor only by foot, shuttle van, and tour bus, but via watercraft, and by air.  Air seems to be the most efficient way to take in the 1.2 million hectares of wilderness that make up the Fiordland, but a guided walk might be considered more effective.  That’s if you have the time.  Try these sites: Hike South and Ultimate Hikes.

Waterfalls in Milford Sound by Sheree ZielkeBut failing that, take a cruise up into the sounds.  Besides the huge cruise lines that visit the Sounds, there is also a large assortment of smaller cruise vessels.  Expect rainy weather and heavy mists; this is a temperate rain forest.  The rains give rise to pretty multiple waterfalls coursing down through lush green forested mountains.  You might even catch a glorious rainbow as it cuts its way through the grey mist.

Our ship, the Celebrity Mercury, had three Sounds on its itinerary: Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds.  We reached Dusky Sound early in the morning, amidst gray skies, churning waters, and heavy mist.  The short trip into Dusky was interesting, but the light was such that no outstanding photographs could be taken.

Doubtful Sound was just that, doubtful.  And in fact, high winds and rough waters meant that our ship, including a fellow cruise ship, the Statendam, had to pass by.  But the picturesque Milford Sound still lay ahead.Statendam cruise ship by Sheree Zielke

Milford Sound (it was agreed by other passengers who were experienced in the Sounds) was the more majestic and more beautiful, with its dozens of waterfalls and pretty coastline.  Many compared it to Alaska or the northern coastline of British Columbia with its misty timber forests, and moody gray waters.

Wildlife is supposed to be abundant in these largely uninhabited sounds although we didn’t see any of the fur-bearing seals, penguins, or dolphins said to make these sounds their home.

For more information on the New Zealand Fiordlands, read this stunning National Geographic account by author, Kennedy Warne.

Milford Sound banks by Sheree Zielke

Photography Tip: When taking photos in the Fiordland sounds, push your digital camera’s “exposure compensation” setting to a “negative” number to ensure a clearer, less misty picture.  You can always brighten your shots later in your computer’s photo manipulation program.

Cheers,
Sheree Zielke