Optimizing Photography Tours And Workshops

Author : DarianReilly
Publish Date : 2021-04-22 06:02:43
Optimizing Photography Tours And Workshops

For any general sightseeing trip a balance needs to be struck between organised visits and free time allowing participants to explore for themselves. On photography tours and workshops the balance shifts heavily in favour of the planned activities. It is essential that arrangements revolve around the photography, filling the best of the available light with worthwhile visits with enough flexibility to take advantage of any unexpected opportunities arising.

This balance can only be achieved by thorough research and planning and should involve a good deal of input from those who will actually deliver the travel services. In most cases this will mean the ground agents but can also mean significant input from the lead photographer if they are familiar with the destination and have specific plans in mind.

The concept

The planning begins by conceiving of a theme or approach to a particular destination. It is this focus that, ultimately, makes the difference between a general visit and a coherent program of consistent interest.

Timing

Many destinations have an optimal season or at least periods worth avoiding. Generally photography trips will be planned for these, though the photographic window may be different from that of general tourists and, perhaps, even the opposite. Whereas sunbathers welcome blue, blue skies, photographers generally prefer to have some clouds about and will get some of their best shots with ominous clouds looming.

A photography tour or workshop based around a particular even, a festival say, cannot avoid a peak season and the crowds and higher prices that come with such times - but other trips can specifically choose a time that is shoulder or off-season so that there are less distractions in compositions.

Pace

A typical tourist group will aim to visit many sites at a fast pace to 'see more'. A group of photographers on the other hand are more likely to base themselves in one place and then explore in-depth. This is necessary in order to be able to locate creative alternatives of regular scenes and also because the light and weather may just not play ball at the first opportunity.

Less travel means more time focused on the task in hand - getting a few great images rather than a large collection of mediocre ones. It also means that the group are less tired and, therefore, more able to cope with the early starts and late finishes that really are essential to their craft.

Standards

Whilst luxury is not essential, photographic groups will appreciate a good level of comfort in accommodation and transportation.

Comfortable accommodation in a good location ensures that the group can relax during downtime, with adequate facilities to allow for convenient image processing. A good location therefore can mean a quiet part of town but generally means one that is chosen to allow good access to the sites to be visited during the program. In some instances,especially older cities, access can be a problem for vehicles. There is no point having a short bus ride to a site if there's a long walk to the bus.

Buses should be large enough to allow a few spare seats for the photographic equipment that the group want with them but not on their laps. Typically tripods can be stored elsewhere in the vehicle but cameras and lenses, in bags, should be at hand and ready for a quick exit. Heating and air-conditioning is now standard in modern vehicles and can make a huge difference during longer drives in exotic locations. It goes without saying that buses and drivers should be hired from a reputable local company, with consideration taken for the hours on duty and other factors that could influence the driver's ability.

Conclusion

Photography tours and workshops are a very special case for trip planning and require a number of factors to be brought together in order to deliver a quality experience. Trips that have not been designed specifically for photographers are unlikely to allow for visits during at the times that are optimal.

If you really want to get exceptional images then you need to check with tour operators to see exactly what services are included in their photography tours and whether these match your expectations. It never hurts to ask, and a good response is further evidence that you will be looked after during the trip.

For any general sightseeing trip a balance needs to be struck between organised visits and free time allowing participants to explore for themselves. On photography tours and workshops the balance shifts heavily in favour of the planned activities. It is essential that arrangements revolve around the photography, filling the best of the available light with worthwhile visits with enough flexibility to take advantage of any unexpected opportunities arising.

This balance can only be achieved by thorough research and planning and should involve a good deal of input from those who will actually deliver the travel services. In most cases this will mean the ground agents but can also mean significant input from the lead photographer if they are familiar with the destination and have specific plans in mind.

The concept

The planning begins by conceiving of a theme or approach to a particular destination. It is this focus that, ultimately, makes the difference between a general visit and a coherent program of consistent interest.

Timing

Many destinations have an optimal season or at least periods worth avoiding. Generally photography trips will be planned for these, though the photographic window may be different from that of general tourists and, perhaps, even the opposite. Whereas sunbathers welcome blue, blue skies, photographers generally prefer to have some clouds about and will get some of their best shots with ominous clouds looming.

A photography tour or workshop based around a particular even, a festival say, cannot avoid a peak season and the crowds and higher prices that come with such times - but other trips can specifically choose a time that is shoulder or off-season so that there are less distractions in compositions.

Pace

A typical tourist group will aim to visit many sites at a fast pace to 'see more'. A group of photographers on the other hand are more likely to base themselves in one place and then explore in-depth. This is necessary in order to be able to locate creative alternatives of regular scenes and also because the light and weather may just not play ball at the first opportunity.

Less travel means more time focused on the task in hand - getting a few great images rather than a large collection of mediocre ones. It also means that the group are less tired and, therefore, more able to cope with the early starts and late finishes that really are essential to their craft.

Standards

Whilst luxury is not essential, photographic groups will appreciate a good level of comfort in accommodation and transportation.

Comfortable accommodation in a good location ensures that the group can relax during downtime, with adequate facilities to allow for convenient image processing. A good location therefore can mean a quiet part of town but generally means one that is chosen to allow good access to the sites to be visited during the program. In some instances,especially older cities, access can be a problem for vehicles. There is no point having a short bus ride to a site if there's a long walk to the bus.

Buses should be large enough to allow a few spare seats for the photographic equipment that the group want with them but not on their laps. Typically tripods can be stored elsewhere in the vehicle but cameras and lenses, in bags, should be at hand and ready for a quick exit. Heating and air-conditioning is now standard in modern vehicles and can make a huge difference during longer drives in exotic locations. It goes without saying that buses and drivers should be hired from a reputable local company, with consideration taken for the hours on duty and other factors that could influence the driver's ability.

Conclusion

Photography tours and workshops are a very special case for trip planning and require a number of factors to be brought together in order to deliver a quality experience. Trips that have not been designed specifically for photographers are unlikely to allow for visits during at the times that are optimal.

If you really want to get exceptional images then you need to check with tour operators to see exactly what services are included in their photography tours and whether these match your expectations. It never hurts to ask, and a good response is further evidence that you will be looked after during the trip.

For any general sightseeing trip a balance needs to be struck between organised visits and free time allowing participants to explore for themselves. On photography tours and workshops the balance shifts heavily in favour of the planned activities. It is essential that arrangements revolve around the photography, filling the best of the available light with worthwhile visits with enough flexibility to take advantage of any unexpected opportunities arising.

This balance can only be achieved by thorough research and planning and should involve a good deal of input from those who will actually deliver the travel services. In most cases this will mean the ground agents but can also mean significant input from the lead photographer if they are familiar with the destination and have specific plans in mind.

The concept

The planning begins by conceiving of a theme or approach to a particular destination. It is this focus that, ultimately, makes the difference between a general visit and a coherent program of consistent interest.

Timing

Many destinations have an optimal season or at least periods worth avoiding. Generally photography trips will be planned for these, though the photographic window may be different from that of general tourists and, perhaps, even the opposite. Whereas sunbathers welcome blue, blue skies, photographers generally prefer to have some clouds about and will get some of their best shots with ominous clouds looming.

A photography tour or workshop based around a particular even, a festival say, cannot avoid a peak season and the crowds and higher prices that come with such times - but other trips can specifically choose a time that is shoulder or off-season so that there are less distractions in compositions.

Pace

A typical tourist group will aim to visit many sites at a fast pace to 'see more'. A group of photographers on the other hand are more likely to base themselves in one place and then explore in-depth. This is necessary in order to be able to locate creative alternatives of regular scenes and also because the light and weather may just not play ball at the first opportunity.

Less travel means more time focused on the task in hand - getting a few great images rather than a large collection of mediocre ones. It also means that the group are less tired and, therefore, more able to cope with the early starts and late finishes that really are essential to their craft.

Standards

Whilst luxury is not essential, photographic groups will appreciate a good level of comfort in accommodation and transportation.

Comfortable accommodation in a good location ensures that the group can relax during downtime, with adequate facilities to allow for convenient image processing. A good location therefore can mean a quiet part of town but generally means one that is chosen to allow good access to the sites to be visited during the program. In some instances,especially older cities, access can be a problem for vehicles. There is no point having a short bus ride to a site if there's a long walk to the bus.

Buses should be large enough to allow a few spare seats for the photographic equipment that the group want with them but not on their laps. Typically tripods can be stored elsewhere in the vehicle but cameras and lenses, in bags, should be at hand and ready for a quick exit. Heating and air-conditioning is now standard in modern vehicles and can make a huge difference during longer drives in exotic locations. It goes without saying that buses and drivers should be hired from a reputable local company, with consideration taken for the hours on duty and other factors that could influence the driver's ability.

Conclusion

Photography tours and workshops are a very special case for trip planning and require a number of factors to be brought together in order to deliver a quality experience. Trips that have not been designed specifically for photographers are unlikely to allow for visits during at the times that are optimal.

If you really want to get exceptional images then you need to check with tour operators to see exactly what services are included in their photography tours and whether these match your expectations. It never hurts to ask, and a good response is further evidence that you will be looked after during the trip.

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