In Hong Kong, it took us three-and-a-half hours to get to the top of Lantau Island to photograph the Big Buddha Statue. From the metro, you have three options for getting to the top: cab, bus, and cable car. Looking back, I’m really glad we opted for the cable car on the way up and the bus on the way back. The line was long for the cable car (read: three hours long), but the views were amazing. And it was fun. We were laughing like little kids – 13 of us crammed in a tiny little cable car that was only made for eight. The bus, on the other hand, is not for the weak-stomached. On the way down, every twist and turn brought my head closer to my knees. By the time we reached the bottom, I was sure I was going to loose my lunch. I get queasy fairly easily, which is hard for someone who likes to travel as much as I do. Ginger candies are usually my savior. One of the photo expedition attendees with me also suggested Queasy Pops. They’re made for pregnant women but she swears by them. The trip to see the Big Buddha was worth it, though. It was cloudy. But here’s the thing about cloudy days… They’re great for photography. The gray skies are ugly, of course. But the clouds diffuse the harsh sunlight so the light is good. If you can train yourself to keep as much of the sky out of your pictures as possible, you can get some really great shots. And don’t forget — while gray skies are ugly in color photographs, they don’t look so bad in black-and-white. And here’s another tip… Professional photographer, Rich Wagner, was leading our group in Hong Kong and he had all of us program our cameras to take RAW images instead of jpegs. Rich recommended this because RAW files are uncompressed. In order for your camera to create a jpeg image, it compresses some of your data. Jpegs are therefore smaller and they give you less data to work with in Photoshop and Lightroom. The downside to shooting in RAW is that your pictures require a processing software like Photoshop or Lightroom to view. RAW files also tend to be flatter and lower in contrast. But while both of these things may seem like negatives, they’re actually positives. Because your camera stores more data in a RAW file, you have control over how much contrast you want in your image. The camera doesn’t decide for you. You do all the decision making in Photoshop or Lightroom. The images are only flatter until you process them. (See Shelly’s tip on Wednesday for processing your files in Photoshop.) And before you click away, don’t forget to scroll down for the rest of today’s issue. Today’s writing prompt is about telling your travel secrets. And, as always, keep me up-to-speed on your travel-writing or photography success. If you have a story to share, send me a quick note at email@example.com. — Lori Lori Allen Director, Great Escape Publishing [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.] PRACTICAL WRITING PROMPT OF THE WEEK: Let the Cat Out of the Bag. Everyone wants to get in on a good secret. Especially if it’s going to save time, money, or trouble. This week, take a moment to write down your best-kept travel secrets and tips. Do you know of some unconventional ways to make travel easier, more convenient, cheaper, safer, or more fun? There’s an article in that good advice. Don’t have any secret travel tips? Try this: think about something that gives you trouble when you travel. Now research some unusual solutions. What’s the best way to learn key phrases in another language? How can you get over jet lag faster than the next guy? How can you get a rental car upgrade for free?* Someone out there is bound to know, and if you can find the answer and test it out, you can write an article about it.
3 Tips and a Queasy Pop: Hong Kong Photography
by Lori Allen | Feb 15, 2008