Photography Aspirations on Non Photo Tour Outfits

Discussion in 'Travel' started by kaiyen, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. Hi all,
    I realize one doesn't have to go on a photography tour in order to do photography, obviously. I've been on lots of general trips where I've been able to bring along most of the gear I wanted to. But breaking out a tripod or something is a different level, I think, than some outfits might tolerate in terms of keeping groups moving, etc.

    I have been looking at a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Has anyone gone with an outfit like Intrepid Travel with intent to still use it largely as a photographic experience? Thoughts?

  2. For tours, I've only done a few with alumni and faculty groups, and they worked out OK.

    However, though "photo tours" are by no means ideal, at least you don't have the same fanatic pursuit of the gift shops and the whining about how much time your photography is taking= "on to the gift shop!"

    I have generally traveled on my own, but that involves a lot of preparation, booking etc., not to mention money.

    In many places, there are local guides who can be hired privately, and often not so expensive as you'd think.
  3. Thanks for the tips. Yes, I am considering going it on my own. But it is daunting.
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    My first real photo trip was to the film days. All self booked. It wasn't Tourist High Season, so my first booking was a closet sized room in a B&B for two nights. After that I found and checked in to a much nicer place (for not a lot more money) for the rest of the trip. I did photography as if it were work in the day, and in the evening socialized and made English friends. I bought rail passes, and went all sorts of places. I carried two Nikons, five lenses and two dozen rolls of film. If nothing else, something you should try at least once, you will learn, and might develop a taste for it.
  5. I've traveled a lot, not to the Galapagos yet, but to me that's a destination where a good tour guide would be helpful. Central Alaska, known for fewer, but in many cases larger, wildlife, would have been difficult, possibly dangerous, if we hadn't had friends there. In the Amazon, at Iguazu Falls on the Argentine side, we took a tour to start to learn, then had a couple of days on our own. On the Brazilian side we only had time for a tour group, and experienced the kind of pressure to stop photographing that you're concerned about. Destinations in or on the edge of wilderness can be difficult without some guidance, but of course they're more interesting on your own.

    Every place is different. For an English speaker who doesn't know the local language, Japan is easy, China is hard. Many Japanese speak some English and are very willing to help. In Finland, the road signs are nearly all bilingual--in Finnish and Swedish, so if you don't know one of those you can't read them, but many people can help you. Don't ask for dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) in Greece, that's the Turkish word, I've been yelled at by an otherwise friendly restaurant owner.

    A word about rail passes that Sandy mentioned, important even though you won't find them in the Galapagos. I've only had them in the UK and Japan, but they're wonderful. Even if you're exploring a city on foot, you can use your pass to duck into a train station to get out of the rain or go to the bathroom.

    If you can possibly start with a tour and then be on your own, that would be the best. Have a great trip.
  6. I went to the Galapagos on Overseas Adventure travel. There were 16 of us in the group, all on one large boat, a local guide. Zoom lenses are very helpful. We were all taken to all of the appropriate beaches, lookouts, tortoise areas, aat the right times.etc. The distances are relatively short, the boats or local cans take us all )( all tourists go to the same places but at different times). There was enough time to shoot what was there. the guide knew what photographrs wanted, but was not a photographer. My major compolaint was that I was not prepared for what was at each point, and if I had ( knowing the itinerary in advance)_ beden better informed on what to look for at each point my images would have been better. I am sure that in Africa and many other places a guide is essential, but not in the Galapagos . We had great weather, good calm seas, and were lucky. People we spoke to at the airport on the large National Geographic trip (100++ passengers) were not as happy.
  7. SCL


    I used international hiking companies and found they were very forgiving of periodic rest and photographic stops. Besides the best ones skipped tourist traps and had great meals in addition to very experienced guides who really provided enlightened experiences.

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