We Simplify The Technical!
Photography in India and Nepal
Photography in India and Nepal
Photography in India and Nepal
Peggy Farren interviews travel photographer Kelly Walkotten.  Kelly gives us great tips for getting the most out of your next trip.  Thanks for tuning into episode #85 of The Understand Photography Show!

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Understand Photography General Notes


Upcoming Trips:
Women’s Photography Weekend Naples May 4-6, 2018

New Book!  Peggy Farren and Joe Fitzpatrick have published a book highlighting Florida’s best photo spots!
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A Photographer’s Life in India and Nepal with Kelly Walkotten

About Kelly

She has always been a traveller.

She took up photography to document her travels so she could share her experiences with others.

Her first images disappointed her.

She took lots of classes to learn and improve her photography skills.

“I like to be able to control my editing with digital images.  I like the fact that I can get it right back to the way I saw it, no matter how the camera captured it.”

The Most Important Thing Before You Go – DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

– Learn about the culture of the people, their religious beliefs, practices and customs.

“If you don’t know about their ways, then you don’t know what to photograph.  You miss things.”

Learn about their holidays – festivals mean large crowds, some places have periods of silence.

  • In each area you will be visiting, look in the travel books (use more than 1 source – different books cater to different types of people and adventures).

– What do they tell you not to miss?

– What is prevalent here?  What is this area known for?

– What do people do there?

“Know what you’re looking at so you can photograph the STORY.”

If you’ll be visiting animal parks or on a safari, study the behaviors of the animals you will most likely encounter.  It will help you anticipate the best photo opportunities.

  • Check the temperatures of EVERY location you’ll be visiting.  Remember, the valley might be 90 degrees, but the mountaintop may be cold enough for snow.  If you’re not comfortable, you won’t have a good time.

Take the Right Gear

Kelly uses a Full Frame Nikon camera – “I like to print big.  I need a big camera with a big sensor.”

  • 2 camera bodies (always have a backup)
  • 3 lenses:  Wide-angle with zoom (12mm-24mm), Mid-range (35mm-70mm), and Long (80mm-400mm)
  • Tripod
  • Large (2TB) external travel hard drives with shock-proof cases that prevent damage if dropped
  • Laptop, chargers, several mid-size memory cards
  • All placed in a Think Tank Photo Rolling Case – padded for camera equipment and made to fit in an overhead compartment for airline travel.

How to Get Good People Pictures

  • There is sometimes a language barrier, especially with older people.  SMILE!  It’s a universal language!  Ask first! Show them your camera, mime taking their picture.
  • Be respectful if they say no – some cultures still believe you will capture their soul with your camera.
  • They may make hand gestures or have a goofy smile – it’s OK!  Let them, for the FIRST shot.  Show them the picture on the back of the camera – they LOVE to see it!
  • Take another shot for you – let them know to keep their hands down, or have a more serious expression.  They will be more likely to comply since the first picture was what they wanted.
  • For candid street photos, use a long lens.  It is more unobtrusive and you can stand farther away.

Favorites in India

  • Taj Mahal

– ASK if you can get there early.  Many guides will take you to a site before the rest of the tourists arrive for the day.  You can get great pictures without the crowds of people in them.

“Tour guides know where to be and when to be there for the good photo opportunities.”

Wild Tigers, Elephants, Monkeys

– Bandhavgarh (Bandhogarh) National Park in northern India has a high tiger population.

– Kaziranga National Park in southern India has the highest known tiger population in the world.

– Hire a guide!  You can hire a National Park Guide for as little as $5/day!

  • Buildings

– the architecture is very old

– mix of religions:  Hindu, Muslim, and Christian – the Temples for each are very intriguing

– Kama Sutra Temples of Khajuraho

– complex of 25 temples built between the 9th and 10th centuries

– the cities were extremely crowded and had a mix of both modern and very old buildings

  • People

– The people in the small villages were very friendly, welcoming, happy, and gracious.  They were also VERY poor.  There are many pickpockets – be wary of theft.

Where to Find Kelly

Website:  KellyWalkottenPhotography.com

Instagram: @kellywalkotten

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