by Steve Allen Published 01/04/2017
U Bein Bridge at sunset. Amarapura near Mandalay in Myanmar (Burma). The footbridge, over Taungthaman Lake, was constructed in 1849 using reclaimed teak columns by the then mayor of Amarapura, U Bein. It is 1.2Km long.
Depending on the type of destination I'm visiting and how kind the weather is to me, I usually manage to get between 70% and 90% of the things on my list. I stay flexible though, and if I come across the unexpected I take full advantage.
Often, I will need to visit a particular location two, maybe three times at different times of the day, so I can get a shot at dawn or in the earlymorning sunlight or early-morning mist. Then perhaps a shot in the late afternoon light and finally a night shot.
Night shots should be taken when there is still a little light left in the sky. This will enable you to still see the edges of unlit roofs, etc against the sky. If it's too late and the sky is black this probably will not be possible and the top of your subject will just blend into the dark sky.
USING A LOCAL GUIDE
I often hire a local driver and guide, especially when traveling in the more 'exotic' locations. This may seem extravagant, but it can save me so much valuable time. I don't need to find my location, they take me straight there.
A good guide will often come up with ideas, viewpoints and locations that I had not thought of or did not know about. Sometimes their local knowledge can help me get access to places otherwise out of bounds to the public. On several occasions my guides have obtained permission for me to take photographs in places covered in 'No Photography' signs. The fact that the guide speaks the local language, knows the local culture and can guide me through any religious or cultural sensitivities is a great help. They can often smooth the way and help when trying to photograph local people.
Often I find that my guide will be willing to be included in my photographs and also even sign a model release. A great way to get released travel images! A good guide is a very valuable asset.
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