Sunday, 30 August 2015

Have Fun With Your Travel Photos!

My travel photos are my most prized possession. I guess you’d say the same if you love traveling like me. Travel photos refresh memories. They take you on a virtual trip all over again – the desert of Rajasthan, the stunning streets of Sydney, the orchards of Kashmir and the beaches of Goa… What if you add a dash of fun and creativity to your pictures?

A beautiful collage or a pretty frame would just make the experience of viewing your travel photos even better. I recently came across Fotor, a free online photo editor that just sizzles up your travel photos! It’s an excellent way to put together all your favorite photos and flaunt them to your friends.

Take a look –

A funky collage of my favorite travel moments. Make your own collage here.
My most memorable moment in Kashmir framed. You can do it here
The sunshine of Hampi tunes in with Sydney's carefree air. 
My many moods and moments from various vacations down the years...
Perky, spunky and cool... isn't it?

Now be a Graphic Designer of your own!

Besides the easy and innovative frames and collages, what you must try is Fotor's revolutionary feature - Graphic Design, which would allow you to experiment and discover new ways to beautify your images. Who wouldn't want to have a smashing Facebook or a Twitter cover photo? 

Check out the following video to learn how to create stunning posters, banners and cards with their Graphic Design feature -




Fotor also has mobile app, which you can download here -

Which Fotor feature do you like the most?

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

4 Bloggers Share Their Love For Travel Photography

Today, I invite four awesome bloggers who share my passion for travel photography. They enjoy travelling and snapping photos; they understand the art and zealously hone their skills. Of course, each of them has different perspectives and fortes. But, the joy of capturing a beautiful moment is what makes all these lovely people alike.

The gleam that you see in a photographer’s eyes after taking a great shot is just like a child’s innocent squeal as he grabs his favourite candy. So, let’s enjoy this magical art together and hear these amazing people out –

Meet Dalene and Pete Heck, a Canadian couple who sold everything to travel the world and they can’t seem to get enough of travel photography:


How did you start travel photography (what intrigued you to take pictures)?

For us travel photography is about trying to capture the moment. We don't collect souvenirs or buy and keepsakes, our photos are our memories.

What kind of subjects do you typically like to photograph (what's your forte)?
Typically it's landscapes and night photography. It requires a lot of time and patience to get the right photo and I have a lot of both :)
What challenges do you face on the road and how do you deal with them?
The biggest challenge as a photographer is backing up my photos. Considering we don't have a home base we have to carry at minimum two mirrored external hard-drives to make sure I don't lose any of my raw images. At the moment we're carrying 8 external HD's and we need to pick up a couple more. They start to take up a lot of space.
Favourite Travel Photo

As we tend to preferably visit destinations in the colder months, this was a very chilly morning from Lake Bled, Slovenia. Both Dalene and I started to walk around the lake which was blanketed in complete white fog. Dalene was too cold and decided to turn back and wait in a cafe for me to return. As I continued on the fog for a brief moment lifted and by chance a tour boat was just heading out to the island. Moments later the fog came back down and I couldn't see the cathedral again. It was perfect timing and a moment I would not forget.
Twitter: @hecktictravels
Instagram: @hecktictravels


Meet Julie, a red headed traveller who loves travelling and when she’s not on the road, she eats something delicious, and of course, she can’t do without taking great photographs along the way:


How did you start travel photography (what intrigued you to take pictures)?

My dad always took pictures on family vacations and in elementary school I started taking pictures myself on trips. I started with the disposable cameras you threw away and then for my 10th birthday I was given my first ever camera. The rest as they say is history. Taking pictures is the best way to keep the memory of a trip alive I feel. My pictures allow me to relive memories from both trips I took as a child to places I visited in the last year. They're timeless and cost nothing.

What kind of subjects do you typically like to photograph (what's your forte)?

I truly love all subjects-city scenes, nature, and most recently, food. You can never go wrong with taking pictures of famous landmarks or a beautiful view you wish to capture. As for food, chefs at restaurants spend a long time preparing dishes and in many ways they are like works of art and I enjoy photographing them. Plus, they're a great way to remind you what you ate during your travels! Portrait photography is the one area I don't really have any experience with but would certainly like to change that in the future. 

What challenges do you face on the road and how do you deal with them?

Poor lighting and glare are probably the two biggest challenges I face when taking pictures on a trip. Last year when I visited Machu Picchu, because it's situated right underneath the ozone layer, the sun was intense and many of my photos had some sun rays in them. They weren't ruined but I know with better equipment I probably could have prevented this. As for poor lighting, I tend to buy a lot of postcards in case my own photos didn't turn out too well and then add them to my photo album. They're typically very inexpensive and quite easy to pack too!

Favourite photo

Visiting Machu Picchu was a dream come true for me. Although I loved all of the photos I took while I was there, this one is my favorite because it so perfectly captures the country all in one frame-the majestic Andres Mountains, the incredible Inca ruins, and an adorable llama grazing on some grass. It's not the typical image of the ruins that are so frequently found on the cover of travel guidebooks to Peru and yet I feel its uniqueness makes it even more spectacular. 

Instagram: @theredheadedtraveler 


Meet Pallavi, an expat in Singapore who lives life queen size. Her passion for travel and food reflects in every photograph that she freezes:


How did you start travel photography (what intrigued you to take pictures)?

I have always loved photography. The thought of capturing a memory through a photograph that you can look back one day and reminisce intrigued me and that's what drew me to photography! Since I love traveling,  I enjoy documenting my experiences and photography allows me to take a bit of that place back home with me :)

What kind of subjects do you typically like to photograph (what's your forte)?

I love taking portraits in natural light as well as landscapes. Since the birth of my son, portrait photography is something I enjoy immensely. 

What challenges do you face on the road and how do you deal with them?

One of the challenges during my travels is taking pictures of strangers i.e. street photography. You never know how they would react . Thankfully, people have been pretty cooperative so far :) Another challenge I face is taking my gear with me, DSLR can be heavy and taking all my lenses in my camera bag makes it a bulky item to carry. 

Favourite photograph

A lalang field in Singapore. I loved how the sunlight falls on the stems and illuminates it.  



Meet Sarah, an international Belgian who has resided in several countries around the world and has locked the essence of each place in her camera:


How did you start travel photography (what intrigued you to take pictures)?

My father used to document our life and travels so I got accustomed to the joy of having tangible memories of past trips and adventures. When I was 10 years old, I received my first real camera. I took so much pleasure in setting down in images fun times with family and friends. As I started traveling on my own, my interest gradually shifted from capturing memories to capturing the essence of a place. Nowadays, I sometimes choose a destination solely based on the photographic opportunities that place might have to offer.

What kind of subjects do you typically like to photograph (what's your forte)?

I’ve always loved to photograph foods and drinks, long before it became the trendy thing to do. It’s the colours, textures and shapes that make it so appealing to me. This is also why I love photographing all kinds of details: a pretty doorknob, a lost shoe, the wrinkled hands of an old lady… You get the idea. A third favourite subject is “scenes from daily life”. I feel on top of the world when I’m able to capture those simple moments. When I travel, I always spend a lot of time at the local market, as this is the perfect spot to find all three of my favourite topics.

What challenges do you face on the road and how do you deal with them?

Sometimes I will see a beautiful scene just waiting to be snapped but I’ll feel embarrassed to shamelessly start clicking away, especially if it’s a delicate situation. How I deal with it… At times, I don’t. Other times I get myself into “reporter-mode”, put my insecurity aside and try to connect with the people. That way I can assess if it’s ok to take photographs.

Favourite Photograph

This photograph was taken in the market of a small town in Myanmar. The spontaneous and sincere laughter caught on camera just gives me a fantastic, warm feeling that encompasses my time in the country. This is an example of how I connected with the people first before snapping away.


What do YOU enjoy about travel photography?

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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

9 Destinations In India That I Still Have To Tick Off

INDIA tops my travel bucket list. I do have 8 other countries on my wish-list, but I believe my life as a traveller is incomplete if I don’t explore my own country deeply. Therefore, I aim to have a taste of each and every state and union territory of my country. So far, I have travelled to 18 states and 2 union territories in India, which leaves me with 16 more to tick off. If you have been following this blog for quite a while, you must be aware of my enriching journeys through India – Sikkim, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Goa, Karnataka and many more.


I really feel excited about my travel plans in India!   

Below are the 9 destinations that I wish to visit in the days to come –

Assam
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Assam is its tea gardens. Of course, there’s much more to it and I’d like to explore that, too. But, I’d not want to research much about what to do and see there. I’d rather be spontaneous with what I discover and experience in Assam.

Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh has been on my mind for a year now. It’s also been recommended to me by quite a few people. I’m keen to unravel its natural beauty – mountains, river valleys and forests. So yes, I have to make it there sometime next year.

Nagaland
Nagaland seems to me a different world altogether, which is what intrigues me about it. I’m curious to explore its culture, get acquainted with its people and immerse in its everyday life. It would be a big trip!

Meghalaya
To be honest, I know nothing about Meghalaya. I just have a mere idea that it’s a beautiful state – a place that has both natural treasures and cultural charms to offer. And, that’s why I want to visit it.

Odisha
I don’t really know much about Odisha except for its humidity. So, I’m waiting for a suitable season to visit it. I’m not sure what exactly I should explore there. All I know is that it has quite a few interesting temples, beaches and national parks.

Chhattisgarh
To be honest, Chhattisgarh was never on my wish-list until I came across its royal heritage on a TV travel show recently. I’d like to visit its ancient temples, palaces and of course, the Chitrakote Falls.

Lakshadweep
Whenever I think of Lakshadweep, I see a surreal image of the islands in my mind. I’m sure it’s a beautiful place, perfectly romantic and soulfully peaceful. I’d definitely like to go there someday.

Pondicherry
I know it’s called Puducherry now, but I’d still like to call it Pondicherry, because that exudes its true essence – the French architecture, beaches and the fishing tradition. It sounds like a charming place that I can’t resist exploring.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands
I want to visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands for its sheer beauty and remoteness. I hope to find a different texture of India there.

Which part of India do YOU wish to explore?

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

How Travel Blogging Saved My Life!


Today, I complete my three years as a travel blogger. What a triumphant feeling it is! Not because I have done something extraordinary or I have tons of following. Nah… It’s an awesome achievement because I am at it vehemently!   

My life has changed drastically in the last couple of years. I had lived many years of ‘I don’t want to be doing what I’m doing’ and ‘I want to do what I want to do’ until I started this blog.


I have already talked a great deal about how this blog started and how I quit my job and all, so I wouldn’t want to get into that again. To commemorate the success of this travel blog, I’d like to talk about how it saved my life. Yes, I believe my blog is a success because it has given me a direction, purpose, power, freedom, and the love of people, which is far greater than the “success” that’s considered success by the world.

In my opinion, you are successful if you are doing what you really like doing and if you are doing it consistently. As long as you are on your way, you will reach where you are set out to reach (sooner or later, that doesn’t really matter). Before this blog started, I had an unknown, but a very potent urge to do something that would make me come alive. I always wanted to make a name for myself. But, I was clueless about how to go about doing that. Even when I started penning this blog, I didn’t know it would give me my much desired ‘dream life’.


My blog is not just my hobby or job, but it’s a reflection of who I am. So, when I say that it saved my life, I mean that it has rescued me from the stifled life that I could have lived had I not chosen this path.    

Everybody has a calling in life – it could be to travel or anything else. You got to find your own path. You got to grab something and be good at it. I believe you are unsuccessful if you spend your life wondering, wishing and sighing. Don’t find yourself saying, “I wish I had done that if only I had enough money… if only my family had supported me… or if only I was a little younger.” Find yourself saying, “I’m going to start small… I’m going to hone my skills… I’m going to learn no matter how old I am.”


The three most important lessons that I have learnt as a travel blogger in the last three years –

One, success is not a fluke or a jackpot that’s achievable by luck. It’s an ongoing process. If you are doing what you are made to do, success comes in proportion of your effort. So, it’s up to you how much effort you are willing to put in at what you are doing.

Two, communicating and learning can take you places (literally). Ask questions, find out what others are doing and be open to proposing ideas to others. I have no qualms about admitting that I have learnt a great deal of blogging from other bloggers. Learning from others doesn’t mean that you have to imitate them and lose your own uniqueness. You can still be your own person and grow into an entity that others would want to emulate.

Three, honesty and originality give you a secure space. I mean I wish I had more readers, more social media followers and high rankings, but I’m happy and content with what I can control, which is being honest with my readers.

Since it’s a celebratory post, let me give you quick glimpses of the 5 most successful posts on Voyager For Life –


Have you been following my blog for a while or have you landed here for the first time? Do tell me what you like about Voyager For Life!

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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

How Did I Learn Travel Photography?

So how did I learn to take beautiful travel photos? Okay, I’m not trying to sound like I’m an expert when it comes to taking great travel photos. But, I can confidently say that I’m able to produce quite decent travel photos and I’m ever eager to hone my skills.

Also read Travel Photography Tips on National Geographic

Travel photography is something that I enjoy immensely and that’s why it’s my top priority on all my travels. I’d say travel photography is not something that you can learn in a class. It’s an art that you need to grow with on the road.

Before I unravel my tips on learning travel photography, I want to make it clear that you cannot take good travel photos unless you have a passion for travel. You got to be a traveller to be a travel photographer. Tell me if you disagree with me.

I’m sharing with you MY ways of honing my travel photography skills, but if you also have something valuable to add, please feel free to do so in the comments below.


Observe good travel photos

Whenever I’m asked how I learnt photography, my only answer is that I learnt it by observing great travel photos taken by others. Most of what I have discovered about travel photography or photography on the whole is through observation. I look at photos that I like and I observe how they are composed and framed, the idea and the story behind them, the artistic sense applied by the photographer and many little details.

So, have an eye for observation.  



Critique your own photos

I make lots of mistakes. I don’t think I am ever totally satisfied with my photos. Yes, there have been quite a few instances when I really felt that I was able to achieve what I aimed at. But, most of the time, I am critiquing my photos. I believe ‘your’ mistakes teach you a lot. So, never be afraid of making them! However, avoid making the same mistakes again and again. Analyse your photos, find out what’s not looking good and work on it.


Be open to learning from others

I always make it a point to learn from other good photographers. If I find someone who knows a great deal about photography, I try to interact with that person. Everybody has different strong points. For instance, I may be good at landscape photography, while someone else may be more comfortable with capturing market scenes or food photos. So, taking a few quick tips from your fellow traveller is always a good idea. 

    
Be ready to walk

If you want to nail great travel images, you got to be walking! You can’t be lazy, hesitant or shy and be a travel photographer, too. I walk and wander a lot on my travels. I don’t mind getting tanned. I dirty my clothes, climb anywhere and even get hurt for a shot. The idea is to capture what you really want to capture. If a shot requires you to walk an extra mile, bend or even lie down, do it!     


Mingle with locals

I have realised over the years that most people are friendly and they respect what you do if you care to talk to them. Even a brief hello would do. Mingling with the locals is also part of travel photography. You need to exchange glances and smiles before you can freeze them.


Give it time

Except for the candid shots, each frame needs your time. Perhaps the best way of learning travel photography is by being patient with each shot. You have to remember that photography is an art. It’s not about owning a great camera and just clicking. So, take your time and think what looks good in a frame and what doesn’t.

Never be in a hurry.

If you annoy your companions by taking too long for a shot, let them leave!

WHAT TIP WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO LEARN TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY?

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