There are times that I really wished I were a landscape photographer , sadly I lack the patience and dedication that is required to capture the images. For me travel portraiture is the drug, however this also creates particular but different challenges.
These challenges are less acute when traveling in first world countries, as most people speak English, ( or if they don't someone close by usually can and are generally delighted to practice their English by acting as an interpreter ).
Travel in countries and in regions where English is not a second, third or fourth language is more problematic. In tribal areas where even the language of the country may not be spoken by the local minorities it can be particularly difficult. Whilst the usual method of ... smile, point at camera, point at subject, smile again can produce some good photographs, it can also result in misunderstanding, misinterpretation and some confusion for both photographer and subject.
In these circumstances I strongly recommend enlisting the services of a guide. But which guide ? Finding a guide that has high levels of energy and commitment, is a good traveling companion as well as being a cultural expert, linguist, diplomat and negotiator with a good appreciation of light can be as as rare as hens teeth.
In the past year we have been on four trips, to Orissa, Yunnan, Sikkim and Vietnam – and have been fortunate in finding individuals with these qualities in abundance. Should you be heading into these areas to holiday or to take commercial photographs we would highly recommend them – they are ......
In Orissa - Nimain Prasad Das.
Nimain is a Department of Tourism approved guide. He is a gifted Sanskrit scholar, who, for a period, worked on a major translation work at the University of Bern and has traveled extensively in Europe. He is based in Bhubaneshwar the capital of Orissa. His knowledge of the region is second to none and has a superb understanding of the tribal areas of the state.
Nimain can be contacted ......
In Yunnam - Jack Zhang.
Jack is based in Kunming and has an extensive knowledge of southern China in particular the province of Yunnan, his assistance was invaluable.
Jack can be contacted ....
In Sikkim - Udai Pradhan.
Udai is based in Darjeeling, West Bengal. He has an intimate knowledge of the north east and quickly developed an appreciation of light and the use of a reflector.
Udai can be contacted ....
In Vietnam - Do Chi Hung.
Hung is based in the city of Hanoi where his family have lived for the past 900 years. A graduate, with a degree in business administration Hung leads individuals or groups throughout the country.
He accompanied us in the north east corner of the Vietnam for a couple of weeks and was superb in all situations.
Hung can be contacted ...