Traveling solo, seeking good photos on a budget! Where to?
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Sep 21, 2012 2:25 PM Last Post By: tammy78
Dec 6, 2011 3:38 PM
Traveling solo, seeking good photos on a budget! Where to?Hi everyone,
I'm 27/f and will be traveling solo to SOMEWHERE in May/June 2012. I've got 2-4 weeks. I'm looking for suggestions on where to go for roughly 3000 USD. I'm a beginning photographer and want to go somewhere to practice. A combination of outstanding nature and culture would be ideal. Somewhere where English is widely spoken, although I can get by in Spanish too.
If I can find a guided group tour, I would love to consider some place where English is not spoken.
I am an environmental scientist so I geek out with volcanoes and things like that. I am also down to rough it, camp, whatever. I would like to do a moderate amount of physical activity. Safety of course is a mild concern since I am traveling alone.
Some places I have considered are Iceland, Mongolia, Peru, Ireland...If I were to go to Iceland I would probably check out Ireland too since I would be so close.
Any other suggestions? Any recommended tours for someone traveling on my budget? Anyone been to the above mentioned places for photography?
Thanks for the help!
Dec 10, 2011 8:04 AM
1Many universities have photography tours listed in their extended education/continuing education catalogs. UC Berkeley usually has something as well as NYU. Or, contact the Visitor Centers of national parks, such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, Denali, Acadia, Rocky Mountain, etc. for their photography tours. Wrangell-St. Elias NP in Alaska, in McCarthy, has a naturalist workshop center. Abiquiu/Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, of Georgia O'Keefe fame, has a photographer's workshop, but it may be more for landscape photography.
There are also cruises maybe with Caribbean or Holiday-American cruises or small cruiseships, but they may be more expensive. Check with the National Audubon Society or the National Sierra Club trip catalog for their photography tours.
Dec 13, 2011 6:05 AM
2If you'd "settle" for doing your travels in the U.S., check the field institutes associated with some of the national parks. These sometimes offer photography workshops. I'm a little confused as to whether you lean more towards greenery or barren but spectacular landscapes. If it's the latter, check to see if flights to/within Australia would fit in your budget and consider the Flinders Ranges region of South Australia. (There's always Uluru as well.)
Dec 13, 2011 9:15 AM
3South Australia, cool suggestion, thanks. Might be in my budget....I'll check it out!
I'm not particular to any specific landscape, I dig it all... mountains, desert, jungle, volcanoes. Anywhere where there is a vareity of landscapes within a busable, trainable (affordable) distance would be even better. Any other suggestions out there?
I had no idea about the National parks workshops...thanks a bunch!
Dec 14, 2011 4:18 PM
Dec 26, 2011 5:19 PM
5South Africa has amazing national parks which are designed for self drive. If you are camping, the costs are low for seeing the most diverse wildlife on the planet. We went there twice in 2011 and planning another trip in 2012.
Dec 28, 2011 3:55 AM
There are no doubt countless places you could go. First off I should mention I'm not a photographer, more of a nature buff, but like anyone can fluke a good shot. In some places its almost impossible to take a bad photo!
If I were you I'd consider Ecuador as it could fit the bill perfectly. Its a relatively small country and in 3 to 4 weeks you could see a fair bit of it. Its diversity is amazing - you've got the Amazon, the coastline, the cloud forests, volcanoes, etc, etc. And not to mention the culture. You would obviously get by on your Spanish - I had very basic if not limited Spanish under my belt and a majority of my time there was independent travel, and I had no issues. I daresay you'd be able to find a tour that takes much of Ecuador's main areas in if you wanted to avoid independent travel. Cost wise I reckon you would be fine, especially if you travelled independently. If you were to use a tour and booked directly with a company in Ecuador, it should (I imagine its the same in the states as it is here) work out much cheaper than booking locally (in the US). Obviously this is my personal taste coming out, but a couple of places to see would be Banos and Lake Quilatoa.
I've been to Peru also and its another beautiful country, so I'd definitely recommend looking into that also. In my opinion I'd seriously consider Ecuador for its size and diversity.
I'm an Aussie, and would encourage anyone to come here... however... travelling Australia is generally not cheap and also it is a huge country (I only say that because people often underestimate the size). All I'm saying is do some research, because my concern would be a lot of money spent and not much seen. I don't think you would get as much bang for your buck as other places. If you had longer, it would make a lot more sense. Of course that's just my opinion.
But honestly if it were me, I wouldn't leave my backyard. You could easily concentrate on an area of the states and potentially save a lot of money doing so, without limiting the photo ops. California alone offers virtually every landscape imaginable. Arizona's diversity is amazing and surprising. The west coast from the Cascades all the way down (some coast but more inland) would be one great option, as would seeing Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Or even Hawaii, especially Kauai! The options are endless. Unless you have a real urge to go overseas for this, I honestly don't think you need to. But if you do, Ecaudor would be well worth looking into.
All the best, and feel free to contact me if you need any specific info.
Dec 30, 2011 11:21 PM
I am curious on what your opinion is for traveling within Ecuador with expensive looking cameras around your neck! I am planning a trip to south America around the amazon basin and am considering bringing a nice camera to capture the wildlife as I am considering getting into more serious photography.
My personal concern (I have never been to south America however) as a young traveler on a tight budget is losing a $1000 camera due to theft.
Dec 31, 2011 4:26 AM
I can certainly appreciate your concern, and its a valid one. But having said that, if your trip is concentrating on the Amazon you shouldn't have any real issues. Many people carry around the big SLR's and whatnot in the Amazon. Not me, but I did have a small digital camera as well as my video camera. The big cities may pose more of a threat, but the simple fact is you need to be careful and more to the point sensible everywhere - big city or small town. I spent some time in Quito and had no issues whatsoever, although recent threads indicate things may be getting worse. I'm not saying this to alarm you, but even if things weren't as bad when I was there I still found I just took the small camera with me and had it in my pocket, so as not to draw too much attention to myself. The video camera is more cumbersome, and would need to be exposed so I felt it was better not to take the risk. That's not to say people don't wander Quito with big cameras, they probably do, I just chose not to take that risk. You may want to consider taking a small digital camera in addition to your big one, just for use in the cities??? The key is being sensible at all times.
For wildlife viewing in the Amazon I'd recommend doing a lot of research on which tours are best for that, obviously there can be no guarantees when it comes to wildlife, but some areas of the Amazon are better than others. I was in Cuyabeno (flooded forest) in Ecuador and Puerto Maldonado in Peru - I'd happily recommend both but not so much for wildlife viewing. It was ok, but nothing spectacular. Maybe it was a bad time of year (I was there over April and May)??? Again, research is vital if wildlife viewing is your aim.
Enjoy your trip,
Dec 31, 2011 9:08 AM
Jan 24, 2012 5:26 AM
Jan 29, 2012 4:12 PM
Feb 2, 2012 9:38 PM
12I think the Best place you can go is India. Dark shades and Light sun shine will make th nature quite beautyful. As India is having one of the prominent Rain forest the variety u get in Indian wilfd life cant be expected any where. Esspecialy Indian Elephents and variety of Birds can make u dream a new way of Photography.
Feb 4, 2012 12:48 PM
13Ghana is a wonderful place to go. Its english speaking, but the multiple local languages spoken keep you on your toes. You have use a lot of sign language to communicate, but you can always find someone who speaks some english. Its one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, and the people are incredibly welcoming and hospitable. Ghana is a great taste of Africa without the worry. Its generally very safe if you take the right precautions, and once you get there it is incredibly cheep. You can take the Tro Tro's around to get anywhere in the country you need to go, and it won't cost you more that 10 dollars to get all the way from one big city to the next. I also am interested in photography and found it to be a relatively easy place to take photographs. I never felt unsafe there, although as a white person I often got hassles and asked for things. It is not rude to say no, and keep going, although it can wear on you after you've have 3 marriage proposals in one day. If this is a place you are interested in traveling to feel free to ask more more about it...I've been there twice, and would go back again. Also if you want to see some of my photos from the trip you can view them at www.flickr.com/bridgettebubble
Feb 12, 2012 2:13 PM
You better do more research because depending on how long you stay, 3K won't go far. A r/t ticket to Europe (from East coast) is costing over 1K at that time of year, it's over 2k to Africa, and I haven't priced Asia in awhile. So you need to decide if you want 2 weeks or 4 weeks. If you want to photograph wildlife, history and nature, you could fly into one Central American country and visit a couple of the neighboring countries before coming back home. Guatemala offers Mayan ruins, jungles, traditional people & wildlife. You could go to Belize (if you want English) you could go down to Costa Rica. In any case, since you can get by with Spanish and are on a budget, flights from Florida are under $400 with Spirit air. This gives you $2600 to use for more enjoyable endeavors while there.
I've spent about 4 1/2 years traveling to over 85 countries in the last 30 years. At times I have $2000+ worth of gear and I only had a camera stolen once.That was when I let my guard down.
If you like taking good pics, you'll regret not taking your better camera. If a place looks dicey, keep it hidden - I use a camera backpack so it doesn't look so obvious while a friend of mine throws hers into a floppy canvas shoulder bag. Don't look like a walking victim with your camera. Instead of keeping loosely hanging around your neck waiting to be snatched, keep it lashed around your wrist where it will take an armed attack to relieve you of it. And most importantly, PAY ATTENTION to your surroundings. It's the people walking around in a daze, listening to their ipods, that open themselves up the most to pickpockets and thieves that snatch and run.
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