Bay Of Kotor, Montenegro. Montenegro was the primary cease on our lengthy journey and a spot we got here again to once we wanted to work and save a bit of cash. We took a neighborhood bus to a lookout level we had seen earlier. The day was utterly overcast and the clouds have been very low, hiding all the pieces. After Anya and I explored the small city of Perast, the clouds began to elevate and this wonderful scene appeared earlier than our eyes.

“Discover each place with countless curiosity, dream, let go of all preconceptions, and fortunately embrace something.” These have been a few of the phrases I lived by when, in 2011 and 2012, I traveled constantly everywhere in the world for 21 months. I used to be very fortunately dwelling out my lifelong dream of getting a one-way ticket (to wherever) and touring in every single place my whims took me for so long as I had a couple of {dollars} in my pocket. Oh, and as an expert photographer who has far too usually carried far too many cameras, heavy lenses, large tripods and photograph equipment, and whose again forbade him to try this once more, I dreamt of, and succeeded, in going mild, as properly.

I’ve all the time been a believer that what issues most in life is to see, expertise and respect as a lot of our wonderful world as doable. Being an expert photographer offers me an superior excuse to just do that. I have to stand up earlier than the dawn to see how the sunshine modifications because it screams throughout, say, the plains of Bagan, Myanmar, or the crowded and dusty streets of India, or the deep blue waters of a South Pacific island location. Being a photographer influenced my lengthy journey each step of the way in which. I used to be constantly trying to find the following scenic overlook, the following attention-grabbing one that had photogenic character or the following lovely wildlife specimen that I’d seize for only a second with my digicam. I used to be open-minded, versatile to no matter got here my method, and I seemed deep into the center of the locations I went. I additionally took quite a lot of pictures.


One of the best journey images departs from a standard postcard and captures the lifestyle of the individuals who stay in a given location. In fact, the photographer does his or her finest to try this artfully by lighting and composition.

In 21 months of touring, I actually do not know what number of photos I took, however it was properly into the tens of 1000’s. The pictures showcased on these pages are just some of my favorites, and I had issue narrowing it down to those few. It needs to be no shock to readers of this journal that the world holds countless photogenic alternatives, and all we have to do is open our eyes and minds, and use our talents to seize them.

As I inform folks about our journey—I traveled with my good friend Anya, who then grew to become my fiancée, who then grew to become my spouse—of us usually ask the standard questions of the place we went and what we noticed and the way a lot it value, however not often am I requested why we went. Plainly most everybody understands why somebody would undertake such a journey. The straightforward reply I give if anybody does ask why is simply that I needed to embrace the world and expertise life. Plus, I like images. All quite simple and really true causes for our 21-month journey.


Getting in near folks with a digicam is difficult. Be real and open as you are taking pictures, and other people usually will reply in variety.

So, then, I am going to first write the solutions to the most typical questions I get: How did I handle to take a 21-month nonstop journey? And the way did I handle my photograph gear? And the place did we go?



Tad Fane Waterfall, Laos. We have been in a really rural space of Laos referred to as the Bolaven Plateau. Whereas speaking to a neighborhood store proprietor, we discovered that there have been a number of waterfalls within the space. He drew us a tough map on a half-sheet of paper and rented us a small bike. Anya and I spent a whole day exploring the realm, discovering waterfalls and photographing all the pieces. This double waterfall drops over 360 ft into the canyon beneath. I felt supremely honored to have the ability to witness such wonderful pure magnificence.

Effectively, for funds, I merely saved some cash every year for about three years main as much as the journey. It really prices rather a lot much less for such a journey than you may think. There are nonetheless plenty of locations around the globe the place a cautious traveler can stay on $5 a day. Sure, $5. That is not a misprint. And Anya and I traveled on a funds, saving cash on issues the place we might in an effort to spend it on experiences, native excursions, native guides, and so on. In all places we went, we traveled as locals, stayed with locals and ate as native of us do—that is all the time the simplest option to spend much less cash.

Plus, we traveled mild. This was one in all my foremost objectives, as I had no monetary backing for this journey. I could not depend on another person to pay for further baggage or obese luggage. Apart from, I like touring mild and transferring quick. When you want to get on and off a number of native buses every single day, or are touring by dugout canoe up the Mekong River or by cycle rickshaw in India, having rather a lot much less stuff makes for lots extra happiness. So, you ask, what did I convey for photograph gear?


The Taj Mahal is on many individuals’s bucket lists to see and {photograph}. This is a distinct take a look at the well-known vacationer attraction from a extra distinctive perspective than the standard postcard.

I introduced a Canon EOS 40D and the longest, most versatile lens then obtainable for that digicam, a Tamron 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3. This outfit gave me the 35mm equal of 29-432mm with a stabilized (Tamron calls it Vibration Compensation, or VC), fairly quick, autofocus lens. Certain, typically I needed for extra wide-angle when beneath an architectural masterpiece, and typically I needed for extra telephoto attain once we noticed elusive wildlife, however 99% of the time, that 29-432mm was all I wanted. My solely accent was a polarizer for my lens. I additionally had two further batteries and a good-sized JOBY GorillaPod tripod. We photographed every single day, nearly all day, particularly once we bought to a brand new place and did not must “transfer on” until we determined it was time. My tools held up superb for your complete 21 months.


Indian Lady, Ranthambore Fort, India. India is essentially the most culturally wealthy, colourful and assorted place that we visited. Each individual is a photograph alternative, each avenue holds countless potentialities. I liked this colourful second, however it solely lasted a second till the lady modified her place. As a result of I had only one lens and was prepared, I managed to seize a couple of frames earlier than the second handed.

In fact, I needed to guard my hard-won photos, however I did not carry a laptop computer. So, as we went, I backed up all my pictures onto a small paperback-sized laborious drive I carried with me just by visiting laptop facilities to burn the photographs and to make DVDs. These discs have been despatched by publish to a stateside tackle of a member of the family, and I carried an additional DVD copy with me, as properly. This allowed me to reformat my reminiscence playing cards, realizing I had three copies of every picture.



Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Scorching air balloon is a well-liked option to expertise this place. The Tamron all-in-one zoom was indispensable, permitting for practically limitless compositions because the scene modified.

Anya and I introduced simply midsized journey backpacks, which weighed beneath 25 kilos every, however they nonetheless felt awfully heavy once we needed to carry them throughout a distant Philippine island or when strapped to the again of a motor scooter in Vietnam. Nonetheless, we felt liberated and carefree every time we noticed vacationers with humongous, wheeled suitcases that weighed greater than they did. And, in every single place we went, native folks have been joyful to fulfill us, joyful to have us go to their a part of the world and joyful to assist us out once we wanted assist.


Sumatran Orangutans, Indonesia. My Tamron lens and Canon DSLR offered sufficient zoom energy for bigger and/or pleasant wildlife. At an orangutan sanctuary on the island of Sumatra, Anya and I spent 5 days with a neighborhood information and a number of other of the realm’s orangutans. Lots of the moms carried infants, and we witnessed and photographed tons of chic and splendidly tender moments that week.

The world is far safer and persons are a complete lot friendlier than the information would have you ever consider. In 21 months on the street, Anya and I skilled many tons of, if not 1000’s, of small gestures or large serving to fingers, the place a neighborhood individual was merely excited about ensuring we have been protected, joyful and okay. As just one instance, in a abandoned mountain space in northern Vietnam, we have been making an attempt to get to a far-flung nationwide park and had gone so far as the native bus service went. Strolling the final, dusty, 22 kilometers to the park entrance appeared our solely choice—and never a enjoyable one at that, with full packs beneath a sizzling, tropical solar.


The Pyramids, The Giza Plains, Egypt. A extreme sandstorm engulfed the realm on the primary day, blocking any views. Since we had as a lot time as we needed in every vacation spot, we waited out the storm, and I lastly bought this view from out within the desert that I all the time had needed to witness.

After simply 10 minutes of strolling, I heard a automobile coming. It was a bus filled with teenage college youngsters heading to the nationwide park, and I flagged it down. Though there weren’t any empty seats on that bus, the children and their driver welcomed us aboard and cleared two seats for us. Then they proceeded to assemble round us and confirmed their pleasure at having English-speaking “friends” aboard their bus, speaking, being actually pleasant, snapping pictures with their smartphones and even exchanging e mail addresses with us (we nonetheless be in contact). They have been genuinely joyful that we selected to go to their a part of the world.


Within the 21 months that we traveled, we visited 23 international locations. We began in Japanese Europe, moved from there to the Center East, then North Africa. We then spent a month in Sri Lanka and 42 days in India. From there, we traveled to Turkey after which again to Japanese Europe, the place we stayed put for 4 months and labored vacationer jobs in pleasant Montenegro on the Adriatic Coast to avoid wasting cash. After a fantastic summer season dwelling with a Serbian household, off we went to Hong Kong and China, then to each nation of Southeast Asia, staying a few month per nation. We completed up with a summer season within the Siberian a part of southcentral Russia.

Clearly, a journey internationally like this, for 21 months, modified my life in innumerable methods. I am now married to my journey associate. I now have tens of 1000’s of fantastic photos from locations that not everybody will get to see, and I’ve a a lot deeper appreciation for the easy assist that sort strangers usually supply. Thanks to Anya in your open thoughts and your willingness to “go wherever.” Thanks to all those that we met and who usually pointed us in the correct path.

I had so many supreme photographic moments on our journey that my photos and their tales might fill volumes. If anybody have been ever to ask my recommendation about going someplace, about stepping out of his or her consolation zone, I would merely say, “Go. Go now. Do not hesitate, journey mild, and seize the alternatives that await!”


Tamron 16-300mm

Canon EOS 70D

Time Passes, The Instruments Get Higher
On his epic 21-month trek, Don Mammoser used a Tamron 18-270mm lens solely. This sort of all-in-one zoom enabled him to journey mild with an equal focal vary of 29-432mm on his Canon 40D DSLR. That was in 2012. If he have been making the journey in the present day, he possible can be utilizing Tamron’s latest all-in-one zoom, the 16-300mm Di II VC PZD and the Canon EOS 70D. The 16-300mm has Tamron’s Vibration Compensation expertise, and the 70D is a superb nonetheless digicam, with Canon’s newest motion-capture expertise and an articulating contact display screen.

Don Mammoser is an expert nature and journey photographer and author. He has written a sequence of travel-related ebooks that debate the place, when and the right way to {photograph} iconic locations around the globe. They are often discovered at amazon.com beneath his title. Don leads distinctive, enjoyable workshops and photograph excursions to North American and worldwide locations. Go to www.donmammoserphoto.com.

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