Taking a Scenic Photography Tour

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Taking a Scenic Photography Tour

Is taking a scenic photography tour something you have done? Would you like to, but for other reasons you can’t? What are those reasons?

Taking a Scenic Photography Tour

Upfront, I have to say it is not something I have really given a lot of thought to. Perhaps part of the reason was hearing stories from my grandmother when she went on tours. OMG, all I could think about was the hell I would be in if I ended up on a tour with someone like her.

My grandmother was obsessed with trees, taking photos of them. She would get the bus to stop so she could take a photo of one she saw. You know, “because it was really special”.

Yeah, it was great my grandma liked taking photos, but no, they weren’t really very good. I had no objection to her taking whatever photos she wanted. I really just objected to her wanting to show me EVERY SINGLE ONE. When she died someone said who wants her photos. No one put up there hand. Yeah, I know the same thing will happen to me when my time is done here.

Me taking tours

So perhaps I have let her influence me too much. Perhaps the other thing I’ve had in mind is the tours involve travelling with a lot of other people. That is what I thought anyway.

When I have travelled in the past, so not a lot of times, I’ve travelled with people that were happy to sort it all out and work out where we were going. I tried to work it all out, but I never knew where to start. It was easy to just let them do what they loved.

It can be good, but I realised I had to be upfront if there was anything I really wanted to see. Usually, I would start by saying if we go I want to . . . It worked well. In some ways, it was like a mini-tour. The biggest difference being I had a say on who I travelled with and some say on where we went.

Here are some photos from one of my trips to Tasmania.

My friend Robin

I’ve been friends with Robin for a couple of years now. She does quite a few tours so I asked her why.

This is what she had to say:

To answer your question of why do tours, it allows me to travel to places that I wouldn’t or couldn’t do on my own. If I had a partner it might be entirely different. It’s an expensive way to travel because the single supplements are exorbitant sometimes.

The thing I don’t like paying for in group-specific tours such as photography is that they are very expensive because you are paying for the leader then you pay for guides. If you booked it yourself with a guide it would be cheaper I think. I would only go with a small group tour and even then its sometimes too many people.

By going on a tour it takes the planning and researching out of your hands, you just show up and are taken to spots that you might never have found otherwise. My ideal would be to have a like-minded travel buddy.

Interesting ideas. I have to admit the cost of the tours makes the out of my price bracket.

I have some photos from her travels.

Malcolm Fackender – Photographic Tour Leader

Yesterday I spent a bit of time talking to Malcolm. His approach was interesting. It was the first time I really wondered if I was missing out because I couldn’t afford to do them.

Malcolm came up with some interesting points if you wanted to do a tour. I think they are great points.

From Malcolm – I would like to offer some things you may wish to consider in the post.

  • 1. By going on a genuine photographic tour all the hard work has been done for you, such as logistics and being at the right place at the right time

  • 2. It’s important to stress the point genuine, as many tours are literally off the shelf and renamed a photographic tour, so it’s important to seek out a photographic tour that has been designed from the ground up with photography in mind, with a reputable leader.

  • 3. Photographic tours by nature will come at a premium price, however, that doesn’t equate to double or even triple that of a normal tour. Be sure you’re getting value for money and not paying for more tour leaders than necessary or not subsidising someone’s travel.

  • 4. Not sure how you deal with this point, but the best photographic tour won’t necessarily be with high profile photographers. You may well get better value and better support from a lesser-known photographer Probably be able to do two or more trips with the same money.

  • 5. It’s great to travel with like-minded people with a common passion for photography. You will constantly learn from observing how others see the world.

  • 6. A photographic tour is different from a workshop. Where a workshop has a more intensive, structured training element or elements, a tour is about visiting the very best locations with photographic guidance provided.

  • 7. Look at the group size on the tour and number of photographers per photographic leader. It’s also very important to consider the nature of the tour. For example, a landscape tour will require less personal attention from a tour leader than that of a street photography tour or people photography tour. Make sure the group size is suitable for the tour you’re interested, and more importantly understand that a lower price will usually be offset by having a larger group.

  • 8. Review the images of relevant photography tour leaders. Do they have quality images in a specific destination or genre? For example, would you travel on a wildlife tour with someone who has no interest in photographing wildlife?

  • 9. How long do you wish to travel?

If you want to check out what Malcolm does here are some links to him.

Here are some of Malcolm’s images from the tours.

This week

After that blog post the other day with the other photographers I have been watching lots of videos from Brendan Van Son. It has been really interesting watching where he goes. He also runs workshops for people. They look great and I would love to do one of those, but again, no money.

However, talking to Malcolm has made me realise there can be value in them, you just have to pick the right one for you.

Where does this leave me. Ha, no idea. I guess I need to think about any travel and it will always be done on a budget. Maybe I should start running some workshops here in Australia for people. Small ones. Who wants to go with me?

16 Responses

  1. The cost of a photo tour is certainly a factor. I enjoy going on a trip with a couple of photographers. We map out our visit, spending as much time at each spot as we need. Age is also a factor. I go with fellow seniors so I don’t feel left out if the photo spot requires a significant hike. It’s always a choice!!

    • They are pricey. I can understand why. that is what I tend to do as well Anne. I was surprised to see that many photography tours don’t do hikes, and are often geared towards people who can’t do that sort of thing. Thanks for that Anne.

  2. I would love to do some of the photography tours and probably could afford the price of entry on occasion. The problem for me is that my wife likes to travel with me (and, of course, I enjoy having her as a companion.) She has no real interest in the photography so an already expensive trip is double the cost for me. We go on many trips and excursions but they are not tailored to photography.

  3. This was interesting, Leanne. I like Malcolm’s tip #4. ‘better support from a lesser-known photographer.’ I think that, along with price, would be what I would look for.

  4. The money part, also holds me back! Otherwise I would go on many photo tours! Have a great day.

  5. I’ll put my hand up for some of your images, although I’ll probably cark it before you do!

    Never taken a photographic tour although would love to … with Peter Eastway or one of the wildlife photographers, or Matty Smith one day when I have forked out the money for a Nauticam or Aquatica Housing for my SLR! All good to dream!

  6. Malcolm has made some very good points, especially about seeing the tour leader’s work and making sure that’s the style or subject that interests you. Btw, I’m sure your work is different than your Grandma’s, and someone will want it when that time comes.

    • I thought he did as well, it is similar to entering competitions, always know the work.
      Thank you so much, that’s really nice of you to say, I hope someone wants my photos one day.

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