Author: Angélique Coffee

Do You Know How to Tell Your Adventure Stories with Your Photos?

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Here I’m showing Cold, Fog, Rain, Immensity, Ruggedness, and Struggle. (Photograph by Dan Westergren)

A picture can be worth a thousand words, but only if it needs no explanation to support it.  I personally have a life long passion for photography so I am always on the lookout for tips from the experts.  National Geographic is known for their commitment to visual storytelling and this great advice comes from Dan Westergren, director of photography for National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Do Your Pictures Tell a Story?

A photo editor’s nightmare is when someone shows him a picture and then starts to explain what’s in it. In the worst cases, the photographer starts to talk about important things that aren’t even in the shot.

In the simplest of terms, a storytelling photograph must show what the story is about. As the stories we want to tell with pictures get more complex, it becomes harder to fit all the elements into one frame. However, trying to make that happen is a great exercise.

The first step is to photograph all aspects of the story. Get to know the subject until you can decide what visual elements help tell the tale of that place or person.

Think about it in terms of covering the story from different angles. Photograph your subject from near, far away, back, front.

The key to an interesting photographic coverage is variety. Change up the size of the subject in the photographic frame. Shoot the same thing with different focal length settings. This is the time to really play around.

Photos work best when they have more than one storytelling element. In this case I was pretty bummed that the rain and fog were obscuring the Alaskan mountain range behind the glacier. Then I found out our boat was to be visited by two National Park Service rangers. Their small size emphasized the scale of the landscape.

One of my tricks is to think of adjectives that can describe a place and then see how many of them I can get into a photograph. Here I’m showing Cold, Fog, Rain, Immensity, Ruggedness, and Struggle.

And, last but not least, don’t fall into the trap of including the main subject of your story in every picture. After a few photos the viewers will get the idea.

Be sure to mix things up, take a lot of pictures, and review your shots while you’re still in the field because that’s when ideas for what will become the best photos — the keepers — will start bubbling to the surface.

Most photographers don’t just stand around waiting for the best scenes to appear in front of them. They work to draw their mind into the scene, hoping to capture the telling details that would have gone unnoticed without careful observation.

Jump4Heroes: Extreme Wingsuit BASE Jump: Flying The Eiger

Here’s a great way to get your morning off to a flying start!

With the picturesque Swiss Alps as a backdrop, the Royal British Legion Extreme Human Flight Team, the Jump4Heroes, celebrated the British Armed Forces by jumping off an edge of The Eiger’s north face, otherwise known as the Mordwand or “murderous wall”.  And they do it to support charities! Check out the cool video below.

Yellowstone Summer: An Insider’s Journey Webinar

Absolutely unique in the world. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Yellowstone, America’s first national park, is thriving as a natural beauty as much today as it was back in 1903 when President Theodore Roosevelt made a significant visit to this Wyoming treasure.  Along with the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone offers both a plethora of wildlife and stunning scenery.

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Natural Habitat is offering a free webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7, 12:00 pm PST.  Veteran Expedition Leader, Jared Baecker, will lead you virtually away from Yellowstone’s summer crowds and into less populated areas of the park where the wildlife, such as bears, wolves, moose and buffalo herds, roam within the plains and peaks of Yellowstone. Register here.

The Reverse Travel Bucket List- Toot Your Own Horn. You’re An Amazing Traveler!

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I think it’s safe to say that all of us seem to have a travel bucket list for the future filled with things we want to do and places we want to visit. As the years tick by we wonder if we will have the time, money and desire to check all these off the ever-growing list.

But what about what you’ve already accomplished?  That’s got to be a pretty impressive list as well.  In my mind I’m always in the future, rarely dwelling in the past.  But, sometimes it’s good to reflect on the past and where I’ve been.

Through Trek Tech I learned about Rebecca Tracey’s Reverse Bucket List, the concept of remembering past achievements to remind yourself how amazing you are.  I would hope that’s a pretty long list for most of us.  I found the idea intriguing.

But what about a Reverse Bucket List specifically for travel, a topic near and dear to us all?  I set out to make my own Reverse Travel Bucket List of things I’ve done in some places I’m glad I’ve seen as a traveler and came up with just a few of the more adventurous accomplishments…

  1. Trekked to Mt. Everest
  2. Watched a Nepalese funeral cremation
  3. Experienced the warm people, proud culture and smell of yak butter in Tibet
  4. Swam and played with wild dolphins in Kaikoura
  5. Spent an entire day underground exploring caves in Waitomo
  6. Seen emus and kangaroos out in the wild of Australia’s Coral Coast
  7. Showered in a make-shift open air Botswana safari stall in the presence of a heard of zebras
  8. Hiked the Franz Josef Glacier
  9. Rafted the mighty Zambezi River
  10. Seen the brilliance of the Milky Way in the dark Caribbean sky

You’re adventurous travelers!  If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.  What amazing things have you done or seen in your travels that would remind you of your amazing travel achievements?

Scotland’s Highlands and Islands Webinar

The past is present in the Highlands of Scotland with ancient remnants from the Viking warriors, the mysterious Picts and the Gaelic speaking clansmen who once flourished here.  With an abundance of wildlife on both land and sea this landscape is truly something to behold.

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Natural Habitat is offering a free webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, March 19, 12:00 pm PST.  One of their knowledgeable Scotland guides will lead you virtually not only through this magical rocky mountain region that is steeped in history and cultural sites, but will also take you to the rugged shorelines of Scotland’s islands.  Register here.

Cozy Chair Adventures- Escape For A Moment

Today’s Adventure Destination Photo: Oregon

Oregon                                                                                                                        Photo: Edwin Trejo Photography

Cascada: Kayakers in Search of the Perfect Waterfall

Here is an amazing video of several kayakers on a quest for the perfect waterfall to kayak.  They take us into the deep, lush, tropical jungle near Tlapocayan in Veracruz, Mexico to give us a glimpse of this wet and wild destination and show us how much fun it is to go over the edge.