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Newsletter 26 - sent on the 22 May 2019
Make plans for the rest of 2019
Our recent trip to Ethiopia to photograph the Orthodox Easter celebrations at Lalibela was a great success, and if you are interested, you can see an extensive gallery of images on this link. We are hopefully going to run this trip again in a couple of years - if you are interested in coming along, feel free to give me a nudge!
We are in the process of finalising a number of great itineraries, for next year, including welcome returns to Namibia, Uzbekistan and Madagascar! We should be releasing the first of these tours in the next week or so. In the meantime, I wanted to round-up the three tours that we have available for the rest of this year.
We are also starting a new section in our newsletters - each issue we will include an exclusive Lightroom tip to help you to improve your post production skills!
Impressions of Morocco
We have just one single room place left on September's Impressions of Morocco photo tour, which spends ten days in this most fascinating and photogenic of countries. We will visit many of the highlights in and around Marrakech, and will even spend a night in the rolling dunes of the Sahara Desert. One of the most atmospheric places we visit is the coastal town of Essouira. Apocryphally made famous by Jimi Hendrix's Castles Made of Sand, it has also been featured as a location in Game of Thrones.
The old town is surrounded by a ancient wall and ramparts dating back to the 18th century, which form a pleasant place to promenade, especially at sunset. Outside of the city wall lies the old harbour, which for much of the day is stuffed with countless identical blue fishing boats. These boats head out at night to fish, and then come back to the town at sunrise to land their catch. This makes the harbour a paticularly photogenic place, as well as a great place for a seafoord dinner at one of the many local restaurants.
Impressions of Morocco departs from Marrakech on the 19 September 2019 for 10 days, and costs from £1495 per person based on twinshare. To see more of the amazing places that we visit on this exciting photography tour, you can see the full itinerary here, or if you want to snap up one of the final place on this trip, you can find the booking form here.
Impressions of Jordan
We have managed to fit in a huge amount into our Impressions of Jordan trip, but for many people, one of the highlights is a visit to the Dead Sea! This is an incredible place - one of the lowest places in the world at around 425 metres BELOW sea level, and so salty that it is incapable of supporting life. As well as enjoying a float here, the water is so dense that it is famously impossible to sink, you can also cover yourself in Dead Sea mud, which is fantastic for your skin!
A complete contrast to the Dead Sea is the Red Sea at Aqaba, where you have the option to join a snorkelling boat and explore some of the nearby coral reefs. These are surprisingly well preserved, bearing in mind how close to the town they are. If you have a PADI licence, you can even arrange to dive from the boat.
Impressions of Jordan departs from Amman on the 22 October 2019 for 11 days, and costs from £1795 per person based on twinshare. A single supplement option is also available. To see the rest of the places we visit on this trip, you can see the full itinerary here, or you can find the booking form here.
Impressions of Laos
Our Laos itinerary for the end of the year is now half full, so if you would like to join us, please don't hesitate! Once we have two more bookings, then we will be able to confirm the departure, meaning it will definitely run. We travel from the top to the very bottom of this entrancing country, visiting all of the highlights - including the fabled Plain of Jars.!
Very few tours actually make it to the Plain of Jars, which is a shame. Not only do you not get to see these sprawlingly atmospheric series of enigmatic, ancient stone jars, but you will also miss the traditional rural areas around the town of Phonsavan. This is a great place to various hilltribes, and even opium plantations! There are literally hundreds of carved stone jars here, some of which are vast. There are various theories behind the jars, including ancient coffins , or the remnants of some grea celebratory booze-up.
This area was comprehensively bombed during the Indochina War, and although you don't see as many signs of this as a few years ago, where seemingly every fences and dwelling was made of cluster-bomb cases, you can still find various war remnants in the area.
Impressions of Laos departs from Luang Prabang on the 27 November 2019 for 14 days, and costs from £1995 per person based on twinshare. A single supplement option is also available. You can see the full itinerary here, or you can find the booking form here.
Lightroom tip - Graduated Filters
Lightroom has had virtual graduated filters for sometime now, and they are so versatile that I have long since stopped carrying resin graduated filters on my travels. Like resin filters though, the lightroom versions have a straight line between the dark and clear sides, so if you want to darken a lacklustre sky, you will also end up darkening any trees or mountains that break the horizon as well.
Recently, those rather smart folks at Adobe have released a new feature on their graduated filters that allows you to customise the gradation based on the darkness or luminance of the subject covered by the filter. At the foot of the graduated filter panel is a Range Mask option. Select Luminance, and this gives you the following options.
The range slider allows you to select the range of tones that the filter will apply to - in this case, only the lighter portions of the underlying subject. If you break the tones down to a range between 0 (black) and 100 (white), this particular example only affects the lighter tones between 58 and 100! To just affect the darker tones, you might select a range from 0 to 35. If you tick the Show Luminance Mask option, you can see how this changes the red mask of the grad filter. Once you are happy with the range mask, then you can change any of the graduated filter options to alter the tonality of the selected parts of the image!
Better Travel Photography
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