#138–Travel Photography–Ralph Velasco

Travel Photography with Ralph Velasco

Ralph Velasco, one of the top 100 Travel Photographers in the world, shares his images, stories of his travels and a little advice from his Mom.

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Show Notes:

  • Intro Questions:
      • Tell us how you got into photography?

        • Took 45 years to figure out what to do with my life…everything I did lead me to where I am

        • Digital photography allowed for a quicker interest into photography and to teach

        • Quote from mom “Always looking for the horse I am riding on”

      • You have an iOS app and a couple of books, tell us more about those.

        • Author

          • On Travel Photography – 101 Tips for developing your Photographic Eye & More

          • Essence of a Place

        • iOS App – My Shot List for Travel

          • Targeting a set of shots to obtain


    • Travel Photography

      • Looking vs Seeing?

        • Put the camera down every now and then and look around.  Slow down.

        • Just Pull Over – if you see something…just pull over

      • How often do you travel?

        • Travel – 9 – 10 months (250+days) per year…no longer have a home or apartment…live out of hotels

        • Even with all the travel it isn’t really like a vacation…it is work…very enjoyable but it is a business.

        • Already well booked into 2016 trips

        • Even though trips are repeated the itinerary is always being updated to not be stale.

      • How do you prepare for your travels?

        • Lots of research in advance…listen to tour operators.  Review search engines for the location being considered to find out what can be photographers…mainly looking for cultural experiences

        • Is Safety a concern

          • Number one concern…but need to also prepare for the person walking with the viewfinder to the eye and not looking where they are going

        • Packing – prepare for 10 days and do laundry…pack lighter

          • One Body

          • 24-120 Lens

          • Sometimes 50 f1.4 – forced me to move

        • Need to be quick and nimble…not looking like a Pro

      • Tell us about your tours? Locations? Length? Costs?

        • Cost – Cuba; $4,299 for double occupancy

        • what does it include

          • all accommodations, local transportation, most meals, rental of bikes, etc.

        • All types of people go on the tours…photographers, non-photographers, people with Point-n-Shoot.  Try to point out that we are looking for subjects not expected

      • Best Tech not photography related

        • iPhone for lists, video, research with internet

        • Good power strip…one adapter for international and then multiple US outlet available…purchase a decent quality version

      • People to People Program

        • Having cultural exchanges with people of the area…Cuba for instance. Last trip to Cuba was for nine days with six people…mainly from the US, however, as the business grows people from other countries are starting to join the group trips / workshops

        • Hotels chosen are local to the culture to allow people to feel the locals experience…usually within the central location

      • How will Cuba prepare

        • Will be a big process…Cuba has a lot to change with infrastructure but over time it will be for the good

      • What mode do you recommend shooting in?  Aperture Priority?

        • Yes…shoot Aperture priority 99% of the time to control Depth of Field


    • Wrap Up:

      • What advice would you give someone thinking of getting into the Travel Photography business?

        • Develop a portfolio of images

        • Network the location…need to know the people

        • Need a business background…80% is administrative

        • Hours and hours of preparation before the trips

      • Number 1 Tip:

        • Get up early…get going.  The lighting is better (Golden Hour) and the locals are on their way to work / school.  Be up when the city is waking…before the tourist wake and the heat of the day. 

      • Favorite location for tour

        • Turkey and Romania…places scouted this past year.  Really looking for variety…urban settings.

      • Favorite of all travels

        • Many great moments.  Love to see people do what they do well…pounding out horseshoes as an example. 

      • What’s next for Ralph?

        • Leaving for Europe for three months starting next week…multiple locations

      • What’s the one place your have not been to that you would like to go to?

        • Columbia and Syria (sadly may not occur)

      • Where can people learn more about Ralph and stay informed about your projects?

Discuss the show in our forums! – Forum Post

You can also see and comment on these images over in our Forums – Episode #138 Album

Albums from previous episodes can be found here – Podcast Images



Ralph Velasco


Other links mentioned during the show



O, and let’s not forget Mike’s tip for the guys!  Here is what I did and what you should give a try with your special person.  I bought my wife 7 Red Roses with a card that read “One Rose for every day of the week I spend thinking of you.”

Another variation could be, “One Rose for every day of the week I think of you.”


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About geephotant

geephotant (Geek-Photographer-Accountant) (aka. Mike Howard) is the creator of Nov Studios and the jpeg2RAW podcast. Mike is an accountant by day as the Controller for a large US based corporation. By night, he is a geek and has appeared on the Home Server Show Podcast & the BYOB podcast ( both found at www.homeservershow.com). He has also appeared on the Home Tech Show podcast (www.theaverageguytv.com) and is now a regular guest on that show. Mike's true passion is photography and shoots when ever he can find time. As an amateur photographer, he is always looking to learn more about the craft.

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