Monday, May 28, 2007

Shots from Bhutan

Since I am having some difficulty in getting my website,, up and running the way I want it and because I have now picked my favorite photos from my trek to Bhutan, I thought that I would post some of them on my blog. This will let me get the website done properly and will also let me post my favorites. In just a few weeks we are leaving for Bali so time is growing short.

Here are a couple of my favorite photos from Bhutan.

The first is a photo of a younger woman who had been working in the fields and who I caught at a moment of rest. The colors are very vibrant and show the diversity in the the fabrics and the color patterns found throughout Bhutan.

The second photo is of a young novice monk at school. We were given permission to visit the school and spent several hours with the novices while they were in class and also later during the evening chanting.

More to come...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Travel Insurance

I was having lunch yesterday at work and the topic inevitably rolled around to my upcoming trip to Bali and a trip that my co-worker and his wife were about to embark on to Europe on a cruise. He and his wilfe will be travelling over to Europe several days in advance of the cruise and will be staying several days afterwards in order to do some exploring on their own in a rental car.

I asked who they were using for travel insurance and got a blank stare in return. "Why would I need to have insurance on the trip? That is just an added expense." I asked him what he thought he would do if there was an accident away from the ship while he and his wife were on their own and he said that he was comfortable paying for anything on site and that he would make a claim when he got home.

We talked about my travels to Asia in 2006 and he felt that those places were so far away that having travel insurance was a real necessity. I had travel insurance for both trips in 2006 and will be booking another policy for the trip to Bali. For me it is a small price to pay to be assured that if there is a medical emergency, there is a team of experts that can be contacted to help with the details including but not limited to emergency medical/dental, medical evacuation, travel accident, baggage theft, trip cancellation, and more. It really depends on the policy.

I have traveled with World Nomads coverage on my last two trips and they are certainly not the only travel insurance company that is available. If you want to learn about some of the benefits of travel insurance, visit their site. As with any recommendation, do your homework before you buy.

You may never need it. But if you do, it can make all the difference. Will my friend and co-worker opt for it? I am not sure but I at least I gave him some things to think about.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Shoot, Shoot, Shoot

It has been a while since I picked up the Canons and went out to shoot for an afternoon. With the Bali trip coming soon, I knew that it was time to get back in the shooting groove. So I packed the 1ds Mark II and the 30d and headed to the Chicago Botanic Gardens for some hiking and moving around after the cold winter and chilly spring. Since I am a member at the Gardens, it is easier to wander around and look at the different areas that are finally beginning to bloom.

It was almost thirty minutes before I took my first photo and I enjoyed watching and visualizing what I wanted to photograph and how to transfer the image from my mind's eye to the Canon's electronics. I must have been a sight as I walked because I have been told, and have experienced firsthand, that sometimes the very best scene is the one that is directly behind you. Imagine seeing me with two DSLRs and a backpack meandering along on the pathways performing slow pirouettes to ensure a 360 degree view.

When I got home and downloaded the photos to my laptop, it became apparent that some rust has formed since the Bhutan trek in November of 2006. What I had wanted to capture at the Gardens and the feelings that I wanted to have in my photos was missing from many of them. With digital photography, it is very easy to delete everything that you don't like. I have learned, however, that if I don't like a photograph there is usually a reason and I keep them as learning tools. I didn't like some of the Gardens' photos for purely technical reasons and others because they could have been better framed or positioned.

So it is back to the Gardens to shoot, shoot, shoot.

1 month, 27 days, 1 hour, 16 minutes, and 10 seconds until I leave for Bali.

But who's counting.