Travel Photography Tips | Interview with Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere

Travel photography tips interview with Gary Arndt of Everything-Everywhere.com
It’s no secret that many of the top travel blogs feature incredible travel photos.  Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere has been traveling continuously for years documenting his journeys on his superlatively popular travel blog.  He features high resolution travel photos (updated with a new one daily) from all over the world.  Additionally, he has a travel photography sub-domain (with Smug Mug) where he’s organized his travel photos by region, country and destination.  He’s been travelling continuously since March 2007 and has now visited over 100 countries.  I appreciate him taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer questions related to travel photography tips.  I know this interview will offer significant value to those wishing to improve their photography skills.

Q1) What do you currently carry with you in terms of dSLR bodies and lenses?

I currently use a Nikon D300s with the following lenses:

  • Nikon 18-200mm VR

  • Nikon 12-24mm f/4

  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4

I also have an older Nikon D200 I don’t carry with me.

Q2) What types of filters do you use in the field and is there any one in particular that is found more often on your lenses than others?

The only two filters I think people need are a circle polarizing filter and a neutral density filter, preferably graduated. Anything else, especially colored filters, can be done in post processing.

Singapore down-town night scene.

Q3) What do you value more – having a whole range/host of lenses and accessories versus carrying a kit that is more functional/portable – while backpacking around the world?

For most of the last 5 years, I’ve placed more importance on traveling light. As I go forward, however, I’m putting more importance on the quality of my gear. The 18-200mm lens that I’ve used for almost 5 years now is no longer cutting it in some circumstances.

Q4) I remember distinctly reading that you advocate strongly carrying a tripod with you wherever you go. What areas in particular, have you found having a tripod most useful and how has it allowed you to advance your photography?

No matter what your skill level, the single best thing you can do to improve your shots is to carry a tripod. Period. It is especially important when taking photos in low light or HDR images. Also, with anything where are you using a long zoom, a tripod really helps. It even helps with a point and shoot camera.

A travel photo from Kluane National Park - Yukon, Canada.

Q5) Over the years, what’s one particular photography skill or technique that you’ve developed perfected that has allowed your photos (more specifically your blog) to achieve such a wide following?

The biggest thing has been developing my skills in post production. Actually using your camera is only half the battle. The other half is what you do with the image on the computer. This has always been the case in photography. Ansel Adams was a wizard in the darkroom. A big part of the art has always been what takes place after you click the shutter.

Q6) What do you think makes for an ideal travel photo worth sharing with a large audience?

The ideal travel photo is one that makes the viewer wish to visit that place.

A travel photo from Val de Nuria - Spain.

Q7) Are there any web based resources that you can recommend to other aspiring travel photographers just picking up the hobby – that would likely be beneficial for them in terms of learning photography techniques?

There are many photography blogs and podcasts out there. I’d suggest reading as many blogs as you can, listening to several podcasts and being active in online forums. This is the best way to quickly improve your skills.

Q8) What’s one common mistake or pet peeve you have when looking at other travel photos that are from a less serious hobbyist? In other words, what’s one general thing you think most individuals could do to make their travel photos more pleasing for others to view?

The biggest pet peeve is when people don’t bother to edit their photos. Often it is simple things like a minor exposure adjustment or setting the horizon horizontal. Even if you use a free online photo editing site like Picnik.com, it can make a world of difference in your photos.

A travel photo from Skagway White Train Pass - Alaska, USA.

Q9) Having set foot in over 100 countries (an impressive feat for any traveller) is there any sort of milestone or achievement you’d now currently like to pursue in terms of your travel or photography?

I’d like to have a photo of mine appear in National Geographic someday.

Q10) Can you tell us about any particularly exciting travel or photography projects you have planned in the near future?

The next big project will be a trip to Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia island this January. I’ll be using a 500mm lens from BorrowLenses.com so I’ll be all set for the penguins and seals.

Travel photography tips interview with Gary Arndt of Everything-Everywhere.com
To keep up with Gary’s adventures follow him at Everything Everywhere, twitter, google & facebook.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Kjersti December 25, 2011 at 8:34 am

Hi! Really helpful and interesting post, thank you! Just wanted to mention, the online editing is at picnik.com, your link is to piknik.com. Have a good Christmas! Cheers, Kjersti

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Nomadic Samuel December 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Thanks for the correction Kjersti! I’m interested to check it out myself.

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AlexBerger December 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Great posts, I really enjoy Gary’s shots. Always interesting to get insights into the process and evolution.

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Nomadic Samuel January 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Alex, I totally agree with you. I love having my own photos critiqued and enjoy even more to find out the story behind others.

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Stephanie - The Travel Chica December 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I carry the exact same lenses as Gary (except my 12-24 is Tamron). Wish that meant all my photos were as good as his :-)

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Nomadic Samuel December 27, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I’d love to have a 12-24 myself :) You do take great photos though! I think if we keep this up for years it’s possible to get to a higher level.

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James - Ouroyster.com December 26, 2011 at 12:03 am

Great interview we are only just starting to learn with our DSLR and it is so fun experimenting with the settings.

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Nomadic Samuel December 27, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Hey James, it sure is fun to fool around with the settings – both in camera and with post-production :)

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dtravelsround December 26, 2011 at 3:35 am

I need to bookmark this. I am saving up for a good camera, among other things, and will need to come back to this for advice!

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Nomadic Samuel December 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm

That’s cool! I’m saving up for a new camera now as well :)

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Jade - OurOyster.com December 26, 2011 at 8:49 am

The hardest part with us is figuring out which lenses to buy! Right now we still use the kit lenses, but I want to get something a little better before we travel around Australia and Asia

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Nomadic Samuel December 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Hey Jade, it sure is an expensive hobby. I really like the 18-200mm lens – it’s quite versatile.

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Laura December 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Great tips from Gary! I think editing photos makes a big difference, although I also think some people go way overboard with the post-processing. Gary’s photos are a good example of just the right amount of editing.

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Nomadic Samuel December 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Laura, I agree with you on both counts. I think simple things such as cropping and slightly modifying the saturation levels/exposure can make the world of difference.

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Jarmo December 27, 2011 at 10:43 am

Thanks for the great tips. I think I’ll have to go shopping for some filters as those are something I have shied away from previously, but they do seem to make sense.

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Nomadic Samuel December 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Hey Jarmo, I really find that a circular polarizing filter is quite a handy addition. In fact, I rarely take mine off :)

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Mary @ Green Global Travel December 28, 2011 at 12:51 am

Good photo tips. When you’re traveling, it’s helpful to know what is an absolute must for photo equipment and what you can do without.

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Nomadic Samuel January 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Mary, it certainly is. I find out this comes from experience with shooting more often. For each individual it is different.

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Traveling Ted December 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

I have never really considered post editing. I will have to play with it a little bit.

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Nomadic Samuel January 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hey Ted, it sounds awfully tedious but I’ve found I’ve warmed up to it more over time.

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supriya January 2, 2012 at 11:35 am

thanks for sharing it on stumble really worth reading

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Nomadic Samuel January 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm

You’re very welcome, I appreciate Gary taking the time to answer the questions and provide valuable insight.

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Shirlene from Idelish February 1, 2012 at 9:15 am

Great interview and solid advice! Totally agree on the post editing. Simple things like just making sure your photo is rotated correctly makes a whole world of difference. We too have been working hard on improving our post processing skills.

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Nomadic Samuel February 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Shirlene, it’s definitely something one can always improve upon. I’d like to take my editing skills to the next level as well :)

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Derek March 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm

“The ideal travel photo is one that makes the viewer wish to visit that place.” Ummm.. yeah your pictures are amazing! Definitely makes me want to go everywhere you’ve been! You have a serious talent man!

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Inma January 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Thanks for interviewing Gary! He is a total reference!

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Samuel January 19, 2013 at 2:07 am

You’re welcome Inma, he gave some great tips here :)

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