TTIM 43 – Going Viral with Lorenzo Montezemolo

Lorenzo MontezemoloWhat does it take for an image to go viral and be shared on dozens of websites? Is it a matter of chance or does luck favor the prepared? What can we do to make our pictures more shareable and popular? Would you be ready to handle and exploit the unexpected interest?

These are all questions that I discussed together with my guest of this week, Lorenzo Montezemolo, whose Fog Fingers photograph has recently and unexpectedly skyrocketed into the realm of viral images, having been published on the front page of Reddit, PetaPixel, Bored Panda, BoingBoing, Colossal, the Washington Post and others.

Lorenzo is a landscape and nature photographer living in the San Francisco area. He has owned a camera since he was six years old, but it’s only been in the last 5-10 years that he’s become truly “serious” about photography. Photography is not his main profession but it is most definitely his main passion. While he enjoys traveling to far-flung places with his camera, he considers himself fortunate to live in a place where natural beauty is so close by — often just a short drive away. Besides photographing landscapes, seascapes and fogscapes in and around Northern California, he has spent several weeks the past few winters chasing the Northern Lights in Iceland and northern Norway, with plans to return to both again this coming winter.

Fog Fingers © Lorenzo Montezemolo
Fog Fingers © Lorenzo Montezemolo
Duration 34m 15s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!

Our guest for next week will be Susan Onysko.


International Podcast Day is on September 30

ipd-round-150On September 30, 2016, we are celebrating International Podcast Day.

International Podcast Day is an event dedicated to promoting podcasting worldwide through education and public engagement.

If you want to show support for podcasters worldwide, there are many ways you can help, but the best would be to share this post in order to promote your favorite podcast (that would be this one) using the hashtag #PodcastDay.

As part of the celebrations, the International Podcast Day Gratitude Award will be assigned to the podcast that has the more internationally diverse set of reviews. We will be taking part in this friendly competition, but we need your help to propel us to the top of the rankings, by leaving us an honest review. You can do so using either of the following services (or even both, which would be awesome):

Click on either link to access our page on the respective services.

Remember, there are two things that would help us a lot and for which we would be extremely pleased and thankful:

  1. Share this post
  2. Leave us a review.

Thank you very much! (more…)

TTIM 42 – A Conversation with Varina Patel

Varina PatelMy guest for this week’s episode is landscape and nature photographer Varina Patel. This is what Varina says about herself:

There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.

With Varina, we discussed a number of topics, including:

  • Minimalism
  • Conveying a feeling, a mood through photographs
  • Combining family life and travel
  • Is getting it right in camera still important?
  • Working the scene on location
  • What does it take to be a great educator?

I am sure you will enjoy Varina’s take on all these issues.

Duration 32m 34s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!

Our guest for next week will be Lorenzo Montezemolo, who will tell us the story of how one of his photographs became instantly viral and everything that happened as a consequence of that.


TTIM 41 – How To Save Money with Matt Moreland

Matt MorelandTraveling is expensive. Photo gear is not cheap either. So what can a freelance travel photographer do in order to make ends meet, when he has to travel to remote locations to create work that, hopefully, some client will buy?

This is the question that Matt Moreland tried to answer in an article I recently found while browsing the Web, titled “10 Ways to Save Money as a Freelance Travel Photographer”. I though Matt’s suggestions would be useful to anyone who loves to travel and can’t count on a lavish budget, so I asked him to be a guest on the show.

Matt Moreland is a travel and lifestyle photographer from Toronto, Canada. After travelling to Peru to hike Machu Picchu he spent 3 months living out of a Jeep across Canada and the Western United States. His appetite for road trips and photography has him currently working on a number of ad campaigns for major car brands such as Land Rover and Toyota. He is currently planning his next adventure, an extended East Coast road trip through Canada and the US in the fall with his dog Lucy.

Duration 39m 34s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 40 – Loving the Earth with Luca Bracali

Luca Bracali

To say that my guest for this episode of the podcast, Luca Bracali, is a travel photographer would be too limiting, for he is also an expert TV director and a true explorer, having been to the North Pole, amongst other truly remote locations.

My interest in Luca’s work and personality, and the reason why I invited him to be a guest on the show, was sparked mostly from his commitment to the preservation of the environment and the deep respect and love he has for the Earth, its nature, and its people.

Luca Bracali has travelled to 138 countries, is the author of eight books and the winner of eight prizes in international photographic competitions. Since 2008 he is a member of APECS (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) for his contributions about the environment published in the media. In 2009 he was the only reporter to reach the geographic North Pole on skis. In 2010 Bracali debuted in the world of fine-art photography and his pictures have been on display, as solo exhibitions, in museums and galleries in Rome, Sofia, Kiev, Odessa, Copenhagen, Akureyri, Montreal and New York. He directed 150 shows for the Italian TV network RAI 1 and was a guest on over 40 programs and daily news aired on RAI networks as an explorer and documentary filmmaker. The Minor Planet Center in Cambridge named after him the 198,616th asteroid discovered. Three of his latest reportages have been published on National Geographic.

Besides environmental issues, we discussed the special challenges photographers have to face when shooting in extreme climates, what it takes to be a TV director, ancient art as inspiration, and other topics.

Duration 54m 36s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 39 – Bipolar Photography with Ron Clifford

Ron CliffordA few weeks ago, when I asked Ron Clifford to be my guest on the podcast, we discussed what topics we could converse about and he quipped that we could mention his distinction of being a “bipolar” photographer.

At first, I thought he was referring to having visited and photographed both the Arctic and the Antarctic, but what I discovered during the interview is that Ron had been suffering for years of bipolar depression.

I think it was very brave of him to mention this and to tell the story of how travel and photography helped him overcome his condition.

This is what Ron says of himself:

I am an artist, coach, and creative mentor with a unique ability to help unlock the creative ninja that lives inside every person. You could say I really do is explore my world through the connections my camera helps me create – and to help others overcome roadblocks and see blind spots along their own creative journey.

I have the best job in the whole world.

I love to shoot in Nature, especially the landscape and wildlife photography. Recently I have been very fortunate to be able to build my portfolio of images from the extreme regions of the planet. Both the Arctic and Antarctica. Along with my passion for the natural world, I love to photograph people and I remain a very active portrait photographer. I always say,

“Do what you can’t help but do“

and for me that is to explore the natural world, photograph the people in it and teach others to do the same.

I believe we only truly reach our potential when we learn to help others. To lift each other up. We were made for community and family and in a certain way, that’s what I do. I build community and strengthen bonds through the experience of photography. Nothing can compare to getting involved in building up another person’s real life.

I don’t want to brag, however, just so you know, I have been featured in the top 1% most endorsed Canadian Fine Art Photographers on Linkedin, (Spring 2013) – and I am the Most Followed photographer and most followed male on G+ in Canada with nearly 3 million followers. Even publications like National Geographic, PhotoExtract Magazine, and the “Plus One Collection have granted me the pleasure of contributing to them.

I believe we are created to be creative, that our creativity is not a special endowment or fleeting feeling, it is who we are. We each have unique strengths and gifts to use in this world and I believe that God has provided me with my talents to help me be in touch with what He desires… His Creation, His Community.

Having been tutored by Ron in one of his courses, I can definitely attest to that. He’s a natural born educator and I think this quality show clearly in this interview. If you want to know what drives Ron to help others on their creative journey, I encourage you to listen to it.

Duration 36m 05s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 38 – Rediscovering Empathy with Jacquelyn Quinones

Jacquelyn QuinonesIs technology killing our empathy?

This is the question Jacquelyn Quinones asked during her recent TEDx talk in Paris. This is a question that we, as travel photographers, should ask ourselves every day.

Technology lets us travel fast and almost always comfortably to remote places. It enables us to take thousands of photos of people from different countries and alien cultures. It invites us to share those photos on the Web with our followers. But in the end, aren’t many photographers treating their subjects as if they were animals in a zoo? What is the story behind the portrait of a woman from the farthest reaches of Borneo? Where is the respect? Where is the empathy?

I discussed these topics with Jacquelyn in a conversation that was, for once, devoid of geekery and totally focused on how we can change our approach to technology for the better.

A visionary in technological communication, Jacquelyn has traveled the world studying the interconnectedness of humanity. Having spent over a decade decoding the human plight through storytelling, the reimagining of emotional experiences piqued her curiosity of the psyche – specifically the effects of technology on the human experience. She began an inquiry into the significance of honesty and empathy in the world of easy online communication. The accelerated innovation of new technologies, proliferation of social media, and ease and convenience of superficial communication led her to question, “Is technology killing our empathy?” In 2015 she founded BANDYD LLC, a revolutionary social media platform born out of her desire to reinvent technological communication and promote interconnectedness.

Duration 37m 56s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


TTIM 37 – Travel Writing with Lori Allen

Lori Allen

It’s not a secret that I believe writing is an essential skill for travel photographers. I discussed this in episode 21 with Jens Lennartsson, especially with respect to how travel writing can help photographers make a profit and sell their work to magazines and websites more effectively.

So when I learned about Great Escape Publishing and their programs for aspiring travel writers, I contacted their director, Lori Allen and asked her to come on the show and talk to us about it.

Lori is the Director and Creator of Great Escape Publishing, formerly the Travel Division at the American Writers & Artists Inc (AWAI).  She joined AWAI in October 2000 as a marketing manager and quickly fell in love with their course on travel writing.  “It was about more than getting paid to take free vacations,” she said.  “It was about traveling in a better way… seeing the world as an untourist… and selling stories that go into magazines and newspapers around the country making all our best travel experiences eternal.  Sometimes we spend more time planning a trip than we do actually enjoying it.  But with travel writing and travel photography, our memories live forever and they come with the prestige of knowing that others will relive our memories vicariously, too.  And hey… the perks sure are great, too.”  It’s been 13 years since Lori convinced AWAI to let her start her own division around this idea.   Today, Great Escape publishes myriad books, report, online programs and guides on getting paid to travel.  They also host live events around the world where you can try each of their ideas first hand.  Their upcoming travel writing workshop in New Orleans will be their 133rd live event with expeditions in Mexico and Tanzania still to come this year and adventures in Botswana, Namibia, Thailand, Cuba and Jordan in 2017.

If you ever thought of getting into travel writing and using it to make your photography more saleable, but you don’t think you have the necessary skills, I encourage you to listen to my interview with Lori.

Duration 42m 54s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!


Expert Roundup – Travel Photography Challenges

Travel Photography Challenges

Travel photography is a genre that can be very demanding and presents numerous challenges to its practitioners. Issue of money, time, distance, safety and others need to be dealt with, if one wants to see and photograph foreign locations.

I have asked some of the foremost travel photography experts and former guests of the podcast to tell us what are the greatest challenges they face in their job and how they overcome them. If you are facing some of these challenges yourself, I am sure you will be able to find solutions in the answers below.

I am planning to make expert roundups a regular feature of the site, first on a monthly basis, that I hope readers will appreciate greatly, so stay tuned for further episodes. (more…)

TTIM 36 – Exploring The Wilderness with Jay Patel

Jay PatelI have been wanting to interview Jay Patel for quite some time, but Jay is a rather busy person, what with having to manage a photography business that is expanding in various directions, running a popular website, traveling, and on top of it all, being the father of a large family.

I finally managed to corner him in between trips to Iceland and Hawaii and of course wanted to know all about the land of fire and ice and his adventure chasing puffins and waterfalls. We also talked about what it takes to photograph the wilderness and I managed to extract from him some elements of his secret recipe for making a living out of photographing nature.

Another topic that is close to my heart and to Jay’s is that of conservation and we couldn’t help but dedicate some time to exploring ways in which photographers can help saving our planet.

Here is how Jay describes himself:

“I can start off like this – “Seeds of Jay Patel’s appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in his childhood….” but it would get boring really fast. I will just sum it up and say that I am a Landscape and Wilderness Photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. My photographs have been published in various magazines, calendars and advertising materials throughout the world.”

Duration 33m 17s.

If you liked this episode, please tell us in the comments below, or leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you!