Overhead views….

Photo © Bob Krist

These days, you really have to watch your overhead. That goes for your business, as well as your airline travel (and occasionally, your photography. An aerial, like this one of a sheep roundup in Iceland, can really spice up your coverage).

As far as business practices go, I’ve always gone lean and mean, with my wife Peggy handling the stock and the billing and the office stuff, not to mention single handedly dealing with our three boys when I was on the road. Why a few years ago, I even started paying her…I know, but what can I say, I’m a generous sort:-).

The same cannot be said of the airlines though. They’re getting more venal all the time. Including their carryon allowances.

The long and short of it is that here in the US, we get away with a lot. From what I’ve seen lately, one carryon and one personal item can mean anything up to and including  two steamer trunks…if you can drag them to the gate, more than likely, they’ll let you carry it on (that is, if there’s any overhead left by the time you board. Which is why you need to patronize one or more airlines enough to get into their Elite programs with advanced boarding, OR book seats in the back of the plane, which most airlines board first).

But overseas, they’re really strict about the definition of “one” and  “carryon.” Strangely enough, it means one really lightweight bag. And they weigh them, and they can be really sticky. So avoid culture shock when connecting through foreign countries; before you fly check posts like this one for ideas on how to slim down, and know your airline rules.

For your added convenience, and thanks to my friend Steven Frischling, of Flying with Fish fame, hit the jump to get a list of the carryon allowances for 68 different airlines. (more…)

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Don’t wing it, know the rules

NewportAngel copy
Photo © Bob Krist

Travel photographers work on the street a lot, shooting buildings, people, events, views, you name it. That makes us very public targets for officials who somehow feel that what we do is a threat. Truth be told, this was the case even before 9/11 and the Brit’s 7/7, but since those attacks, it’s gotten even more cranked up.

Before 9/11, I was shooting a city story on Newport, Rhode Island, for National Geographic Traveler and I saw this fun situation of a young officer giving directions to a man in an angel costume during a street fair. By the time I rushed over to make the shot, the encounter was all but over, but the officer saw me take the picture and went absolutely ballistic (I’m still not sure why, it was a cute public relations moment), at first demanding my film, and then threatening me with arrest when I wouldn’t give it to him.

Even though I knew I had blown the shot, I didn’t take kindly to being bullied. You have to be careful in these situations when you confront authority, because you want to inform and explain, but be firm and not provoke. Getting arrested can really eat into your assignment time, and editors just hate wiring bail money to their people in the field….it looks so bad on the expense reports. The young officer eventually backed down, but not without a parting promise to “find you” if the picture was published.

Since 9/11 and 7/7, the police in the two great cities of New York and London have been, understandably, on high alert and photographers have often drawn their scrutiny, often for no good reason. It got to the point where the top brass of both cities’ constabularies had to issue guidelines for officers interacting with photographers, outlining just what was and wasn’t permitted.

Turns out, you can shoot a lot more than they thought. In fact, you can shoot just about anything you want, including photos of officers at work.

So, if you plan on doing shooting in either of these two wonderful cities, hit the jump and you can grab the jpegs of these memos,read them, and maybe even print them out to carry in your camera bag should you have a problem. Remember, always be polite, never be confrontational, and know da rules! (more…)

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Sittin’ Pretty

Photo courtesy Hudson Henry

Ah yes, things are good in Dogpatch these days…I finally finished that landscaping project in my front yard AND this blog won 9th place in the Travel Photography Blog division of the  Tripbase.com competition!

I didn’t even know I was in the running.  But I’m not moaning. Nor am I resting on my laurels, (despite what it looks like in this picture), but, rather, learning from those who placed higher.

And it’s an interesting group, to be sure.

First place went to advertising superstar shooter Chase Jarvis (who probably didn’t even know he had a travel photography blog!).What must it be like to have Chase’s eye, career,  AND look like Mel Gibson in his prime?

I will never know….but I am going to start shooting more  with my iPhone! And looking both ways before I cross the street.

Texas businessman and HDR guru Trey Ratcliff placed up there too with his beautiful StuckinCustoms blog.

And Tewfic El Sawy’s superb Travel Photographer blog, which I read religiously, was also in the Top 10.

I would hold any of these guys’ coats in a fight, or tote their camera bags on a trip. I learn a lot from them and read them regularly.

Nudging me out in 8th place is Olga the Traveling Bra, a blog that features pictures of, um, the author’s bra in various locations around the world. And also on her dog. And other places.

Okay, it’s definitely a high concept thing, and I’m not sure what piece of clothing I would hold for Olga in a fight, or whether or not the author (or my wife Peggy), would even think this was a good idea, but I do know what I’m going to do this coming year to try to up my rating.

Hit the jump for my new award-winning strategy. (more…)

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I was in the wrong place, but it must have been the right time….

Photo © Bob Krist

I love the pageantry of the horsey set, like four-in-hand carriage races and fox hunts (especially if the fox gets away), because these activities are just so downright photogenic. Recently, in my never-ending quest to improve my multimedia chops (in the hopes that someday, somewhere, a client will actually pay for this skill set!), I sent myself to the annual Point to Point race at Winterthur in the Brandywine to shoot and gather sound for an audio slide show.

There were a fair amount of guys there shooting seriously, with big motor drives and long, fast, glass. Ever since my early days on the staff of the Hudson Dispatch, I’ve always felt intimidated going to sporting events to shoot because, frankly, I don’t know much about sports and consequently, I’m pretty bad at shooting them!

Plus the fact that by the time I was able to afford those giant cameras and lenses, my back was too bad to carry them:-). But I managed to be the only guy to get this shot (both the horse and rider were okay). Hit the jump for the reason why. (more…)

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