Flower Dome with iconic Marina Bay Sands building the in the background

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, with the iconic Marina Bay Sands (ship building) in the background (Singapore).

Related: more Singapore photosSingapore ZooSungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore

Most of the posts on this blog are just photos. This post is a bit different in that it is a post about taking photos.

I actually owned a camera that used film. The barrier to talking multiple photos was much greater then – not only the cost but also you only have so many shots left so you can’t “waste” too many. Digital cameras are great for quite a few reasons but one of the best is how easy it is to just snap a bunch of photos and hope some are great.

You really can make quite a bit better photos without much effort. Just paying a bit of attention to good photos can help a great deal.

John Hunter at Bryce National Park

John Hunter, Bryce National Park

One thing I find amusing is selfies actually take advantage of something good photographers knew a long time ago. To get good photos of people put them in the foreground. You still see it today, but it was much more common (like 98% of these type of photos), where the people are tiny dots next to some tourist attraction. Selfies go a bit overboard with putting the person in the foreground (most of the time) but they are often better than the tiny dot people photos.

I still remember the photo a professional photographer took of my grandparents at their house where I saw this lesson and have remembered it since. The people were put at the front of the yard so they took up a good 50% of the photo but it was staged to capture their home of 40 years. So often this type of photo is with the people little dots in front of the house with the framing of the house nearly the same.

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tiles people left on a face as a memorial to 9-11

Photos by John Hunter, 2006.

9-11 memorial tiles on a fence

Related: Egytian Statue in Front of the The Temple of Dendur at the Met in NYCEmpire State Building, New York CityChild in Action, Staten Island Children’s MuseumCurious Cat travel photos (USA)

View from hotel with greenery and tower rock landmarks

This is the view from a guesthouse I stayed at in Yangshuo, China. It was a wonderful place, and I also hired the owner as my guide. Sadly while I was staying there a big 5 star hotel rented out all the guest rooms here for the next year to house their staff.

It was a wonderful place to stay. I ate dinner with the family one night. Her son was the driver when we needed a car. I used a bike for some exploring and a guided trip with Amy. I also talked with her high school daughter though I don’t speak Chinese and the daughter’s english wasn’t so strong. We used Google translate to help :-)

You still can hire Amy as a tour guide. I recommend Amy, I don’t usually get guides but for China I figured it made sense and I was glad I did, as doing things yourself is just much more of a hassle than elsewhere (Shanghai I didn’t bother with a guide and didn’t need one but elsewhere it was helpful).

Yangshuo (near Guilin) is definitely a nice place to visit, I would recommend including several days in Yangshuo in your itinerary also (or 1 to 2 days if you are in a hurry). A raft trip down the river was the highlight for me (in fact I did another the next day).

Related: Pink lotus flower in Yangshuo, ChinaTraditional Chinese Raincoat in YangshuoView from Mesa Trail, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Girl in an orange sweater

It was a village on the way from Luang Prabang to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfall. It is a bit disheartening to see how the village puts out the children to encourage the tourists to buy.

But the kids seem like they are mainly having fun and the truth is it is likely about the best way, right now, for them to bring in a bit of extra cash. It is far from perfect but I thought it was a nice stop and something that benefits the village more than it hurts it. Figuring out way to have local populations benefit from tourists is very important to raising standards of living in a sustainable way.

They had various handicrafts for sale and some food.

Related: Chomphet Hike, Luang Prabang, LaosMosaic Art at Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, LaosElectrical Outlets on Tree Trunk in Luang PrabangJianshui Wet Market in Yunnan, China

Girl in Orange Sweater, Laos


posters on reading board on the street

Photo by Bill Hunter.

Related: Colorful Mosaic Building Design, Moscow, USSR in the 1960’smore photos by Bill HunterDome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Posters in Russia, 1960s

photo of Judy Garland's Star on the sidewalk (Hollywood Walk of Fame)

Related: Blue Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons at LACMAPhoto of a Child as a Blur of ActionSunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat

Rafts, floating down river with hills in the background

Watch a webcast on my experience and see more photos: Floating Down River in Yangshuo, China on a Bamboo Raft.

Related: View from the top of Bear’s Hump Trail, Waterton International Peace ParkStone Bridge at the Confucius Temple in Jianshui, ChinaMother Cat with 2 Kittens

photo of a Fire rainbow

See my post on the Curious Cat Travel Destination blog with details of circumhorizontal arcs and more details on the circumstances.