canoe with a drink bar

I took a day trip tour from Khao Lak, Thailand which included riding sea kayaks through mangrove swamps. This shows a canoe selling fresh coconuts and other drinks to tourists on sea kayaks.

Related: Sunset over the Andaman Sea, ThailandMangrove Forest at Tanjung Piai National Park – the Southernmost Point in AsiaRaft Floating Down the River in Yangshuo, ChinaFraser Island, Australia

These were the most popular photos on our blog last year (based on number of views):

  1. Marina Bay Sands: “Ocean Liner” Skyscraper, Singapore (posted on our blog in 2012)
  2. photo of Marina Bay Sands Casino and Luxury Hotels

    Marina Bay Sands Casino, Singapore

  3. Statue of King Mankaure and His Queen, Egyptian art at Boston Museum of Fine Arts in USA (2011)
  4. Cypress Garden Swamp, South Carolina, USA (2011)
  5. Goat Skull Sculpture by Pablo Picasso, 1951 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA (2011)
  6. Bugatti Veyron on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, USA (2013)
  7. Candi Sewu, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2012)
  8. Sunset over the Andaman Sea, Thailand (2011)
  9. photo of Sunset over Andaman Sea

    Sunset over Andaman Sea, Khao Lak, Thailand.

  10. Unicorn at the Singapore Zoo (2012)
  11. Bee on a Yellow Flower, Antelope Island, Utah (2010)
  12. Rose Garden at the White House, Washington DC, USA (2012)

All photos by John Hunter. Do not use photos without permission. I make some photos available via creative commons attribution. Please use that link to find photos that may be used and if you use them follow the requirements for attribution.

stone carvings of people on a wall

I think this areas is called the Leper King Terrace on the North end of the Terrace of the Elephants in the Angkor Thom complex, north of Bayon temple (Siem Reap, Cambodia). There is a narrow pathway that winds between the wall of the terrace.

Related: Buddhist Temple Adjacent to Bayon TempleBayon Temple, Siem Reap, CambodiaCarving at Angor Wat

This photo still isn’t any good but I was amazed what happened when I just clicked adjust color and then auto levels in Apple’s Preview application.

Possum photo unadjusted (essentially all black)

So essentially you can see nothing. But just that one click resulted in this:

blurry photo of a possum

It is still a bad photo but you can see much more. This is a photo of a possum in my backyard at night.

Related: Backyard Wildlife: FoxBackyard Wildlife: TurtleBackyard Wildlife: 2 Raptors Over Johor Bahru, MalaysiaBackyard Wildlife: Sharpshinned Hawk

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

rice-drying-in-street-hoi-an-vietnam