Another quick tip today, this one will help you get something a little different out of your travel photographs.
Often you will want to isolate your subject to create the strongest image, but you also should try to give an overview of a location to give a sense of place to your other photographs.
When you get to a new location, look around the area and see if there is somewhere you can get to that will allow you to shoot the scene from above. Rooftops, church towers, balconies, hotel rooms, anyplace you can talk your way into, to give you that high vantage point.
I found a way to access the roof of my hostel in San Cristobal, Mexico.
In Mérida, Mexico there was a third-floor balcony that ran the whole way around the open area of the central market
A local friend took me to a parkade (multi story car-park) in San Salvador, El Salvador. Parkades are especially great because you can easily access all floors and all sides of the building for incredible views of a city. I got about ten unique shots from a single location this way.
It can be worth asking for a room with a view, as it was from the third floor of my Mérida hotel, across from the Zócalo.
Though you might want to be careful which roof you jump on top of in Cobán, Guatemala...
Once you've pruned your luggage down to the bare minimum and chucked the hatchet, cast-iron pan and Kermit chairs, I find that a packing list for a 300km motorcycle trip is not much different than one for a 30,000km trip.
My packing style is minimal - but comfortable - and it's certainly not the only way to do it! Beyond the standard camping and motorcycle gear I carry, I bring a few odds and ends that make my life on the road a bit easier:
Memory Cards - heaps of them. They're cheap and a reliable form of backup. I try not to erase them during the trip if possible. Compact camera - I never go anywhere without some sort of camera Prime lenses - Small, lightweight, reliable and very good in image quality and performance. Zoom with your feet! LowePro lens case - These will let you chuck your lenses anywhere, and can clip to your belt when you walk around.
The MSR MiniWorks filter was invaluable in North America, where the distance between towns is great and rough-camping is the norm. I didn't use it in Mexico and Central America though. It was easier to buy the good, cheap bottled water that was available everywhere.
The MSR Dromedary bag was ideal for carrying extra water through desert areas. The MSR water filter threads directly to the wide opening and the bag rolls-up to nothing when it's empty.
Motorcycle Travel Photography.
Motojournalism book one is about taking better photos of your adventures with the camera you have now. Written from a motorcycle travel perspective, but applicable to all overlanders, Book One teaches the foundational photographic techniques you'll need to come home with great photos of your travels.
Book One 41 pages - Just $10!
Motojournalism book Two is about how to choose camera equipment for your overland travel, how to pack it, and how to operate it. Manual mode, aperture, shutter-speed, ISO, exposure compensation, histogram, and heaps more.
Book Two 49 pages $15.
Read about the trip
Read about the last trip - Montreal to Panama - with plenty of words and photos.