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Pelancongan Terengganu

Friday, 28 February 2014

Terengganu.. Must visit destination in Malaysia

The pictures of Terengganu will explain why Terengganu is one the must visit destination in Malaysia.

Terengganu holds the charms and splendour from others state in Malaysia. Despite rapid development and modernization, it is as if time has stood still as the state retains all the rustic and idyllic charms so different from other tourist destination.
Terengganu is home to a diverse and close-knit society, where people are friendly and charm that exuberantly warmth and grace, with strong morals and values. People of different races share the bonds of neighborhood, a strong liking for local food and speak the same local dialect.
Besides, Terengganu is endowed with unmatched natural beauty. Having the longest coastline (244km) of wonderful beaches, the lush tropical rainforests, a hidden paradise unmoved by time and stunning islands with its tranquil emerald waters turn magnificently golden hues at the touch of the sun’s first rays. Terengganu is also rich with its customs and tradition, upheld through generations and visible in its way of life, its arts and handicrafts, its tradition culinary and its heritage. Terengganu is in a league of its own as a vibrant tourist destination.
The State today is a melting pot of old and news, set against the backdrop of Terengganu’s traditional poise and beauty, where progressive change is meshed with values that have dear for generation by the people.
Terengganu is truly a tropical gateway. In the land where nature embraces heritage, it will truly revitalize your senses. Welcome to Terengganu and discover splendours of nature, the diversity of tradition and the fascination of heritage. There is absolutely no place like Terengganu.
There were conflicting versions of how Terengganu got her name. Some correlated it to the finding of a canine tooth of an unknown origin at a river estuary by a group of hunters from a neighbouring state.  So it was said that the place they went hunting where the “Taring Anu” was found. Some believed the name derived from a very bright rainbow (ganu) seen by a group of travellers and proclaimed the land to be “Terang Ganu” (Bright Rainbow). Furthermore the name Terengganu was mentioned as Teng-Ya-Nu by a Chinese scholar, Coo-Cu-Fei in his book Ling Wai Fai Ta in 1178AD. Another Chinese historian, Cao – Ju- Kua did not miss Teng – ya – nung when he authored Cu Fan Cih in 1226AD.
Teng-ya-nung was under the rule of Sri Vijaya Kingdom. Ptolemy corroborated that the East coast region of the Golden Chersonese (Peninsula Malaysia) had Kole and Primula. Both believed to be ports of call for costal traders. Kole was said to be in Kemaman while Primula was believed to be in Kuala Terengganu.

The Inscribed Stone (Batu Bersurat) found by Sayed Hussein Ghulam Al-Bukhari in 1902 at Kuala Berang bore the world Terenkanu inscribed in jawi, and Arabic Romanized version. The stone tablet also bore a date in Hijrah calendar which was equivalent t 1303 A.D. The archeological finds a Bewah and Taat caves in Hulu Terengganu were carbon dated to be from the Hoabin hian era circa 14,000 – 10,000 years ago. Terengganu was inhabited well before the turn of the first millennium.
Terengganu is truly a lessed state. It is in the early 1970’s that tourists start arriving. Unspoilt beaches, the wonders of watching giant leatherback turtles, the crystal clear azure waters, the splendours of marine lives and the untouched tropical rainforests are totally and experience to cherish. Even the uniqueness of its traditional foods are distinctively sought after and remains a part of Terengganu’s identity. Such as the ‘keropok lekor’ and ‘nasi dagang’ which truly shows originality and so famous that it is regarded as the trademark of Terengganu.

With the present government gearing ahead to create an impressive state to visit, an immense opportunity waits investors. Terengganu is mobilizing it’s full force in developing modern infrastructures.

All the required potentials, endless opportunities and fascination can only be found here in Terengganu.



The discovery of offshore oil in gas in 1974 has granted Terengganu a significant change to its economic, technology and social structure. At current production, the oil and gas reserves are estimated to last for another 13 years and 41 years respectively.

Terengganu has enjoyed considerable development over the past 30 years with its rapid industrialization and growing economic activity after the discovery of these reserves. Before this, farming and fishing were the main economic activities for the state.

Even so, 45% of its land is still covered by lush pristine forests and rivers also home for some very old

Malaysia traditional culture whose practices and customs have been handed down the generations. The 225 km of coastline is not only making Terengganu the state with the longest coastline in Peninsular Malaysia but also contributing to the state GNP. As a holiday destination, Terengganu is a neverending journey of discovery with its rich and exotic culture, breathtaking wonders of nature and endless

potential for adventure.



Culture and Religion

Due to its history background and geographical location, Terengganu receives cultural influences from the neighbour in the north: Kelantan and Thailand. Though it is conservative Muslim state, the general public is still enjoying the freedom of worship. However, beer or alcohol is not widely available in certain places especially Malay own shops. Always remember that while n Rome, do as the Romans do.



Working week

Most of the offices start the week on Sunday and the weekend falls on Friday and Saturday.

sources: http://www.pm-egroup.com/terengganu/

Around Malaysia: Introducing Mt Kinabalu & Kinabalu National Park


Gunung Kinabalu, as it is known in Malay, is more than the highest thing on the world's third largest island. And it is more than scenery. Mt Kinabalu is ubiquitous in Sabah to the point of being inextricable. It graces the state's flag and is a constant presence at the edge of your eyes, catching the clouds and shading the valleys. It is only when you give the mountain your full attention that you realise how special this peak, the region's biggest tourist attraction, truly is.

The 4095m peak of Mt Kinabalu may not be a Himalayan sky-poker, but Malaysia's first Unesco World Heritage Site is by no means an easy jaunt. The main trail up is essentially a very long walk up a very steep hill, past alpine jungle and sunlit moonscapes, with a little scrabbling thrown in for good measure. If you don't feel up to reaching the mountain top, its base has some worthy attractions, including a large network of nature trails.

That said, the main detriment to climbing is not the physical challenge, but the cost. Things are expensive within Mt Kinabalu National Park. Bottled water costs four or five times what it goes for in KK and Sutera Sanctuary Lodges has a monopoly on accommodation. You'll have to decide if you want to accept these fees, because they are basically the cost of climbing the mountain.

Amazingly, the mountain is still growing: researchers have found it increases in height by about 5mm a year. On a clear day you can see the Philippines from the summit; usually, though, the mountain is thoroughly wreathed in fog by midmorning.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/malaysia/mt-kinabalu-kinabalu-national-park#ixzz2ud3O9D2i

Tips travel:How do you take a photo from a bus window (and much more)?

Want to know about travel photography but have been too scared to ask? Look no further as Lonely Planet photography expert Richard I’Anson answers our Facebook members' most pressing questions about taking photos on the road.
Q. Do you have any tips for taking photographs through a bus window (eg tour buses)? I always seem to get a great focus on the window itself - especially if it's raining! - Lesley

A. My immediate response it to say don’t bother, not if you’re hoping to get half decent pictures anyway. However, if you have no choice, try some or all of the following depending on the camera you are using:
  • Set the fastest shutter speed possible (aim for 1/1000)
  • Select a standard to short telephoto lens or zoom setting around 50mm–100mm to frame out the foreground
  • Switch to manual focus and focus on infinity
  • Place the camera as close to the window as possible without resting on it to eliminate potential reflections from inside the bus
  • Turn off the flash if you’re shooting through a closed window ie. glass.
  • Look ahead for a potentially clear viewing spot
  • Don’t hesitate – with all moving subjects, whether it’s you that’s moving or your subject, you’ll be more successful if you adopt a 'shoot first and think later' policy.
Q. How do you photograph lightning strikes at night? - Kate
A. You’ll need to mount your camera on a tripod, use a cable release and turn off the flash. With this set up there is no need to increase your sensor’s ISO rating so you can use your preferred settings and capture maximum detail and sharpness.

Avoid setting up in a brightly lit place where extraneous light can enter the lens and overexpose the image. You’ll rarely have time to study the LCD screen and analyse the histogram so vary the length of your exposures to increase success rates. The trick is to make sure you’ve got your lens focused on the right part of the sky. It may take a few flashes of light to figure out exactly where that is. A wider focal length setting will cover more area of sky and increase your chances. Generally speaking, much more interesting and dramatic pictures can be made if several flashes of light are recorded on the one frame. If there are lengthy delays between strikes use the B (Bulb) setting which leaves the shutter open for as long as you wish. Trial and error is called for, but if you’re using a DSLR or a compact with manual exposure options this procedure should result in successful pictures:
  • Mount the camera on a tripod.
  • Set the shutter speed to 20 or 30 seconds or the B setting.
  • Set the aperture to f16.
  • Switch auto-focus to manual.
  • Set the focus on infinity.
  • Turn off the built-in flash.
  • Frame a part of the sky where you anticipate the lightning will be seen.
  • Release the shutter with a cable release and allow several strikes to trace their paths on the sensor.

Q. It is often said that the gear doesn't matter, but how can you take a good picture if your lens or camera doesn't help you in low light or in long distance, for example? What's your advice for a photographer that has photography in his blood, loves to travel but prefers to invest money in travels for seeing the world instead of in photo gear (and can't invest in both in the same time)? How can the pictures still be amazing with only the contribution of the photographer and almost no help from the lenses ? - Oana
A. I agree that a good photographer can take good pictures of just about any subject on any camera with any lens. Great pictures are the result of matching an interesting subject with the best light, pleasing placement of the elements and exposing the sensor to just the right amount of light that translates the way you see the scene onto the sensor.
It is how the photographer handles this combination of technical and creative skills at a particular moment in time that produces unique images. No camera will make creative decisions for you, or get you to the right place at the right time. However, matching your gear to the kinds of shots you want to take and the kind of travel you prefer certainly makes photography more enjoyable and more productive.
The majority of subjects we encounter on our travels can be photographed with focal lengths ranging from 24mm to 135mm, in other words with one zoom lens.
If wildlife is your thing then this won’t be adequate (unless you can get really close to your subjects). If your budget is limited then you’ll have to accept that you may not get all the shots you want, but if you’re willing to work within the limitations of the gear you own there is no reason at all why you shouldn’t be able to take good shots of most things you come across, even with entry level cameras.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com//travel-tips-and-articles/76109#ixzz2ucqX1ZxN

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Best adventure travel for 2014

Two-wheeling through the green valleys of the Portes du Soleil in France. Image by Ilan Shacham / Flickr / Getty Images.

For those who like their trips to thrill, here’s our pick of the best places to feel pumped in 2014.

Mountain biking, Avoriaz, France

Avoriaz is one of 12 interconnected resorts in the Portes du Soleil region of the French Alps, where man-made bike trails and alpine tracks create a spectacular playground for mountain bikers. The area, which includes Les Gets and Morzine, opens 25 ski lifts during the summer for riders who’d rather earn their thrills the easy way. There are more than 650km of trails in Portes du Soleil, ranging from mellow to OMG. At the end of June the Pass’Portes du Soleil mountain bike festival sees 4000 bikers descend on the region for a 75km race that is mostly downhill. The gondolas close to bikers in September, then the skiers get their turn.
The Rustine School (www.rustine.fr) offers two-wheeled tuition to children and adults. Bikes and full-face helmets are provided.
Two-wheeling through the green valleys of the Portes du Soleil in France. Image by Ilan Shacham / Flickr / Getty Images.

Sailing, Cape Horn, Chile

 Dientes de Navarino Mountains in Chile by Dimitry B. CC BY 2.0.
Tall ships may look like they’ve sailed straight out of a classic oil painting, but you don’t need to set your DeLorean to 1870 to navigate the stormy seas in one – but you should be prepared to get stuck in on deck, and climbing the rigging is especially encouraged. The Auckland-to-Falklands route around Cape Horn is one of the gnarliest shipping channels on the planet, and you’ll rack up 5400 nautical miles among some of the world’s biggest waves.
You need some crewing experience for Classic Sailing’s Cape Horn trip (www.classicsailing.co.uk), though they organise shorter voyages for those with none.

Ice Marathon, Antarctica

Antarctica's Lemaire channel at first light. Image by Ralf Hettler / E+ / Getty Images.
Antarctica's Lemaire channel at first light. Image by Ralf Hettler / E+ / Getty Images.
Sidestep marathon-sponsorship inbox fatigue by doing a race so unusual that your friends will have no choice but to sit up and take notice. The annual Ice Marathon takes place in temperatures of -20°C, though the brutal wind chill whipping round your chops can make it feel another 20 degrees below that. It’s an environment so hostile even penguins won’t call it home. Yet to marathon in this frosted world you don’t actually need prior experience of running in extreme cold. You do need to follow advice on what to wear as if your life depends on it, as it probably does.
The 2014 Ice Marathon (www.icemarathon.com) is set for 19 to 23 November but the dates depend on the weather.

Swimming, Sporades IslesGreece

 Boating in the Sporades by Anca Pandrea. CC BY 2.0.
You don’t have to watch The Beach to figure out that swimming from one island to another is a pretty magical way to arrive at your holiday destination. In this tour of a super-quiet stretch of the Aegean Sea you get to do that every day, Greek island–hopping stroke by stroke without the bother of carrying your kit, which will follow behind in the support boat. You’ll be sharing the craggy coastlines of the Sporades archipelago and its protected turquoise waters with dolphins, seals and scientists, as the area is part of Europe’s largest natural marine park.
Swim Trek (www.swimtrek.com) runs trips in June and July with average daily swims of 5km. Video analysis is on offer to help hone your stroke technique.

Climbing Mount Baker on snowboard or skis, WashingtonUSA

Climbing the upper slopes of Mount Baker in Washington State. Image by Cliff Leight / Aurora / Getty Images.
Climbing the upper slopes of Mount Baker in Washington State. Image by Cliff Leight / Aurora / Getty Images.
Scaling a summit, though always impressive, is a lot more fun if you plan to reward yourself with a hefty dose of adrenaline on the way down, rather than an energy depleted trudge back to base. It’s also a lot easier and faster to climb using skis instead of feet and now snowboarders can join the party by using splitboards. The peak of Mount Baker is 3285m and on the ascent, which includes glacial terrain, you’ll have stunning panoramic Alpine views plus the sight of the San Juan Islands and Washington’s inland waters to distract you from your toil.
The American Alpine Institute (www.alpineinstitute.com) runs three-day trips in May and June; you’ll need intermediate touring and riding experience to get involved.

Kayaking, KamchatkaRussia

Sea kayakers float past Karaginsky Island in Kamchatka. Image by John Borthwick / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images.
Sea kayakers float past Karaginsky Island in Kamchatka. Image by John Borthwick / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images.
For an experience so edge-of-the-world you’ll need to be careful you don’t actually drop off, this 160km hike and kayak expedition in remotest Kamchatka takes some beating. Your small group will be dropped by helicopter at the foot of the Karimsky volcano, where you’ll begin crossing the Siberian taiga. You’ll encounter no roads or people, the only tracks being those of the 25,000 brown bears who call this region home. When you reach the headwaters of the salmon- and trout-rich Zhupanova river, you’ll take to your kayak and paddle its entire length to the Bering Sea.
For this Natural Habitat Expedition (www.nathab.com), done in partnership with WWF, you’ll need multi-day paddling experience in rivers and oceans.

Rock climbing, YangshuoChina

Rock climbing in Yangshuo by Maria Ly. CC BY-SA 2.0.
Yangshuo, a picturesque former fishing village, has found itself dubbed the adventure capital of China thanks in part to its accessibility but mostly due to the rock-climbing opportunities afforded by its many limestone karst peaks, which rise strikingly from the dense emerald-green vegetation. A buzzing scene of local and international climbers enjoy arguably the best concentration of climbs in Asia, most of which are reachable by a short bike or bus ride from downtown. Many routes are well bolted, though the more intrepid climber can still find fresh, and in some cases nearvertical, routes to conquer.
Insight Adventures (www.insight-adventures.com) do trips to Yangshuo. The best times are March to May and September to December; there’s a climbing festival in November.

Stand-up paddleboarding, Dominican Republic

Cabarete beach in the Dominican Republic. Image by SOBERKA Richard / hemis.fr / Getty Images.
Cabarete beach in the Dominican Republic. Image by SOBERKA Richard / hemis.fr / Getty Images.
If you plan on stand-up paddling (SUP), you’ll want to seek out spots that remain relatively empty, rather than popular surf breaks which increasingly resemble the scrums that follow door-opening at the January sales. The rugged northern coastline of the Dominican Republic offers 500km of such bounty buffeted by North Atlantic swells, and SUP is an easy way to catch these waves, while giving you the option of exploring the region’s river mouths, outer reefs and crystal-blue Caribbean coves in a manner so civilised you may not even need to get your swimmers wet.
Waterways Travel (www.waterwaystravel.com) runs tours most of the year but May to September is the best time to visit for small, fun waves with zero crowds.

Whitewater rafting, Mosquito Coast, Honduras

Team of whitewater rafters navigate the rapids in Rio Cangrejal, Honduras. Image by Devon Stephens / E+ / Getty Images.
Team of whitewater rafters navigate the rapids in Rio Cangrejal, Honduras. Image by Devon Stephens / E+ / Getty Images.
The swamp-ridden jungle that makes up the Mosquito Coast, named after the local Miskito Indians rather than the pesky bloodsuckers, is one of the least explored areas in the Americas. Yet the truly hardy can whitewater raft through its core, riding the Rio Platano river to the Caribbean coast with only the region’s indigenous tribes and unique wildlife (river otters, scarlet macaws, pumas, jaguars and vampire bats) for company. When not riding the rapids, you’ll explore the caves and subterranean creeks (once used for ancient rituals) that line the river, and by night you’ll hone your bushcraft skills by wild camping on the sandy riverbanks.
Epic Tomato (epictomato.com) organises the week-long rafting trips, after which it will transport you to a hidden coastal retreat to snorkel and rest.

Travel by horse and cart, Myanmar/Burma

Exploring the ruins of the ancient city Ava by horse and cart is not a tourist gimmick but simply the only way to get around. It’s also the best way to see the Buddhist temples and pagodas in Bagan. Still a popular mode of transport for locals, especially in rural areas, it’s not the smoothest ride nor the speediest, but at least that means you can enjoy your view rather than have everything flying past in one big whoosh. You’ll be sheltered from the sun and rain, should either get too full-on.
All Points East (allpointseast.com) runs tours of Myanmar. Alongside horse and cart, transport options include bike, local train, rickshaw and Irrawaddy cruiser.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-tips-and-articles/best-adventure-travel-for-2014#ixzz2uVGm6mrh

How to take great wildlife pictures

It is said that great wildlife photography comes from the heart and not the head. Whatever the case, capturing the Big Five in South Africa, orangutans in Southeast Asia or Emperor Penguins in Antarctica requires a lot of patience, and much luck. The trouble is, you never quite know what’s going to happen next - but that’s what makes it so exciting, too. The following tips will help you get the best wildlife shots out of your trip by being prepared...well as prepared as you can be.

Get the right gear

One great step in achieving that great image is having the right gear for the purpose. This doesn’t mean you have to have the most expensive or the latest equipment to take good wildlife photographs, but you must have a thorough knowledge of the right kit for the right situation and how to use it properly. Otherwise, you’ll be consulting the manual, completely oblivious to your subject posing for you.

Pick the right camera

While digital SLRs are recommended with a lens focal length of 300-400mm, you can get away with a decent compact that has a good zoom lens, at least up to 10x. Different trips will require different equipment; a trip to the Galapagos where the animals come close a compact digital will do the job, but in rainforested Tanjung Puting National Park, great images of a fast-moving, canopy-dwelling orangutan might require the aid of a faster machine.
Young orangutan
Young orangutan gets his fill of bananas at a feeding platform in Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Travel light

Hanging off the side of a truck during wildlife safaris in Africa with a giant telephoto lens in one hand and a beaming flash in the other is not going to get you fantastic shots or make you many friends. Don’t bundle yourself up with cumbersome equipment and multiple lenses you’re not going to have time to set up or change. Take only what you need and pack it into a single, manageable photographic daypack.

Practice makes perfect

Head to your local wildlife park or zoo and practise taking photos of the wildlife there. It’s also imperative to get an idea of the environment you’re going to be taking photos in. If you’re intending to visit a rainforest to take photos of gibbons, head to an environment that has low light levels and program your camera settings accordingly. An ISO setting of 400 and above generally works best.

The right lens for the right subject

Image by Mr. T in DC
A 300-400mm lens will allow you to focus in closely on an animal that is much further away – perhaps a leopard resting in a tree. Remember, the shorter the lens, the closer you will need to get to your subject for it to be full frame – a 100mm lens might not be the lens of choice when you’re photographing that crocodile then! The shorter lenses are particularly useful for taking images of animals in landscapes and habitats where you want to give a general impression of the area you are visiting, as they offer you great flexibility in how you compose your images. Many entry level DSLRs come with a twin lens kit with both these options.

Don’t forget the habitat

When shooting desert wildlife, it is a crime not to make the desert part of the picture. Try to visualise the scene before you take it; if your subject is walking, have the animal leading into the picture and try to use prominent natural features to frame the shot. Taking a wider view can also introduce mood and a sense of wilderness and can transform your image into a picture rather than a snapshot. The subject will need to be equal or brighter than the background, otherwise the image will not be balanced.
When photographing penguins, for instance, or perhaps a herd of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the Kenyan plains, a good-quality wide-angle lens is a must. Try to choose one that doesn’t overlap with the zoom too much and isn’t too wide: a 24–70mm lens is a great combination and weighs virtually nothing.

Timing is everything

And in this case, it often means an early start. Animals are least active in the middle of the day, so if you want to avoid snooze shots, head out in the early morning or late in the afternoon when the light is also at its best.
Baby gibbons Crystal and Phi Phi
Rescued baby white-handed gibbons at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, Phuket, Thailand
Portraits of animals do not differ too much to that of people. Try to shoot animals from the neck up and position it in the corner, framing their head in the centre. Maintaining a sharp focus on the eyes is imperative, otherwise the image will fail. Low light or cloudy days are better for shooting – in bright sunlight you will struggle to see the eyes. Don’t just go for the straight portrait; try to vary your photography to make the most of the light. Look at different angles for the sunrise. Backlit shots can work really well and you may get the ring-of-fire effect.

Get some handy extras

Give the person who thought of focal length extensions a medal for services to wildlife photography! These multiply the focal length of your lens by a factor of between 1.2x and 1.6x. This provides the equivalent of a longer lens, allowing you to get close to animals without physically having to do so and without spending any extra money. Purrrrrr…fect.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/africa/travel-tips-and-articles/76099#ixzz2uVEtaWe4

Five travel photography essentials that won't weigh you down

View from a Greek Island ferry. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.
Some of your best travel pictures will be off the cuff, spontaneous affairs, but taking a few basic pieces of kit – like a tripod, zoom lens, polariser and GorillaPod grip – can ensure you’re ready to make the most of a golden opportunity. Here’s a round-up of the best photography kit to sling in your day pack.

1. Compact cameras

Don’t listen to the old school purists – these days getting the shot is more important than the pedigree of camera you use, be it an iPhone or handy compact. Some photo opps require a quick draw, and SLRs (though professional) can be clunky and awkward to locate in an instant. By the time you’ve screwed on the right lens, your chosen subject has moved on.
View from a Greek Island ferry. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.
This shot was taken in the Greek Islands with a Panasonic Lumix compact camera. With Zakynthos receding in the distance, there was a perfect blue sky garlanded with a low belt of clouds, and a rich navy sea contrasting with the crow-black garb of an orthodox priest and nun. To achieve this picture I quickly reeled off three or four shots with an ISO setting of 200 to compensate for the brilliance of the rising sun, using a shutter speed of about 1/400th of a second. Once I returned to the UK I cropped the shot slightly on my Mac to personalise the two central figures.

2. Mini-tripod

For close-ups that require steadiness beyond the capability of a human hand a tripod is your best friend. This shot of freshly caught octopus on Nisyros captures the essence of the Greek Islands: fishing and the sea. The close-up catches the alien succulence of the tentacles by using the bracketing function on my Nikon D3100, which takes several shots of the same subject using different camera settings. I’ve concentrated the focus on just the right side of the frame to make it more interesting. The tentacles weren’t going anywhere so I had plenty of time to frame the shot with a fine focus and used the timer function so the camera wouldn’t shake when I pressed the button. Portable and lightweight, for long exposures at night or in low light conditions or finely detailed shots like this, a tripod is essential.
Freshly-caught octopus. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.Freshly caught octopus. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.

 3. Watch the magic

Don’t underestimate the power of the humble wristwatch – it enables you to time your activity to coincide with the day’s optimum lighting. Pictures taken just after dawn, before the sun starts to dominate the sky and over-expose everything in its glare, capture subjects in a softer light, coating buildings in amber hues and deepening an image with contrasting shadows. Nature provides the photographer with a second opportunity to catch something they didn’t manage to get out of bed for in the form of a 'magic hour' before dusk. Light at this time of the day is often honey-tinted, lengthening shadows and adding texture. Sea glare from overhead sunlight, as in this shot of Lake Malawi, is also not a problem as the light of the sun in early morning and the magic hour is horizontally angled. So set your alarm or be prepared to wait for the late afternoon sun to achieve shots you’ll be proud of in years to come.
Perfect timing on Lake Malawi. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.Perfect timing on Lake Malawi. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.

 4. Zoom lens & SLR polariser

Photographers tell you to beware working with two things: kids and animals. Both are prone to moving impulsively and have better things to do than play to your lens. This shot – taken on a beach close to where Richard Burton filmed Night of The Iguana - includes both. The iguana was being allowed a dip by its owner, while the little girl, my splash of background colour, was busy with her bucket. I waited for the two to converge and, in order not to spook the iguana, used a zoom lens fixed low to the ground on a tripod. This allowed me to go right up close to catch its beautiful scales. If your zoom has an image stabilisation or vibration reduction switch, make sure it’s on, and for animal shots with a zoom always employ a tripod.
Lizard's-eye-view on a Mexican beach. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.Lizard's eye-view on a Mexican beach. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.
My other essential piece of kit in this shot is a polariser. Costing around US$45, this essential bit of kit screws on to your SLR lens and does a great job of nullifying sun glare on objects, reflections and water, and deepening colours, particularly blues. The brilliance of the Mexican sky here is thanks to the polariser, plus its colour-saturating effect on the vivid orange of the girl’s bucket. It was shot around midday and the polariser allowed me to enhance the blue of the sky and deepen the contrast with the colour of the lizard, as well as add sharpness to its scales.

5. Multi-shot mode and GorillaPod grip

Any compact or SLR camera worth its salt will have a ‘sports’ mode or multi-shot feature. The former allows you to shoot with a fast film speed to capture quick moving subjects that would otherwise be blurred, while the latter lets you take a few pictures per second, thus maximising your chances of getting a decent one. The shot below was taken in the ancient city of Luang Prabang in Laos. The temple and the boy playing with a rattan football was taken using a GorillaPod (www.joby.com/gorillapod ; about US$20) attached to a low-lying frangipani branch. The light was fading so I whacked up the film speed on my compact, and used multi-shot mode to get a sense of the ball in motion.
Ball games in Luang Prabang. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.Ball games in Luang Prabang. Image by Richard Waters / Lonely Planet.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/africa/travel-tips-and-articles/77733#ixzz2uVDW6r2A

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