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Amazing Myanmar (Burma) photography tour

Myanmar Burma Lake Inle sunrise leg rower rowing fisherman

Over the last 4 weeks I have been blogging about my photo shoot around Myanmar (Burma) for Manfrotto tripods. The final blog, week 4, takes us to the mesmerising Inle Lake in the Shan state

Join me next week, back home at WordPress, for behind the photos, a deeper look into some of the photographs shot in this amazing country, I hope you can join me.

I still have a few spaces left on the photography holiday to Burma;

I look forward to welcoming you on one of my Digital Photography Holidays.

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2014 Burma (Myanmar) travel photography holiday – journey through the Golden Land

Myanmar (Burma) is the pot at the end of the rainbow – photographers gold.

Myanmar (Burma) Lake Inle fisherman

Myanmar (Burma) Lake Inle fisherman

After spending 28 days in the country I can honestly say that I haven`t had such an awe inspiring photo shoot in quite some time, there is such a wealth of subject matter to photograph, from street photography through to luscious landscapes.Myanmar (Burma)Yangon woman selling water melon at street side

Myanmar (Burma) Bagan temples

Myanmar (Burma) Bagan temples

There is an abundance of fresh tasty street food. Myanmar Nyaung Shwe town market street food vegetable samosas frying

and many modes of transportHorse and carriage, Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (Burma) people on tractor

Join me for a journey through the golden land on a Digital Photography Holiday.    Dates, itinerary and pricing for this holiday can be found on my website

Myanmar (Burma) Mandalay U Bein bridge woman watching sunrise

Myanmar, Mandalay, U Bein bridge woman watching sunrise

I have teamed up with my friends from Manfrotto tripods and every Tuesday in May they will be publishing a travelogue on their website following my journey around Burma starting on May 7th.

I also host Digital Photography Holidays to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Venice, Marrakech, Prague & Paris, plus photography workshops: Join me for the trip of a lifetime.

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Travelling light in Myanmar (Burma) – On the road again

At present I am in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) on a 28 day photoshoot and fact finding mission for the photography holidays I will be hosting later in the year. After arriving here from Angkor Wat in Cambodia, there are certainly some striking similarities.

Old colonial building in Yangon, Myanmar, (Burma), still in use

Old colonial building in Yangon, Myanmar, (Burma), still in use

This old colonial building in Yangon is still in use. Nature really does want to spring into life everywhere it can if it is given the chance, these trees have certainly taken hold to the building.

It is always good to be on the road travelling and Myanmar is an amazing place to be, despite the 40C heat (in April). In these kind of conditions it pays to travel light, if only!

Travelling light?

camera kit photography kit in Myanmar (Burma) on photoshoot

My trusty Karimoor back pack that has travelled the world with me for over 20 years and still going strong has a clothes allowance of 5 T Shirts, 1 shirt, 2  pairs of trousers, 2 pairs of shorts, 5 pairs boxers (better in the heat), 2 pairs of socks (not needed in the heat), 1 jacket (incase it gets cold!), all packed into a small compression bag so it doesn`t take up too much room. Footwear; 1 pair of flip flops and 1 pair of shoes for when I get home to the cold! The shoes are always a pain to find a place for.

There was a  miscalculation on the T Shirts, need 2 or 3 a day in the heat of April in Yangon, evening spent washing them in the sink, dry time less than half an hour. Now I truly know the meaning of `It ain`t half hot Mum`


UPDATE 2014My travel photography tour to Burma is now live with dates in 2014 & 2015, for further details please click here: (these are held in cooler times of the year for the tropics).


As I am on the move again tomorrow, thought I would post the equipment list as I am ticking off the tick-list to make sure nothing is forgotten.

Equipment list comprises of;

2 x Lowepro camera bags including 1 which has a pouch for my computer and is on board baggage allowance size and has wheels.

1 x Manfrotto tripod and Manfrotto head (would be lost without it, my oldest piece of equipment been with me since my old Mamiya RZ days) Plus Mamiya riser for long lenses and spare camera mounts.

Canon 1Ds Mark II, a dear old friend.

Canon lenses, 17-40mm; 100mm macro; 24-70mm; 70-200mm; 100-400mm and Tilt and Shift lens and lens hoods for each.

Mirror lock release (plus spare as v important piece of kit.

2 spare Canon batteries and charger.

Various Lexar CF Cards and Lexar pro card reader.

Sandisk memory sticks for essential back up and DVD`s to be on the safe side.

Various Lee filters and mounts, including ND grads (hard & soft), ND`s, polariser and Big Stopper.

Toshiba computer (fits in my Lowepro camera bag pouch for flying.)

The essentials; Multi socket extension plug, plug adaptors, phone, plugs, more plugs and cables, screwdrivers, Swiss army knife, torch, hotshoe spirit level – got to keep those spirits level, elastic bands, safety pins (for a bit of punk rock nostalgia amongst loads of practical uses), yet more plugs and cables, pens, pocket book for writing info about locations and my very oldest piece of kit the trusty compass, oh yeah and a guide book.

Finally the most important thing as a photographer which is the lightest bit of kit; bags and bags of patience.

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Top travel destinations in Asia 2014 – Burma (Myanmar) & Siem Reap, Cambodia, Angkor Wat

The 1st of February, wow, January just flew by here, probably because I had lots to catch up on after being out of the country for 9 weeks. Thanks to Twitter I quickly caught up with any new developments in travel

At the start of the year there are an array of travel awards which I watch with interest, Burma keeps coming up in them. The latest news I received through Twitter were the Wanderlust Travel Awards for and top country to visit is Myanmar, with Bagan number 5 for top city.

Myanmar, Bagan,  temple at dawn, silhouette

Myanmar, Bagan, temple at dawn, silhouette

Burma Myanmar U Bein Bridge Lake water people on boat

Boat on Lake

Myanmar, Yangon, Schwedagon Pagoda, dusk

Myanmar, Yangon, Schwedagon Pagoda, dusk


Inle lake, Myanmar (Burma) fisherman with girl on boat

Inle lake, Myanmar (Burma) fisherman with girl on boat

Trip Advisor gives Siem Reap in Cambodia the gateway to the Angkor Wat temple complex number 9 top city in the world and Wanderlust magazine Number 10.          (Top destination Asian city for Trip Advisor is Siem Reap.)

Tree Angkor Wat temple complex

Tree Angkor Wat temple complex

Angkor Wat Cambodia Ta Prohm Temple Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd

This town has grown over the years since my first visit in 1999 from a dusty wild west place to a town that now has amazing restaurants, bars, hotels, markets, shops and galleries.

Angkor Wat Cambodia Ta Prohm Temple Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd

It still caters to all budgets and cuisines but it can be a little sleepy in places.

Man asleep in tuk tuk

Myanmar and Cambodia all feature in Conde Nast Traveller best places to go for winter sun.

Join me for a travel photography holiday to Burma or Cambodia: Angkor Wat & Cambodian Life, I look forward to meeting you on one of them.

2014: Long weekend photography holidays to Marrakech, Venice, Paris & Prague

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Burma (Myanmar) photography holiday tour dates announced 2014 & 2015

Photography holidays to Myanmar (burma) Angkor Wat, cambodia and Bangkok Thailand in 2013 2014

I have just confirmed the dates for the photography holiday to Burma (Myanmar) for 2014 & 2015.

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

Inle lake, Myanmar (Burma)

On this travel photography tour to Burma we start in Yangon home to Schwedagon Paya. We then fly to the temple studded plains of Bagan.

From Bagan we travel by train to Mandalay.

We have secured permits to travel overland in to the Shan State to go to Lake Inle and from there we go back to Yangon.

More details can be found here;

I look forward to meeting you on of my Digital Photography Holidays.

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Photography Holidays 2015 to Angkor Wat; Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma) and NEW Vietnam

In 2015 I am hosting photography holidays to some of my favourite locations. Angkor Wat is a photographers dream with a wealth of images to be taken. The holidays feature in this months Outdoor Photographer magazine – Holidays & Courses guide. There are still some places available for the holidays.

I will also be hosting a photography holiday to Burma (Myanmar) in November 2015

Brand new for 2016: Vietnam photography tour from south to north:

Digital photography holidays holiday tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Bangkok Thailand hosted by Stephen Studd

Digital Photography Holidays can also be found on;



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Easy steps to photograp into the sun

My camera is always set on manual mode, if your camera is on auto and you photograph into the sun you will most likely get underexposed images.

When shooting into the sun your meter will underexpose the scene (the histogram will be way too far to the left). Photographing into the sun is a great way for you to learn to take control of your camera.

If you are after a warm glow around the sun then photographing at sunrise or sunset are the best times to achieve this.

Digital photography holidays Myanmar, Bagan,  temple at dawn, silhouette

Myanmar, Bagan, silhouetted temples at sunrise

Set the aperture you are after and meter for the scene without the sun in the frame as a starting point. Keep this meter reading then shoot with the sun in the shot and see how this looks.

For the shot above of the temples of Bagan in Myanmar I wanted to leave some detail in the silhouetted temples whilst giving a very warm feel to the image. You can try different exposures using the exposure compensation dial to see how the different exposures will look. The camera was mounted on my tripod and I focussed the scene manually, then avoided looking directly through the eyepiece to save my eyes from any damage. Between shots I put the lens cap on too.  To avoid flare it is best to remove any lens protection filters you might have on your lens.

If you are after a bright burnt out sun with blue sky then shooting around mid day can ahieve this, though this one is much harder on the eyes, so be careful. The shot below of the Allium Purple Sensation against the sun I wanted to convey the feeling of nature bursting into life with the power of the sun in summer. For this the sun had to be overhead with me lying on the ground. This shot was harder to achieve as I was hand holding and having to focus on the allium and meter.

Allium Purple Sensation against the sun

Allium Purple Sensation against the sun
f11 1/400th sec @70mm 100 ISO

The backlit flower against the sun shows off its shape and form and the colour of the petals is accentuated. In this shot the sun is more burnt out and there is flare which adds to the feel of the power of the beating sun.

When taking these type of shots please be careful of your eyes, you don`t want to damage them.

I am leading travel photography holidays and tours in 2016 and 2017 to Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam and Cambodia. Details can be found on the Digital Photography Holidays website;