Meet the Traveler Volume Three

Photo: Ellen Svela      Location: Sikvelandsheia, Norway

Photo: Ellen Svela      Location: Sikvelandsheia, Norway

I love the idea of sharing your travel stories and pictures. That is one of the many reasons why I love social media and why I started this blog. I think it is a great way to educate and inspire others but also to be inspired and learn from other people from different parts of the world.

Have you ever seen the northern lights? My third Meet the Traveler  is capturing her northern light experiences on camera and sharing it with the world through her Instagram account. Showing all of us the beautiful Norwegian nature and landscape.

 

First, tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Ellen. I grew up on the south west coast of Norway. My closest neighbors were my grandparents. They had a farm and when I was little I always used to help them out. Growing up in the countryside I had animals and nature right out side of my doorstep. This has had a huge impact on me and is probably one of the reasons I appreciate and love nature so much today.

I got my first camera when I was 10 years old, and I have taken a LOT of photos through the years. A few years back, I discovered something new and exciting called Instagram. It became a source of inspiration for me, looking at all the talented photographers and their work. So I decided to take my own photography to the next level.

Photo: Ellen Svela      Location: Høle, Norway

Photo: Ellen Svela      Location: Høle, Norway


 What type of equipment are you using?

About three years ago I bought my first DSLR camera. A Nikon D3200. At that time the camera was affordable, but good for a beginner. I have been very happy with it. I love the standard kit lens;18-55mmm. I also have a 70-300mm zoom and a 40mm lens. I am looking into buying a Samyang 14mm wide angle lens in the future.
Photo: Ellen Svela     Location: Seldalsheia, Norway

Photo: Ellen Svela     Location: Seldalsheia, Norway


What part of your home country do you love the most, and where would you recommend other travelers to visit?

I would recommend a trip to the west coast of Norway. In Rogaland, where I live, there is beautiful place called Jæren. A vast area with an amazing coastline. You can stand on the shore and look straight out to the north sea. This area has some of the best beaches in Norway. It is a great place for surfing and watching sunsets. This region also has fjords and high, steep mountains. With famous places like Pulpitrock, Kjerag and Månafossen. So if you decide to visit my region remember to bring your hiking shoes!
After spending some time in Rogaland you can drive further up the west coast towards Bergen. I can guarantee you will have the most beautiful, scenic views along the way.
Photo: Ellen Svela     Location: Sola Beach, Jæren, Rogaland

Photo: Ellen Svela     Location: Sola Beach, Jæren, Rogaland


A lot of people say traveling changes their lives. Has traveling changed yours?

Traveling has changed my life in the way that I get a better understanding of other people, their cultures and way of life. And photography has made me appreciate nature and my surroundings more than I used to.
Photo: Ellen Svela     Location: Seldalsheia, Norway

Photo: Ellen Svela     Location: Seldalsheia, Norway

 

Where would you like to travel to in 2016 and why?

Everywhere! Hard to choose one place, but it has been a dream of mine to go to China for a while now. This huge country has some amazing rock and mountain formations. Also I would love to see the rice terraces and of course a panda :) 
Right now I'm looking forward to having a couple of weeks in the Seychelles. Fantastic nature, like a paradise!
Photo: Ellen Svela       Location: Høle, Norway

Photo: Ellen Svela       Location: Høle, Norway



It has been said that by the year 2030 1,7 billion people will be traveling in one way or another. This will affect a lot of places around the world in many ways. How do you think an increase of this amount will affect certain countries as well as your own?

 

My hope is that we as travelers can help the nature and wildlife around the world by supporting the "right" kind of companies/businesses. Being careful and conscious about where we leave our money. Making sure we support people who work for animals rights and taking care of the environment. I really think we have a big responsibility as travelers, to support locals and volunteers. What fun would it be to travel in a world without beautiful nature and interesting animals?

I really wish by all my heart that this will be the trend for the future!

Photo: Ellen Svela     Location: Gjesdal, Norway

Photo: Ellen Svela     Location: Gjesdal, Norway

 

A lot of people are wondering what is the best way to capture the northern lights. And do you have any favorite spots, or places you would recommend people to travel to, to capture it?

 

A couple of years ago I got this strange, green light on a photo when I was out at night doing a photo shoot. I realized that I could actually photograph the northern lights close to where I live. What a joy!
To capture it you need to have an open view to the north. I usually get in my car and drive towards the sea. Or I head for the mountains to get as high up as possible where I can get a clear view to the north. It is also important to avoid light-pollution from nearby cities as much as possible to get the best pictures.
For your camera use your widest lens and widest aperture. Then set your Iso at 800 and start experimenting with the shutter speed. 5-8 seconds is good to capture the movement of the light, but in certain places you might need to use 15-20 seconds.
Today you can find great apps for your phone that will help you to figure out the strength of the light, and when and where you have the best shot at capturing it.
P:S You always need to bring a bit of luck with you.

My dream is to go to the Lofoten islands and capture the aurora borealis. Hopefully I will be able to one day.

Photo: Ellen Svela       Location: Bore Beach, Jæren, Rogaland

Photo: Ellen Svela       Location: Bore Beach, Jæren, Rogaland



Any advice to give to people out there who want to become great nature photographers?

I became a better photographer by reading a lot on the internet and looking at peoples camera settings on Instagram. But what has taught me the most is just trying out every single setting on my camera. I never read the manual, and I never went to a photo class. I am self taught and I am constantly learning by doing, and learning by failing. This might not be the right way for you to learn but that is what worked for me. I do most landscape, and it is very important for me to look at the way I compose a photograph. Try to remember to place something in the foreground to kind of drag the viewer into the picture. Like I said earlier, learning by doing and the more you try the more you learn. You will also find photo groups on Facebook where you can ask questions and learn from others. 

To see more of Ellen´s amazing photos visit her Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/2ellen2/

 

Meet the Traveler volume two

Photo: Egemen Unalan     Location: Rhodes, Greece

Photo: Egemen Unalan     Location: Rhodes, Greece

I love the idea of sharing you travel stories and pictures. That is one of the many reasons why I love social media and why I started this blog. I think it is a great way to educate and inspire others but also to be inspired and learn from other people from all over the world. I never thought this would be my favorite part of blogging when I started, but this page with fellow travelers is inspiring me so much. And I hope it will inspire some of you as well.

My second “meet the traveler” is dedicated to a talented photographer from Turkey. He started taking photos about two years ago. When you you look at his beautiful pictures he proves that you do not need to study photography to become a great photographer. You need and eye for it, and Egemen definitely has one.

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Belgrade, Serbia

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Belgrade, Serbia

First, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi all, this is Egemen from Istanbul – Turkey. When I am not out traveling or taking photos I am working as a foreign trade manager in an advertisement company. 
A couple of years ago I started to get into photography. And shortly after that I started using Instagram. At the beginning of my Instagram journey it was just for fun to share some of my everyday moments. After a while I started to get more into landscape photography and taking more photos with long exposure.

What type of equipment are you using? And has it changed during the last two years?

I started out using a Canon D600. Now I am using Canon 6D (17-40mm / 75-300mm / 50mm – 1.8 objectives) and Nikon AW-120 waterproof camera.

 

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Location: Prince islands, Turkey

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Location: Prince islands, Turkey

What part of your home country do you love the most, and where would you recommend other travelers to visit?

Turkey is basically a big peninsula in between Asia and Europe, filled with many different cultures and a lot of things to see. For me the best and most special part is the South West of Turkey. Especially around Marmaris, Fethiye and Kas. My favorite place is Radar Hill at Iztuzu Beach. Where you can experience one of the worlds most amazing sunsets.

Photo: Egemen Unalan   Location: Hamam bay, Turkey

Photo: Egemen Unalan   Location: Hamam bay, Turkey

Has traveling changed your life, if it has in what way?

After my passion for photography started, I enjoyed traveling much more and I changed the way I travel as well. Earlier I enjoyed staying at luxury hotels and traveling in a more luxurious way. Now I love staying in a tent or a caravan and spending much more time out in nature. Today I am experiencing life as detailed photo shoot.

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Where would you like to travel to in 2016 and why?

At the end of December 2015 I am going to visit China – Shanghai. For 2016 I want to travel more in Europe. I want to go back to Norway and visit the northern parts. I would love to go to Holland (especially Amsterdam), the western parts of France and explore more places in my home country as well.

 

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Location: Salt Lake, Turkey

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Location: Salt Lake, Turkey

Social media has taken over the tourism industry and is changing the way we travel and why we travel.
What do you think will be the travel trends of the future?

With social media it has become easier to connect with people and make friendships all over the world. It is also easier with modern technology to explore the world. In my opinion it will be an increasing trend in the future. Using friendships and connections with local people when you travel. For example through couchsurfing and other sharing economy inventions.

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Location: Iztuzu radar hill, Turkey

Photo: Egemen Unalan    Location: Iztuzu radar hill, Turkey

You told me that you started photographing only two years ago, which is mind-blowing when you look at your amazing photos. Any advice to give to people out there who want to become great photographers?

I usually get in contact with people who love photography. Going out with them for photo walks or doing road trips. This always teaches me some new techniques. I also use the internet to learn other tricks and get tips from good photographers online. As a conclusion, try to be very open minded and learn from others.

 

If you want to see more of Egemen's amazing photos you can check him out on:

Instagram: egmnunln

Website:www.egemenunalan.com

Meet the Traveler volume one

I love the idea of sharing your travel stories and pictures. That is one of the many reasons why I love social media and why I started this blog. I think it is a great way to educate and inspire others but also to be inspired and learn from other people from all over the world. So my first "meet the traveler" is dedicated to someone I have been following on Instagram for a long time now. I have also collaborated with him on a piece for a community-focused blogging platform called Journesia.

Meet Kama, a young Indonesian guy with a great eye for photography.

Mount Prau, Wonosobo, Central Java       Photo: Kamazka Btara

First tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I am from Indonesia, born and bred. Growing up, I've been moving to lots of places with my family since I was 5, at least for the first 10 years of my life before we headed back to Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. In those 10 years, I lived in rural areas, mostly in higher land where nature was just out of my window pane. I went around the paddy field, or circling a hill by walking on a tiny river bank when I was in Elementary school. I guess it was my first initiation to soak up in nature. And then it went on with hiking to the mountains as I grew older. In 2006 until 2007, I started to grow an interest in photography. I used Canon 500D at that time. I then only lasted for a year until 2014 my sister asked me why did I not post my traveling pictures since I have been on quite the adventure for the last four years at that time. I have been working as an architect and interior designer for 3-4 years now but my recent occupation is as a translator with recent translation for a National Geography encyclopedia.

Padar Island, Flores, East Lesser Sunda Islands      Photo: Kamazka Btara

A lot of people say traveling changes their lives. Has traveling changed yours?

 

Traveling has indeed changed my life in a way that I see things or put myself in certain situations that I did not do before. In every opportunity I have when meeting people during traveling, there is always new things to be learned. Their stories, their lives and the societies where all these people are part of, has shown me the diversity of life, in which I gather to help me to better myself and understanding of others. One thing that traveling has taught me is that every corner has a different story, you may not know what it may bring but only by taking the corners you'll only have the chance to see things. It has also taught me courage.

Mount Bromo, Malang, East Java     Photo: Kamazka Btara

It has been said that by the year 2030 1,7 billion people will be traveling in one way or another. This will affect a lot of places around the world in many ways. How do you think an increase of this amount will affect certain countries as well as your own?

 

I guess the highly rapid increase in human population is an inevitable progress. So is the advancement of science. It is said that we will embark on a much more seamless and intuitive experience. I believe things are going to be a lot easier for people to travel throughout the world, as well as the transportation and accommodation system. But my ultimate question would be "Do we still get to see the nature as we see it today?" Given the fact that so many things happen this time, especially in my country where the catastrophic wildfire burned down our forest on at least two main islands. This thing threatens the life and the sustainability of the ecosystem and the animals who live and are dependent of the very existence of the forest. In a bigger scale, it speeds up and escalates global warming which is likely to cause more problems to compensate.

Tiu Kelep Waterfall, Lombok, West Lesser Sunda Islands       Photo: Kamazka Btara

5 years ago no one knew that social media would be such an important tool in the tourism industry. What do you think will be the travel trends of the future?

 

O yes. Social media plays the arguably biggest part in bringing the tourism industry forward. I myself tend to browse through Instagram pages to check which places I can write about in my next-to-go-places. It's easy. Everybody has easy access to internet these days and Instagram is probably one of the most popular apps right now. Most people have them and rather than googling tourist destinations, they can just go to Instagram. Fifteen years from now, the trend will likely change but towards a better and more cutting edge direction. I read a really wonderful article on the internet once about the future of our tourism industry. It says that instead of asking ourselves "where to go," we should be asking "why" and "how." This, I think, gives us a more thorough insight of our purpose. And we all should keep in our mind that we need to become more responsible travelers. Then maybe we could have a deeper connection and relationship to the places we visit.

If you want to see more of Kama´s amazing photos check out his Instagram account:

https://instagram.com/btara555/


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