Visit Myanmar with National Geographic Photographer, Michael Yamashita


I don’t write posts like this very often, however there’s a very special opportunity to travel to an exotic location and shoot under the guidance of a National Geographic photographer, and I thought you might be interested. 🙂  AND a price break is on the horizon – I’ll explain more about that in a minute.

The exotic Location is Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in Southeast Asia, and the photographer is Michael Yamashita, who holds the esteemed record of having shot for National Geographic longer than any other photographer.  This November, Michael and fellow adventure travel photographer Jock Montgomery will be leading a photo expedition to this picturesque country rich in history and devotional beauty.

There are three things that make this event noteworthy:

1)    Unlike most tour groups, this event is organized to accommodate the unique (some say eccentric) needs of the photographer – places will be visited when the light is good, pre-sunrise excursions will be planned to make sure you’re in the right place at the right time.  You’re free to roam around and explore.  
2)    Unlike most internationally famous photographers, Mike Yamashita is one of the most down-to-earth and approachable human beings you could ever hope to meet.  Plus, for you Sony shooters, that’s what Mike shoots with, too!  🙂
3)    This a supportive environment for doing serious cultural documentary photography.  There won’t be any family members rolling their eyes and saying “Hurry up – how many pictures do you have to take of that?”. 

The trip will occur from November 9th21st, with an optional 5-day extension from Nov 21.-25th.  You can read more about at one of these two links:

For web browsers: http://www.compassroseexpeditions.com/Photo_Tours/2014-11/Myanmar_Photo_Tour/#p=1

For other platforms like mobile phones: http://www.compassroseexpeditions.com/Photo_Tours/2014-11/MYM-NOV2014.pdf

Now, about that price break…

The pricing of the trip is structured so that the more people sign up, the less it is for everyone.  For example, the price for the basic package drops from $7200/person to $6800/person after 9 people sign up.  AS OF THIS WRITING, EIGHT PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED UP so if you sign up now you’ll be very, very popular with the rest of the group (and you’ll save yourself some money as well.)

That’s it.  If you’d like to learn more here are some sources for you:

•    Images from a similar trip in January:   http://www.compassroseexpeditions.com/slideshows/2014-11_Myanmar/ 
•    http://www.compassroseexpeditions.com/slideshows/Myanmar_Portraits/ 
•    http://www.compassroseexpeditions.com/slideshows/Myanmar_Inle_Fishermen/ 
•    Want to sign up?   Send Jock an email at jock@jockmontgomery.com and tell him “Mike Hendren sent me!”

And if you go … you have to promise to write a guest post (with photos) to share with the readers of Thru Mikes Viewfinder.  🙂


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Luck

There’s a common saying that “Luck equals preparation plus opportunity.” I believe that.

Monument Valley in Arizona has some spectacular monolithic rock outcroppings and it’s best to be there at first light. I was there at dawn that day and got some nice photos of those big rocks they call “The Mittens”, but they were much like those taken by so many other photographers – nothing new.

A bit later in the morning after the sun was well up, I was driving through the park looking for more photo possibilities. I felt very lucky when I saw this hot air balloon just filling and getting ready for lift off.

I skidded to a stop, jumped out of my car and managed to fire off several shots as that colorful balloon slowly and majestically ascended right next to those huge rock formations. Wow, what a sight, but I’m sure the view was even better from inside the gondola as it soared over the valley.

Yes, I was lucky because I had a good camera that I knew how to use and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time (opportunity).

Many fine images are created by dedicated photographers who see a good location, have a creative idea, and then go there time after time until conditions enable them to execute that idea. But, many great images are a result of happenstance…just being there when it happens.

So prepare yourself, get out there, and get lucky!