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The wonders of beautiful British Columbia, Canada

October 29th, 2017

The wonders of beautiful British Columbia, Canada

In my photography book A View to Take Home I explored the awe-inspiring beauty of Western Canadian provinces Alberta and British Columbia by motorcycle. Today, I'm going to share some of the highlights of Canada’s westernmost province: beautiful British Columbia.

Sell Art OnlineBritish Columbia stretches from the Pacific west coast, all the way to the Rocky and Columbia mountain ranges in the east. The province is famous for its spectacular mountain and coastal scenery. So famous in fact, that every car license plate will say "beautiful British Columbia" - and nobody disputes it. Many species of wild life that have become scarce elsewhere still do very well here. You can encounter anything from wolves, bears, and whales who enjoy hanging out along the rugged coastline.

For animal and bird watchers, nature and travel photographers, and anyone who enjoys any kind of outdoor adventure sports, British Columbia is the perfect place to have an extended vacation away from it all. In summer activities range from cross-country bike touring, hiking, fishing and horseback riding, to cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling in winter.

Northern British Columbia

The top part of the province stretches from the mountainous fjords on the west coast, to the incredible Rocky Mountains, featuring pristine forests and countless lakes, rivers and streams. Here you’ll find plenty of wildlife to photograph, and excellent hunting, fishing and hiking. There are great camping spots in the National Parks. In my photography class (over 1000 participants, and counting!), I'll teach you everything about my photography secrets to make sure you get the most out of your camera next time you travel, and don't miss that shot-of-a-lifetime!

Cariboo, Chilcotin and Coast

British Columbia’s central region is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Cariboo Mountains in the east. This popular region is a land of alpine meadows, glaciers and snow-capped mountains, grasslands and lush valleys, waterfalls, lakes and meandering streams, and wild, splendid fjords on the coast.

Okanagan and Similkameen

Art PrintsThe south includes the Okanagan and Similameen valleys, where you'll find lots of vineyards, orchards and farms. Your accommodation options in this area include anything ranging from back-country camping to ultra luxury resorts. The lakes provide excellent fresh water fishing and watersports, and the many resorts offer golf, horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. In winter there’s a full range of any snow-related sport imaginable at your disposal.

The Kootenays 

These mountain ranges lie side by side in the southeastern part of British Columbia. Your travel photography will include postcard-perfect images of pristine lakes and streams, natural hot springs, and panoramic mountain views. Some of the most popular outdoor activities include kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, fishing and boating in summer. In the winter months you'll find a great variety of snow and ice related activities.

Vancouver Island

Photography PrintsMy book A View to Take Home features some of my unseen coastal work from Vancouver Island. Don't miss this magnificent destination in your Canadian adventure itinerary. During your stay on Vancouver Island, you'll get the chance to explore BC’s capital city, which is not Vancouver as so many people (myself included) believe. Victoria, located at Vancouver’s southern tip, is famous for it’s super relaxed lifestyle and hospitality with visitors from around the world. From here you can take a whale tour, not cheap but definitely worth it. This cosmopolitan and friendly city is the perfect place to start your visit to scenic British Columbia.

See it for yourself in my book

A View to Take Home is a collection of high-resolution, exquisitely-shot photographs that offer readers an in-depth experience of a world that expands from the Canadian prairies all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Featuring photographs from Calgary to Victoria on Vancouver Island, A View to Take Home provides an escape into rugged nature, and surprising urban angles. Western Canada is a world filled with vibrant colors and textures, and Wilko brought them all together in his book. The Canadian Rocky Mountains are inhabited by an entertaining population of characters from the animal kingdom, each with their own unique personalities. A View to Take Home uncovers a unique perspective on this world, and brings it right into your living room.


Introducing my new Travel Photography project

October 15th, 2017

Introducing my new Travel Photography project

Using a camera is very simple. Just look through the viewfinder or display, point it at the subject and press the shutter. Results however may vary. Have you ever tried taking a perfect photograph on vacation or while traveling, and after you came home the result wasn’t quite as you remembered it? You knew that what you saw with your own eyes was better than what the camera had captured. It happens to the best of us, right? Or does it… read on.

Most common issues are that the image came out too bright, too dark or blurred. These are common mistakes that can be easily resolved once you know how to use your camera and get the most out of it. New digital cameras have sophisticated technology that makes most of them relatively easy to use. But there’s more to photography than technicalities of applying the right camera settings. Developing an eye for capturing that perfect image is something that only comes through lots and lots of practice, and applying some photography principles.

Taking pictures while traveling means wherever you find yourself there is a new scenery to capture. I usually don’t visit a destination twice, so getting it right the first time is crucial. This becomes even more important if you’ve traveled halfway around the world to cross another item off your bucket list. Creative use of the camera gives everyone with a bit of imagination something to say.

Once you capture that perfect memory you can turn those into personalized keepsakes such as cards, t-shirts, calendars, posters, and much more. There is room for color correction, resizing, cropping and creative effects using photo editing software, but if your original image isn’t close to perfect to begin with editing will only make it worse.

I invite you to take the plunge into the world of photography with me. I recently launched my brand new website, called Travel Photography World, where I share my methods to start taking sharp, clear and high quality pictures like a professional photographer. I’ll personally show you how to create photos like a pro, so you can capture your perfect travel moments. I’ll also share my own travel photography from around the world, including my personal stories behind them and how they were taken. See if for yourself at www.travelphotography.world.

Is it time to give up on your DSLR camera?

July 20th, 2017

Is it time to give up on your DSLR camera?

I've been lugging around a big DSLR and lens kits for years on my travels, but after my recent trip to New York I decided I've strained my back enough. The technology behind cameras hasn't really changed for years - all the big players really did was switch out film with a digital chip. "Upgrading" a camera is almost exclusively focused on size: a bigger chip, lens, or body seems to be where it's at. Isn't it time for some more innovation than just upgrading size?

I've been considering making a change for some time now, and after observing the market (and my back) I came to the conclusion that, aside from a silly megapixel war between camera manufacturers, most change is happening in the mirrorless space. The new mirrorless technology was disruptive to some extent, however results were not to the DSLR standards I was used to. To test something different I purchased one of the first, higher end compact mirrorless camera from Sony. Even though it had some good features the image quality was disappointing to say the least, with unacceptable high levels of JPEG noise. For my fine art work the camera was beyond useless.

What I needed was:


  • something light and small, preferably pocket size, easy to travel with (unlike my bulky DSLR). Size does matter when it comes to travel photography.

  • picture quality comparable to DSLR, with NO JPEG noise so I can print in large format without loosing quality

  • Option to shoot in RAW format preferred

  • Must have some optical zoom (digital zoom is useless)

  • Reasonable price point (Fuji has some cool mirrorless cameras but the 8000$ price point isn't what I'm looking to roam back alleys in South America with, if just for safety reasons alone :-)


To clarify, in my fine art photography work I focus solely on the fine art space: using innovative printing techniques on museum quality finishings, I document (and share) my travels around the world. I no longer do weddings and family portraits, and therefore get to be a bit more creative in terms of equipment. My comments are based on what's important to me as a travel photographer, I would never be willing to sacrifice image quality for a reduction in size and weight only.

The usual suspects like Canon and Nikon seem to do nothing in terms of true innovation and appear to be watching the market from the sidelines. Samsung had something going with a smart camera for a bit but nothing worth mentioning. After extensive research (buying a new camera isn't necessarily an easy process) I came up with two final contenders: the Sony RX100II, as well as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10. Both are around $500-$600. The Sony is super lightweight and has a 3.6x optical zoom, and you can shoot in raw. The Panasonic doesn't have as good of zoom (2.8x), nor does it have a viewfinder, but does have the option to also shoot in raw.

Out of the two, the Sony weighs the least. It seems to me that if I was truly looking for a potential DSLR replacement for travel photography, then we should take weight into consideration. It slightly out-edges the Lumix for megapixels, and it has a viewfinder. Battery life is slightly better than the Lumix. The Lumix has a touchscreen (which the Sony doesn't) and video capabilities. It's zoom capability isn't quite as good as Sony's.

For completeness sake and not abandon the brand I had been loyal to for so many years, I played with the thought of buying a Canon G7 Mark II. Unfortunately both the price point and weight is significantly higher than the Sony option. While it has raw capability, it lacks video capability and a viewfinder.

After careful consideration, I decided to give the Sony RX a shot, and have been happy with the results so far. Please see for yourself - images in my travel gallery can be viewed at 100% if you click on the image. I no longer need to decide what equipment to bring on a trip, but can fit everything I need into a small bag. As one fellow photographer said, "that's freedom". While the size and weight weren't my main reasons to make the switch, I agree.

If you'd like to join me on my photography journey, please click here. It doesn't matter what kind of camera you have, as long as you're committed to get the most out of it next time you travel. My Travel Photography World program is a seven week journey into the world of photography, and contains the same material (and more) from my sold-out, in-person photography workshop in Canada's Rocky Mountains. Watch the trailer here, and learn everything about my program. I'd love to have you on-board.

My deal with a four-year-old girl

February 4th, 2017

My deal with a four-year-old girl

A while ago, a 4 year old girl came to my booth at one of the art festivals I participated in, looking for freebies. Quite excited about the free wristband in her all-time favourite colour (blue!) I gave her, she wanted to buy my book. Her mom wouldnt let her, so we made a deal: Shes going to school to learn how to read first, and then shed come back. My website was on the bracelet, after all.

Before she left, she pointed at her sister, only a few months old, sleeping on moms arm. And her favourite colour is yellow. Ill keep it in a safe place until shes old enough.

This girl is going places.

Vancouver aerial photography - Granville Island

November 29th, 2016

Vancouver aerial photography - Granville Island

Art PrintsA few weeks ago I wrote about one of the mostexpensive photographs I've created so far. While not as expensive as New York City, chartering a seaboat plane in Vancouver was definitely up there in price too, but a fun experience resulting in some unique photographs - such as the feature image today: Vancouver from Above.

My photographic art comes with an invitation: which is to go see all the beauty this world has to offer for yourself. Get inspired toplan a Canadian adventure.The cosmopolitan diamond in the rough of Vancouver shouldn't be skipped on your Canadian itinerary.My bookThe Freedom Projectexplains, for the first time, the secrets of travel I haveused to explore the world, and fly for free. Pick up your copy today - it's available onAmazonas well as through finer book retailers worldwide.

See more of my aerial photography


If you're curious to learn more about my take on travel photography you're welcome to join my onlineDigital Photography Masterclass. It contains the same material as my sold-out in-person photography workshop in Kananaskis Country, Canada - I would love to have you join the class.

My travel art spans almost 200 prints from over 25 destinations around the world... and counting

June 20th, 2016

My travel art spans almost 200 prints from over 25 destinations around the world... and counting

My inspiration comes from traveling all over the world: I fell in love with the exceptional things I saw and the remarkable people who crossed my path. My photographic art is my way of giving some of my travel memories back to the world.

Check out my new travel map on my fine art photography website:

VISIT MY TRAVEL MAP

About the artist

WILKO VAN DE KAMP is the author of #1 international best seller The Freedom Project and several other books and e-books. He's also an award-winning photographic artist, and professional world traveler. His inspiration comes from traveling all over the world. He calls the Canadian Rocky Mountains his home, and the rest of the world his office. He has been capturing our wonderful planet, and it's beautiful inhabitants, for more than half his life. Wilko has spent his life traveling the world to capture awe-inspiring images for those who wouldn't see them otherwise, and to inspire others to embark on their journey of a lifetime. Through his art, writing and appearances as a keynote speaker he enjoys sharing his colorful experiences with the world.

Posing tips and photo tips for models

April 22nd, 2016

Posing tips and photo tips for models

Most photographs dont come naturally even with the most beautiful models. A good, professional photographer can give you some photo tips and guide you through a variety of model poses throughout the photo shoot. But whether you aspire to appear in print magazines, do high fashion shows, or just want to improve your next selfie, these modeling poses and photo tips will help you achieve much better photographs both when youre the model or the photographer taking the shots!

Do not always look directly into the camera. To enhance the quality of your photo shoot, look away from the camera with a mix of head and eye poses. Your head and neck can remain stationary and your eyes can do all the work. Look off to the right or left side. Tilt your neck. Try different facial expressions.


Breathe

Do not hold your breath for a pose; always remember to breathe and appear at ease.


Keep your back straight and your shoulders up. Slouching affects the mood of the photograph and enlarges the appearances of your stomach. Flex your stomach muscles. This will make your abdomen appear more toned despite your weight or state of shape.

Limbs

When posing, make sure to differentiate your arms and legs with asymmetrical poses. If you have one arm long and straight by your side, make sure the other arm is bent. The bend will make the modeling pose look more real, less artificial. Continue the asymmetry to your legs. If one leg is locked straight, give the other leg a casual bend.

Sitting Poses

Dont slack off during sitting poses. If you are sitting down or reclining, put your weight on the back of one thigh, rather than distributing your weight equally on both thighs. This pose will result in a slimming effect!

Cleavage

While leaning forward bring your arms together at your waist, keep your arms straight at the elbows and clasp your hands together below your waist, or simply cross your arms. When leaning backward, raise your arms about your shoulders and head, keep your arms apart. Both poses will help maximize your cleavage.

Last, but not least: Smile!

To add variety to your modeling poses, try switching up your smile with a cute frown, a bratty bout, a friendly laugh, or even an edgy scowl. Your facial expressions can make or break your modeling poses.



Want to learn more? Check out my Portrait Photography Made Easy e-book!

Discover how to capture the perfect portrait photo, and take your photography skills to a new level in Portrait Photography Made Easy.

Are you getting the best use out of your camera?

February 29th, 2016

Are you getting the best use out of your camera?

In one of my photography events, someone said these days everyone calls themselves a photographer. In a way its true. It doesnt take much to head over to some big box store, buy fancy camera and call yourself a photographer. I wrote another post about that a while ago, and you can read it here. At the same time, I see a lot of fellow travellers who are trying to capture some amazing scenery or city skyline with a decent camera, while shooting on full auto sometimes even with flash. It makes me cringe a little every time. Its like buying a Porsche (or another fancy sports car brand of your choice) but only driving it in first gear around the block.

Most people enter the field of photography with the hope that the advertised magical features of their brand new camera work as advertised, helping to achieve good quality pictures without having any training or knowledge of specific photographic techniques. Reality is that these features really do work, but theyre not enough to ensure professional quality photos.

Youve probably taken pictures of family and friends on holidays, on vacation, and at special events. Maybe point and shoot has worked great for you so far. But some of us enjoy looking through the lens and want to get more out of the camera, and shift it to second gear, so to speak. If your ambition is to eventually handle the photography at more formal occasions, such as weddings or graduations, youll need more than a cell phone camera, but todays technology has made quality equipment more affordable than ever before. With the right tips you can be well on your way to taking some quality pictures. Theres real value in learning more about photography, even if you dont aspire to become a professional. The memories youre preserving will literally last a lifetime!


JOIN THE CLASS TODAY


Join award winning photographer Wilko van de Kamp on this online journey to discover the secret tips & techniques on how to be a professional photographer, start producing high quality pictures and skyrocket your photography skills today!

Youre about to discover the powerful methods to start taking sharp, clear and high quality pictures like a professional photographer. This course is created with years of experience in digital photography and it will share the secret techniques to help you getting started on your photography journey, in a way that actually works!

When you join Digital Photography Mastery, you will be taking the first step on a path that will have you shooting a much better picture with every step. Go over the fantastic topics of my class yourself, and get a clearer picture of just how much it has to offer you.

JOIN THE CLASS TODAY

My ode to Canada, for cage free humans everywhere

October 30th, 2015

My ode to Canada, for cage free humans everywhere

It all began in 2008, I was 26 at the time. Young, green, and very naive. I knew I wanted something different. Not because the life I had in Europe was so bad. It was pretty great, actually. The ability to just get in a car and drive to Paris is one of the many great perks of living in the hustle and bustle of West Europe. But my sense of adventure kicked in, and I wanted a change of scenery. Well, if youre looking for scenery, Canada is definitely a place to consider.

And I did. Six years ago I left behind everything familiar to me. I moved across the Atlantic Ocean to start a new life in Canada. I adopted Calgary as my new home base. Shortly after getting my feet on the ground I bought a motorcycle, to explore Western Canada in style.

Canada has been called one of the most beautiful countries on earth, and I would have to agree. I fell in love with the exceptional things I saw and the remarkable people who crossed my path. Spending hundreds of hours on the road collecting images for this book has changed me. Photographing the stunning beauty of this country has made me feel more inspired than ever before. Ive had close encounters with bears, roamed mountain roads lead by a pack of wolves, and I found many other little tiny wonders of nature. A View to Take Home is a celebration of life in Canada, in all its forms.

Today, I want to invite you to ride along with me as I explore the awe-inspiring beauty of Western Canadian provinces Alberta and British Columbia. Learn more about my journey and watch the video at www.viewtotakehome.com. This book has been about six years in the making, and its been a journey in itself making that dream come true.

The book is now available through www.viewtotakehome.com and in stock at Amazon. Books are shipped within 1-2 days and make a great gift.

The story behind the Lady in Red

October 25th, 2015

The story behind the Lady in Red

This image takes me back to Paris. It was late summer of 2011 and I went back to Europe for the first time after relocating to Canada a few years earlier. I had been to Paris many times before, and its one of those cities Ive come to love. Now that sounds pretty exotic from a North American perspective, but keep in mind I grew up much closer to Paris them I am now. The ability to just get in a car and drive to Paris is one of the many great perks of living in the hustle and bustle of West Europe. The endless rain, never ending traffic congestion are a few others. But in deciding to leave all of that comfort and familiarity behind, it wasnt the reasons that pushed me away from there that were most compelling. It was the reasons that pulled me towards change. My sense of adventure kicked in, and I wanted a change of scenery.

And so it all began. I packed my bags, and left home to never unpack them again. Before crossing the big pond we know as the Atlantic Ocean, I went on one more trip to Paris just to say goodbye to a place Ive visited so often. I never expected to return, thinking the distance would be too big to overcome with a new life, and new priorities. But Paris has a way of getting under your skin, and against all odds I managed to squeeze in a weekend in Paris on my first ever trip to visit the homeland. I still remember the afternoon I arrived in Paris once again, it was like a reunion with a long lost loved one youd never imagine to see again. I had never been happier. I now understand what Gertrude Stein really meant when she said America is my country, but Paris is my hometown.

The Lady in Red is one of the photographs I took on that trip to Paris. It was just at an outdoor arts festival, in the beautiful Montmartre area, close to the Moulin Rouge and the Sacre Coeur. I just walked by the event, which featured several people in costume, and tried to capture some of it. Contrary to what most people believe, the photograph I took away from that precious experience is not posed, or edited afterwards. The result is the true shot as I saw it myself in real life. This photograph has become a personal favorite that makes the walls of my living room smile. Many other people have come to love it and continue to share their stories with me about how they are attracted by the emotion in the image. As Chris de Burgh said I never will forget the way you look tonight my lady in red.

My pictures, and in particular this one, carry an important invitation: to go see all the beauty this world has to offer for yourself. Thats what prompted me to write my book about the zen approach to travel. I now know Paris is just another place to go, and Ive already been back since. Distance is more or less relative, and if you really want to go somewhere youll get there sooner or later. Moving to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean literally turned my world perspective upside down. One of the things I took from this eye opener is that every destination I perceive to be exclusive or exotic, is just another place to go. The world is a huge place, but no matter where I decide to go next, its only a plane ride (or two) away. Bon voyage!



The Lady in Red is part of my 2015 fine art photography collection. Exclusive edition art works of this photograph are available through Creative Windmill Photography.

This post contains excerpts from travel book The Freedom Project and photography book A View to Take Home. Both titles are in stock on Amazon and at finer book retailers worldwide.

 

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