Digital Camera Reviews

Photographer Profile: Richard I'Anson

Swap holiday snaps with Richard I’Anson and you’ll find yourself quickly shoving your blurry assortment under the couch cushions in embarrassment. Richard is arguably the foremost travel photographer in the country and certainly one of the leading professionals in the world. Along with Tony Wheeler, he founded Lonely Planet Images (LPI), now the preferred shop for stock travel images.

Generous and easy to talk to, Richard’s approachable, relaxed style no doubt contributes to his ability to get amongst the “natives” and pull out shots that leave the rest of us agog. Not an easy convert to digital, Richard still produces a large portion of his work on film, but confesses his recent exposure Canon’s 10D (now superseded by the 20D) is drawing him closer to full-time digital.

“As an impatient photographer, the instant review capabilities of digital I find very appealing. The constant hassle at the airport X-Ray and the sheer bulk of 35mm film is another drawback I won’t miss.”

Like many 35mm ‘diehards’, Richard viewed the file size limitations of emerging dSLRs with caution.

“I want to be certain that my images can be used to their full potential which, up until very recently, has meant film continues to be my preferred medium.”

But with full-frame CMOS sensors (the same size as a 35mm frame) now available in cameras like Canon’s 1Ds, Richard feels he’s much more likely to make the shift permanently.

“I’m much more comfortable with 11 megapixel images, and with a full-frame sensor, I can retain all my current lenses,” says Richard, referring to the lack of a conversion factor inherent with smaller sensors, “and my 24-70 (f2.8L) stays that way.”

But for family and casual snaps, Richard is a digital convert, carrying his 4MP Kodak DX6440 everywhere

When it comes to advice, Richard recommends budding travel photographers plan their shooting and not leave too much to chance.

“One of the key skills in successful travel photography is being in the right place at the right time – and I don’t mean by accident. For example, my shot of the Sri Lankan stilt fisherman didn’t work when I went out in the afternoon, so I went out again the next morning at dawn and shot it the way you see it now. This particular shot was high on my “must get” list, and I wasn’t going to be happy until it was right.”

For much more advice on expert travel photography, be sure to check out the new, updated edition of Richard’s best-selling book, “Travel Photography: A Guide to Taking Better Pictures.” from Lonely Planet.


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