Photo Tip: Alarm Set, Camera on Nightstand

Last week, when I woke up on my first morning in Quito, Ecuador, I pulled back the curtains on my hotel room window and looked out to see… an absolutely stunning view of the sunrise over the valley below.  And I promptly kicked myself.

I could have been up 20 minutes earlier and captured it all with my camera. But I'd just missed it!

Honestly, as I went to bed, the thought never crossed my mind.  I got to my room at nearly midnight local time after a 24-hour journey, and all I could think about was getting into bed.  I never even looked out the window to see what was out there… until this morning.

So I made a quick mental note to myself: Always look around you when you arrive somewhere new at night… and prepare for sunrise.  Or sunset. Or any once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity that might come along.

When you're traveling to new places, it's nice to have time to scout things out, but you don't always get that chance.  So take a peek out your window when you arrive to see what treasures might be waiting for you come morning.

Granted, there is always the possibility that the sunrise will be unimpressive, in which case you can just look and go right back to bed.  But you never know: It might be glorious. And at least this way you'll avoid kicking yourself later for missing it.

Sometimes photography takes a lot of planning and sometimes it's the luck of being in the right place at the right time.

And then there are the times that you can make your own luck… by employing a little foresight, planning, and preparation. So set your alarm for a few minutes before dawn and put your camera on the nightstand.

Want to be a part of our next Ecuador photography expedition?! Don't worry if you missed out on the last event.  You can still experience this magical place for yourself.  For details visit our upcoming workshop page!

And don't forget to check out our Ecuador website with photos and testimonials from our last workshop in April.  Go here:


This month's photo challenge theme is Me, Myself and I.  If you have a picture to submit, log on to our website and click on the Enter to Win tab.  (Note: First-time users need to register on the "register" link on the right side bar first. Once you have a username and password, click "This Month's Theme" to upload your photo. Only one photo per applicant will be considered. No purchase necessary to register.)

Photos are due by 8:00 a.m. EST, Monday, April 28, 2008.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]