Laos: Photography Lessons
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

For detailed journal entries on Sherry’s photography experience in Laos, visit these posts on Otts World:

[singlepic=1013,200,,,right]Planes, Trains, and a Broken Down Automobile
I left Singapore on a photographic journey to head back in the world of rice fields, $4 massage, spicy food, small villages, and hill tribes – Laos. I hired Jonathan Taylor, a professional photojournalist out of Bangkok, to accompany me and tutor me for the next 9 days. These 9 days were the least planned of any of my travels to date; all I knew was that Jonathan and I were to take an overnight train from Bangkok to the border of Laos, cross over by foot, and the rest was a great big mystery to me.  Read More


What to Do: Photography Lessons in Laos
Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Not all activities on the road need to be planned in advance.  During her travels, Sherry explored the opportunity to take photography lessons from a professional.

[singlepic=1001,200,,,right]I’ve had an ill feeling that has plagued me for the last year. I first remember it coming on in New Zealand. Then it hit me stronger in Vietnam. I was feverish about it in India. It is the feeling of being in some type of moving vehicle, traveling through a country, and seeing about 25 perfect photographs outside my vehicle window. I would feel ill thinking – “if only I could tell them to stop so I could get out and take a picture.” Yet I sat there helpless watching my beautiful shots go whizzing by, wondering if I would ever be able to capture this image again.

I would get queasy when I saw a group of people intimately interacting, simply being themselves, but I couldn’t get the nerve to go up and ask them if I could take a photograph. Instead, I would linger a bit, and then sulk off mad at myself for not having the guts to be a real photographer! The few times I did get the guts to go up and ask if I could take a photograph (fumbling through this conversation in broken English, pointing at my camera and smiling) they would normally say ‘yes’ and then give me some big, posed, toothy grin – transforming the shot from a nice little intimate, cultural gathering, to a Sears family portrait.


Laos: Luang Prabang
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

[singlepic=786,200,,,right]Michael and I traveled to Laos as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

It’s hard to believe we are already in Laos – our final destination. It’s bittersweet as this is the place I was most looking forward to going but it also means our trip is quickly winding down. But we couldn’t ask for a better place to unwind than the French-colonial town of Luang Prabang.

We knew very little about Laos beforehand, but that was part of the appeal. And the little that we did hear proved to be true – it was much more laid back and less hectic than other Southeast Asian countries, we’d run into far fewer tourists, and that the towns and people were lovely. And that is the perfect way to summarize the essence of Laos – lovely. Even before landing, the site of the green rolling hills from the airplane were so inviting and the friendly smiles of the immigration officers were so welcoming. We knew this would be a great place and way to end our adventures.


Laos: Hilltribe Trek
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008


Michael and I traveled to Laos as part of our 2007 career break. The following is an excerpt from our travel blog.

While in Laos we did tear ourselves away from Luang Prabang for a two-day trek through some local hill tribe communities. We were told that for a true authentic hill tribe experience, Laos was the place to do it. It was what Thailand was like 40 years prior before the lure of the tourist dollar turned the experience into a Disney-like operation.

And there is no lack of operators in Luang Prabang offering guided experiences. After some research we decided to go with White Elephant Adventures as the owner, Derek, sold us on a trek that had only been done once before.


Career Break Guide Table of Contents

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