Interview with travel photographer Gary Arndt

Gary Arndt is a travel photographer and owner of the travel blog “Everything Everywhere'”.

Gary Arndt

Tell Us About Your Background

I started an Internet company in the early ’90s and sold it in 1998. From there I started a few other companies including a network of online gaming websites, and a web-based business intelligence company.

I returned to school to fulfil a dream of studying science and focused on studying geology and geophysics for 3 years.

Then I came up with the idea of selling my home and traveling around for a year. That one year has now turned into 12 years.  I am now an ambassador for G Adventures, which is the world’s large small group adventure tour operator.

I have no formal training in photography. Prior to selling my home I did not own a camera and never took photography seriously. I never took a course or read a book on the subject. I learned everything from experimenting and reading websites when I had a question.

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Isle Royale

What Are Your Top Ten Travel Locations?

  • South Georgia Island: One of the only places you can see a quarter million penguins, or any animal, in one place.
  • Nahanni National Park: Maybe the greatest national park in the world. Few people know about it. It gets only 800 visitors per year.
  • Torngat Mountains National Park: Another amazing national park in Canada which gets very few visitors.
  • Namibia: My favorite country in Africa. The dunes in the Namib Desert are incredible.
  • Oman: A seriously overlooked country where one can get a feel for the real Arabia.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska
  • Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska:  The largest national park in the United States and one of the most photogenic.
  • Jerusalem: This is probably my favorite city to photograph, especially during Holy Week.
  • Samo:  I love the people and the islands. I have spent a lot of time there and I’ll always go back.
  • Japan: Thoroughly modern, yet not western.
  • Haiti:  Overlooked by people as a tourist destination. The southern peninsula really qualifies as a hidden treasure.
Haiti

Do You Have Any Projects Planned for the Year?

My biggest goal this year will be finishing my quest to photograph all 61 National Parks in the United States.  I would also like to make some more strides towards visiting all 418 national park service sites. I might also go on a safari in East Africa.

Rocky Mountains

What Are Your Top Five Tips for Other Travel Photographers?

  • Travel light: The ability to get the shot is more important than having a dozen lenses.
  • Practice:  You have to take a lot of photos with the intent of improving. Just pressing the button isn’t enough.
  • Put yourself in front of beautiful things: The key to travel photography is traveling to great places.
  • Learning to edit is as important as learning to shoot:  Great improvements in image quality can come from learning to edit.
  • Recharge your batteries every night: You don’t want to be stuck in the field with no batteries.
Paris

What Is Your Go-To Gear for Travel Photography?

I currently shoot travel photos on Sony gear. For a long time, I was a Nikon shooter, but I got tired of waiting for updates for their high-end crop sensor cameras. I moved to Sony 3 years ago and haven’t regretted it. I use a Sony A7rii camera body. In terms of lenses, I usually carry 3 lenses with me:

I will bring a long lens if I’m doing something with wildlife, but I don’t carry that all the time.


Freetown, Sierra Leone

Usually, I carry a Really Right Stuff carbon fiber tripod. I have a discontinued BlackRapid strap for my camera that holds 4 Sony batteries, which means most days I don’t need a camera bag. I have also started using a Parrot Anafi drone which is lighter, quieter and better than the DJI Mavic drones.

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Which Is Your Favorite Lens for Travel Photography?

I’ve always used a superzoom as my primary lens. Currently, my go-to lens is the Sony 24-240mm lens. This lens covers most situations which gives me versatility and flexibility when I’m out shooting. The last thing I want to do it have to switch lenses all the time.

Venice

What Settings Do You Choose?

I shoot in Aperture Priority mode almost all the time. I normally shoot around f5 to f/11.  From there I will adjust exposure up or down depending on the shot. The exceptions would be if I am shooting action or doing long exposure nighttime photography.

Cotonou, Benin

What Editing Software Do You Use?

I use Lightroom. Nowadays I’ll wait and do most of my editing at home. The image backups are done on the road whilst I have a Drobo and cloud storage back up at home (having a gigabit fiber connection at home helps). Thereafter import into Lightroom and upload the edited images to my Smugmug account.

Mont St Michel

Among Your Works, Which One Is Your Favorite?

I took this image on the Island of Dominica in the Caribbean. I have no idea who the woman is as the shot wasn’t planned or staged. She just stood up in front of the waterfall, posed for a few seconds, and sat down. I have no idea why I was just in the right place at the right time.


Island of Dominica in the Caribbean

Which Travel Photographers Have Influenced You?

I’m a big fan of Bob Holmes and Michelle Valberg. Both are fantastic photographers and I’ve had the pleasure to get to know both of them.


If you would like to see more of Gary’s work, check out his website, portfolio, travel photography course and Instagram.

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About the author

Jennifer Venter

I am a passionate trained photographer currently living in China. I love travelling & meeting new people so my photos tend to fall into those categories. I love coffee, fashion & Christmas. Contact me via email ([email protected]) or Instagram (@fleetingtimephotography).

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