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Our sister website is running an amazing competition with a truly staggering travel prize!

You could win a 15 day overland tour of Northern Thailand for 2 people. Worth over $2000. All thanks to our good friends are Intrepid Travel

All you need to do is join their newsletter and you’ll even get more chances to win amazing travel competitions every month.

Check out the full details here and GOOD LUCK!

It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally released! My new book “Portraits of Asia” is a collection of my best and most compelling work from my recent journey around South East Asia. From the hillside villages and farms of Nothern Vietnam to the Orang Asli of Malaysia this book contains colourful, quirky and captivating photos I am very proud of.
You can order your copy online here and check out the first 15 pages of the book in the preview below.

Shy child As all of my blogs recently have been image centric I thought I’d take the time out to write a little more and update you on how things are going.

Firstly I can’t emphasise enough how right this adventure is to embark on. Already I’ve produced not only work I’m very proud of but work that has so much substance and meaning. My Photography has compelled my wife and I to push ourselves just that little bit further. Taking longer treks, more missions into the unknown and saying ‘yes’ to a lot more offers. It’s been well worth it as you’ve probably seen!

Sunset Palms Equipment wise I love my choice of camera and lenses all the more so and it’s been well worth dragging them everywhere with me. Trekking trough thick Thai jungle, teetering over rivers on bamboo bridges to hiking up into the hills of Vietnam with the temperature always above 30 degrees.

My Tamrac Adventure 9 bag was without doubt a fantastic purchase and I’ve been able to very comfortably carry all my gear where ever I’ve needed it.

The only casualty has been my speedlight flash. Knocked by a fellow trekker it broke off my camera leaving the hot shoe connector behind while rest fell to the rocky floor half way up a mountain. If vietnam taught me anything it’s that you can always get things fixed on the streets. Sure enough a guy Watch outthat rebuild mobile phones from the parts or dead phones had no problem fixing it with a steady hand and a healthy amount of super glue.

One steep learning curve has been handling the massive amount of work I’m producing on a near daily basis. With my trusty Macbook Pro with me I’ve been able to keep on top of it. Editing has been quick and dare I say fun while making sure my backup regime is strictly adhered to has been all important should the worst happen.

angkor wat Traveling for an extended period of time while simultaneously working has been both a challenge and something i can be very proud of. With over a month left before we settle in Sydney, Australia for a while there’s still a lot more to see and do. I’ll keep you all posted whenever i have Internet access.

As ever your thoughts and comments are very welcome. It would be great to hear from you while I’m ‘on the road’.

Many of my photos from my travel photography are now featured on travel blogs on a new travel community website called Travelwithamate.com

The website features advice and guest posts from ‘global nomads‘ about locations all over the world. I’m proud to be a part of the project and urge you to get involved too. They’re always looking for more travel photographers and writers to collaborate with.

Check them out and if you like them be sure to StumbleUpon them.

visit www.travelwithamate.com

Canon 5D MkIIMy Canon 5D Mark II is one impressive camera! The ability to record full 1080p HD video through SLR spec lenses really opens up the uses too but it’s automatic aperture controls meant it’s full potential wasn’t being realised.

Thankfully today it was announced that the 5D Mark II will be getting a firmware upgrade from June 2nd 2009. With full manual controls of aperture, shutter speed and ISO in video mode. This means you can now set the depth of field to your choice, not the camera’s, allowing much greater creative use.

There were a few dodgy workarounds before. Twisting the lens so it’s not locked to the camera was one rather dangerous idea that i did try on occasion. Another was using Nikon lenses with an adapter.

Many people have thanked Canon for “Listening to the people” on this one. I think that’s a bit short sighted personally. Canon have no doubt been working on the software for the 5D Mark II for some time. Adding new features to a pro camera is what keeps it fresh and stops the need for expensive development of new products. No doubt Canon were always going to add this feature once the software had been fully tested.

I’m looking forward to seeing a whole lot more video from the 5D Mark II now. I for one will be shooting a lot more that’s for sure!

Find out more on Matt Preston Photography

Photos from this camera are now featured on the Travel Blog Community.

This photo has been knocking around in my collection for a while now but always draws me back to it to enjoy it.

Sea-read
Sea Read – Matt Preston

Some of my best work has come when my mind has suddenly latched on to a composition. When i saw this man reading in a up-turned converted boat, the way he was sat, the symmetry of it all, I was so glad I had my camera that day!

The subject matter and bold lines work so much better in black and white. Colour would never do this photo justice.

As ever your thoughts and comments are welcome.

I love living in Brighton. It’s one of the UK’s most famous tourist destinations. It’s been a “resort” for 300 years now and there’s never a dull moment. Festivals all year and tens of thousands of visitors flock to the beach every time the sun comes out.

This weekend saw the annual “London to Brighton Mini Run” take place. Starting in Crystal Palace, London. Ending at Madeira Drive, Brighton. Right on the sea front thousands of Minis arrived in convoy, parked up for the many MANY visitors to see.

Some Car Over the Rainbow

Some Car Over the Rainbow – Matt Preston

Minis are such beautiful little cars. They have such character and so many are so well preserved.

A mini kid

A Mini Kid – Matt Preston

The Mini is as much a symbol of British culture as Big Ben and The Queen (the band and the monarch). I adore them. There’s no other car quite like them.

On Fire

On Fire – Matt Preston

I’m currently torn between very minimal post-processing to correct exposure and full on post-processing “painting” as I like to call it. The above photo is a great example. Left alone this image is nice but uninspiring. With a bit of post-processing skill you can create something much more dramtic, vibrant and exciting.

The Buff King

The Buff King – Matt Preston

It’s great to see so many gorgeous little minis in pristine condition. This car was by far my favourite. I stopped by 3 times to have a look. The guy clearly loves his little Mini and keeps it as shiny as possible!

Exhibitions, be they in doors or out are often hard to shoot without getting masses of clutter in the background and often unwanted items in the foreground! It often takes time to find the right crop of an image, the right effect that will draw you away from the clutter. You’ll often take hundreds of shots and only end up with a handful of real winners.

Blue Wheeler
Blue Wheeler – Matt Preston

For more Mini photos check out my Flickr Photostream

As ever your thoughts, comments and critique are welcome.

Feel free to follow me on twitter.

I saw these guys during a Busking Festival, a very simple image that offers so much in the way of narrative and comedy.

Will dance for food
Will Dance For Food – Matt Preston

I think this photo speaks for itself in terms of artist merit yet asks so much in terms of subject matter!

As ever your thoughts and comments are welcome.

As you may or may not be aware. I’m currently planning a rather adventures travel through South East Asia in September. Not only have I been busy putting together an itinerary, I’ve also been upgrading my camera equipment.

Tamrac Adventure 9 camera bagWith travel in mind (and lots of it) my choice of camera bag was very important to me. This isn’t just a bag to keep my camera safe, it needed to be something I could happily carry for hours every day in 30C heat. Something that could accommodate everything I’d want to take with me whilst being comfortable.

After a fair bit of review reading and scouting around I decided upon the Tamrac Adventure 9 camera bag.

Ruck Sack Style

I chose a ruck sack rather than a shoulder bag because i want to evenly distribute the weight across my shoulders. Having the weight of a camera plus lenses, etc on one shoulder for hours a day is not a good idea. It can seriously effect your general posture, cause back and shoulder pains. It would also mean a smaller bag so I would be limited to what I could fit in.

Compartment Size

One very important thing for me was being able to fit all my gear in. There’s a wide range of ruck sack style camera bags out there and the size of each compartment varies massively. The Tamrac Adventure 9 has ample space for my 5d Mark II, my 70-200mm F4 and my 24-105 F4. It also has a slot against the back for a 15″ laptop and another compartment for cables, snacks, whatever else you need for the day.

It also has a large number of pouches, zip up areas, and slots to put all manner of accessories in. Memory cards, filters, spare batteries, etc. All of which can fit in the main camera compartment which flips open easily to allow access to everything quickly.

Tamrac Adventure 9 camera bagWeather Proof

While I’ve not tested it in Monsoon like conditions, I’m pretty confident it’ll keep all my gear dry even in big downpours. All the zips are waterproofed including the more exposed laptop slot zip. Other zips have fold over flaps and the camera compartment has 3 extra straps for tightly fastening down the flap to stop wind lifting it or rain getting in. To be on the safe side I plan to purchase some resealable plastic bags to put my gear in. I’ll no doubt report more on it’s performance once I’m in Vietnam!

Attaching Extra Gear

The Tamrac Adventure 9 has a whole bunch of straps and fasteners on the outside so if you want to quickly attach something to it for easy access, you can. It also has two net style pouches on either side, perfect for a drinks bottle or a flash if you need easy access. I’ve even put a monopod in there and it’s held it in place no problem.

The bag also has 2 slots underneath it. I purchased some attachment straps and now strap my lightweight tripod to the bottom of my bag easily. Having it horizontally underneath helps spread the weight evenly which is best when carrying.

Very Happy

All in all I’m very happy with my bag. It wasn’t cheap but it’s very comprehensive in it’s features and abilities. It’s always comfortable to wear. It Does a great job of evenly distributing weight. Has easy access compartments and the extra straps give it more flexibility. I feel confident it will serve me well as i trek through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.

Worth reading

Check out this great blog on how to pack your camera bag! very important!

Your experience

As ever your thoughts and comments are welcome. What bag do you own and why?

It would be rude of me not to mention it’s my wife and I’s 2nd wedding anniversary today. May 10th.

2 years certainly have flown by since our wedding day in Hawaii. Worth noting we chose to get married on a west facing beach during sunset so that the photos would be amazing! They certainly were too.

Wedding anniversary

Wedding day Hawaii

Wedding day hawaii

Looking forward to many more anniversaries! it’s been 2 great years. I highly recommend marriage!

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