Improve your photography skills with guest judges Henry Do and David Rule

We know our Community love to #Travel2019, hence our latest photo Contest coming this Friday 16.08.19! 🙌

In order to make this one of our best Contests to date, we’ve invited not one but two impressive guest judges to offer their top travel photography tips so that you can start preparing and improve your chances at becoming this year’s Hero!

Meet them now and discover their exclusive advice!👇

David Rule

David Rule – Travel photographer, influencer & AGORA #Travel2019 Guest Judge!

“Hi AGORA Community, my name’s David Rule and I’m a full-time photographer and filmmaker from Pinedale, Wyoming, USA. I first got into photography about 2 years ago while I was in university. My friend had just gotten a DSLR and asked if I wanted to go try night photography with him. At first, I thought this sounded lame, but after this one night I was totally hooked. I then got my own cheap DSLR and started shooting tons of night photography, which then turned into landscape and adventure photography.

After completing my degree in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of Wyoming, I then left behind medical school to become a full time travel photographer, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. My work has taken me to 16 countries around the globe, but my absolute favorite places to shoot so far have been the Italian Dolomites, Croatia, Tulum, and my own backyard in the mountains of Wyoming. The camera I use is a Canon 1DXII with a Rokinon 14mm, Canon 24-70mm and 70-200mm. I also use a Phantom 4 Pro Drone!


I’m so stoked to be able to judge #Travel2019 and hope to see some amazing images from all over the world!

Before you upload your best shots on Friday check my top 3 tips for really impressive travel shots:

1️⃣ Get creative with your work!

Shooting the exact same composition of a place that everyone else does is easy, but this won’t make you stand out from the crowd. Being original is imperative to being a successful travel photographer, and I always strive to see places in a different way.

Double arch

2️⃣ Make experiences genuine!

When shooting travel photography, it’s easy to just snap a pic and leave, but this won’t lead to an incredible experience or genuine storytelling. Whenever I go to a new place, I like to leave my camera in the bag initially and just try to experience a place as much as possible before doing any shooting. Not only does this allow me to enjoy traveling more, but it gives me time to think about what really stands out to me in a certain place and how I could best capture this destination. The end result will always be more genuine and meaningful than going somewhere entirely for pictures.

Send it!

3️⃣ Make connections along the way!

The more I travel and do photography, the more I realize that what makes this passion of mine worthwhile isn’t just the places, but also the people. Travel photography has led me to more lasting friendships and connections than I could possibly imagine otherwise, and it’s really part of why I love doing what I do. Wherever I go, I always try to meet up with locals or other photographers to explore and discuss ideas. It has really grown both myself as a person and my career, and I would encourage others to be as social and outgoing as possible.

Stay salty!

Henry Do

Henry Do – Aerial photographer, influencer, AGORA #Light2019 Hero & #Travel2019 Guest Judge

“My name is Henry Do, I was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam but immigrated to the United States at the age of 12 with my aunt to pursue the American dream.  My love for photography came about at the age of 18 when I picked up a digital camera to shoot my very first car!

I started to shoot seriously after opportunities arose for me to travel outside of the United States. Now I currently travel around the world as a freelance photographer, capturing beautiful imagery from above working with partners such as BMW, Samsung, Red Digital Cinema and Lufthansa Airline. My love for seeking new destinations and my passion for photography has led to the creation of some of the most beautiful images that are truly unique and captivating to viewers around the world.  Over the years, I developed my aerial photography skills and my eye for well-executed images that offer a unique perspective of our beautiful planet.

Cinque Terre

I am also the proud Hero of AGORA’s #Light2019 Contest and I am honoured to have been invited to judge #Travel2019. I’m expecting great things from this Contest and so encourage everyone to check and try out my top 3 tips to really boost the level of your images and improve your chances of being selected at the winner! Good luck! 🍀

1️⃣ Travel light!

Travel photography by its very nature is inspirational and exciting so it’s easy to get carried away when you prepare what to take with you. You don’t need to bring every camera equipment and lense you own. Ideally, you need a camera body (I use a Sony mirrorless full-frame camera), 1 wide-angle lens, and a telephoto lens. Instead of the f2.8 glass that is heavy and bulky, go for the f4 glass that is half the weight but most often, can do the job just as well. Bring a small travel tripod, umbrella, and chargers as well. I also carry a DJI Mavic Pro drone for the aerial shots and pack it all in to my Peak Design 20L backpack.

Tuscany trees

2️⃣ Find spectacular locations!

Nature’s Hot Spring

Most often, I use tools like Google Earth Pro on my computer and Google Maps on my mobile phone to find ideal locations before the shoot. I also use the TripAdvisor & LonelyPlanet apps to get ideas on where to go. Then I mark them on Google Maps so that I have them ready for the trip. Postcards, Instagram & Pinterest are also great tools to get the location shot list to shoot your subject. Once I know the names of potential photo locations, I’ll do more research. Which time of day has the best light? How difficult is it to reach certain vantage points? What will the weather be like? What time does an attraction open, and when will tourist traffic be low?

3️⃣ Timing is key!

The early bird gets the worm! I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase and it couldn’t be more true for travel photography. Light is the most important ingredient for great photography — and soft, warm, morning light creates amazing images. To avoid tourists and people in your shots, plan to wake up early than them and head out to your locations to shoot. The Eiffel tower in Paris is packed between 9am-10pm daily but if you wake up early and be there between 5-6am, you will have the whole place to yourself for the shots. Also, the early morning hours are perfect lighting conditions as well. Mid-day’s lights are not ideal for a great image.

Never a Bad Day in Paris

🏆 Follow David and Henry’s advice and you could win:

  • $1,000
  • 100,000 ⭐️s
  • Feature on the AGORA Review
  • Worldwide coverage of your winning photo through our social media

In addition, the Top 50 photographers will win:

  • 5 credits
  • 5,000 ⭐️s

There’s no time to waste! Put David and Henry’s tips to practise and start preparing your best #Travel2019 photos for this Friday! ✈️🛳🏕🏖

Questions for the Community:

Has this post inspired your creativity?

What tips would you add to those above?

Hit the reactions below to tell us your thoughts! 👇