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Moonrise Over the Opera House, Sydney, Australia

Moonrise Over the Opera House, Sydney, Australia

When traveling with your camera, it often helps to know the phase of the moon. That said, if you’re not a walking moon phase calendar, simply paying attention to your surroundings can be a good fallback. Such was the case for me one night before I took this photo when I happened to look out the windows of the Google office and see an almost full moon rising over downtown. I immediately opened PhotoPills, saw that the full moon was the next night, and began formulating a plan.

Boats in the Fog, Zürich, Switzerland

Boats in the Fog, Zürich, Switzerland

Waking up early can be a great way to find photos, and on this trip to Zürich I was lucky to find this early morning scene of boats in the fog. I was moving quickly looking for subjects, and I ended up shooting this entirely handheld without setting a tripod. The resulting photo worked well, although at ISO 6400 it is a bit noisy.

Forest, Glendalough, Ireland

Forest, Glendalough, Ireland

Glendalough is one of those places with immense beauty where I just wasn’t feeling the scenery on the day I visited, so I felt incredibly lucky to get this photo. There were so many ingredients for a great photo, including amazing scenery, fantastic ruins, and a spectacular glacial lake. However, scenery is never enough – you also need good light, good shadows, and good clear atmosphere. Even more importantly, you need good timing. On this particular day, those things just weren’t clicking – especially the timing.

Painted Lorikeet, Denver Zoo, Colorado

Painted Lorikeet, Denver Zoo, Colorado

Mike’s Camera in Denver has a yearly “zoo day” where they allow zoo visitors to check out camera equipment for free and try things around the zoo. On this particular zoo day, I grabbed a Nikon 28-300 lens and used it around different parts of the animal exhibits. The lens didn’t wow me too much, but I was able to snag this photo of a painted lorikeet in the bird exhibit.

Golden Hour, Paris, France

Golden Hour, Paris, France

When I had the opportunity to visit Paris on business, I made sure to allocate time to take photos. Even though Paris is one of the most photographed places on the planet, you can always find something new with fresh light, color, and weather. On this trip, I decided I didn’t want to get mixed up with the tourists in some of the usual spots like the Eiffel Tower, so I took a walk from my hotel to the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur instead.