Friday, August 9, 2019

How to Fund Your Adventures With Travel Photography

     Stockholm, Sweden's chic riverside capital, has to be one of my favorite places to visit as a photographer. Built on 14 islands connected by 57 bridges, each neighborhood possesses its own charm and distinct character.

Boulevard Strandvägen in Östermalm in central Stockholm SwedenCopyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo. All rights reserved.
Boulevard Strandvägen in Östermalm, Stockholm Sweden. 
Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo. Buy a print here.

      Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s beautifully preserved old town, is a place out of time. Its charming streets and crooked alleys are filled with shops and cafes housed in pastel-colored buildings that shine in the summer sunshine. Despite several trips to Europe, it’s still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that people actually live and work in buildings that have been standing for hundreds of years. At the Royal Palace, an impressive baroque fortress on the north of the island, I snapped some photos of the Royal Guard, resplendent in their bright-blue uniforms.

Bicycle on a cobblestone street, Gamla Stan, Stockholm. Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo. All rights reserved.
Bicycle on a cobblestone street in 
Gamla Stan. Copyright © 2011 
Marianne A. Campolongo. 
Buy a print here.

As I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the city, I brought my camera with me everywhere I went—knowing I could sell my pictures on stock websites such as Alamy later and fund future trips.

I love this view taken as we headed into Gamla Stan on a Hop On Hop Off boat on Lake Malaren. The trip was a boon for fine art photography. This photo has been exhibited three times now, most recently in a solo show in Armonk, New York in the summer of 2017, and in group shows in August 2016 at the Upstream Gallery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York and at the Yonkers Public Library Gallery in 2014.

Gamla Stan seen from Lake Malaren Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo. All rights reserved.
Beautiful view of Gamla Stan seen across the blue water of Lake Malaren.  
Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo.  Buy a print here.

     Part of my trip to Sweden included a four-day cruise through the Baltic Sea to Estonia and Russia. The trip began and ended cruising through the Stockholm Archipelago, a collection of about 20,000 islands and islets along the Swedish coast—lush and green and dotted with distinctive red, wooden vacation cottages. All along the islands’ coasts, sailboats, kayaks, and canoes were tied up to wooden docks, or sailing amid the breath-taking scenery. 

     Cruising along the Baltic Sea was a wonderful experience. Despite the white nights, the sun still rises each day in an incredible burst of color. When I first got up on deck to snap photos of the sunrise at 4:30 am on our last day, the sky was so light that I thought I was too late. Then I began to see color along the horizon. Soon the sky was ablaze with this intense orange. The colors changed over the next while. It was a truly dramatic sunrise. 

A stunning orange sunset in the Stockholm Archipelago. Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo.
A stunning orange sunset in the Stockholm Archipelago. 
Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo.  Buy a print here.

Östra Älgögrundet fyr ( lighthouse ) along the Swedish coast in the Stockholm Archipelago. Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo.
Östra Älgögrundet fyr ( lighthouse ) along the 
Swedish coast in the Stockholm Archipelago. 
Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo.
Available to license at Adobe Stock
There were many lighthouses, my favorite photography subject, both on the islands or seemingly floating on their own in the middle of the Baltic Sea. The lighthouses looked impossibly tiny from the high deck of the cruise ship, until I saw the Vallersvik lighthouse perched near a two-story house and had a better sense of their true scale.  One way I sell the photos of these lighthouses is through fine art websites. Seeing the photo below on one of those sites, the daughter of the family who owns the cottage on the island with the Vallersvik lighthouse messaged me and invited me to call in for coffee and to dive off the deck of the lighthouse the next time I was in the area. 

Vallersvik lighthouse aka Vallersvik fyr in the Stockholm Archipelago. Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo.
The green and white striped Vallersvik lighthouse aka Vallersvik fyr, which I hope 
to visit one day. Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo.  Buy a print here.

     The Stockholm Archipelago is dotted with lush islands and summer cottages. Returning to Sweden to stay on one of these islands has been on the top of my bucket list, even before I got that message.

       I have sold many images from my trip to Sweden, both as stock and fine art, with those from the Stockholm Archipelago being my best sellers. My most profitable photograph so far is a canvas print of moored boats, vacation cottages, and a gazebo reflected in the still waters of the Baltic Sea. This goes for $285** on a UK website that sells canvas prints of photographs. 

Cottages and pleasure boats Stockholm Archipelago on the Swedish coast. Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo.
Cottages and pleasure boats Stockholm Archipelago on the Swedish coast. 
Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo. Buy a print here

     Stockholm is the ideal place to visit for someone like me who loves being on the water and snapping photos. Next time, I plan to rent a cottage on one of the islands of the Stockholm Archipelago, and hope to drink a coffee on the deck of that lighthouse.

    Fine Art Prints of my work are available in many sizes and on various media to fit all types of budgets. The print sale mentioned in this article was for a medium-large print on canvas sold by Photo4Me, which sells my work throughout Europe and offers free UK shipping. (The British pound was worth considerably more when I made that sale, so the exchange rate worked in my favor.) The "buy now" link under the last photo takes you to my Photo4Me website - all the other "buy now" links take you to my US supplier, Fine Art America/, which ships worldwide. Feel free to contact me through my website if you have any questions. Those emails end up in my priority box.  

  Author’s Note:  I am a frequent contributor to International Living where this article was first published. It is posted here with their permission, in a slightly updated version with additional photos. 

  COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All photographs in this article are Copyright © 2011 Marianne A. Campolongo and may not be downloaded, reproduced or otherwise used without first securing a license. You can find these images available to license via my Alamy portfolio, on Adobe Stock, and on my website 
Contact me through my website if you have any questions.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spice is Nice : Traveling with Food

by Elizabeth G. Campolongo

Making chili and brussels sprouts. © Elizabeth G. Campolongo
For all you foodies and travel lovers, here’s a guest post by my daughter, who has taken a trip through time and memory without leaving her kitchen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did – I’m sure you will. Some of you know her as a mathematician and an actress. She is also a fine writer and an awesome cook.

The travel writers Julio Cortázar and Alain de Botton follow an idea pioneered by Xavier de Maistre[i]: traveling in familiar places. I like to travel at home through food. Sometimes this means trying to recreate a dish I ate while out on my travels, other times it is picking up something unusual and interesting at the market--this is how I discovered that dragon fruit, though it looks really cool and as an "all-natural flavor" is delicious, is in reality quite disgusting. But most often, it is slowing down and following my instincts, scents, and taste as I cook.

De Botton suggests walking more slowly through your neighborhood, taking more time to examine the people and places you normally overlook in your haste to get wherever you're going. I think the same idea can be applied to cooking.

Often in the hustle and bustle of life in New York City, that rush follows us home, and the ingredients become a means to a specified end. What is the fastest way for me to re-fuel and keep going? The individual ingredients and your treatment of them--do I boil my broccoli a bit before dumping it in the wok--becomes a matter of efficiency--no, I don't have time.

Efficiency and speed are the antithesis to variety and creativity in the kitchen. It's like the genericness and general sparseness of the autoroute traveled by though Cortazar and Dunlop, who managed to find something new--find beauty--in that all-too generic scenery just by slowing down, stopping to smell the flowers, and letting their imagination guide them. So that is just what I will do, slow down, take the time to smell all my spices, and see where my imagination takes me. 

My spice "shelf." © 2013 Elizabeth G. Campolongo
In the spirit of exploring something common in a new light I decided to make chili from scratch. It has never been a main attraction kind of meal for me, just something quick and easy that I get in a can. So I stop by the market on my way home and pick up carrots, celery, onion, peppers, tomatoes--basically anything that looks good and I think would make a hearty chili. The game has begun.

As I begin my quest, I load up my favorite playlist and carry a chair with my computer into the kitchen--I will be in here for a while. I arrange my spices on the windowsill (typical NYC apartment with only 3 square feet of counter space), as Luca Dirisio's voice begins to fill my kitchen.

First to arrive on my cutting board is the onion, accompanied by the usual waterworks of any attempt to cook with this pungent vegetable. Thankfully, it does not take too long to chop an onion and I quickly throw the pieces into my largest pot, which responds with a great hiss from the olive oil pooled at the bottom. I quickly crush a few cloves of garlic--I cannot go on an adventure without my trusty steed--and add that to the sizzling mix. 

I think my usual recipe for beans would be a good basis for chili, so I also slice a couple tomatoes and let them simmer while I grab cans of kidney and black beans to add to the pot. Next I sprinkle some Adobo, which has the most heavenly spicy smell, and leave the beans to cook while I chop the other vegetables.

I throw the remaining veggies into the pot, and now the real fun begins (truly, Marc Anthony's voice is now filling my kitchen, accompanied by a lively salsa beat). Any other day I might have just tossed in a few spices: cayenne, cumin, chili powder, a bay leaf, and say “it'll do. I just want spice,” but every spice has a story, like every person and building in de Botton’s narrative.

I open the spices one by one and hold them to my nose, allowing the aroma to change my perception of my kitchen and transport me to a world of their own design. I start with cayenne, usually used to add a slight kick to my meal, and it surprises me. The smell is reminiscent of cat treats. I don’t believe my nose, and smell it again: still cat treats. It is such a delicious spice, though I will never be able to look at it the same again. Next up is paprika, a spice with whom I'm less familiar, and am hoping is better. It shares a similar smell to cayenne. My food should not make me think of my pets, though I love them dearly. This experiment seems disappointing and rather awful so far, but my kitchen usually smells good when I cook, so all the spices can’t smell so bad, right? The Adobo was a fiesta of spice.

Text and photos in this post © 2013 Elizabeth G. Campolongo.

[i] Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop, Autonauts of the Cosmoroute, a timeless voyage from Paris to Marseille, translated by Anne McLean; Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel; Xavier de Maistre, Journey Around My Bedroom.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fun with iPhone iPad and iPod Cases

As a photographer I love to see my clients use my photos - whether they appear in print in books, magazines or newspapers, on the web, or hanging on someone's wall. addition to travel and editorial photos, I design a lot of backgrounds, such this blue one at right, an unretouched photo I took using my lensbaby and a macro filter. 

Other backgrounds are more complex. I'll start by  combining images of various textures that I have photographed, layering them with different blending modes and other filters and artistic effects using Photoshop, Nik filters and NX2 to come up with a final textured background. I can then layer that textured background over another photo to turn it into something very different than what I captured with my camera, such as this sailboat image. It's a photo of the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle that I took during OpSail 2012. It now looks more like an illustration as does the red kite in the tree which is a straight photo that has turned into an illustration again simply by means of layering it with various textures and then using different blending modes.

As much as I love "getting it right in the camera the first time," I also love playing with the almost endless possibilities available to the digital photographer. Since I started shooting stock photos a few years ago, the question of "how will this photo be used?" has grown from the three most likely scenarios - hanging on a client's wall,  advertising a client's product or illustrating an article - to similarly endless possibilities.

That's why I was really excited when I discovered redbubble earlier this year.  Although I plan to continue earning income by licensing my work to other people for their designs, now I can also see my own designs on products of my choosing without having to first license them to others or collaborate with a designer. (*ordering info below - or click on any of the underlined text) Products like iPhone cases,  iPad covers, Tshirts, onesies, hoodies, and stickers. It's such a tangible use of my work. I love the idea of someone seeing my work countless times a day as part of something they are wearing or using so often. Or children playing with my stickers and putting them on things they love - grown-ups too.

I am particularly excited about this design incorporating the yellow irises. It's one of my favorites and, as it turns out, it's also a favorite of my daughter's. It started out as a photograph that I took during my college reunion at Smith College a few years ago. These wonderful yellow irises (Iris pseudacorus L.) grow in and around a small pond next to the greenhouse and are truly a spectacular site.  To give the image its grunge vintage feel,  I combined a few of my photos of textures, layering them with different blending modes to get the abstract retro effect.  Yellow is my favorite color too and I just love how well the textures work with the image - it looks ancient and new all at once.

When I designed my first iPhone cases earlier this year, I sent my daughter the links to check them out, but she has an Android, so no chance one of those cases was going to land in her stocking this Christmas. :(  Then, redbubble added iPad case templates (with iPad minis coming soon). It just so happens she's getting an iPad for her 20th birthday this month so I asked her to take a look at the cases I'd designed and pick her fave. She picked the yellow iris iPhone case and asked if I could design a similar iPad cover. As you can see, not a problem!

The textured photos are a very different look than this straight photo at left of peeling paint that I took in Tallinn, Estonia or the photo at right taken the same day as the photo of The Eagle during OpSail 2012 in Connecticut. I think both styles, the straight photos like this sunset and the textured ones, work equally well as iPhone and iPad cases.

The next two are my latest experiments, fractals that have been cut out and added to a gradient background, for that geek chic style which is very popular on redbubble. You can link to them here.

Please check out the rest of my work at redbubble especially in my  iPad/iPhone gallery  and if you're getting an iPad or giving one as a gift this year, as of this writing (December 15, 2012), you can get 10% off iPad cases using the code "RADPADS" at checkout.  I just used it successfully to save on the case I designed for my daughter. 

I also thought this funky fractal made a cool sticker and a great hoodie too. I love the fact that the T-shirts and hoodies are made by American Apparel here in the USA so no worries about sweatshops - the iPad, iPhone, and iPod cases are made by Uncommon and printed in the USA too. Please check them out for some Christmas gift ideas too.

I would love to know what you think of my work so please check out all I have to offer in the way of redbubble products and please comment here or on the redbubble site itself. My profile is

Enjoy the holidays!

Click below to see all my designs or click on the photo below to go straight to my profile on redbubble where you can order any of my designs. If that doesn't work here is a link - you can also just cut and paste it into your browser.     Thanks!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Is This Travel Photography?

I'm often surprised at where my stock photos show up. A few years ago when my daughter was young, she wanted to attend the Show Biz Expo in Manhattan. I had just started experimenting with stock photography and had heard about Shutterstock's On the Red Carpet program, where they help you get a press pass to events in return for the exclusive right to license the images you take for two years.

Although I license many more commercial photos on shutterstock than editorial photos, I've done pretty well with editorial there - and have licensed photos from that shoot a total of 42 times. Two of the photos have ended up in books.

One, this photo of a line of actors queuing up for auditions, which I've licensed 29 times and which still sells regularly, ended up in a book on acting. No surprise there. 

Roxanne Martinez of Kaiser Back Institute performs ashiatsu massage.

So why am I writing about this in a travel blog? Does the Walt Disney Castle give you a hint? I discovered last night that another one, a photo of ashiatsu (foot) massage, is in the new 2012 Fodor's Guide to Walt Disney World (on page 121). 

It was an interesting sight at the Show Biz Expo so of course I took a picture. You never know how those unusual photos will be used - so they are worth taking.  
Check out My Shutterstock Gallery Here to see more  
(please use the orange gallery link if you're interested in buying or selling your photos- thanks!)
Here are the two books: 


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mapping The Places I've Been: You Should Try It!

Since this is a travel blog, or at least since it started out that way, it seemed like I ought to add this map that shows all the places I've visited (well over 200!) and a few I've pegged for future travel.

Glacier National Park, Montana
Burano, a beautiful island near Venice.
I found the interactive map on tripadvisor. com. It's a fun way to spend half an hour revisiting your favorite travel destinations. The interface takes you through places all over the world, and you can pin the spots you've visited. I'm not sure how the algorithm works. It started me out with some of the world's most celebrated travel destinations such as New York City and Paris, but each list that came up also had some small towns - like Niantic, Connecticut where my family has had a cottage since 1969. I had pinned over 200 places, yet San Francisco, CA, Vienna, Austria, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, and Oahu, Hawaii- some pretty major spots-still hadn't come up, but I was able to add them manually. So far, I've found 257 places in 14 countries that I've visited.

On the way to Paris
The map includes dozens of small towns-I counted at least 10 I'd been to on Cape Cod-as well as little lesser-know towns around the world, like several quaint spots I've traveled to in France. When I hit 250,  I hit "done" and added the biggies I'd missed, but I'm sure if I'd had more time I would have hit 300.

It's fun. You should try it.
(See the link below my map). And feel free to paste your map in the comments section - it'd be interesting to see where people have been.

Here's my map along with a list of my 20 favorite spots:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Interviewed by the Breakfast Stock Club

Grunge heart on turquoise blue background. Available from Dreamstime through link below. Happy Valentine's Day!

I've been submitting stock photos for a while now but didn't really start adding to my portfolio until late last year. As I grow my stock portfolio, I've found it helpful to join a few forums, including those on the various sites I submit to such as Dreamstime, Shutterstock, and Alamy Images.  Most forums have a great community and it's been a big help to get advice from others, both those starting out and those who have been selling stock photos for many years.

Last week, I was interviewed about my stock photo sales by the Breakfast Stock Club. I've been getting their emails for a while and just joined their group on Facebook. The idea behind the article was to encourage new stock photographers. Since I'm a freelance writer as well as a photographer, I found it especially fun to be the interviewee instead of the interviewer. 

Conventional wisdom these days is that you need to license both RM and higher end RF on the macros as well as more generic RF on the micros. My images are split between microstock and macrostock, so I can experiment with backgrounds such as the one above that I made with my lensbaby and my wacom tablet, licensing a few 100 photos on the micros quickly, or licensing photos on Alamy for $100 or more a pop.

My portfolio is still very small, but  I'm encouraged to keep uploading. Here's the article - I hope you find it helpful. And here's to everyone's continued success!

 (The image above was made with my lensbaby composer and the macro filter attachment. I then drew the  heart using my wacom tablet. When I have more images to share, I plan to blog about the lensbaby. Here's one of my  favorites from my website. It's so much fun and the images I've made with it have nearly recouped my cost already).