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BurmaOrganized tours may be attractive to those seeking a range of cultural experiences without having to travel alone or tailor-make arrangements. Holidays of this sort typically move from place to place every couple of days, giving just sufficient time to see the highlights of each area. They are consequently a good way of seeing a lot in a short time and at a reasonable price. Itineraries are rarely very flexible, and certainly not designed with photography in mind. Be prepared to arrive at the same time as others groups, and perhaps when the sun is in precisely the wrong position. A tour guide will ensure that you return to your hotel in time for dinner, but may have no feeling whatsoever for the quality of the light falling on the Taj Mahal.

The two principal limitations from the point of view of a travel photographer are those arising from group activities and the lack of flexibility. Group itineraries move at the speed of the slowest participant. They allow relatively short periods of time at each location and are dependent upon the broad co-operation of all group members. If one person is late rejoining a group, everybody is delayed and less time is available at the next location. The other principal problem is the lack of flexibility in travel arrangements. I recall two days in Beijing, China – the first day allocated for visiting the Great Wall and the second day taken up with activities around the city. It was obvious from the weather forecast that the Great Wall would not be visible on the first day. Nevertheless, transport had been arranged and we were duly obliged to walk on the wall in low cloud and rain, and visit the city museums in the sunshine of the following day. Photography was never a consideration.


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