Not only do many of us have the time and resources to travel more than we ever did before, but because we are active baby boomers, our purposes and destinations are different than they used to be.  Which brings us to acclaimed professional nature photographer David Hemmings.  He runs a company that makes it all possible.  David says, it is today’s newest trend in adventure travel for baby boomers.

In today’s world of travel and adventure, a lot of new trends have emerged that focus on more exciting, activity-based learning experiences … as opposed to the typical beach or cottage vacation. These range from extreme activities like mountain climbing, kayaking some of the world’s ferocious rivers, and extreme cycling.

A photography expedition in northern Canada. Photo by David Hemmings.

These are great for our younger generations but what about those of us who are over fifty and looking for something that is unique, active, and adventurous but not necessarily extreme, let alone dangerous?

Here’s one answer. Do you love to travel? Do you love to take pictures? Do you wish you could take better pictures and learn a myriad of new things about all kinds of photography in connection with birds and nature? Do you wish you could combine all of this while traveling to a dream destination with a small group of like-minded people?

Group photography from a respectful distance from wildlife.

There is a new way to do it these days and it is called the Photographic Learning & Travel Adventure. In the interest of space and time tapping my the keyboard, I will simply call this the “PLTA.” It is a trend that is more and more popular these days in the world of travel. I have given it this name because I grew tired of the more typical “workshop” titles and what that label implies. These are definitely not any kind of work!

David Hemmings with a friend.

PLTA trips are relaxed but productive and fun. They offer participants a way to travel to exciting and exotic destinations and provide a complete pre-planned itinerary of some of the world’s most beautiful places, to see and photograph all sorts of beautiful birds, animals, flowers, insects, reptiles, landscapes, and anything else that might strike your fancy.

What does this do for you as compared to just winging it and going on your own? Well, for starters, it means that as soon as you get to where you are going, you will be whisked away tostart your photographic adventure with an experienced tour leader and photographic instructor. You will go directly to the spots where you will be shown where and how to photograph any number of subjects, usually depending on the type of PLTA you have chosen. This takes all of the guesswork and trial-and-error out of trying to do it on your own.

A typical PLTA can be anywhere from just a few days to as long as two-to-three weeks in length. And there are other benefits from a PLTA. Things like not having to travel alone, being with a group of like-minded people with the same goals and interests, and making new friends. Another selling point is that a PTLA will afford you the time you need to properly photograph your subjects. Often on some organized tours, if they are not geared around photography, you find yourself rushed along from place to place and can only shake your head at all the photo opportunities you left behind.

A seal and Hemmings take a break on a beach.

Many of these trips include food and accommodations in the price, depending on the destination and the trip itself. There will always be time to sit around in the mid-afternoon or evening to relax and discuss the day’s events. I have been on and run many of these PTLAs and can tell you firsthand that the participants always have a great time and come home with newfound friends, treasured photographs, and knowledge that will last a lifetime.


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