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Do I Need a US Customs Form 4457 When Traveling Abroad?

In Porteen Gear News, Travel Photogaphy by porteengear

Do you need a US Customs and Border Control Form 4457? This small form is proof that your gear listed on the form was purchased and owned in the United States prior to your trip. The significance of this document is to keep U.S. Customs and Border Protection from thinking you may have bought the items abroad and charging you U.S. Duty Tax upon reentry into the United States. It doesn’t happen very often and it’s never happened to me, but I have heard stories of photographers having to pay taxes on their gear on re-entry into the United States. I keep this form with me whenever I travel and get a new one when I buy new lenses or a camera body. To get one, you can use this link Customs Form 4457 to download the form. Take it to your nearest Homeland Security office. They are usually located …

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Marseilles, France – A Photographer’s Dream City!

In Photography Tips, Travel Photogaphy by porteengear

Are you going to France this travel season? Just a three hour train ride south of Paris is the City of Marseille. Get ready to experience beautiful scenery, history and Mediterranean cuisine! This Port City is a photographer’s dream. It is France’s second largest city so plan on spending at least a couple of days here.  Marseille averages 300 days of sunshine a year. Make sure you bring your walking shoes, there is hardly a flat street here. There are plenty of sidewalk cafes to quench your thirst and watch the people stroll by. The architecture is amazing and each side of the city seems to have a different style. Marseille is very different from Paris in look and feel, it is a city of different cultures and colors. From the street art in the Le Panier to the old sculptural doorways in the in the older parts of the city. …

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Walk Across Lake Michigan – Take the S.S. Badger on Your Next Trip!

In Photography Tips, Travel Photogaphy by porteengear

Yes, you can really walk across Lake Michigan! If you walk the upper deck of the S.S. Badger, in 6 laps you will have walked 1 mile! Keep it up for the entire trip and you will have walked the Great Lake! For most of us who live in middle lower Michigan, we have only a few choices to get to the west. We can either drive around Chicago, cross the Mackinaw Bridge and drive the length of the upper peninsula or take a voyage across Lake Michigan. On a recent trip to Minneapolis, I opted for the S.S. Badger! It was the most relaxed trip I have ever made to the other side of the lake. I had no idea how big this ship was going to be! What a sight it was when I pulled up to the loading area! From Grand Rapids, the drive to the dock …

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Which Size Bag is Right For Me?

In Product Info by porteengear

Packing a Porteen Gear Bag for Traveling The most popular questions I answer are “How much gear can I fit into  each size camera bag?” I thought I would offer some packing suggestions. These are combinations that I would carry when traveling or going on a shoot.

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Travel Photography- It’s in The Details

In Photography Tips, Travel Photogaphy by porteengear

Travel Photography – It’s in the Details. Traveling to foreign cities can be overwhelming with the hustle and bustle of daily activities. There are people making their way to work and tourists staring up into the air at the architecture attempting to take it all in. It might be intimidating to just start pointing your camera at strangers. My advice is to break yourself in by paying attention to the details and small things around you. You will be amazed at how many more photos you will come home with and you will end up with a very unique collection from your trip. If you were to send five people to the same place and tell them to focus on the details, everyone would come back with a different set of images. Photographing the details will show your own unique perspective. These images were selected from a trip to Israel …

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Moonlight, a Mannequin and a Rowboat – A Photography Adventure

In Photography Tips, Skies and Coffee by porteengear

Lily (our shop mannequin) spends most of her days sitting elegantly in the studio. She was in need of an adventure! It was mid-July, during the full moon, the summer sun lit it up like a beacon in the sky. I was looking at another two weeks before the conditions were right to have that perfect black sky with the core of the Milky way in full glory across the southern horizon. Feeling anxious to get out and see the night stars, it dawned on me that maybe I should be thinking “outside the box” and go with the present situation, photography in the moon light! Already knowing that I had to get North, far enough away from the the city lights so that the light pollution was minimal on the horizon, it wasn’t long before I resourced a property with a pond. Hoping to get some great reflections working with the …

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Abandoned Detroit Photography Tour is an Eyeopener

In Travel Photogaphy by porteengear

Sorting Through the Rubble of Detroit Both somber and beautiful, the photo tour of Detroit was well worth the trip! These locations tell only a fraction of the story in Detroit. 5 AM, loaded up with coffee, camera gear and hopes of inspiration, we drove across the state from Grand Rapids, to Detroit to make our 7:30 AM arrival time for the photography tour. It was an adventure just to be on the highway that morning. We were following a front with mixed precipitation and there was ice forming on the road signs and snow on the fields. This was in mid May, but if you are from Michigan, snow does not surprise you until after June 1st! We visited 4 locations overall, that told the story of vanishing people and places as the industry changed. The School The school was in session up until 2006. It appears as if …

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Astrophotography, Coyotes and Ticks

In Photography Tips, Travel Photogaphy by porteengear

Photographing the night sky has always been a fascinating adventure for me which I rarely have time to do. Living near a city and running a business has kept me from pursuing this dream. When I look at the Milky Way, I see the big picture and it really hits me how small we all really are as we are standing on this rotating orb in the middle of this beautiful galaxy. My husband and I planned a trip to the Manistee National Forest in Northern Michigan to a cabin in the woods with no internet so we could unwind with our German Shepherd, Luther. I brought all of my camera gear to do some photography to keep busy. Knowing the area would be extremely dark and away from any major towns or cities, I prepped for some Astrophotography. We hiked during the day and made it a mission to …

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How Travel Photography Launched a Camera Bag Company

In Porteen Gear News, Product Info by porteengear

How the passion of travel photography turned into a full time business. It all started with a hired trip to Israel to capture the essence of the country and the old city of Jerusalem. I carried the typical black nylon camera bag that announced the fact that I had a valuable camera on my person. There were some areas of the city and countryside where I felt I should be a little more discreet with my camera gear. So I packed a plain duffle bag with a hotel towel wrapped around my expensive camera and lenses. I was worried about dropping the bag or knocking it up against a wall and damaging my gear, but I would rather have the plain duffle that have a typical looking, labeled camera bag. When I returned home from that trip, I turned in my photography and was laid off by the company that …

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3 Breathtaking Travel Destinations for Photography

In Travel Photogaphy by porteengear

Looking for an epic trip in 2016? We found three beautiful places in the world worthy of a trip with your camera. 1. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe The Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, are known for its cascading waterfalls. The falls can be explored daily, year round. For those feeling adventurous, there are bungee jumping locations around the falls. This destination offers perfect photo opportunities from all angles. Est. Cost: 60-90 USD Victoria Falls 2. Uluru, Australia Uluru, Australia Located in the Australian Outback, the lack of electrical lighting provides stargazers with the ultimate sky gazing experience. This gorgeous night scene serves as the perfect photo op for time-lapsing photography. Not only is the night view translucent in itself, but its natural desert during the day is also very picturesque.   Uluru, Australia Est. Cost: Free Ulura, Australia 3. Cinque Terre, Italy Cinque Terre, Italy From its food, wine …