Up close and personal with Kimberley Coole
Country: United Kingdom
What’s in the bag: After many trips hauling around too much gear I have simplified what I take to the following;
- Canon EOS 5d MKII
- Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM Lens
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens.
- I always take extra batteries and a few big capacity CF cards – this is just in case I run into power supply issues or go on extended treks, it’s a horrible feeling knowing you can only take a few more shots before your card is full or battery runs out!
- I also travel with a tripod and have found the Manfrotto 725B to be the perfect travel companion – it’s lightweight, compact and great quality. It isn’t officially meant for DSLRs but I’ve never had any issues with it. The Canon Remote Controller RC-1 is also an essential piece of kit.
- Each of my lenses has a HOYA Pro1 Digital Filter on for protection, which makes looking after your lenses and cleaning them much easier, and takes the stress of scratches away completely.
- Finally, my latest addition is a Lee Big Stopper, I haven’t had chance to use this on a trip yet but can’t wait to see the results!
How much time do you spend travelling for photography a year: I try to spend as much time travelling as possible, on average my husband and I are away for around 8 months per year – thankfully he’s a freelance web designer so can work anywhere!
After a certain amount of time away from home you become used to life on the road and sitting still can be quite uncomfortable after that, we try to balance work with relaxation on our trips and always ensure we schedule in a few weeks of beaches!
Favourite photography subject: My favourite subjects are people, especially tribal groups. My view is that as the world changes and advances, the buildings have a good chance of remaining but a lot of the culture is lost. An image of a tribal person may be the only thing that remains of that particular tribe in 50 years and that is why I am so passionate about capturing these shots. Also, people are completely unpredictable and always changing, which makes taking portraits so exciting.
Most photographic country: Vietnam is my favourite place to take photos at the moment; I have totally fallen in love with the tribal areas in and around the Lao Cai province. The great thing about the area is that it changes vastly from season to season so you always need to keep going back, and once you are familiar with a place it makes getting the shots you want much easier.
The best photo you’ve taken: It is tricky to pick my best shot as my personal favourite is not the same as the shot I am most known for.
What first got you interested in photography: or as long as I can remember I have always had a camera in my hand, I guess this stems from the fact that my family had a camera shop selling mainly Leica’s and I got to play with the less expensive models!
What was your first big break: Getting a contract with Lonely Planet Images has been my biggest break so far, it is a great privilege to be represented by such a great organisation and I hope to work with them for many years to come!
Tips for budding photographers: As portraiture is my favourite area it is quite sad to see that some people simply jump in front of another person, stick the camera in their face and then walk away, after seeing this you begin to see why some people now refuse to be photographed.
If you are taking a close up portrait of someone, always be polite and ask their permission, if you speak the language that’s great, if not perhaps point to your camera or simulate taking their photo to see if it is OK with them. In most cases the person will not mind and you often get better shots as you have spent some time with them and they feel more relaxed about the situation.
Tips for taking photos: I am a lover of planning, from monuments in an area (tripod permits…), to tribes nearby, the best time of year to go, festival dates and everything like that. It takes me quite a long time to plan a trip as I want to make the most of my time there, so my biggest tip would be to plan, and don’t forget to add in a few rest days!
Also, I always find getting lost leads to some great shots. If you have lots of time to spend in a particular place then this can be a great way to get a feel for it.
Next assignment: I am heading back to Asia in April to build up my stock portfolio and have no plans to return to the UK as yet!
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