Q&A with Heather Cowper

Heather Cowper is a talented travel blogger who's also an amateur photographer. While she's not a DSLR user, she still has some great advice for photography on the road.

Personal site http://www.heatheronhertravels.com/ and http://www.mybloggingjourney.com/
Other http://www.flickr.com/photos/heatheronhertravels

Awards & achievements
The best award is when I get a comment or feedback.

What’s your favorite country to visit? Why?

Ecuador was a highlight — I was there a few years ago and travelled with a couple of friends, staying in a rainforest community and travelling by dug-out canoe with the locals, camping on sand-banks by the river. This was the trip that inspired me to start my travel blog at Heatheronhertravels.com. I also love exploring the highways and byways of England and being a tourist in my own country. Plus, I never thought I'd love mountains until I started walking the Tour de Mont Blanc through France and Switzerland with a friend. We've been doing it in easy bit-sized stages, and I'll be back to do another bit this autumn.

vorite travel photograph you’ve taken?
I'd been sitting having a Mezze lunch in a small cafe in the backstreets of Sidon in Lebanon when the Friday prayers finished and everyone came streaming out of the mosque opposite the cafe. I made my way over to the cake seller who had wheeled his cart to the entrance of the mosque to buy some cakes but he wouldn't accept my money — gesturing to the mosque, he told me it was God's money, meaning that he wanted to make me feel welcome. To me, it encapsulates the Arab tradition of hospitality and the small kindnesses that you receive when you're travelling. You can read the story here.

Camera(s) you use:

An old Panasonic Lumix, but I'm researching buying one of the new compact cameras that have interchangeable lenses. For video, I also use a Panasonic HD video camera — it was quite expensive, but I treated myself for my last birthday.

Five accessories you never travel without:
I'm pretty minimal — my main obsession is having enough batteries and memory cards.

Magazines/websites you visit for inspiration:

For photography that tells a travel story, I love http://www.ottsworld.com/ and http://holeinthedonut.com/

What is the last place you’ve traveled to?
This year, I've been to Texas with the family and am just back from Guernsey, which couldn't be more different. In Texas, it was all about Tex-Mex, cowboys, and gun culture, while Guernsey is like stepping back into an prettier, cleaner and less commercial version of England 20 years ago, yet with a dark past once you find out about the German occupation of the island in World War II. When I visit any destination, it's all about connecting with what makes the place unique and different.

Top tips for photographers/videographers?
I don't regard myself as that good of a photographer. I compose the best shots I can, take loads of photos and hope that some of them will come out well. I think that when you're trying to take a travel photo, a shot with a person in it is always more interesting than one without, and good close-up photos of local people will always draw you in.

Travel sites you use?

I research my travels through the destination websites and then home in on locations & places to stay through their websites.