"Photography is literally writing with light." - David Hobby

*Image Courtesy of David Hobby 

*Image Courtesy of David Hobby 

Great teachers have three things in common, they are knowledgable, they are entertaining, and they inspire their students.  I have discovered a great teacher and an innovative course on Lynda.com.  David Hobby is a former staff photographer with The Baltimore Sun and his photography blog, Strobist.com, was named one of the "25 Best Blogs of 2010" by Time magazine.  David has created a course in partnership with Lynda.com called the The Traveling Photographer.  David takes his students on a creative virtual photo expedition to five of the world's greatest cities: Dubai, Hong Kong, London, New York, and Paris.  David also teams up with local photographers to learn insider tips about each of these locations.  

If you want to learn how to take pictures like the one above, I highly recommend that you take this course.  This course will give you the skills to become a better photographer and an even better traveler.  This is what learning in the 21st century should feel like for everyone.  To take a advantage of everything that this course has to offer, visit Lynda.com and become a subscriber.  Be sure to watch David's fundamentals course first.  Here is a sample of some of David's photography and travel tips for each city:


  • Photography Tip:  The best place to capture a panoramic photo Dubai's futuristic skyline is the 51st street area of Jumeriah Beach.  This area is a free public beach with a small jetty that has a gorgeous view of the city.
  • Travel Tip:  The best place to shop and eat in Dubai is the Souk Madinat which has dozens of restaurants, shops, and carts with wares from around the region.


  • Photography Tip:  The best place to shoot photos in Hong Kong is from the top of Victoria Peak.  You want to buy the $10 ticket up to the top of Victoria Peak because it gives you access to Terrace 428 which is the best viewing and shooting platform.
  • Travel Tip: The best time of year to visit Hong Kong is autumn to early spring.  This is the time of year when the weather is dry and the sky is clear.  Be sure to avoid Chinese New Year.


  • Photography Tip: The most common photo that visitors want to take is a photo of The Palace of Westminster (aka Big Ben) from the South Bank of the River Thames.  However, most people don't know that this area is private property.  Therefore, you will not be allowed to use a tripod because it will obstruct the sidewalk.
  • Travel Tip: London is expensive!  To save money on food, visit a convenience store like Tesco or Sainsbury's to get a "meal deal" which consists of two sandwiches, a drink, and a third item (e.g., chips, fruit, or cake) for only £3 (about $5).


  • Photography Tip:  A creative place to take a photo is DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).  You can take a neat photo of the Empire State Building under the arch of the Manhattan Bridge Overpass at 65 Washington Street.
  • Travel Tip: Eating out in NYC can drain your wallet.  David highlighted a Pakistani restaurant called Haandi on Lexington Avenue near 28th street which has a great buffet under $10.


  • Photography Tip: The Montparnasse Tower is the best place to shoot panoramas of Paris.  It costs $20 to go up to the 56th floor where there is food and restrooms.  You can take the steps up to the glass-enclosed roof on the 59th floor.  This is how David got the amazing photo of Paris above.  Bonus points - they allow tripods and there are less tourists!
  • Travel Tip:  Avoid people with clipboards asking for your attention on the street.  It is either a scam or a distraction for pick pockets.

The videos below include an excerpt from David's course on The Traveling Photographer in Hong Kong and his appearances on DigitalRevTV.  To learn more about The Traveling Photographer, visit Lynda.com.  To learn more about David, visit website, Strobist.com, and his Flickr page.