Welcome to my site, Have Camera Will Travel! Here’s a little about me and this site:
My name is David Coleman. I’m a professional freelance travel photographer. Which means, yes, I get to travel and take photos for a living. I also do commercial time-lapse work. I’m a member of the American Society of Media Photographers and Professional Photographers of America.
I’ve been doing this professionally for a couple of decades now and have been hooked on photography since I was a kid. My photos and time-lapse videos have appeared in a bunch of different publications from books to magazines to newspapers, billboards, TV shows, professional sports stadiums, museums, and even massive architectural scrims covering world-famous buildings while they’re being renovated. You can see some of my travel photography here.
I grew up in Australia but now live in the US.
I’m based in the Washington DC area now. I grew up in Australia. I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over and shoot on all seven continents. And now I have a lovely family with young kids who keep me on my toes.
I chose the photo at the top of this page because it kind of sums up where I grew up. Not too shabby. I took this a few years ago; it’s very close to my hometown. A good chunk of my life has been spent in and around the water. I have lots of happy places, but in and on the water is right up there.
My first camera was an Agfa Optima Sensor 535. I now choose from a bunch of different cameras depending on the shoot.
My first camera was an Agfa Optima Sensor 535, which my parents gave me when I was 10 and we moved halfway around the world from Australia to the UK in the early 1980s.
I was immediately hooked, shooting slide film as we traveled around Europe and the UK (often camping, and shooting mostly Kodachrome and Ektachrome). I still have the original slides I took—mostly a mix of Kodachrome and Ektachrome.
The next camera I adopted was an Olympus OM-1 (the original film version, not the newer digital version). By that point, I was mostly shooting black and white (Ilford HP5, FP4, Pan-F, Delta 100, Kodak Tri-X, mostly), processing it and printing in a jury-rigged darkroom I set up in a spare space in the basement. I also shot color positive slides from time to time and dabbled in Cibachrome processing.
Around the time I graduated high school, I saved up for a Nikon F801. Later, I moved on to a Nikon FM and a Nikon F100 (which still might be my favorite camera). There were detours along the way with other cameras, like a Nikonos V when diving and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef or islands in the South Pacific, an Olympus OM-4, and an Olympus-35 SP. I still have several of these old film cameras, although I rarely break them out anymore. I didn’t immediately jump on the digital train, but for several years used a hybrid approach of shooting film and scanning it. But I’ve been squarely in digital for the past 20 years or so.
About This Site
At ‘Have Camera Will Travel,’ I share my hands-on reviews, practical photography tips, and the latest photography news. Drawing on years of experience in the field, my goal is to provide photographers with reliable and authoritative insights that can aid in making well-informed decisions. Whether it’s evaluating the latest gear or sharing effective photography techniques, my aim is to deliver trustworthy information and guidance to photography enthusiasts of all levels.
I aim for a straightforward approach that is accessible to all without knowing the jargon. And one of the things that I love about photography is that there is rarely one “right” way of doing things. In fact, the endless creativity and outside-the-box thinking of photography are some of the most important things that have always attracted me to it. So I try my best to always be mindful that every photographer has their own preferences and their own way of doing things; after all, breaking the rules and seeing what happens is more than half the fun!
This is my own site. I write all the posts myself. I review all of the gear personally, and I only post reviews of gear and services that I have personal hands-on experience with. I take the photos and keep the site humming under the hood. There’s no team and no corporate entity behind the scenes. So you can trust that everything here is coming from me, not an AI bot. And when I’m reviewing gear or services, it’s gear that I’ve personally used and have first-hand experience with. If I like it, I’ll say so. If I don’t like it, I’ll say so.
Finally, being a professional photographer is about so much more than taking photos. In fact, we often spend more of our time with other aspects of the business. Things like working with clients, and marketing our work. Sharing images on social media. Or arranging pint lab orders. Or running a website. Or many, many hours editing photos. And so on. And so this site is about more than just using cameras and taking photos. Although I do, obviously, cover those in some depth. But I also include posts on the other aspects that I come across in my day-to-day work or have experience with and that I think might be helpful to someone else.
About My Other Photography Sites
I have a stable of other sites related to various aspects of my photography.
- havecamerawilltravelphotos.com. Serves as my main image archive and the central hub through which I share and deliver images to clients and editors. It also serves as a portfolio of sorts.
- Image Licensing through Alamy. Many of my images are available for Rights-Managed Image Licensing, mostly through Alamy.
- havecamerawilltravel.photography. Where I post information and photos about the various places I travel to shoot.
- Cherry Blossom Watch. A seasonal site focused on Washington DC’s famous cherry blossoms, one of the great photographic opportunities. I have a lot of detailed information about the cherry blossoms and when they bloom but also post near-realtime photos from the Tidal Basin—and lots of them.
- DC Photo Guide. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years out and about shooting in Washington DC. This site is focused on local sites and photography.
- Instagram: DC in Black and White. From time to time, I post black and white photos I’ve taken close to home under my @dcinbnw account.
While I don’t tend to religiously hang out on social media, there are some other ways to follow along:
- Instagram / @havecamerawilltraveldc
- Facebook / @havecamerawilltravel
- Instagram / @cherryblossomwatch
- Facebook / @cherryblossomwatch
So, welcome! Please feel free to stay awhile and poke around the site as much as you like—I hope you find something of interest and useful here. And I hope you’ll take the time to comment on any posts you find helpful or correct or update me if you find errors or places where I could flesh it out more.