Archive for May, 2011

Hiatus from Visited Planet blogs

Thanks to all who’ve been checking in on my photographic blogs of late. I’ve been madly preparing to go away and have not had time to blog recently. I will also be largely out of contact in the next two weeks while on assignment in Indonesia.

However I look forward to sharing images again after that time and hearing from you!

Happy travels


Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Photo of the day – Scotland's stunning Glencoe

I’m heading back to Scotland in a few weeks and was reviewing some images today of what’s in store.

Here’s one of my favourite images of an absolutely stunning hike I did around Glencoe last year. I was recommended this hike to the “Lost Valley” by the receptionist where I was staying and it certainly was a little bit more involved than I originally thought taking up to seven hours.

But thanks to a friendly group of guys from in and around Glasgow who took me under their wing, we also climbed the munroe above the Lost Valley, wandered along the ridge and dropped down and around back to the car park via another valley. Just up and back to the Lost Valley would probably take half a day.

The weather was superb and the view were incredible. This image was taken looking back down on the Lost Valley, a place cattle thieves once took stolen livestock. I look forward to heading back to Glencoe shortly.

The Lost Valley, near Glencoe, Scotland. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

How to prepare for a trip?

I’m in the throes of departure for an international trip, hence the lack of blogs of late.

I’ve gone away so many times you would think it’s old hat by now, but there’s always so much to do:
– getting currencies
– booking flights and accommodation or researching them
– taking out travel insurance
– finishing off work and more often than not, taking what I need with me
– research where I’m / we’re going
– making sure the fridge and freezer are emptied
– someone looks after my worms and garden!
– getting all the electrics together: phone/camera charges, laptops, usb sticks, image storage devices
– packing clothes / making it all fit (last time I squeezed everything into a 12kg bag!) but my cameras and laptop were carry-on luggage.
– etc etc.

A bit of a nightmare in all and still far too much to do. A lot of people have asked for my advice on preparing for trips given the amount of travel I do. I think they are often shocked how little I do in regards the itinerary. Anyway here’s some of my advice in three really simple steps:

* Don’t over plan
I am one of those people that doesn’t book flights much in advance. Currently I have a flight booked from here to Malaysia, and from Belfast to Edinburgh. That’s it. Doesn’t bother me too much but I somehow need to get from Malaysia to Belfast soon. Budget airlines mean you can book more last minute with little change to prices (although don’t leave it too late) and this leaves you a lot more flexibility in your itinerary.

I usually book the first night’s accommodation so I have somewhere to go when I arrive and that’s usually it unless I’m on a tight schedule and absolutely must stay in certain places.
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Photo Gallery: Celebrating Mother's Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and in the vein of celebrating mothers, here are some images from around the world that show us how important they are everywhere.

Bhutanese woman and child Near Bhumtang valley. This lady was with a group of women waiting out the rain near a monastery so their children would not get wet.

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Finding love after the death of Osama bin Laden

I have been quite concerned by images of people celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden, and even comments by world leaders who said they “welcome” the news.

It is unpleasant to see anyone rejoicing at the death of another human being, no matter what they have done.

I try not to make a lot of political comment on this blog as it is about Visited Planet photography but my website does have a mission of educating, equipping and encouraging and so I wanted to post this excellent quote I received via Facebook that reminds us how important love is in the world. Thanks to Sharolyn Newington for sharing it.

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here are some good positive images of love in places where there is struggle and difficulty; showing how powerful it still shines even in the darkness of life where there might be poverty, greed, oppression, exploitation or plain hard work.

Women embracing in a village that had been displaced by the government's creation of National Parks. India.

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Empower, Equip, Educate

Visited Planet's documentary and lifestyle photographic projects are designed to aid, equip, empower and educate people around the world.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King Jr.