I came to know photographer Teya Jacobi on our Deep Travel trips to far-flung locales like Mexico and Morocco. But she’s actually nearly my neighbor, living right up the road from me in Oregon’s Applegate Valley. So, it was fun one afternoon to visit her in her own element—a classic log cabin nestled under tall trees. She “does” home as well as she does travel: a cozy woodstove, beautiful beam structure and earthy decor create a “grounding” atmosphere to settle down in between adventures.

But she never settles for too long. Already her mind was on an upcoming trip to Nepal and Bhutan. She gestured to the surrounding mountains that she will use as her training ground for the tough trekking route she was about to undertake to Everest Base Camp. Her plan is to hike in the valley in the months leading up to the trip. “Sometimes traveling can be in your own neighborhood,” she says.

Teya often has her camera in tow on our Deep Travel writing trips, and I always appreciate seeing our shared travels through her photographer’s vantage. She sees a strong parallel between the written and visual. “In writing, you want the reader to feel what you feel—the same goes for photography,” she explains.

While drinking tea, we explored her archives—photos of Alaska, Utah, of our valley, and of Mexico and Morocco. Most feature her favorite subjects: people and nature. Though she was trained professionally at the NE Boston School of photography and has owned a portrait studio, and these days she is just enjoying the meditative focus it brings to her travels. She has even embraced travel-friendly technologies such as iPhone cameras. “I never thought I’d I’d be a person taking pictures with an iPhone, but sometimes it’s great not carrying heavy equipment.”

We sat together and as we clicked along, she offered some technical commentary on her photos.

“The placement of the woman painting in Essaouira is key to the composition.  Her bright pink dress contrasts with the dull background hues.  The light and dark arch shapes give movement and perspective.”


Teya PV.jpg
“This colorful Puerto Vallarta seems simple.  What makes it work is shooting at an angle, the flags dancing in the wind, the solid green tree leaves contrasted with the multicolored buildings, and the detail of the tiny lamp lights.”


Teya Oaxaca.jpg
“The Oaxaca church/museum is a classic historical landmark photo.  I look for natural frames, like this arch, to add interest and put the subject off center.”



“Despite not using a tripod, I captured the city lights of Moulay Idriss, Morocco from a balcony.  I set my camera at ISO 1000 at f4.5 and braced myself against a wall for a one second exposure.  The diagonal angles of lit buildings pointing towards the sky created a dramatic scene. “



Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.jpg
“I often wait for birds to fly into a scene.  The 3 birds silhouetted on the sign in Puerto Vallarta came alive when a bird flew into the perfect spot.  It’s what eminent photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson called “the decisive moment”.


Teya has taught photography classes and shared a couple of tips tips:

*Look for diagonal lines in your composition. They create dynamic movement.

*Try shooting vertical instead of horizontal.

*Notice the background. People often only look at the people or main object of the photo without attending to the background.

*Cardinal rule: never place the horizon line in the center of the frame. This is known as the rule of thirds.

NOTE: cover photo is of Teya at the Tongoraro crossing in New Zealand!

For information on upcoming Deep Travel trips, visit http://www.deeptravelworkshops.com

Absolute final philMexico TC 2019.jpgabsolute final lavinia.jpg
















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