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“If you haven’t been to Doi Suthep temple, you haven’t been to Chiang Mai,” our guide Pongsak told us, with pride in his hometown. Bonnie here one last time, coming to you after our Photo Expedition in Thailand with professional photographer Rich Wagner. During our time in Thailand, we took off swaying through the jungle on the back of an elephant, tried our hand at cooking pad thai, green curry, and tom yam soup, photographed the people of the umbrella village making paper and sewing umbrellas, took in the frenzy and color of the Sunday night market, and watched silk being strung from cocoons and woven into shimmering cloth. But before we did any of that, we made sure to visit the most important temple of Chiang Mai — Wat Doi Suthep. Waterfalls trickle down the mountain from the spanning temple complex, where you can catch a view of Chiang Mai city below. A golden pagoda towers over everything, and inside the temple, little brass bells hang from the eaves, softly ringing in the wind. Monks chant blessings to families, and people circle the pagoda with a lotus flower between their hands. It’s very serene inside. Outside the temple, it’s more like a festival. Kids in costume perform traditional dances, drumming, and music. It was a challenge to get a good shot with so many activities going on. So, I tried a trick that Rich told us about. I call it: Ready, Set, Wait. Here’s how it works. ** First, find just one thing you’d like to photograph. For example, I decided it would be fun to take pictures of some boys drumming in traditional costume. ** Next, head over to that thing and place yourself in a good spot to compose your photo. I picked a spot next to the boys and their drum and crouched down… even though people were walking around and in front of me. ** Then, compose your shot and wait. I picked up my camera, composed my shot, put my finger on the shutter, and waited for the action to begin. ** Finally, as soon as the scene looks right, shoot! You may have people walking in front of you, or your subject might be moving and changing. But if you stay put with your finger on the shutter, you can shoot each time you have a clear view. TIP: Stay where you are and keep shooting until you feel like you got a few shots you like. You’ll end up with a lot of photos of the same thing, but you’ll be more likely to come away with a photo you really like. Here’s my favorite shot from the drummer boy session: And here are a bunch of others that I took in the same spot. Some of them didn’t turn out at all… so it’s a good thing I took a lot!     Next time you head out to shoot and there’s a lot going on, pick one thing to focus on at a time. Then line up your shot, get ready, and wait for it. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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