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Guest Showcase

The World’s Most Creative and Inspiring Photo Adventure Vacations



United States

Johnny Dao is a two time Photo Workshop Adventure guest, having joined us in Madrid, Spain in 2011 and Naples, Italy in 2012. His passion for photography, his dedication for perfection and his desire to learn are all evident in his images. Johnny enjoys the long exposure and seascapes in particular, but can be found applying his technique to all forms of photography including beauty, product, people and landscape. Santorini may be next for Johnny and his fiancee Maria.

© Johnny Dao  |  Naples, Italy  |  Photo Workshop Adventures  |  Canon 5D Mark III  |  Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L USM II  |  f16 at 20 sec  |  ISO 50

I took this photo in the Bay of Naples on Photo Workshop Adventures “Naples & Amalfi Photo Workshop”. It was my second workshop with PWA, after a wonderful experience in Madrid one year earlier. The original plan for this image was to capture a sunset photo of Castel dell ‘Ovo. But from my setup location, capturing Castel dell ‘Ovo would mean the sun would be setting behind me. I started off with a 70-200mm lens because the subject was quite a distance away. As I was losing daylight, it didn’t feel right shooting with the sun setting behind me. When I looked toward the sunset, I noticed the wonderful lights coming from all the city buildings and street lights. On top of that, the sky started to turn into a multi-color wonder. When an opportunity presents itself like this, there’s only 10-15 minutes to capture a photo before the magic disappears. I quickly hopped and ran to the water cove being careful not to slip or fall off the large rocks. I setup my tripod and changed to a wide angle 16-35mm lens. As for my camera settings, I increased the aperture value to f/16.0 in order to capture the street lamps’ starburst. With an exposure of 20 seconds, the water was calm enough to keep the boats from blurring too much. (see more photos below)


Johnny Dao is an American digital photographer. In 2008, his passion for photography came to life after purchasing his very first DSLR camera, Canon 40D. Today, his weapon of choice is the Canon 5D Mark III and 5D Mark II. Johnny has taken outstanding photos from places in the Philippines, Vietnam, Spain, Italy and at his current location, Kuwait. As a photographer, Johnny’s attention to detail is what separates him from other photographers. You can always find Johnny shooting beautiful land and/or seascapes as well as fast-action adrenaline sports. When Johnny is not shooting or post-processing, he loves to teach and inspire other photographers new to the field.


Why did you choose Photo Workshop Adventures?

Going on one of Photo Workshop Adventures (PWA) photo workshops gives me more time to concentrate on photography than trying to locate all the wonderful locations on my own. PWA maximizes my time bringing me to all the “must see” and “hidden” spots in a given location. I choose PWA not just for the photography workshops, but also as a vacation for me and my fiancé. I feel comfortable roaming around the streets with a group of photographers than by myself. Especially when I’m carrying thousands of dollars in camera equipment.

What do you enjoy most about photography?

There are many reasons why I love photography. When it comes to photographing a landscape early in the morning before the sun rises or later in the evening before the sun sets, it’s the moment of waiting for the magic to happen. It could be 15 minutes or it could be 1½ hours of wait until the sky becomes colorful or the clouds are in the right position.  When that magic happens and I click my camera, I know that I’ve captured it. Photos that I’ve taken are reminders to me. When I look at back at each of my photos, I am reminded of what I did or what I went through to capture that one shot. It is the story behind the photo that I see.

What are your goals and ambitions as a photographer?

My goals and ambitions are to travel around the world to capture those beautiful images I see in the magazines and various social media sites. It’s tough trying to capture something different that hasn’t been photographed, but I like to try my luck at getting something different to happen. I try to travel to locations around the world that I haven’t visited and capture what I see from my perspective.

A complete collection of Johnny’s photography can be viewed on his website at 500px

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