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Hello, I,m holidaying in Egypt later this year and as I am fairly new to 35mm photography I was hoping someone could help me make the most of this photographic opportunity. I need to know what would be the best speed of film to use in bright sunlight, what filters would I need for this type of light & for taking shots of sunrise / sunsets etc. My camera is a Minolta 505 & I use Fuji Superia 200 / 400 print film at present. I would be gratefull for any help on the above. Thanks.
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You have not said what time of year you are going but I assume it will be in the main season. I have done this trip a few times over the years and found if you want prints then use Royal Gold 100. It gives a very natural colour balance ideal for sandy and earthy coloured places.
As for the sunsets/sunrises these can be a bit of a non-event as they will last for a very short time due to where you are in relation to the equator. The colours can be very disappointing and only really come out when the air has been disturbed by a good wind as this puts the very fine dust in to the air and boost the range of colours. The bad news is this does not happen that often and is down to pure luck. So take a Warm up filter and UV filter to help with the day time glare and a Sunset B for those sunsets and sunrises. A Circular Polariser is a must and if you can run to it a blue grad and a grey grad to pull down the sky. Also not forgetting a good tripod.
If you get a chance take the early morning sunrise hot air balloon trip over the Valley of the Kings you will not regret it. You might like to take some Black and White film with you. Either Delta 100 or FP4 as the older people have faces that cry out for B+W portraits but ask them first as they can be funny about you just snapping a quick shot. If you talk to them and show an interest in what they are doing you will have no problems at all.
The museum police all carry guns and will seem daunting but ask them questions about the site and you have a friend for life and he will show you areas that tourist don't normally have access to.
Lastly take a trip to the Nubian village at Aswan there are some great photo opportunities there and the mint tea is the best in Egypt. The Nubians are a very proud race and love to show you how they live again if you ask them respectfully you can get some great shots of the village and homes.
PS take loads of BIC pens with you as the kids can't get them for love or money and you will get big thank-you's for it. Also don't give them money as 5 children will suddenly turn in to 20 in a blink of an eye.
Thanks for the info Baz, it's nice to get first hand knowledge from someone who has acctualy done this trip. Thanks again.
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