10 Tips for Better Travel Photography

Part One

Everybody has a camera and can call themselves a photographer. Last year over a trillion photos were captured, that is a one with 12 zero’s on the end. If you can’t image just how large this number is, think of it in seconds. A trillion seconds is the same as 31 thousand years. Travel is also becoming cheaper and more people are escaping to exotic destinations than ever before. If everyone is a travel photographer, then what can you do to differentiate yourself, and give your images a professional touch?

Signs help tell a story

Tell a Story of Place

Often more that one photo is required to tell a story of place. Look out for roadsigns and displays as well as people involved in day-to-day activities. If you have a travel zoom make sure you take a wide shot that includes the landscape, then zoom in to capture significant details. If you shoot with primes, don’t be afraid to change lenses, or use your feet to get the wider view!

Tell a Story of People

It is hard to think how a photographer could succeed in travel or street photography without some skill in capturing people. If time allows aim to get more than just a head shot. Hands, feet, wrinkles, muscles and lines all tell a story. 

Holy Bull Walker/ Bangalore

The Environmental Portrait

I was taught the environmental portrait by my friend Glenn Guy, who runs the wonderful website www.travelphotographyguru.com. I kicked and fought against this style of imagery, preferring the candid image. However, the style has slowly won me over. The environmental portrait is a collaborative image between the photographer and the subject. Permission must be sought from the subject for this photo. The image should capture the person in his or her environment (duh!), which could be work, home or play. As the photographer has gained permission, they can take a little more time over composition and light.

Composition and Light

Is there any genre of photography that cannot benefit from a stronger understanding of composition and light? Most successful photos will adhere to one guideline or another, even when you are trying to break the rules! When traveling take into account the time of day and the direction of the sun. Mornings and evenings are obviously the prime times for photography. However, the harsh shadows of mid-day can also create effective photos.

Fishermen/ Vietnam

Capture the Vernacular 

When traveling it is easy to focus on the major tourist attractions. Yet is is often the smaller, domestic buildings that tell a story with greater clarity. The vernacular deals with the functional, domestic architecture. These buildings will reflect the environment and cultures of a surrounding area. Weather will play an important role in the construction of these buildings, as well as the materials they are made from. In many countries religion will play an important part in the design of a house, look for symbols to ward off spirits, or shrines used for worship. 

Cao Dai Symbolism (Vietnam)

Well that is all today folks. It WILL be a 10 part tip sheet when I have written part 2. What can a say, life happens.

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

Cheeky Monkey

Recently I visited Lepakshi, just North of Bangalore. The light was mid-dayish, and not fantastic for the temple’s magnificent architecture. There was a group of very photogenic women singing their hearts out by the entrance of the temple, unfortunately they were camera shy. However, third time lucky! Monkeys surrounded the grounds and were very tame (to the point of pinching people’s bags and snacks). This monkey posed just long enough a portrait.

For those of you who are interested in such things… This image was edited in Lightroom, and flipped left to right so the monkey was looking to the right. I then colour graded it using On1 and added a film filter. The eyes were lightened and sharpened. Lastly, I added a slight vignette.

Now my regular Street Photography Group on Mewe will only accept images that feature a human element, and this does not count. However, these delightful creatures are soooo close to human I may get away with it!

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

If you are interested in joining the Street Photography Community (SPC) please use the link below.

http:// www.mewe.com/join/street_photographers

Farewell 2018, Hello 2019…

Wishing all my readers a great new year, I hope it goes out with a bang. This month I have been busy with Wes Hardaker who has been guiding a select few photographers on the different applications of exposure control. I generally leave my camera set at -0.3, so it has been an education to finally play a little more with my exposure compensation dial.

New Zealand loves its Bees!
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Best of 2018. Part 1

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” – Ansel Adams

As the year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on what I have achieved with my photography in 2018.  Today I scoured by hard drive for my favourite photos of the year. I will try and explain a little of what is behind each image. There will be six images in this post, and six in the next.

Varanasi
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Photographing Varanasi

Chaos

Varanasi is the spiritual home for Hindus and sits on the banks of the Ganges River. The city is sacred to Hindus and is credited as being one of the oldest cities in the world. What many of the guidebooks forget to tell you is that it is thick with smog and full of people who are more interested in your finances than your spiritual life! However, don’t let that put you off, the opportunities for photography are fantastic.

Varanasi (1 of 1) Read More

Instax Cameras and Street Photography

Using The Fujifilm Instax 90 Neo Classic

This is not a review, more of a discussion. This camera is NOT going to create award winning photos, does not have great dynamic range and, believe me – you would not want to be paying for this thing to spit out 12 shots a second. However, it is fun and a great conversation piece at parties. It also enables the the act of giving. Instantly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Giving a Photo!
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The World’s Highest Street Photo.

Bit of a long post here, mainly a reflection on a great adventure. Feel free to read it or pass it over. If you just want to see the pics, then here is a link…

https://pagespics.com/himalayas/

A Story…

This is a tale of friendship, family, photography, and travel. Forgive me if I stray from the narrative of cameras and the like, but photography does not exist on an island. My claim to have captured the highest Street Photo in the World admittedly relies on a relatively restrictive definition of what this genre entails. However, I will leave the nit-picking of definitions to others. I believe a Street Photo usually has to be taken from a Street (duh) and in an urban environment. Komic, a small village in the Himalayan Mountains, fits this definition as it is the highest village in the world accessible by road, sitting at 4587m above sea level.

Komic

Proof I Made It (Photo by Taeko Page)

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