Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Travel Photography

Brett at Arches A Travel Photo I Like

Yesterday I listened to a podcast from Frommers.com about travel photography, and I thought I would share some of what I learned…

1. Tell a story in photos: take a picture of the big picture from the edge of what you can see. Then go in close and take pictures of details that intrigue you. When you put all the pictures together, the subject will become far more interesting than it could with one centered photo.

2. Look for a detail to highlight: the photographer interviewed in the podcast had recently chosen to photograph the color red in a small town in Italy – red shoes, red boat, red lipstick, red leaf, etc. When she put all the pictures together, there was a common theme to draw viewers in.

3. Manipulate the light: It is best to shoot at dawn or dusk when the sun is lowest, because then you won’t get shadows on faces and details won’t be destroyed by bright sunlight. However, there are some tricks for the sunny hours. You can use the flash for a person within ten feet of you to eliminate the shadows on their faces. Placing your subject in open shade will also eliminate shadows.

4. Thirds: imagine your viewfinder has a tic tac toe board laid across it. Try to place objects of interest at the crosshatches of the board instead of the direct center. This will allow you to include more of the scenery and make the picture seem less contrived.

5. Action: choose the action setting on your digital camera (a running man or “pets/children”) and follow the action through your lens with the shutter button halfway down. When you get what you want, click it all the way. If you don’t hold the button halfway down, when you click there will be a delay as the camera focuses.

6. Natural: Always ask to take a person’s picture. Then try to get them to go back to what they were doing. Whether it’s your friends or a stranger on the street, candid pictures that show an actual activity or pursuit instead of the “say cheese” smile are often more interesting to look at. Of course it depends on what you want…

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