Traveling allows me to see the world through my eyes

Photography & Video

STILL PHOTOGRAPHS VS VIDEO

Only video subjects and events that have sound to them!  For example, try not to video tape a stationery subject.  On my first trip to Europe I took too many videos of still subjects when it would’ve have been better to take still photographs of them.

Video subjects where sound would make a difference, such as a gondola ride in Venice or your local Guide in Rome describing to us tourists that “. . . . Romans are people just like you & me.” Before she said that I considered Romans to be larger than life! In some ways, I still do because of their history.

Use your video to chronicle your trip.  

Take more still pictures than video (I didn’t take many still pictures on my first trip and regretted it).

TIPS ON TAKING STILL PHOTOS

1. Practice, Practice, Practice taking pictures before your trip to improve your technique and shot selections.  Try enrolling in a Photography composition class/workshop.   

2. Create interesting category shots for each city and country: Interesting Sights, Interesting People, Restaurants/Cafes you ate at, Delicious Cuisine (maybe a cup of steaming hot coffee and croissant that you had for breakfast one morning or a local fruit market that had vibrant colors streaming across your lens).  Interesting pictures that can tell a viewer a lot about your experiences and about the places you visit or the people you meet.

3. In addition to taking pictures of those wonderful fountains and historical sights.  A picture of locals shopping at an open flea market or young children playing soccer on a cobble stone road can tell a viewer so much more about life in Rome or Venice.   

4. Take pictures of interesting street signs, quaint cafes, playful animals, flowers, interesting buildings, sunsets/sunrises, flea markets, shops, people conversing along a country road, children playing in a piazza, etc. Try a close-up of a crashing wave off the Amalfi coast or a picture of a flower pot sitting on a windowsill as you cruise down the narrow canals in a gondola in Venice!  How you frame your pictures and what you choose to take a picture of will tell a lot about you the photographer.  What are your interests and how you see the world around you!  Very interesting for your viewers.

5. Use lighting, framing, focusing, shadows, unusual vantage points and other composition techniques to help make your pictures interesting.  Often times it’s not just the subject that is the center attraction of your composition, but the surroundings itself! Experiment taking pictures using different composition techniques.  I did it for my first trip and I regretted not doing it more.  Trust me, these pictures will bring back special memories.

6. Take pictures during different times of the day.  I love the “golden” hour shots like the beautiful sunsets you see when traveling.  If you plan on taking night time shots or indoor shots, you might need more stability.  I have a 18-200 mm Nikkor Vibration Reduction lens but that may still not be enough to take those dark lighting shots.  So I take along a Tripod to capture those motion sensitve shots.  I also use it to take video. 

7. Always be prepared to take a snap shot – On my first trip, I was walking along a well known bridge in Paris. There were a lot of security and people along the side of the road.  I remember thinking to myself, “what was going on?”   Who could be so important as to close down a busy Paris bridge . . . “the Queen of England?”  . . . Guess what!  All of a sudden, an entourage of cars started coming and low and behold it was the queen of England.  She was apparently here visiting Paris.  Since I had my camera ready I took a picture of the Queen as soon as I realized it was her.  I got her waving her gloved hand to the people along the road (me included!).  And while in the town of Ronda in Spain in 2008, I was out sightseeing when I saw a crowd with lots of Security.  I found out that the King of Spain was visiting the small town for a special dedication to their fine Equestrian School. 

TRAVEL ETIQUETTE

1. Museums/Places of Worship:  I obey all photography rules when I travel.  Meaning, when I’m in a museum and no photographs are allowed I don’t take any.  When I’m in a church and there is no photographs or flash photography allowed I obey the rules.  Never use your flash when stated. Learn how to turn off your flash before you leave on your trip. Museum paintings have survived centuries and are priceless works of art. Please be courteous and respectful at all times.  When they are allowed, I’ll take photos.

2. People:  I love photographing people especially candid shots, but in some places around the world there could be personal and cultural reasons why some people would not want to be photographed.  So the basic rule of thumb to follow when taking photographs of people is to be respectful and to ask for permission.  For those of us who are passionate about our photography we have to always remember that people are more important than photographs.

However, some of the more interesting photos that I find are the candid shots of people in a busy market or a big piazza or festival/event. I will ask permission if the shots are close-ups of like say a vendor at a market, but if I am shooting in a big public piazza or festival, I usually don’t ask permission. 

I took this photo at a very special de Almudena Festival in Madrid, Spain.  The participants had wore these beautiful and colorful regional costumes.  No permission required here because it was a public event and it was expected that as participants you will be photographed.

I took this candid photo at the Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain.  I used my Nikkor 18-200 mm zoom lens to get in close. It is one of my favorite candid shots because it shows locals just hanging out and enjoying the nice sunny day.

I try to be as discrete as possible and will really assess whether I can see any discomfort of the people I am photographing. And if I find that they look down or away, I’ll usually stop and wait until they pass before I continue to shoot.  I think we have to respect people’s wishes above our needs. 

RESOURCE LINKS:

Digital Camera Review – Camera Reviews

Digital PhotographySchool4 Rules of Composition for Landscape Photography

DigitalPhotographySchoolComposition Tips

Fodors – Photography Tips

Help you Find a Great Photographer – Photography Tips

National Geographic – Digital Photography Tips

National Geographic – Travel Photography Tips

National Geogrpahic – Landscape Photography Tips

National Geographic – Action & Adventure Photography Tips

National Geographic – People and Portrait Photography Tips

Travel Photo.Net Website – How to Take Good Travel Photos

Transitions Abroad Travel Photography Tips – Taking Photos of People

  

Profile:

Running, cycling and hiking gives me that rush! Music energizes and soothes my soul! Photography preserves my memories and tells my stories! Art provides beauty and fuels my imagination! History gives me knowledge, a deeper understanding for the present and hope for the future! Family & Friends warms my heart! And Travel . . . well Travel keeps me HAPPY!

Favorite Quote

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - - by Mark Twain

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