Everyone is giving tips on photography these days, so I thought I’d jump in too. Having spent time hitting the big tourist destinations in Spain, I’m aware how tricky it can be capturing a meaningful image, one which isn’t filled with tourists. I use a point & shoot camera. It’s light weight and compact. I also rely on the easy automatic mode, even though it has numerous functions. This means my images need to be about getting creative with the angle, frame and lighting on hand.
Travel in my Backyard
I’ve blogged about Epcot being an opportunity to play world traveler, and I’m doing it again. This time as a photographer. The excursion was an exercise for me, and I’ll share some of my not-so-secret keys to success. I want to beat the challenge of capturing meaningful images, when the destination is swarming with tourists. What better place to practice catching an iconic image, plagued by visitors, than in Disney World?
Photo essay, with brief photo “lessons”
You know how it is, everyone clamoring to get that shot? Here’s a thought, rather than capture the whole picture like this one:
Get close, or zoom in, to get something more like this one:
Here’s a similar example, instead of the cliché:
Get real close. This one is totally different, and brings home a different take on the visit, a sense of color and design:
Conversely, going the distance may help give your image a tourist-free feel:
But, before I totally knock tourists – after all I am one too – there are times tourists may add to the atmosphere of the photo:
Another strategy is to look where no one else is, like up. I may have been staring at the image too long, but I like the way the evenness of the shot makes it almost appear as a mirrored reflection on water, not a view into the sky:
Check out this chance “look up” shot – not spectacular, but… somebody’s not happy:
I also suggest looking down now & then. At Epcot, you’ll likely find a “hidden Mickey”, but someday I will put together my compilation of manhole covers. They are like city logos, you trample on without notice.
Being patient is important. This is a tough one, especially when you feel you’ve waited your turn 5 times over. Like a football player, you need to wait for the hole, a tourist hole, such as you see in these two images which are tourist-free:
Many times it isn’t patience, but simply being camera-ready when the moment hits:
One note, it’s key that your travel buddies are just as quick:
Getting behind the main attraction can often result in a surprisingly pleasant image:
My Last, not-so-secret, Key for a Travel Photographer
Take pictures of people. This may seem contradictory to my introduction about avoiding people, but photographing locals communicates the essence of any destination. I need more practice on this front because I always seem to rush, not wanting to overly inconvenience my subject. Unfortunately this results in a not-well-planned photo. It’s important to ask permission, and I get plenty of “no thank you.” But the rewards for getting a “yes!” People photos bring me the most happiness, and I always wish I took time to ask for more:
Luckily I have a subject who allows me several takes, though I can usually hit the target with one attempt:
I don’t even have to “try” to get a decent image of this princess.