If I could do only one thing to make my travel images better, what would that be?
Probably, this… Have a camera handy for that spur of the moment photo op. That has to be #1. That could be my smart phone. Where are we going – what special need will I have?
What do I NEED?
If we’re off to Costa Rica, we can probably expect rain. I google Waterproof cameras and find a Panasonic Waterproof camera for my pocket. Cost $125.
Also, a small camera does not advertise that I have expensive camera equipment. When Frans Lanting travels, he says that he puts his expensive cameras in an old navy duffel bag. Good idea. Mine goes in a nondescript backpack. It does not advertise that I have expensive camera equipment.
Some equipment manufacturers have come out with Camera bags that don’t scream “camera.” Think Tank is one of them and I’m pleased to say, one of our Affiliates. They do an excellent job with the quality of their products, mostly Camera Bags, and now also provide videos showing the features of each product. We have some of the product on hand for Lens Luggers to try out.
Same for the Photo Vest. Sometimes it’s better to leave the photo vest at home. Blend into the crowd. If I’m going to another culture, I do not wear a “USA! USA!” tee shirt.
Here are two pictures. The first one – no people; the second one – People
…and the bonus is that the person is also doing something and a second bonus is that we’ve included a symbol – the camera.
That is not to say that we don’t make images that convey the feeling of quiet and solitude. In the first image, can you almost hear the echo the wall could make? On the second image, I even find myself looking toward the area she is photographing to see what it is.
Asking a passerby if he or she would mind being in the picture often works. Sometimes they even are flattered. If they ask to get a copy, give them your e-mail address and tell them to send a note reminding you in 10 days.
World War II Photographer, Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” He wasn’t suggesting the use of longer lenses; he was telling us to become more involved and intimate with our subjects.
However, a closer image often reveals detail that few people ordinarily notice, somehow making it more interesting.