Travel Photography Subjects
I’m not intent to telling you all you need to know to capture perfect pictures and stunning images while traveling. Instead, I want to pointing out some important elements to capture when you are on the road . Also, an intention to ask yourself some questions about travel photography subject. My hope is to help you to find your own means to better expressing what your travels have meant to you and present that in the best light possible.
Travel photography subject opens up a whole realm of photographic possibilities. So try before the trip to clear the air and made your own researching about what you want really photograph. My first step is to look a map of the country and how many itinerary choice i have to make. What kind of subject i want to shooting, what story I want to tell. So to be prepare i start to read about history, culture and contemporary issues. Also I will take some information about rules and social behavior . Indeed more information you have and more easy will be to have an idea that place. Then i will search for works made in the past by greater artist. From them you will be learning a lot of things. Take notes and made a checklist in this process can be great. I really recommend to do that. Finally, be sure you have the right traveling photography equipment.
The most common genre between all the travel photography subjects is, without a doubt, people. But it can be a very intimidating and daunting task. Being a great people photographer often starts with being a good people person. Therefore if approached in an open and friendly manner, most people will be agreeable. Also try to explain to them what you want to do and what it is about them that made you want to make a picture. Anyway it’s best to ask permission if you want to photograph someone, especially if you are working in close. Engage them before you pull out your camera. Once you have a good connections is more easy to shoot. Then is important choose the right background, fill your frame and go for natural pose. Also make use of people to give your images life and scale. If the facade of a particular building appeals to you, the picture may be that much better if you show people walking in front of it. And don’t forget to have the right light and lens. For more advice and tips check how photography people when you travel.
Another travel photography subject is a fast growing genre (maybe because is really common that the first landing spot is a city). Many photographer love this subject because towns and cities are full of fascinating photo opportunities. In fact you can capture the vibe, a unique feel that makes them different from anywhere else. Also you can choose a different genre like capture architecture, people making some portrait, going in off beaten track and put a new spin on an old idea. For example can be really interesting revisiting the old master photo like Michael Kenna did with Eugene Atget in Paris and Versailles. For me when covering a town or city, even a small village, you need to do three basic things at a minimum: capture a sense of place, then landmarks that the place is famous for and finally the life of its inhabitants. I give more advice and tis in this other post.
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Landscape of Nature
The outdoors holds many pleasant surprises for those in pursuit of a great shot because the wonders of our natural habitat are simply endless. And so, if you’re a landscape enthusiast, or in love with the plants , sea or desert you’re bound to engage in nature photography. Anyway you’re a landscape enthusiast, or in love with the wildlife, or plants, or all of it together, you will require a lot of preparation. In fact you need both physical and mental endurance, patience and attention, which is exactly what makes them so valuable. So it is not a coincidence that this type of photography is among the most popular ones among art collectors as well. Other factors will be important for this subject like a right equipment, a good amount of time or location research. For example for take this picture of the lake Tso Kar , I have to spend one month in Ladakh , stay at more then 4000 meters, request a permit to go there and has an healthy condition to bring my equipment there.
It’s hard to photograph iconic places that have been shot a bilion times and don’t copy the last who did it. Indeed it’s one of the great challenges for the travel photographer is to produce unique images of most famous and iconic places. The pyramids, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall, the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal…Anyway taking new and interesting photos is possible: you just have to work on it. So i set some advices that will help you do reach the goal.
Festivals, fairs, and carnivals are a great visual opportunity for any travel photographer because they provide us with a glimpse into the local culture. My first step is doing a good research of the festival. So I try to check everything, the exact date and the schedule. After knowing when and where it is, i look a map of the country, figured out an itinerary and finally i get there. What kind of subject i want to shooting, what story I want to tell. And then i start to read about history, culture and contemporary issues. Also I will take some information about rules and social behavior . Indeed more information you have and more easy will be to have an idea that place. Then i will search for works made in the past by greater artist. From them you will be learning a lot of things. Take notes and made a checklist in this process can be great. I really recommend to do that. . Get there in advance, know some local and be familiar with the lace. This will give a better opportunity to find a good vantage point. This can be maybe the most important thing. In crowd events get a higher vantage point. In fact usually the local photographers brought small ladders and stools that allowed them to shoot the action without thousands of heads in their frame. This is a smart and extremely practical idea. And remember to have fun when you shoot.
Ever watch yourself and your gear, because some festivals and events can get pretty wild and even violent.
Shooting food has become one of the fastest growing hobbies for many people. When you travel the surroundings that your food appears in are almost as important as the food itself. Anyway the task to capture a nice food shot is not so simple and maybe can be useful for you some practical tips and advice. I suggest you to start to capture each food your gonna eat. After you have taste look back the picture and you will see better the differences between. Anyway you will need some technique and specific gear. One of the most important element of this travel photography subjects is a color. A knowledge of the colour wheel and which colours contrast well and which colours complement well can serve you very well in food photography. Also try to design setting that can give context and mood to your shot. Then use the correct light, better if there is natural. And finally remember to capture the food to look its best, not taste its best!!!
Many other Travel Photography Subjects, like the markets, I will try to discuss further to give more advice and tips. Also I will discuss more deeper each of the genre I put in this post.
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