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Archive for the category “Photography Tips”

Travel Photography Tip 4

Now that you have chosen all your equipment and are out the door, the next decision is my 4th Tip “What to Photograph”. If you are in a big city such as New York or London, certainly places like The Empire State Building or Trafalgar Square are going to be places you want to check out. By all means go to these locations, as they are unique, however I would suggest going there at off peak times. If your schedule permits, try and see these locations during the middle of the week, say Tuesday through Thursday, as there will be less of a crowd.

Having said that, try finding locations or subjects that are “off the beaten path”, something that allows you to be creative and use your imagination when composing a photo. Shooting at locations that have their own characteristics and charm are places you should seek out in order to allow your imagination and creativity to shine. Popular locations have been photographed to death, so the chances of any of us coming up with a unique point of view are slim. Do try to create your own style when shooting lesser known locations, this is where you can explore your ideas for composition, lighting and using different lenses.

Some examples of “off the beaten path” subjects or locations are: Cemeteries, subways, abandoned buildings, small parks, side streets,statues,street signs, colorful boutiques, neighborhood bars and restaurants,taxis. One of my favorite things to do while walking in any city is check out the graffiti, whether that’s spray paint,random signs hanging on billboards that create an usual pattern or tell a funny story, even stickers that are placed on telephone poles provide a quality photo opportunity. This you can do while walking to other  more popular photo locations. Try the lower profile locations on the weekend that way you will not be pressed for time and space, two elements essential to any quality photograph.

Stay tuned for a new tip next week and also June’s Photography Specials. Below is an example of a photograph of a popular location(The Empire State Building) shot from a different perspective.Image

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Travel Photography Tip 3

Continuing on with tips for the traveling photographer, I offer you my 3rd tip: Essential Equipment. Once you have decided where to go and how to get there, you need to ask yourself what you NEED to bring. A medium to large, comfortable quality backpack is probably the most important item. I use a Tamrac Expedition 7 model, which has multiple adjustable and protective compartments for storing several camera bodies and numerous lenses. Before you leave the house or hotel, attach a wide angle lens to one camera body and a standard 18 -50 mm lens to another. Bring ALL of your lenses and camera bodies. You never know when you may need them and it is better to have lugged them around with you and not used them as compared to wishing you had brought them and missing a cool photo opportunity. One or two 4 GB memory cards and charged batteries would be the next most important items. Also, make sure you some foul weather gear as you never know when the elements may surprise you with rain or snow. A hat to shield you from the sun is also recommended as is sun screen lotion.  Certainly you want to bring several bottles of water in addition to your photography essentials. No matter where you are staying hydrated is essential to a prolonged and successful photo session. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, bring your sense of childlike adventure! HAVE FUN!!

Below, is an example of having multiple lenses handy and attached to your camera body before leaving the house. In cold weather, such as Stockholm, Sweden in February, you do not want to have to attach a lens to a cold camera body out in the elements. Below is a photo taken from Skeppsholmen Bridge using a fish eye lens. 

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Travel Photography Tip 2

 

Yesterday I discussed what I feel is the most important thing about getting great Travel Photos ;taking your time. Today I will discuss what I will call “The Ask”. When your are in a foreign location it is normal to be curious about your new surroundings. Travel Books such as The Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveler and Rick Steve’s all provide excellent information. What if you are traveling to a small town in Kansas or Delaware and there is no “tour book” to give you tips on where to visit and what to see. What does one do? Do you walk around town aimlessly? Or do you ask some of the locals what their favorite spots to see are? As known sage and philosopher Forrest Gump said “I think it’s both”.

As I stated in the previous post, it’s always a good idea to have a plan(and a map) before you had out to shoot some photos. However, I feel that you don’t want to have a “set in stone” plan. By that I mean, be flexible, allow serendipity and chance to come into play. Allow a wrong turn to lead you to an unexpected scenario that may create an ideal photo opportunity.Wander around a little bit. Allow your self to get turned around or even lost. The key moment is when to know to ask a local for assistance or what their favorite hidden gem of the town is. Certainly, you want to take in all the advice and tips you can get from locals. Allow them to help you and to give you a few places to possibly check out.Keep in mind, you don’t have to visit all of their suggestions in one day.

Basically, the crux of this post is to allow yourself time to wander aimlessly but also have the common sense to know when to ask a local for suggestions on what is important to see. If you are in a popular location, such as the Caribbean or NYC, for example, try and do both, a little of the guided tour and a little wandering on your own. I believe you will find this experience much more enjoyable than being locked into a guided tour or wandering around lost for hours.

Tune in tomorrow for Travel Tip #3 Below is a photo I came across while wandering around Stockholm. As always, feel free to check out more of my travel photos at my website: http://www.toddbreitling.com Image

 

           

 

Travel Photography

With Summer on the horizon and people traveling ,going on vacation and visiting friends and family I thought I would offer some travel photography tips. So each day or so I will give some advice on traveling and putting your self in the best position to take great travel photos. I will also accompany the article with some of my own photographs such as the “Made You Look” photo on the previous blog post.My wife just returned from 5 months in Sweden so I was lucky enough to visit her. It was a great photo opportunity and I will share some of my experiences with you. For a look at some of my photos from Sweden go to my website  http://www.toddbreitling.com

 

Tip # 1 TAKE YOUR TIME

When you are traveling you want to see everything your location has to offer and sometimes you feel the urge to rush. DO NOT RUSH. Get yourself a map and plan out your route before you depart. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera. After you start walking for a few minutes stop and look around take in your surroundings. TAKE YOUR TIME. Look around you, look above you look below you. Physically turn around. Once you find something that catches your eye, stop. Focus on the subject, breath in. Exhale. Push the button. Take your time. The less motion you make, the less blur in your image. Change your angle.Refocus on the subject.Breathe.Exhale & push the button. Walk some more. TAKE YOUR TIME. Have Fun.Repeat.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more Travel Photography Tips

       

Attached are some photos that I “found” while taking my time in Stockholm, SwedenImage

10 Ways to Ensure You Do Not Miss a Photo Opportunity

When you are out taking pictures how often do one of the following happen to you? The photo accompanying this article is a good example of being prepared and leads to my best advice: ALWAYS CARRY A CAMERA. Having said that, here are 10 other tips for you:    

 

1. Leaving the lens cap on the camera.This may sound like common sense, however, you would be surprised how often it happens(myself included).

2. Make sure you have quick access to your camera. Keep a 35 mm camera on  a strap around your neck. Keep your point and shoot camera in your hands.

3. Stay Alert! Try and keep yourself trained to constantly scan your surroundings. Change the direction you are looking every few minutes. That way you are able to monitor your surroundings more acutely and are able to predict what may or may not happen next.

4. Make sure your battery is fully charged. Carry a charged backup as well. Keep in mind batteries can be affected by the temperature of your environment.

5. Clean the front and rear of your lenses after each photo expedition to reduce the chance of dust accumulating.

 6. Be certain that you have enough storage capacity on your memory cards.

7. Keep your camera ON! You would be surprised how quickly a photo opportunity presents itself! 

8. Preset your camera to the settings you require for your environment. For example, depending on your surroundings, you may want to keep your camera on AUTO FOCUS.

 9. Do not constantly look at your LCD screen to examine each image. Do a quick check after the 1st image is taken to make sure the settings are correct for your environment.

10. Scout out your location in advance. For example, if you are shooting a sporting event and are using a tripod, make sure you have positioned yourself and your tripod in the proper location to maximize your shooting potential. 

HAVE FUN!!Image

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