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Travel Photography Tip # 5

My next tip for the traveling photographers out there is “Photographing People”. When I first started taking travel photographs I rarely, if ever, included people in my pictures, to me they were a distraction from the main subject. However, with age (and smart advice from my wife), I have come to the understanding that people in a photograph make it more interesting for other perspective travelers to grasp what the area is all about, among other things.

Including people in your images is not as easy as just point and shoot at a group of people piling off a tour bus. First, you want to determine what your subject will be, it could be a statue, a park, a building etc. Next, find a cool angle to shoot from where you will be out of the main flow of traffic. After that, determine what your background will be. Ultimately, you want something that’s not too distracting but adds to the context of your subject, some examples are the sky, a large crowd of people or large buildings. Next, decide if you want to take a candid photo, essentially, an unsuspecting person, or do you want to orchestrate the photo with your subject. That usually works best with a stranger or fellow traveler you have just met. Better yet, if you are traveling with a friend or relative use them as your model. Another idea is to put yourself in the photo either using a time delay, give your camera to a trusting stranger or (as a last resort) just sticking your head into the corner of the frame with your point and shoot camera.

Either way, make sure you fill the frame with your subject and the background. Get in nice and close or use a zoom lens. I mentioned earlier that you want to find a cool angle to take your photo from. This extends to the point where you probably want to mix up your stance from time to time, try squatting, leaning or kneeling to get a different perspective or if you are trying a candid shot, this is a good idea when trying to take a sneaky photograph of an unsuspecting person. Images taken from the same perspective get old quickly and show a lack of creativity.

The bottom line is this, including people in your photographs offers insight into the culture and lifestyle of the region you are visiting. I will leave you with a few tips on how to get some quality candid photos. I must mention that you have to be somewhat sneaky and must act like you are spying on someone. First, try to blend in with the crowd. Don’t stare down your potential subjects, take a quick scan of the scene and then decide on what your subject will be. Turn around and pretend to shoot at something else, fiddle with your camera, or look in your camera bag real quick before turning back around to locate your subject again. Use a street sign, trash can or bench as a prop or a place to conceal yourself. Do not linger in one place to long, get your shot and move on. It will take you a while to perfect this technique so don’t get discouraged if someone yells at you or shoos you away. I was recently in Central Park in NYC and was “caught” by a street performer near Strawberry Fields photographing their cat and I just quietly moved along. There is ALWAYS another candid people shot waiting for you.

 

Stay tuned for more tips soon and remember to HAVE FUN!! Below is an example of a candid “people photo”    Image  

 

 

 

June’s Photo Special

This month is Father’s Day & I am offering a Special this month: A 1 hour to 1 and a half hour photo shoot at your home or a location of your choice. I will capture a minimum of 150 images and you can pick 20 images for meticulous editing; i.e cropping, contrast, sharpness, softening saturation, etc. All of these images I will put on a CD for you and give you exclusive rights to your images. This is a $150 value.

June Special $125.00 Offer is good until 6/30/12.

Email me at tbreitling@verizon.net to book your appointment today!

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

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. 

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

Portrait Photography Packages

Below is a listing of the Photography Packages I am offering this year:

Red Portrait Package:

1 hour to one and a half hours of professional portrait photography at your residence or a location of your choice, capturing a minimum of 150 images. You select your 20 favorite images that I will edit for cropping,contrast, sharpness,brightness, softening, color saturation etc. Those images I will put on a CD for you. In addition, reproduction rights are assigned to you so you can make your own reprints and enlargements. All images are meticulously edited and adjusted to create the highest quality photographs. Price: $150.00 + Tax

Blue Portrait Package: 2 hours of professional portrait photography at your residence or a location of your choice, capturing a minimum of 200 images. You select your favorite 30 images that I will edit for cropping,contrast,sharpness,brightness,softening,color saturation, etc. Those images I will put on a CD for you. In addition, reproduction rights are assigned to you so you can make your own reprints and enlargements. All images are meticulously edited and adjusted to create the highest quality photographs.

Price: $200.00 + Tax


Yellow Portrait Package:2 hours to 2 and a half hours of professional portrait photography at your residence and/or a location of your selection, capturing a minimum of 300 images. You select your favorite 50 images that I will edit for cropping,contrast,sharpness,brightness,softening,color saturation, etc. Those images I will put on a CD for you. In addition, reproduction rights are assigned to you so you can make your own reprints and enlargements. All images are meticulously edited and adjusted to create the highest quality photographs. Price: $250.00 + Tax

Green Portrait Package: 3 hours of professional portrait photography at your residence and/or a location of your selection, capturing a minimum of 400 images. You select your favorite 75 images that I will edit for cropping,contrast,sharpness,brightness,softening,color saturation, etc. Those images I will put on a on CD for you. In addition, reproduction rights are assigned to you so you can make your own reprints and enlargements. All images are meticulously edited and adjusted to create the highest quality photographs. 

Price: $300.00 + Tax

Add On’s:

Individually created large 12″ x 14″ photo book , large window, hard cover,leather cover,20 pages included, Price: $79.99 + Tax, up to 50 additional pages $1.99 each.

Individually created large 12″ x 14″ photo book,large window, hard cover, linen cover, 20 pages included, Price: $74.99 + Tax, up to 50 additional pages $1.99 each.

Individually created large 12″ x 14″ photo book, large printed, hard cover, 20 pages included,  Price: $69.99 + Tax, up to 50 additional pages $1.99 each.

Individually created medium 9″ x 10.25″ photo book ,medium window, hard cover, leather cover, 20 pages included, Price: $49.99 + Tax, up to 60 additional pages $1.29 each.

Individually created medium 9″ x 10.25″ photo book, medium window, hard cover, linen cover, 20 pages included, Price: $44.99 + Tax, up to 60 additional pages $1.29 each.

Individually created medium 9″ x 10.25″ photo book, medium printed, hard cover, 20 pages included, Price: $39.99 + Tax, up to 60 additional pages $1.29 each.

Individually created medium 8.5″ x 9.5″ medium printed soft cover, 20 pages included, Price: $29.99 + Tax, up to 60 additional pages $1.29 each.

Individually created small 5″ x 5.75″ small printed, soft cover, 14 pages included, Price: $19.99 + Tax, up to 90 additional pages $0.49 each.

Many different colors and styles are available.

Additional Add On’s:

4 x 6 = $10.00 + Tax(where applicable)

5 x 7 = $15.00 + Tax(where applicable)

8 x 10 = $20.00 + Tax(where applicable)

11 x 14 = $30.00 + Tax(where applicable)

16 x 20 = $50.00 + Tax(where applicable)

20 x 30 = $75.00 + Tax(where applicable)

To book your sitting and/or contact the artist email Todd @ tbreitling@verizon.net or call 610 999 2063

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