Sunday, June 5, 2016

Vacation Photography

I just returned from a two-week vacation in Europe and had a BLAST!

Since I'm a photographer, I definitely wanted to bring along my
Canon 5D Mark 3 camera, but knew I would not want to 
haul it around on all of our tours.

It's heavy and cumbersome, and my husband and I were travelling with another
couple that is not interested in photography.  I realize it is annoying
to wait for me to take just one more photo!  

I limited myself to bringing just one nifty 50mm, f1.4.
I grabbed my camera in the early morning before tours and ran around the
 neighborhoods near our hotels looking for interesting shots.

Then I locked my good camera in the hotel safe and used my I-Phone camera
to take all my tourist shots.  This was a new experience for me, and I explain
how I got some beautiful shots with my phone in this blog post.

My goal with my good camera was not to capture hubby and me in front of
the Eiffel tower and all other interesting landmarks.

I was looking for memories of our trip captured in artwork that I can
hang on my own wall and sell!

Here are some ideas for immortalizing your travels in photos that go
beyond the tourist snapshots.  Photos that you can use to decorate your
home and always remember the beautiful places you have visited.

Look beyond the tourist monuments and SEE the natural beauty of the location.

Most tourists would not even notice these pots sitting on the rustic
steps in the ancient village of Gordes.

After you take this photo...

Challenge yourself to photograph the scene from another point of view.

Capture the flavor of your location by 
photographing beautiful snippets.

Then play with the artistic filters
in Photoshop to make them look like paintings.

Add people to your snippets to bring them alive!

I simply watch the people milling about an area where I want to shoot.
If someone is wearing an interesting outfit, I hold my camera up until
they walk into the shot....CLICK!

If you and your target subject are on public property, you are free to photograph them.
I prefer to act like I'm not including them by looking at the scene rather than them.
This way, they remain natural.

Photojournalism and street photography is done this way.

I absolutely LOVE to shoot candid like this!
The facial expressions and walking gait are natural and lovely.

In this next photo, I was outside our hotel in Nice and photographed
this interesting street with wonderful pastel buildings.  
I saw a woman with a big red purse approaching the crosswalk.
  I got my camera in position and waited for her to
stroll into the perfect spot and CLICK!

So much prettier than posing and the photo is immensely 
more interesting with her in it!

Look for natural light situations.

At the Palais in Avignon, I was intrigued by the light shining in from the 
window onto the stone bench.

In these, low light situations, take the time to boost your ISO enough
to raise your shutter speed to at least 1/125s to avoid blur.

The scene is much more fascinating with this woman in a pretty hat

The purity of the little girl who had no idea I was photographing her
creates movement and intrigue to the photo photographed entirely with natural light.

Shoot a frame within a frame!

Step back and see if you can frame your subject with
a structure already there.

Other tourists were photographing this sculpture,
but I stepped back and framed it with this interesting stone door.

Also try creating your own frame within a frame as in this photo where
the subject becomes the frame.

Play with your Depth of Field to capture fine details.

Put something in the foreground like FLOWERS!

And, capture interesting angles that draw the eye deep into your photo.

If a landscape you want to photograph doesn't fit in your frame,
shoot a panorama!   This photo is 8 photos stitched together in Photoshop:

This shot of the Eiffel Tower was done in 3 shots stitched into a panorama,
and so was the night photo above.

Keep your eyes open to things you would normally ignore,
like this beautiful antique water tap I spotted outside of a public restroom in Provence.

Photos like these taken on your vacation become life-long keepsake art
your family will pass down for generations.

Of course, don't forget to also snap lots of fun shots with your
travelling buddies!  These were all taken with my phone.

                                             I hope you can use some of these tips on your
upcoming summer vacation!

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