This month’s Fauquier Viewfinders picture theme is “Travel”. So I thought about what we can do to make our photos go beyond the bland snapshot and really capture the differences. I love to travel, always have. It was one of things I loved most about being in the Navy. I wish I had taken my camera with me more, back in those days. There is nothing wrong with a “look, there’s the Eiffel Tower” picture. Capturing those familiar scenes is important to show the folks left at home, that you got to all the usual spots.
It helps to always keep your camera with you. Doesn’t matter if it’s a point and shoot or a big DSLR, it does you no good if it is in your hotel, or stuck in your bag. Memory is cheap, certainly less expensive than film, but I always purge the bad shots at night or early the following morning to free up more space. That is if I haven’t brought a laptop or a portable storage/display device like the EPSON P3000/P5000. http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?oid=63061067&ref=r0302EFb3T&s_kwcid=epson%20p3000|1345645512&gclid=CO2V_bOhuJ0CFeRL5QodfT1TiA But as a photographer, how do you twist that and make your impression of the city unique?
There are three techniques I try to remember
1. Change the point of view
Take the familiar and somehow anchor it as departing point of reference
The shadow of a castle from high on a hilltop cast onto the Moselle River in Germany
The golden afternoon sunlight streaming through the dome at Saint Peters
The statue of Perseus in Florence
2. Capture the details
I love the little corners that really show the culture and how people live. I especially love food markets. People in Europe take great pride in selecting the very best and freshest item in the market. Whether it’s artichokes in Bolognaor seafood in Deauville, it’s all put on display. Get close.
Architectural details also distinguish the cities and regions
Delicate Lace along the rugged Brittany coast, or
A cheerful statue commemorating the plague in Nuremberg
3. Catch the people
There always seem to be individuals who personify their country. Catching them can really evoke memories. For your own use, people pictures are great. If you intend to use them commercially, be sure to get signed model releases.
Lederhosen in the Munich farmer’s market, oh and Roger actually has a pair of these!
A happy French accordion player in a market square near St. Malo
In addition there are some great websites, geared towards helping a visiting photographer find the best spots and times to shoot.
Make your images as unique as the memories you take away from where ever you may roam--even Rome.