Travel photography tips for documenting places and cultures Text & Photography by Mark Edward Harris
Experiencing cultures and getting access to people and locations are key components of successful travel photography. From assignments that have given me the opportunity to explore 95 countries on six continents, I have developed a working methodology that helps me bridge cultural gaps and maneuver through unfamiliar territory. These are my top travel photography tips gained from decades of experience.
We’ve all seen landscape shots that just nail it – the perfect mix of light, composition and subject matter rolled into one. But how do you get it to all come together? New Zealand photographer Rach Stewart shares eight ways you can take better landscape images, now.
Think about your focal point; the rule of thirds is popular for a reason; have a foregroung; think about the time of day; understand colour; gear: using a tripod and filters to capture movement; know your histogram; the weather…
from “8 Tips for Better Landscapes”
Tips and tricks for high contrast scenes by Dietmar Temps
It’s summer, time for travelling and also peak season for nature and travel photography. Digital cameras are still getting better and better and easier to use. However, sometimes it is quite disappointing that a picture such as a historic city alley either is partly underexposed with huge dark shadow areas, or the roofs and the sky are extremely overexposed. Although it is possible to review the image immediately in the display on the camera, the problem can often only be addressed at home in the post-processing workflow, and then it might be too late to fix the image in order to get a beautiful photograph.
Experienced photographers can handle dynamic ranges of 10 to 11 EV
Many travel and landscape photography pictures have very high contrast. “Dynamic range” is the term for the range of light intensity from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights and it is measured in “exposure values” (EV), also commonly called “stops”. Our eyes are able to adapt to see high contrast scenes but the dynamic range of the sensor of a digital camera is limited. Unfortunately the dynamic range of monitors, photographic paper or print is even more limited. A dynamic range of an image of about 8 to 9 EV is usually no problem. Experienced photographers can handle dynamic ranges of 10 to 11 EV quite well with exact exposure settings and with the help of calibrated monitors. But what about high contrast scenes with a dynamic range of 14 EV and higher? In particular landscape photography offers a wide range of high contrast scenes: idyllic sunsets by the seaside, backlit photography or scenes in high mountain regions.
An important rule in photography is to avoid high contrast in the first place. Many professional landscape photographers shoot only early in the morning or between late afternoon and evening because the light is much softer. Long shadows can be avoided when the sun is at the back of the photographer. Foreground subjects in backlit photography should be placed in front of a dark background because the high contrast can only be recognized as a small light fringe around the foreground subject. Long shadows might be wonderful for creative photography, but the final picture should offer enough details in dark shadow areas as well. The dynamic range of a scene can be simply reviewed with the help of the brightness histogram on the rear screen of the camera or manually calculated with contrast measurement. If the dynamic range of a scene or subject exceeds 10 or 11 EV the photographer should probably try out one of the following approaches.
Travel Photography: Tips and Tricks for High Contrast Scenes
continue at Datacolor
You don’t have to be a professional photographer with an expensive camera body to take great landscape photos while on vacation. Follow these five tips and take your next landscape photos from good to great!
Backyard Photography is for the Birds
by Olympus Trailblazer Peter Baumgarten
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Bird photography can be exhilarating. However, it presents a number of hurdles to overcome – travel, time, skill level, and cost. Get tips from Olympus Trailblazer Peter Baumgarten that will help you capture some great bird images, all while remaining within quick reach of a fresh cup of coffee.
Have a look at this collection of Dragonfly and Damselfly imagery, plus pick up some tips on capturing images of these insects. Head to ponds, lakes and rivers and chances are, you’ll soon spot Damselflies and Dragonflies which make interesting subjects for a macro image. If you do want to have a go at capturing these flying insects in your shots ideally, you’ll need a macro lens but a longer zoom with a macro function at the longer end will also work fine, especially when coupled with extension tubes. Approach slowly, and start taking pictures from a distance so if they do fly off, at least you’ve got a few images saved to your memory card. It can be easier to capture images of these insects from a higher angle, looking down on the subject but do try shooting side-on, too.
Photographing Dragonflies And Damselflies
by David Pritchard
10 Tips for Compelling Street Photography by Mike Boening, Olympus Trailblazer
Street photography is one of the most exciting forms of photography because all you need to do is go for a “walk.” Actually, it may not be a simple as that but documenting everyday life can get easier as you explore and practice this exciting genre of photography. Capturing that decisive moment when an image becomes more than just a snapshot can happen by following a few tips.
1- Check your settings
Street photography is not always technical in nature.
At its roots it’s about emotion and the mood of an image. But, no matter what, you still have to know your camera settings. Understanding your camera is a big key into forgetting about it, so you can focus on the composition of the image. I try to shoot most of my street photography in “P” Mode setting my ISO on Auto with its high end being 6400. When I do this I am letting the camera think for me, while I think about the scene in the viewfinder. Now, I modify this on occasions like night shooting or if I am intentionally trying to create blur in my images, but I select the “P” Mode because it lets me focus on the emotion, which is the most important part of my creative process.
10 Tips for Compelling Street Photography
by Mike Boening, Olympus Trailblazer