- Travel Photography: Creating Your Own Luck
- Realistic Red Cross Photo Campaign Behind-the-Scenes (Video)
- 5 Street Photography Techniques (Video)
Posted: 21 Dec 2013 02:23 AM PST
So you've read up on the technical side of taking great photos. You know your aperture from your EXIF, and you've experimented with shutter speeds. But there is something missing from the photos you've been taking. They're OK, but that's it. Just OK. Why? Well, here's a little secret: it's all about luck. Well, not really. More to the point, great travel photography is about creating your own luck.
There is an art to being lucky in travel photography, and it usually involves a lot of hard work. Research is the key. Find out all you can about where you are going. Read travel guides, books, newspaper and magazine articles, scour the Internet, watch television programs. Knowing a little about what life is like in that part of the world can go a long way to getting the most out of your time there. For instance, how would the locals react to someone trying to take their picture? Some cultures can be quite offended by having their photo taken. At other times, people will practically beg you to take their picture. Sometimes, you will be expected to pay for the privilege.
If you intend to photograph well-known landmarks, there will be plenty of images available in the various media to give you an idea of what it might look like during different times of the day or different seasons. This might help you in your planning. There is nothing quite as valuable in photography as knowing how to be in the right place at the right time.
Sometimes the shot you want is just not possible. You may be in a busy city square attempting to photograph a serene monument basking in the afternoon sun but be interrupted by a stream of passers by wandering through the frame. Unless you are able to stop traffic, you are not going to get the shot you came for. This is where you might need to adjust your approach. Try to capture the feel of the place as it is. If the square is bustling with people going about their day, show it as such. Make your focus the intensity and speed at which life moves within the space. Be creative. Maybe use a bit of motion blur to capture the essence of a city in a hurry. You might also be able to return at a quieter time to capture that monument at peace. Again this comes back to preparation and research. Yes, I'm harping on about that again, but it really is that important.
The Wider Picture
Doubtless, you will arrive at your destination with an intended subject. Maybe the local people or architecture, or you've planned your trip around a particular festival that is taking place. However, do not limit yourself to this one subject. Instead of fixing your viewfinder on a subject and keeping it trained, try looking around you. Look up, down, and behind you. You will be amazed at how much more there is to photograph. And how much more of a sense of time and place you will be able to show in your images. Isn't that your purpose anyway?
Great travel photography does require great technical skills. Let's not kid ourselves about that. But more often than not it's about being in the right place at the right time and having the awareness to take complete advantage of it.
About the Author
Posted: 20 Dec 2013 05:09 PM PST
Millions of people around the world are affected by violence against health care. A carelessly aimed bomb might destroy a local hospital. An improperly trained police force might deny the passage of medical workers through a barrier. Countless lives are lost or threatened because of inability to access emergency care during times of unrest.
In a campaign to raise awareness and find a solution to this tragic problem, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Reportage by Getty Images are working together to create powerful images for their Health Care in Danger campaign. Learn more about the campaign’s development and how the images were made with this behind-the-scenes look at the latest shoot:
During the first phase of the Health Care in Danger campaign, images were produced to show the ways lives are lost because of barriers to treatment in war zones and areas of instability.
The behind-the-scenes video above tracks the second part of the project, entitled Towards a Solution. This phase of the project puts a more positive spin on the issue by portraying incidences where lives were saved thanks to access to quality care.
The goal of this campaign is to bring back the memory of a tragic reality and add to it the possibility of a change for the better. Each phase of the project begins with a written brief. It is then discussed and sketched. Experts help to edit and adapt the ideas so they can be turned into believable images.
Because time, budget, and safety did not allow for the photo shoot to take place in Afghanistan or Sub-Saharan Africa, the campaign’s team had to seek out a location that would work to recreate the scenes. Once they found a suitable location, the then had to make the shots look realistic and in-the-moment. To assist with this goal, a former war surgeon was on hand to advise on the medical authenticity of the shots.
Commercial photographer, Tom Stoddart, who has a background in advertising photography and photojournalism, was selected as the photographer for this project. His experience in the two different genres helped him to stick with the campaign’s message while inserting his own artistic vision into the images. Stoddart’s keys to success are being prepared, surrounding himself with a good team of people, and communicating throughout the photo shoot to make sure his clients are getting the images and portraying the messages that they intend.
Towards a Solution consists of four campaign images, each produced with hours of time and commitment from a panel of experts and models. The precision and detail that went into the photographs is evident in the finished work:
Go to full article: Realistic Red Cross Photo Campaign Behind-the-Scenes (Video)
Posted: 20 Dec 2013 12:15 PM PST
Matt Stuart is a 39-year-old London photographer who has been shooting for 18 years. His favorite types of shots are those featuring people going about their life on ordinary days. He shoots quickly and with precision despite using a completely manual Leica MP film camera. Watch as he shares some of his street photography techniques:
1. Know the light.
Because Stuart’s camera does not have an exposure meter he must rely on knowing his camera and the light. He makes use of a light meter on his phone occasionally, but most often he judges the light in his head. This knowledge can only come from practice and detailed attention to how light changes and how your camera captures the light.
2. Use manual focus.
Stuart uses a popular rangefinder focusing technique called hyperfocal distance focusing. To use this method, set the hyperfocal distance of the lens to 12 feet, for example, on a sunny day, and you might use a setting of f/8 at 1/500 of a second. At this setting, anything between infinity and 6 feet from the camera will be in focus without having to re-focus the lens. If any subject comes closer than 6 feet from the lens, pull lens to 3 feet. Using manual focus in this manner means you can focus just as quickly as, if not quicker than, an autofocus camera.
3. Shoot sunny pictures on sunny says.
When it’s nice outside, it’s easier to see the positive aspects of life. If you’re aiming for uplifting street photography sunny days are most conducive. Keep your goals for the mood of your photographs and the weather in mind when you go out to shoot.
4. Get into a groove.
You must be comfortable behind the camera in public in order to create images that are meaningful. The more you go out and shoot, the more confident you become. You get into a flow where you can sense things before they happen and know where to be to take the shot.
5. Notice the tiny things.
If you wait for momentous occasions to take photos, you may not find much to photograph. Instead search for the small, overlooked happenings of daily life. Look for human interaction and body language.
Street photography is less about cameras and gear and more about knowing the light and anticipating the right moments. Try out Matt Stuart’s street photography techniques to speed up your picture-taking process and capture compelling images of daily life.
For Further Training on Street Photography:
Check out this new 141 page eBook that covers everything about the genre even down to specific post processing techniques that can bring the best out of street scenes:
It can be found here: Essentials of Street Photography Guide
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