How to create artistic travel photos…

We travel a fair amount. And I I've taken many, many photographs on all travels. As a matter of fact, I'm so obsessive in wanting to shoot so much I shoot way more than the average mortal.

When dining out, going to the market,  or simply going out for a walk, I have a camera with me. I suffer from FOMAGS

Fear Of Missing A Great Shot

What can I say.

If you want to take great travel photographs, here's my five top tips for you:

  • Get a smaller camera. I love and use the smaller Sony models. I have a Sony CyberShot RX10. This is what I call a point and shoot on steroids and carries a heavier than average price tag. For something just as good, look into the Sony A6000 line. Truthfully, any smaller mirrorless camera is a smart choice. Henry's in New Sudbury has a great staff and can help you make the bets choice. For travel, I would personally stay away from a DSLR since they are big and bulky. You want a camera that's easy to bring along. Skip the camera bag, the tripod or any accessories. Travel light.
  • Learn to compose. Use the simple power of placing your subject in the right quadrant. Bottom right, upper right, bottom left, upper left, dead center. That's your basic four quadrants. Most don't even think of this. But if you learn to master this basic way of seeing, your images will look much, much better. Also, learn to use lines withing your image to create flow and interest.
  • Anticipate. Learn to take everything in. It helps you enjoy the travel experience much more, making it more active vs being the typical passive tourist. That way, when scenes, activities and cool lighting opportunities show up, you're ready. Plus, when you anticipate sometimes you predict something will happen, like a child peeking around a corner, you're ready.
  • Get in close or up close. Don't be shy, unless of course you're invading someone's privacy. In a foreign country, if I see a great shot, I ask. Never assume. For close ups, the same idea applies. Get in close.
  • Learn to see lighting. Lighting is crazy simple and infinitely complex. But learn to see it and use it and you're images will be far more powerful. All lighting is affected by three influences...direction, source and angle. A smaller light source will be sharper, more intense (think sun miday), larger sources are softer (cloudy overcast or open shade). A light source that is closer becomes softer. And the angle is very key as well. Light that comes in from a stronger angle, especially from behind, intensifies the textures and shapes of your subject. None of  these strategies is the  one best solution, you need to know them so you can use whichever will help you for any particular situation.

See examples below:

 Canoeing Georgina Bay. Notice the composition. Danielle's head is between the two points of land, and placed upper-ish left. The shore, boat and paddle all create lines that lead you into the subject.upperleft2

Cup and saucer trail. Upper left, some cool backlighting from the sun.upperleft

Paris, France...while walking around...something we did about twenty miles worth everyday! The older lady is in the lower right, shot vertically, to align with the vertical columns, which, with the subject and the arch in the background, all created lines that are interesting and with movement.paris

Same idea below, in Belize. Notice the horizon is placed in the lower third.lines

Light and shadow on plant box in Costa Rica. Box in the lower, right quadrant.light2

Lower left quadrant...surfing in Costa Ricalight

Get in close.....Jamaicacloseup

Or, shoot close up....Costa Ricaclose

Church, late in the day in the backroads of Nova Scotia. Notice where the light source is coming from and how it creates form and texture.church

Lower right quadrant, beach in Costa Rica....Placed the trees in the upper area, and in foreground to create the illusion of depth.bottomright

Lower left quadrant...baby and beach late in the day Costa Rica....again, notice the light and where it's coming from.bottomleft

These are only a few examples and are all snap shots.

All were taken while walking around with Tina, on my own, or on the road with my motorcycle...

They simply show up because I am ready. Get out there, have your camera ready!

Yours in photography,

Robert Provencher

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