Travelling is fantastic. I know it’s a cliché, but it’s truer now than ever before.
With plane fares getting cheaper and cheaper, the world is getting smaller and smaller. Travel is getting more accessible, and it’s the best way to broaden your horizon.
Travelling is a great way to boost your inspiration when it’s down, to round up ideas, to eat in a foreign McDonalds, and to find compelling stories to portray in your pictures. But, when you eventually visit touristic hotspots,like NYC , Paris, London, fill in capital, and come home, people are going to want to see ‘the shot’.
The Shot doesn’t necessarily refer to your best shot, neither does it refer to that doubtful ‘reality-tv’ show presented by Conan, often it just means the photo of the most famous landmark In that city. For photographers, this might be kind of boring and/or disappointing., but it’s harsh reality.. Most people of your entourage, who aren’t into photography, won’t be pleased with the same artsy shot of the landmark, than the classic, misrepresented Hollywoodian idea.
Clubbing those people down with a chair is a social faux-pas, so try to avoid that. Besides, they might be good at something else that’s noteworthy. Like pottery. Don’t let this put you down though, because even if it’s for your own, go ahead and shoot that thing the way you want.
I’ll give a few tips of mine regarding these places that have been shot to death by so many photographers who marched before you did.
1. Shift your viewpoint.
I realize this might not exactly be what you expected, since it’s so obvious but it sure is a true one. Unless you are photographing the Mona Lisa, if you move around the landmark, you’ll get a different view, and thus a different image. Composition and framing are two very important things you need to pay attention to whilst shooting something from a different view. Pick up a book about it, or learn some rules as guidelines to help you with this.
2. Once you’ve learned the rules, break ‘em!
It’s the most fun of all. Once you learn about the rule of thirds etc…break ‘em. They’re called rules for something. You don’t want to be stuck with the same pictures all the times, and while the rules can help you sometimes, they can also restrain you. That’s actually what those little bastards will do most of the times. Club ‘em.
Reverse 1/3rd rule? Istanbul, Turkey. Nikon dSlr, 35-105mm, ISO 200, SanDisk Digital Film.
3. Include foreign objects into your frame.
Putting the famous landmark behind something that hasn’t got a thing to do with it can get you some interesting images. Try to be creative with your depth-of-field and play around with it a little.
Empire State Building, NYC, Nikon dSLR, Lexar Digital Film
4. Post process the hell out of it.
If there’s really no friggin’ way around it except shooting it from a dodgy Russian commercial spacecraft , shoot it with the back idea in your head that you’re going to post process it as hell. Give it all you got, try all your filters, blend it, twist it, liquify it. If it’s in your program, try it. Who knows, you might stumble on a lucky combination, or in the case you know what you’re doing, end up with what you wanted!
Nikon dSLR, Sigma 10-20 mm f/4.5-6, ISO 200, Sandisk Digital Film
5. Use a different accessory.
I’m thinking of lenses. Use the non-traditional lenses for traditional landmarks. Use ultra-wide angles, lensbabies, grad filters, custom settings,…again, this is a completely autonomous decision. I like to use ultra-wide angles for thin object. Models etc…
This is the first part of this 2 part article, stay tuned for updates!