ONLINE COURSE TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
Traveling can perhaps challenge photographic skills perhaps more than anything else. This is because there is usually such a variety of photographic subjects and photo opportunities. Because the subject matter, light and other conditions all vary so greatly, the equipment and film you use will never be ideal for everything you are doing. This will challenge your skills considerably, and probably cause you to develop tricks and innovations that you might otherwise not have developed.
Most travel photos are taken in medium or average light conditions. In these conditions, the shutter or film speed will not be so critical. Medium speed is probably the most appropriate giving you a wide range of photo opportunities with sharp, rich coloured photos.
Often time is of the essence when traveling. You may only have a short amount of time to take photos at each stop (or while you move through an area in a vehicle. If this is the case, you can lose opportunities if you take too long to set up a photo.
Things that can take time include:
A good travel photographer can (with practice), learn to do these time consuming things faster, but they will still take time.
There are 8 lessons in this course:
To be able to take good travel photographs, the first essential is to know and understand the equipment and materials used in photography. Part of this first lesson is aimed to ensure that you have this basic knowledge.
The Main Principles
This lesson aims to provide you with a firm understanding of how you can work at improving your capabilities with respect to taking travel photographs. It provides a framework, upon which you will base your work in future lessons.
Creating Different Effects
Learn how to achieve different effects with snapshots and scenic shots.
Photographing Natural Areas
Learn how to photograph wilderness shots and seascapes.
Learn the two main types of street photography: posed & candid
Look at the difficulties involved in photographing interior subjects and how to overcome them.
Developing Your Photographic Style
By using photographic equipment skilfully and learning how to sense the way different types of film will respond to different colours and different situations (eg: haze, back light, side light, reflected light etc).
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Tips for Taking Candid Photos While Traveling
1) Plan your shoot in advance. Although the candid photo looks like there has been no planning often the photographer has done a lot of advance planning. You need to decide in advance the environment, equipment, and time of day for you candid photography.
2) The setting could be a festival, market place etc. (when you first start taking candid photos it is a good idea to choose a crowded public event so that you will go fairly unnoticed by individuals. You could also try working to a theme, for example people eating or elderly people. Another idea to shoot candid photography is to select a setting such as a shop entrance, a market stall and wait until a subject walks into your photo.
3) Maintain a low profile. Make sure your equipment is not bulky and drawing attention to you. Therefore don’t carry a large camera bag and/or tripod. Often the smaller SLR cameras and compact cameras are less conspicuous. Try using your camera on auto focus and automatic exposure so you can concentrate on capturing interesting shots unfolding before you. You should also use a camera with a quiet shutter and film rewind (digital is obviously better for this) and avoid using visible flash. Instead use existing light, faster film or ISO on digital and improvise some sort of camera stabilizer (e.g. a wall, table, tree branch etc.)
4) Select the appropriate equipment– lenses (and film if using); decide whether a filter is to be used or if an auto winder is needed for rapid shots. Some digital cameras have a moveable LCD screen which you can tilt to enable you to shoot your subject without them being aware of it. Your lens choice may be a zoom lens that covers all focal lengths in the medium telephoto range such as 75mm to 135mm. Even longer telephoto lenses are advantageous for picking out someone’s face is a crowd, however the longer lenses are more conspicuous and often don’t fit the smaller cameras.
5) A faster film is the best option for greatest flexibility, allowing smaller apertures and faster shutter speeds. If using a digital camera set it to ISO 400. Digital camera users are at a disadvantage when shooting candid shots as there is often delay in capturing the image and burst rates (the number of images taken in rapid succession) are low. The capacity indicates the amount of pictures able to be taken before the camera has to stop and process the information. This can take a minute or more during which time you have missed the perfect candid shot. However although film cameras can shoot many more images in rapid succession there is also the time taken to change film that again leaves you missing great pictures.
6) Determine the time of day and weather conditions required for your shots, in advance of your shoot. Set your camera for the available lighting. Look at where the sun is coming from and think about where you should placed yourself so that you have appropriate lighting on your potential subjects.
7) Tips – when you see a potentially good photo, snap it whatever your camera settings are then if possible correct them and re-shoot. Chances are you can fix them digitally afterwards and at least you haven’t missed the shot. Also it’s a good idea to learn to turn on and set your camera whilst it is still in your bag or pocket.