practical photography - take better travel photos

Upload: unardelean

Post on 03-Apr-2018




0 download

Embed Size (px)


  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    Take better



    FREE WITHPractical





    Have a greatholiday with

    d i

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    2 | Using your lenses Free with Practical Photography | 3


    I cant imagine travelling

    anywhere without

    shooting hundreds of

    pictures to remember

    the experience by


    Welcomefrom Practical Photography editor Andrew James

    How to travel light 22

    Travel fully loaded 24

    How to wear a camera bag 26

    Take a fresh look at familiar views 28

    Tell a story with your people photographs 34

    Suggested camera settings - portraits 38

    Suggested camera settings - buildings 40

    Suggested camera settings - landscapes 42

    WHEREVER YOU go this year for abreak from the rat race, make sure

    you carry a camera with you. Travel

    and photography were made to

    complement each other and I, for

    one, cant imagine travelling

    anywhere without shooting hundreds

    of pictures to remember the

    experience by. Even on holidays

    when Ive promised others I wont

    overdo the photography, Ive endedup busily snapping away with

    whatever lightweight kit Ive carried!

    Thats how I came to shoot the

    Cypriot sunset above. I was crying out

    for a longer telephoto lens to pull the

    setting sun closer in the frame but

    had to make do with my standard

    lens. Now Im rather pleased that I

    couldnt go for the obvious and went


    Travel know-how

    Travel gear

    Travel technique

    The worlds most photogenic places 4

    Make the most of your adventures 12

    Safety advice 18

    Travel checklist 20

    for a wider view. This travel field

    guide will whet your appetite for the

    many amazing places you can travelto and provide lots of tips and

    inspiration to help you shoot great

    pictures when you get there. The

    subject of travel is broad and covers

    every aspect of photography from

    landscapes to portraits you should

    just aim to capture the spirit of each

    place you visit in your own unique

    way. Have a great trip.

    Take better travel photos is brought to youby Practical Photographyand is publishedby EMAP Active Limited. No part of thisbooklet can be reproduced without thepublishers permission. For more informationabout Practical

    Field guide editor: Ben HawkinsField guide art editor : Chris RigbyAdditional words/photography: Andrew

    James, Chris Rutter, Bob Martin, MarcusMcAdam, Chris Weston, & David NotonAdditonal design: Rob HolmesAdditional production: Shane CollinsMarketing: Jo Page & Jo PrestonReproduction: Guildenburgh, PeterboroughPrinted by: Precision Colour Printing, Telford

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    ?? | Take better travel photos

    Travel know-howBefore you leave home you need to know what to take,where youre going, what youre going to do there andhow to stay safe. Here we pick the brains of the experts.


    Turn the page for morestunning photo locations


    The worlds mostphotogenic places

    Yangshuo, Guilin, ChinaThe Chinese have a saying: Guilin has the most beautiful scenery inChina. Yangshuo is even more beautiful than Guilin. Dont miss thenearby ancient town of Daxu for some great people shots, and Xingpingfor awesome landscape views. If the skies are clear, climb the Lao Zhaipeak in the dark to get to the top for sunrise. The best way to get toYangshuo is on the overnight sleeper bus from Shenzhen, which is a 30-minute train journey from Hong Kong.Look out for... the temptation to take too many photos!

    Former POTYwinner MarcusMcAdam hasclocked upover 100,000air miles in hisquest for theperfect travelphotographs.

    Where would be top of your places to visit l ist? Maybe youdopt for the sun, surf and sand of Hawaii, or maybe a quietbreak in the Australian outback is more your style. We asked

    travel expert Marcus McAdam, whose passport bears the stamps ofmore than 50 countries, to nominate his ten favourite destinations...

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    Travel know-how

    | 76 | Take better travel photos

    Albaraccin, SpainIts amazing the Spanish dontmake more of this place, but maybesome of its appeal is in the fact thatthey dont. Alberracin is an ancienttown, hidden deep within a gorge,surrounded by stunning scenery anda national park. Spend a few relaxingdays photographing the cobbled

    streets, crooked houses, castle,palace and cathedral. Then take theA1512 south towards Bezas and thiswill take you high up to a plateauthrough dense forest. Get out of thecar and walk along the rim theviews are breathtaking.Look out for... thepains au chocolat!

    Havana, CubaTheres a unique atmosphere inHavana, one where the locals all seemto be genuinely happy and love havingtheir photo taken. Explore the old cityon foot, take in the architecture and theclassic cars, and get up early and watchthe city come to life. Avoid the hottesttimes of year and the hurricane season!Also make an effort to visit the WorldHeritage town of Trinidad.

    Look out for... being short-changed atthe airports departure tax counter.

    Turn the page formore destinations





    Angkor, CambodiaWhen you mention Angkor, most people thinkof Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure inthe world. But the surrounding temples are farmore photogenic. Check out Angkor Thom, TaProhm and Banteay Kdei for the best photos.The best times to visit are sunrise and sunset,

    as most of the tourists will be at Angkor Wat.Angkor is also home to the worlds cutest kids,who make a living from selling souvenirs.Theyre happy to have their photos taken butwill expect you to buy something.

    Look out for... tap water. Buy cans, not bottles.



  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    Travel know-how

    8 | Take better travel photos 9

    The Four Corners region, USANamed because its the only place in America where fourstates meet at one point (Colorado, Utah, Arizona and NewMexico), you can stand on this point and within a 200-mileradius have some of the most amazing scenery in the world.The obvious must-sees are the Grand Canyon, AntelopeCanyon (below) and Monument Valley, but it gets better thanthis. Check out the national parks of Arches, Bryce, Zion (topright) and Canyonlands for endless photos and less tourists.Also worth a visit is Horseshoe Bend (left), just south of Page.Fly to Las Vegas for the easiest access.Look out for... rattlesnakes! Venice, Italy

    This city is a photographers paradise. Dont take toomuch gear, as the only sensible way to get around is onfoot, and avoid July and August as it is too overcrowdedand often uncomfortably hot. The best times to go (andoften the cheapest) are October to December and Marchto May. Dont go during the Carnivale unless you wantto photograph the costumes. If you get a sunny daywith clear blue skies, take a boat to the island of Buranoand shoot the coloured houses.Look out for... a map. Its very easy to get lost here.

    Bromo, East Java, IndonesiaThis place will take your breath away. There are manyplaces to stay right on the rim of the main crater, such asthe Lava View Hotel and Caf Lava, or you could get a

    Jeep to take you to the top of the mountain for stunningsunrise views. Just get there early the sight of anerupting volcano at dawn will stay with you forever.

    Look out for... locals ripping you off. Bargain hard!

    Turn the page for threemore photo locations

    5 6



    6 7

    l k h

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    Travel know-how

    10 | Take better travel photos 11

    TasmaniaThe problem with Australia is its size. Unless youdedicate months to it, youll never see more thana handful of places. Tasmania on the other handhas all the landscapes of the mainland (with the

    exception of deserts) but in a much smaller area.Mountains, rainforests, beaches and plains are allwithin a days driving distance. Id recommendFreycinet Peninsular, Mount Wellington (you candrive to the top), Lake St Clair National Park and, ifyoure really adventurous, Southwest National Park.

    Look out for... Tasmanian devils!

    The Great Wall, ChinaThe Great Wall makes other wondersof the world look like weekend DIY jobs.After an exhausting climb to the top,youll wonder how the hell they got all

    those bricks up there. Avoid the moretouristy places such as Badaling andinstead visit the unrestored sections,otherwise youll be shooting a wallthats 20 years old rather than 2000.

    Look out for... your safety. Some sectionsare unstable, so climb with care.

    The Dolomites, Italian AlpsVery few people visit this area of northeast Italy,which Id describe as Europes Yosemite. Steep andvertical cliff faces, towering peaks and endlessemerald green valleys help keep any photographer

    happy. Check out Cinque Torri, Il Pelmo and Tofanefor fantastic views. As this place is a major skiresort, avoid the winter months. Make use of thegreat network of mountain refuges situated deepin the valleys and among the peaks these servegreat food and offer cheap accommodation.

    Look out for... mountains changing colour at dawn.

    8 9


    8 9 10

    T l k h

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    Chris Weston isa top wildlifeand reportagephotographer

    who knows athing or twoabout packinga suitcase.

    12 | Take better travel photos

    Travel know-how


    For most people holidays are a time tounwind, relax and soak up the sun. Forkeen photographers, however, theyre

    also an opportunity to indulge our passionand return home with pictures of a moreexotic nature. And whether youre hikingin the Himalayas, braving the heat in the

    Sahara or knotting your hankies in Clacton,there are ways of ensuring that youre fullyprepared for the opportunities that present

    themselves. We asked top photojournalistand author Chris Weston to offer his toptravel tips (learned the hard way!) to makelife on the road that much more fruitful...

    Make the most ofyour adventures

    Plan aheadThe more you research your destination the more timeyou will have taking photographs as opposed to tryingto find suitable subjects. Look at the pictures in travelbooks to see what sort of photography is possible, usethe internet to identify tourist hotspots, and get in touchwith the local tourist office for advice on where to goand what to see. Talk to people whove recently visitedyour destination for ideas and tips on what to shoot.

    Packing for air travelPack as much of your kit as you canin a cabin-regulation camerapack and carry it on boardthe plane with you.Heavy equipment andover-sized lenses are

    best packed in a hardcase (such as thosemade by Peli see thismonths Gear Guide formore) and checked into theaircraft hold. You candisguise hard cases by placingthem inside army-style duffelbags. Memory cards are unaffectedby X-rays and you should have noproblem passing them throughairport security checks.

    Power up

    Few cameras today operate without batterypower. Take at least one spare fully chargedbattery and, when travelling in lessdeveloped countries, buy cell batteriesbefore you leave. Universal electricaladapters (see page 20) work in mostcountries but not all. For example, SouthAfrica and Botswana use a unique three-pinsocket that requires a specific electrical

    adapter. For power on the move buy aninverter. This device plugs into the 12vsocket in vehicles used for the cigarettelighter and enables thevehicles battery to beused to powerbattery chargers,laptops and otherelectrical gear.

    Use a telephoto lens forphotographing people

    Candid moments can be captured with a telephoto lens inthe range of 100-300mm, when the subject is unaware theyare having their picture taken and their actions are morenatural. This is a particularly good technique to adopt whenshooting people at work, such as fishermen mending nets,or market stallholders selling food or flowers. Select arelatively wide aperture (eg f/5.6) to minimise depth-of-field, which will help to isolate the subject from distractingbackground clutter.

    Turn the page for moreexpert travel advice

    T l k h

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    14 | Take better travel photos

    Travel know-how


    Ask permissionWhen photographing people,particularly in regions of sensitivecultures, it is polite to ask permission.Many people enjoy having their picturetaken and will readily agree, strikingseveral poses and even introducing youto their family and friends, who also

    want a picture taken. If shootingdigitally, show them the images in theLCD monitor and youll be amazed atthe positive reactions.

    Look for theunusualKeep your eyes peeledfor the less obvioussubjects that make forcompelling images. Forexample, the displays offood on a market stall,or the way light andcontrast form designsand patterns on the sideof a building. Abstractinterpretations ofeveryday scenes will

    make your images moreappealing because theyshow the world in adifferent andunexpected light.

    Its not always possible to avoid thetourist crowds but getting up andheading out early will often mean youmissing the masses at popular touristspots. Most tourists venture out afterbreakfast, so set your alarm clock fordawn and make the most of the

    photogenic early morning light, whenstreets are clear of people and othereveryday distractions. You can apply thesame rule later in the day, waiting forthe crowds to return to their hotels andmaking the most of directional, lateafternoon/early evening light.

    Avoid crowds

    See page28 for more

    advice on findingunusual views

    Travel know how

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    16 | Take better travel photos

    Travel know-how


    Sunrise and sunsetEverybody enjoys an evocative sunrise or sunsetpicture. Check the local papers or ask local people forthe relevant times, which change throughout the year.The best way to pinpoint where the sun will rise andset is to use a special sunrise/sunset compass, which

    can be bought via the internet or at any goodphotographic retailer. This device points to true northand also gives an estimate of the position of the sun atsunrise and sunset for a number of different locationsup to 50 degrees from the equator.

    After darkCities in particular trulycome to life after dark, sohead out with a tripod tocapture the atmosphere andenergy of night time. Youwill need a tripod to keep

    the camera steady duringlengthy exposures, and itswise to use a remote cablerelease to fire the shutter,minimising the likelihood ofcamera shake. If shootingdigitally, when using shutterspeeds greater than 1second, turn on the NoiseReduction function, whichcan be found in the menu ofmost current digital cameras.

    Capture the momentEvery picture should tell a story.Watch for scenes that encapsulatean emotion, such as a joyousmoment or funny event, and beready to capture them in the blinkof an eye. When trying to decide

    whether a scene is worthphotographing, when lookingthrough the viewfinder ask yourselfthe question, How would I captionthis image? If the only caption youcan think of is a place name orspecies name, then the pictureprobably isnt worth taking.Photography is a form ofcommunication, so try to include asmuch relevant information in yourpictures as possible.

    Travel know-how

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    18 |Take better travel photos

    Travel know-how


    Theft and accidental damage arethe two most common insuranceclaims - make sure youre coveredby your travel insurance policy.

    Safety advice INSURANCEOne of the most important elements of security is also one of the most overlooked.We asked Photoguard, one of the UKs leading insurance providers, for advice onwhat to look for, what to do and, more importantly, what not to do...

    Wrist strapPerfect for when youre takingpictures in busy market places orcrowded streets, Op/Techs

    Gotcha Wrist Strap (10, is quick andeasy to attach, and will preventyour camera from being stolen.

    Bag locksSolid brass padlocks such as these Prosafe610 secure luggage locks (4.90, are recognised by USairport security and can be opened withoutdamage to your bags. Theyre cheap too.

    fiSecurity systemThe Pacsafe 120 (45, is a wire mesh that wraps aroundlarger camera bags and backpacks (other

    sizes are available) and secures to fixedobjects such as railings. It also folds awayinto a small package, which means you canstash it in your camera bag when not in use.

    With so much to think about when preparing fora holiday, security concerns often fall by thewayside. And losing kit overseas is the biggest

    headache of all. Here are a few gadgets to ensure thatyour photo gear stays exactly where it should...

    PHOTO ETIQUETTE ABROADCULTURAL OR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS never pursue a photoopportunity if it means compromising local beliefs. In some areas ofthe world it is believed that a camera can steal the human spirit. Inothers there are sacrosanct places of religious and spiritualimportance that should never be photographed. There is no writtencode of ethics use your own common sense.

    COMMUNICATION even if youre not fluent in the native tongue,language is no barrier to asking if you can take a picture. Eyecontact, a smile and positive body language will make a hugedifference. A firm refusal should be met with grace always remainnon-aggressive and polite and treat people with respect. Offer asincere handshake and a smile afterwards.

    PAYMENT as a rule of thumb never offer money unless specificallyasked. If you offer money every time you take a picture, yourecreating a difficult precedent for future travellers. If you dont youmay not be able to grab the picture you wanted. Its a trickydilemma, so judge each case as it comes is it appropriate and doyou think it would be appreciated?

    Why buy travel insurance?Firstly its important to recognise that a typicalhome contents policy wont adequately coverphotographic equipment theres often a limit tothe value covered, particularly for equipment takenout of the home or overseas. High excesses andlimitations, such as not covering accidental damage,

    can often lead to photographers having to pay outlarge sums of money for replacement gear. Its asad fact of life that photo equipment is targeted fortheft as it can be sold on very easily. Auction siteshave made it very simple to dispose of stolen goodsand as a result criminals target digital equipment.

    What to look for in a policyEven with specialist insurers, keep an eye out for what isexcluded from cover (even if this means having to dig a littledeeper into the wording or spending a little time on the phone)...

    l Check that you can keep your equipment in a car overnight

    l Check that theft from a public place is coveredl Check if there are specific security conditions for where youll

    be keeping your equipment

    l Check what excesses there are

    Damage limitationWhen youre abroad, ensure that you keep your camera bagwith you at all times. Bags are frequently stolen whilephotographers are setting up a shot and have momentarilyturned their back on their bag. You can reduce the risk oflosing some or all of your equipment

    l Do not have your camera on view, or carry it around your

    neck, when not in use

    l Ensure that when the equipment is in transit it is in a rigidbody case to minimise damage. Alternatively, take it on the

    plane as hand luggage where possible

    l Try to use the hotel safe to secure your equipment when not

    in use

    l Try to stay alert when you have your equipment with you on

    long journeys, and attach the strap or tie it to your person

    if you are going to be asleep for any part of the journey

    lWhen photographing at difficult angles put the strap over

    your wrist to avoid dropping the camera

    Common claimsThe most common claims are theftfrom the person (especially frombackpacks or rucksacks) andaccidental damage caused bydropping equipment or trippingwhile taking pictures. Many insurersexclude high-risk areas and will also

    cap the amount of time youreallowed out of the country.Photoguard offer an anywhere inthe world policy for 365 days.

    Phone Photoguard on 02476851000 or visit for an instant quote.

    Travel know-how

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    20 | Take better travel photos

    Travel know how


    Fuel your imaginationwith tomes such asLonely Planets TheCities Book, whichare full of stunningtravel images.

    Travel checklistTravel guideWalking around your chosen destinationwith a Lonely Planet book under your armmay mark you out as a tourist but at leastyoull be able to delve a little deeper intothe local culture and lifestyle. For greatpictures look for market days, events andfestivals, and to blend in find out how tosay please and thank you (at the veryleast). Grab a few travel brochures andmagazines for some inspiration LonelyPlanets The Cities Book(reviewed lastmonth) comes highly recommended.

    CurrencyOther than a few notable exceptions

    (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic,Britain) all European countriesnow have the Euro as its solecurrency, which makes travellingbetween borders a lot easier than itwas ten years ago. If youretravelling outside of the EU youllneed to find the best exchange rate most banks, buildings societies andholiday operators offer next daycollection services on mostcommonly used currencies.

    Healthcare and inoculationsThe European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has replaced the E111 formand entitles UK residents to reduced cost or free state-providedhealthcare anywhere in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway andSwitzerland. The EHIC is free, valid for up to five years and can be appliedfor online at or by phoning 0845 606 2030.Check with your GP that you are up-to-date with all immunisationsrequired in the areas that youre travelling to or through.

    First aid kitBe prepared in case ofbumps, scrapes andtummy upsets. A basicfirst aid kit should includeParacetamol, Ibuprofen,Imodium (diarrhoearelief), rehydration fluids,Piriton (antihistamine),insect repellent, bitetreatment and plasters.See a GP for additionaladvice.

    PassportYoull need a full British ten-year passport, even ifenjoying a Eurostar day trip, as youll be expected toproduce valid ID if asked. Before you leave, make sureyouve filled in details of your next of kin, made aphotocopy of your passport details page and left it witha friend, and you have one other form of photo ID withyou at all times. Check when your passport expires as

    some countries wont let you enter unless it has sixmonths left to run if your passport is in its last yearcheck the rules of the country before you travel. Phonethe UK Passport Service on 0870 521 0410 or visit for up-to-the-minute advice. To check visarequirements contact your travel agent or the embassyof the country you plan to visit.

    Travel plugIf youre travelling overseas andhave got batteries to charge or alaptop to plug in, youll need a travelplug. Fujis worldwide travel adapter(20) features a UK three-pin socket

    for your existing chargers and plugsand a two-pin European/Americansocket for use with 110v power. Itcan also be used the other wayround, allowing two-pin plugs to bepowered from three-pin sockets,provided your devices can workfrom 240v supplies.

    Theres much more to taking travel pictures than knowing where to go andwhat to shoot. Youll need to be prepared for all eventualities illness (orDelhi belly as its better known as), recharging batteries and laptops, and

    eagle-eyed passport controls. Heres a checklist for a smooth trip...

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    22 | Take better travel photos 23

    Turn the page for moreadvanced gear options

    Travel gearThe type of photographic kit you pack depends onthe kind of holiday and the amount of time you planto devote to taking pictures. Lets look at the options.


    ToploaderThe smallest bag tocomfortably house anSLR, this style of baghas room for a bodyand lens and notmuch else. Great fortravelling with thebare essentials butlacks room for extras.

    Shoulder-styleAs the name implies, thesebags have a shoulder strap andhang down by your side. Theyrange from compact-sized rightup to massive (two pro SLRs,lenses and accessories).Handiest for quick lens changesbut they are also the easiesttype of bag to steal.

    Day-packThe top half of the bag is a largecompartment for essentials suchas maps, drinks and sandwiches,while the bottom half has spacefor a camera, lenses andaccessories. These bags are theslowest in terms of access to gearbut are great for travelling with amodest camera load.

    Photo rucksackThe classic backpack has lots ofpockets and a sizeable maincompartment big enough for afull complement of cameragear. You can even attach atripod to the back. Ifphotography is your main aimwhile travelling, this is the styleof bag you should opt for.

    CompactThe lightest way to travel is with a digitalcompact. Look for models with manualexposure modes such as aperture andshutter-priority for more creative results.


    An SLR-sized camera with a fixed lens,SLR-style cameras offer a good range offeatures. Look for models with either awide-angle (24-28mm) or longtelephoto (180mm and above) lensdepending on your needs.

    D-SLRCurrent budget cameras (300-600) arelightweight (most D-SLRs weigh around 500g)and compact, making them ideal travelcompanions. Just remember to pack the batterycharger and a suitable power adapter.

    LensesYou could invest in a 55-200mm to complementyour standard 18-55mm lens, or you could optfor an 18-200mm to save on space. With animpressive focal range, these lenses are wellsuited to travelling.

    Choosing which gear to take is no easy task but having theperfect camera bag will make your job a lot easier. And youwont have to check your precious kit in as hold luggage!


    If photography is only a small part ofyour travel itinerary (and working onyour tan and drinking at the pool

    makes up the rest) it may be moreeconomical to take only the bare

    minimum of kit. Choose which type ofcamera bag to take from the list below,grab a suitable compact for snapshots andpack an SLR-style camera or budget D-SLRfor the picturesque sunset/sunrise shots.

    How to travel light

    Travel gear

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    24 | Take better travel photos

    Travel gear


    CameraResist the temptation to take everycamera body you own unless youregoing on a photo tour youll just end upleaving gear in your hotel room or beingweighed down by the gear youre notusing. If youre spoilt for choice, take thecamera you use most from day to day.

    fiLensesThis really depends on what you are planning toshoot. Wed suggest a wide-angle (below 17mm),standard zoom (17-40mm), telephoto (70-200/300mm) and macro (50/100mm) as a roughguide to make sure you dont miss a single picture.

    Portable storageSmaller and more convenientthan a laptop, portable storageallows you to download yourmemory cards and back-up yourimages. Essential for taking onphotographic trips when memorycards may fill up quickly.

    With most enthusiasts havingso much kit (memory cards,portable storage, tripods...),

    knowing what to leave behind is asimportant as knowing what to take.

    Be realistic about the kinds of photosyoull be taking and pack theminimum of kit for those particularsubjects. Taking too much gear is justas bad as not taking enough.

    MEMORY CARDSThe only area that you should really max

    out on is memory cards. Its best to takeas many as you own and even buy one ortwo extra cards if youre not planning totake any portable storage with you.

    LAPTOPSLaptops may take up plenty of

    space in your bags but they arereally handy for any downtimeyou may get. Besides being ableto edit your images, you can alsomake journeys pass quicker bywatching DVDs or playingsolitaire. Look formodels withhard drives ofaround 80GB,at least 512MBof RAM and ahigh quality screen.





    Travel fully loaded

    fiTripodIt goes without saying that a tripod isnecessary on many shoots. Make sure thetripod is small and lightweight but stableenough for your camera. On flights,remember to pack it in your hold luggageto be on the safe side.

    Travel gear

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos



    26 | Take better travel photos 27

    If you plan to spend a lot of timewalking in search of great travelpictures, how you wear your bag

    will make a huge difference to howcomfortable youll be (and how much

    youll ache the next day!). Its alwaystempting to sling it over your shoulderwithout a seconds thought and marchon, but lets take a moment to studythe science of wearing a camera bag...

    How to weara camera bag

    TOP OF THE BAG The key tomaximum comfort and safety isnot stacking the weight directlyonto your back. Your shouldersshould bear most of the weight,but dont pull the straps so tightthat the bag is flush to your skin.Youll sweat far more if you do!

    BOTTOM OF THE BAG The restof the weight should be borne byyour hips, so make sure your bagsits comfortably in the small ofyour back. Dont pack anythingthats likely to dig into your bageither have a look at the nextpage for tips on how to pack.

    BODY STRAPS Securely fastening

    the waist straps will ensure thebag stays in place, while the cheststraps will stop the shoulder strapsfrom slipping as you walk around.Both will more evenly distributethe bags weight and will ensure amore comfortable days walking.

    ACCESSORIES Avoid filling emptyspaces with excess gear. Instead,use padding such as waterproofs(so long as theyre not wet) toensure that extras such as filtersand portable storage devicesarent going to rattle around. Keepthem away from impact points.

    TELEPHOTO LENSES Beforepacking any lens into a camerabag make sure that both lens capsand rear lens caps are in place.Pack long telephotos towards thebottom of the bag with the rearlens cap pointing up, andremember to invert any hoods.

    SMALL LENSES Optics with focallengths below 100mm should beplaced with lens caps facing down when you pick them up youregrabbing the strongest point (thelens mount) and not a focusing orzoom ring. Also make sure theyrepacked snuggly to avoid damage.

    LOAD YOURBAG PROPERLYA well-organised camera bag will helpdistribute the weight, avoid damage toyour back, and prevent your gear fromrattling around and breaking. Itll alsomean you know where everything is,

    so next time youre in a hurry you cangrab the essentials in seconds...

    Travel know-how

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    ?? | Take better travel photos | 5

    Traveltechnique...and now for the fun part. Capture newand exciting views of familiar subjects andmake sure youre using the best settings.


    David Notonsphotography

    has taken himall over theworld, and heshares histravels eachmonth in PP.

    If youre lucky enough to visit one of the worlds iconic travel destinationsthen youll be itching to take some pictures. But why settle for thestandard tourist shots that, lets face it, weve all seen before? Its all too

    easy to get carried away and take the safe shots, just so you know youve gotsomething, but if you really want your shots to impress the folks back home,then youll need to give the old views a new twist. Photo travellerextraordinare David Noton shows us how and why he did just this, and shareshis top travel tips (and theyre not what you might expect!).

    Take a fresh lookat familiar views

    Change your perspectiveStand underneath the Eiffel Tower, shootstraight up with a wide-angle against a bluesky simple, graphic, bold. Enough said?

    Turn here for moreadvice from David

    Travel technique

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    30 | Take better travel photos 31

    tip Taxi drivers are usuallythe first people you deal

    with on arrival. Youre tired,bewildered, unused to the currency,language and customs, and they areout to take every advantage of yourvulnerability. Avoid the unofficialcabbies who besiege you as you exitcustoms. Agree a price beforejumping in. Know where you want

    to go and dont assume the driverknows his way anywhere. I once hadto give directions to a New Yorkcabbie who didnt know Broadway.Avoid disclosing your plans. Mosttaxi drivers in Asia will want to beyour guide, interpreter and travelagent for the rest of your life. Avoiddiscussions on the price of yourchosen accommodation. A sharp

    intake of breath and a nodding ofthe head will follow the disclosure,followed by the information that hecan take you to a better, cheaperhotel, which just happens to be runby his brother. Having said all thatwe have known some lovely drivers theyve invited us into their homesand become friends. Its easy tobecome too suspicious.

    Find more top ideasover the page


    Shoot detailLondon has so many recognisablesites that it can be difficult to decidewhat to point your lens at, let aloneget a fresh take on such a familiarsubject. Westminster Bridge is one

    of the most photographed bridges,situated in the shadows of theHouses of Parliament and Big Ben.The shot above captures all of thesefeatures but it doesnt say anythingnew. Solution? Take two instantlyrecognisable icons of Britain, mixwell with a long lens perspective,add a splash of strong lighting,polarise and Bobs your Uncle.

    Mix old and newAncient sites werent built with modern life inmind, so you may be surprised to turn up at yourchosen destination to find it less than romanticallyplaced in the middle of a traffic junction, smog-ridden and over-run with tourists. Faced with thecolossus of the Coliseum, now buzzing not with theroar of the crowds but by modern Romesequivalent to the chariot, the ubiquitous Vespa,what do you do? Shoot a section as a night shotwith streaky traffic to emphasise the urban setting.A shift lens kept the verticals parallel.

    fiIsolate your subjectThis is another of Europes classic views bobbinggondolas at San Marco in Venice. You know you cant resistit. Just stop and consider how many pictures have beentaken here. Most of them in colour though, and with thecity as a backdrop. On a misty grey morning I shot thismonochromatic image with lots of movement, letting thebackground melt off into a misty mystery so as toconcentrate attention on the gondolas themselves. Venice isone of those places a photographer never tires off. In thediffering lighting situations it just has so many moods. I likeit most in soft, diffuse light.

    Travel technique

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    Get up earlyLets just get one thing straight first the Taj Mahal is the most beautifulbuilding in the world, no ifs or buts

    about it. This shot was taken fromAgra Fort across the Yamuna Valley. II wasnt allowed to use a tripod hereso had to wedge myself against apillar. I love the composition of thisbut the early start is what makes it areal winner, thanks to the soft,slightly hazy morning hue and allthe subtleties of the changing dawnlight. The Taj is such a distinctiveshape its an obvious icon for allthings Indian.

    Something about Prague inspired me to shoot in black& white, I cant really explain why. I think this view alongthe Charles Bridge is one of Europes classics. At dawn ona dull day I was set up waiting for a glimmer of sunlightwhen this couple ambled over the deserted bridge. Wescanned the negative, at which stage I was able to

    introduce some contrast to the somewhat flat lightingalong with the gradation in the sky. The final image isquite mysterious, with a certain air of film noir. Who arethey, where are they going, whats in the briefcase andis there an assignation (or assassin) around the corner?Probably not, but it sounds good!

    Look for mystery

    32 | Take better travel photos 33

    Add peopleSometimes a scene is just so well-known, such as SydneyHarbour bridge (left), that youll need another element to addinterest and appeal. All around Sydney harbour at dawn thereare legions of joggers, cyclists and roller bladders all lookingoutrageously fit. It has to be THE most beautiful setting for anyNew World city, doesnt it? I set this up with my cousinsdaughter running up and down with the first light of daybeaming down the harbour. Shooting digitally I was able tocontrol the amount of jogger blur by varying the shutter speed.

    tipDONT THINK ABOUTIT TOO MUCHVenture beyond the limitsof your comfort zone. I neverread the health and safetywarnings in the guidebooksuntil Im committed to going.What with tales of malaria inAfrica, snakes in Australiaand pickpockets in Barcelonayoud never go anywhere ifyou didnt take a hefty pinchof salt with all the dire vibes.

    TAKE YOURTIMEIts all too easy

    to get sucked into a whistle-stop tour of attractions. Itsoften far better to slow downand get beneath the surfaceof a place, and observe it inaction this is when the bestphoto opportunities come. Imake it a rule to stay at leastthree days on each leg of thetrip, but often its four or five.

    Travel technique

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    PP editorAndrew Jamesloves travelphotography

    & has visitedcountries theworld over.

    Turn for more hints & tips on people photography...

    One of the great things abouttravel is that it brings you intocontact with people from other

    cultures, and naturally youll want to

    photograph them. But pointing yourlens at a stranger is quite daunting,even when you are in a situationwhere its okay. Plus, the chances areyoure working in less than ideal

    conditions and with limited time. Yourbest approach is to work quickly, bepolite, smile a lot, and really try toshoot a series of images that tells a

    story about where you are. For travelportraits, place and behaviour is asimportant as the people themselves.Heres how I shot life in a manyatta,a traditional Masai village...

    Tell a story with yourpeople photographs

    Travel technique

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    EnvironmentThe contrast between themud/dung coloured hutsand the bright clothing ofthe Mara people wasvery striking. I wanted asimple shot thatemphasised this butgetting an unclutteredimage in the busy village

    wasnt easy. When thesetwo youngsters walkedpast I grabbed theopportunity, ensuring mycomposition includedspace to the front to giveit some balance.

    Be friendlySmiling a lot definitely relaxes yoursubjects and it works across allcultures. Although the child on theleft looks glum hes just mimicking asilly face Id pulled to make himlaugh moments before. The frameafter this shows him collapsed intohysterics. I like the fact hes the onlyone in the line-up that is fixing thecamera with a direct stare and therogue dog thats sneaked into thebottom corner of the picture!

    Different anglesThe angle from which you take yourshot can make or break it. I didnteven have the camera to my eye forthis image of children singing andclapping, but held it inches abovethe ground for an upward view. Notonly did this give a differentviewpoint, it also meant the childrenwere unaware I was taking theirpicture so they behaved in a morenatural way. My main focus was thelittle girl at the front.

    Be respectfulThe masai performed a traditional dance (left) and although Iwas less interested in the typical tourist shot, I spent a lot oftime taking these images to show respect for my hosts beforetaking the more informal shots of the kids copying the adults.For the shot above I tilted the camera up and down duringthe exposure to get the boys sharp while the others are blurred.

    Longer lens for candids

    For many of my shots in the village I relied ona wider lens to include the people and theenvironment. But a longer telephoto wascertainly useful for little candids. An aperture off/5.6 helped to differentiate the main subjectfrom both the background and the twocompanions framing him. Remember, whenusing a longer lens handheld youll need a fastershutter speed to prevent camera shake. In thebright conditions, a speed of 1/500sec was used.

    36 | Take better travel photos | 37

    Travel technique

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    38 | Take better travel photos 39

    Getting great portrait shots onholiday often means workingquickly and in unfamiliar

    situations. So you dont want to spend

    ages setting up your camera beforeyou can take a shot. Unlike landscapesand buildings, many of the bestportraits rely on you being able to get

    the shot quickly before your subjectgets bored, or the ideal moment forthe shot has passed. While the defaultsettings on your digital camera will be

    okay in many situations, here are afew simple adjustments that willallow you to make the most of yourtravel portraits

    Suggested camerasettings portraits

    Shooting modeUnlike many traditional portraits whenyoud want to blur the background,travel portraits usually work best whenboth the subject and their environmentare both in focus. So try to use anaperture of around f/8 to keep bothelements sharp enough.

    SettingsCameras such as the Nikon D50 havea portrait option in the set-up menu,which will allow you to get the mostaccurate skin tones in your pictures.

    FocusTo make sure that the subjects eyesare sharp in your pictures, select thefocus point on your camera that fallson the face of your subject.

    tip INDOOR PORTRAITSTo make use of theambient light indoors

    select aperture-priority mode and seta wide aperture of around f/4. Ensurethat the shutter speed doesnt fallbelow 1/30sec though, otherwisecamera shake or subject movementcan cause blur. Increasing the ISOsetting to 400 will help to record theambient light without affecting theforeground exposure. Also, becausethe flash is being used as the mainlight source, set the white balance toflash to get the most pleasing skintones in the portrait.

    Travel technique

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    40 | Take better travel photos 41

    From modern city skyscrapers to tumbledown cottages, the differing architecturalstyles can be among the most defining elements of the sites on your travels.Here are the typical settings to use when shooting buildings...

    Suggested camerasettings buildings

    ISOIf youre shooting buildings in brightconditions you should use the lowestISO setting on your camera for thebest quality. The majority of CanonD-SLRs offer a lowest ISO of 100while most Nikon and Pentax D-SLRsoffer 200.

    SettingsJust as you can with landscapes, youcan make the most of the colours inthe scene by increasing thesaturation controls in your camerasshooting menu.

    Shooting tipsThe aperture-priority exposure modeis ideal for shooting buildings, as itgives you complete control over yourimages depth-of-field. Choose asmall aperture of f/16 or f/22 tokeep as much of the scene as sharpas possible.

    ISOShooting between ISO 200 and 400is the best compromise betweengetting a reasonable shutter speedand high quality results. You shouldalso use the long exposure noisereduction feature in the camerasettings menu.

    SettingsYoure likely to encounter a varietyof light sources when shootinginteriors, often with two or moretogether, so the automatic whitebalance setting will give the mostaccurate colours.

    Shooting tipsFor this type of shot youll need asteady platform, ideally a tripod,although you can always rest thecamera on a wall or table to combatcamera shake. If you dont have aremote release use the camerasself-timer to ensure you dont movethe camera during the exposure.



    Travel technique

  • 7/28/2019 Practical Photography - Take Better Travel Photos


    42 | Take better travel photos 43

    You probably wont have hours to spend capturing the scenery and landscape of yourdestination. So to help you to make the most of every opportunity here are somesettings to use when shooting landscapes during the day and at sunrise or sunset

    Suggested camerasettings landscapes

    White balanceTo make the most of the warmcolours at sunset or sunrise chooseeither a cloudy or shade whitebalance setting.

    SettingsTry to use a medium aperture of f/8or f/11 to ensure theres enoughdepth-of-field to keep the wholescene sharp.

    ISOA tripod will allow you to use thelowest ISO setting. For handheldshots in low light you may need touse ISO 200 or 400 to give a useableshutter speed.

    White balanceYoull get the most accurate coloursby selecting the daylight or sunnywhite balance when shooting duringthe day if youre lucky enough tobe shooting in sunny conditions!

    SettingsMost holiday landscapes will benefitfrom bright, punchy colours. In theshooting menu of your camera youcan boost the vibrancy of your shotsby increasing the saturation setting.

    ISOFor the best quality select the lowestISO available on your camera. Youllfind this in the shooting menu or ona separate button.