Wednesday, January 17, 2007
From national parks to foreign lands, travel means new places and new sights for your camera. Here are tips on bringing home your best travel shots ever.
by Sergio Wamon
In a world where the T-shirt, blue jeans and Nikes have supplanted indigenous dress, cultural or religious events and holidays represent some of the few times where people dress their part or celebrate in colorful costumes. Tour operators and photo workshop planners often target cultural events in their trip calendars, yet there are numerous small-scale events happening at vacation destinations that local newspapers or hotel concierges will help you find.
Two-Fisted Approach: Two cameras are better than one—one body fitted with a wide-angle zoom, the other with a moderate telephoto zoom. With two cameras, you have no need to change lenses when events are unfolding and risk missing a shot, you have no need for a camera bag or pouch to carry the extra lens, and the second camera makes you look like a pro so bystanders give you respect and access.
Telephoto Portraits: Zooms up to 300mm (35mm equivalent) aren't too strong. It's not always easy to get close to your subject during parades or pageants, and it's surprising how you'll find yourself using every millimeter you can carry. Even for street portraits, 300mm gives you a larger distance buffer to keep you from distracting your subject. Lens stabilization is strongly recommended for grab shots when handholding strong zooms, especially in low light.
The Distraction Advantage: People pictures are easier at events. Bystanders and participants tend to be distracted by the displays and performances, and pay little attention to the lens pointing at them.
Flash Fill For Faces: Celebrations are often outside where light can be uncooperative. Using on-camera flash to fill in facial shadows or penetrate into tricky areas (eyes inside the mask, top photo) is a great way to get pro results. A flash (built-in or external) that lets you depress output to about two stops below normal output adds some light to shadows, but keeps the photo from looking "flashed." If your camera doesn't let you control flash output, you can use anything from a napkin, piece of tissue, bit of foam coffee cup, etc., to hold over the built-in flash. Thankfully, digital cameras give you on-the-spot review so you can experiment.
• 10-22mm zoom
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