DIAL UP YOUR ISOHigh-ISO performance has changed the way I shoot, and it's the best thing to happen for travel photographers. Remember the days of trying to photograph inside a building using ISO 100 film? And reading the sign at the entrance saying no tripods allowed? With today's cameras, just dial up your ISO and shoot away.
I use a Nikon D3, and I can easily shoot at ISO 3200 and get publishable images. High ISO constantly allows me to capture images I would have missed in the past. On Easter Island, there were stage performances at night, and the only way to capture a sharp image was shooting at a high ISO. Use your camera's high ISO to your advantage when traveling.
TELL A STORYEvery photographer has a certain subject he or she likes to photograph. Some shooters focus on landscapes, while others photograph people. You photograph what you like. But remember that slideshow you plan to present to your photo club when you get back? You don't want to show the same type of image over and over, or you'll lose your audience. Instead, tell a story with your images to fully capture the essence of your travel destination.
I tell workshop students to capture all aspects of a location—the iconic landmarks, the people, wildlife, architecture, food, culture and commerce. You may never have taken a food picture in your life, but on your next trip, give it a try.
Capturing a cross section of everyday life in your location paints a vivid picture for your audience. And remember to use your photographic skills when creating your images. Choose the proper aperture and shutter speed, and create interesting compositions.
GET WAY DOWNNo, I'm not talking about letting loose at the local disco (although this could be fun), but instead finding a fresh perspective to catch the viewer's attention.
The downpours we had in the Atacama created pools of standing water all over the desert floor. At Laguna Cejar, we found shallow ponds reflecting puffy white cumulus clouds in the sky. At first, the group took the image standing up, but we soon realized the lower we got to the ground, the more clouds were reflected in the pools. Getting low to the ground created a much better image with a fresh perspective.
Go low, or go high, but look for fresh perspectives in your images. What angle has never been photographed at your location? How about an aerial shot?