Travel Pic of the Day: Name That Building

ISO 250, f/7.1, exposure 1/60 sec, time 3:15pm

ISO 250, f/7.1, exposure 1/60 sec, time 3:15pm

So, let’s try something different today. Kudos and big thumbs up to the first person to correctly identify this historic building. While the graffiti doesn’t help the look, this unassuming building played a HUGE roll in history and may have even affected your life. Name the building.

Converting Color Images to B&W

comparisonOne of my favorite features of digital photography is flexibility. With a good digital image and editing software, you can alter, manipulate and morph it into a nearly endless array of looks.

Converting color images to B&W is one of the most common techniques used, and also one of the most discussed. Many photographers feel that really good B&W images can only be captured using film. They argue that removing the color from a digital image is not the same. Others say that the result is the same. While, I’m not sure that the topic will ever be resolved, the fact is digital photography offers a choice.

To help illustrate how digital photography can be altered, I’ve taken one of my images and sliced it into three panels;  Color, B&W and Desaturated. With this side-by-side comparison, you can see how the same image can be presented in a number of ways. I really can’t see a huge difference between B&W and Desaturated, but chose B&W when I printed this image.


Some Travel Pictures Just Beg For an Explanation

Mind The GapI took this picture in a tube station in London. “Mind the Gap” is a common warning posted throughout the underground system and blasted from audio speakers continuously. Although I understand the purpose of the warning, I could never figure out why every-other sign is mounted upside-down. One local suggested that it was so the sign could be read if you fall onto the tracks. Hopefully, he was just joking.

Beyond The Pretty Buildings and Snow-Covered Mountains

Gypsy beggar in Florence, Italy

Travel pictures don’t always have to feature buildings, churches, mountains or happy people enjoying themselves. Nor do they always have to show the pretty, clean or happy side of a particular location or subject. Images brought home from a vacation should also say something about the location; they should tell a story or convey a feeling.

Gypsy beggars are a common sight throughout Europe, showing up at nearly every major tourist destination. While you might not consider photographing them because they aren’t a very nice sight, they do say something about the culture and people.

Gypsy beggar in Florence, Italy

ISO-800, Exposure 1/320 sec., f/9

This image was shot in Florence, Italy, just outside the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. It shows a well-dressed woman focusing on her cell phone, while a gypsy woman extends her cup for a handout. Although they may not be far apart in age, this image shows how far apart they are when it comes to their place in society.

Gypsy beggar in Venice

ISO-400, Exposure 1/125 sec., F5.3


Another gypsy shot, I captured this image in front of the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, Italy. As you can probably tell, I shot this picture from a distance so that I could get a candid image.



Occupy London

ISO-400, Exposure 1/800 sec., f/3.5

On a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, I was surprised to find the area around the cathedral filled with tents and protest signs. The Occupy London movement had set up camp on the grounds because the area around the London Stock Exchange, just around the corner, had been fenced off. Although I was really there to photograph the cathedral, I couldn’t help but be draw to the revolution-charged atmosphere and shoot a few frames. Again, not your typical vacation picture, but it does make for a good story about what was happening in London during my visit.

Try looking beyond the typical tourist sights while on vacation and you might find some really interesting pictures.