I enjoy checking out the local markets when I travel. They can say so much about a culture and the people.
While most professional travel photographers would like you to think that every picture they take is perfect, most of us just aren’t THAT good. Granted; Ansel Adams, Clyde Butcher and a host of other talented photographers were/are that good, but they’re in the minority. Much like magicians, many of today’s modern photographers rely on a little smoke and mirrors in the form of image editing software. The most popular is Adobe Photoshop, which allows the user to manipulate an image without limits.
As shown in the sample images, my original image was extremely underexposed and unusable. I washed it through Photoshop, adjusting the saturation, vibrance, exposure, white balance, cropping and a few other variables and voila, a pretty decent pic. Although most of my images don’t start out quite this bad, it does happen.
So, the moral of the story is; don’t be discouraged if your travel photos aren’t as nice as the ones in your favorite travel magazine. You might just be missing a little digital help.
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.
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.
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.
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.