TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE RUN
To launch my new website – and in honour of my newly-announced Taiwan tour – this month you get two tips for the (free) price of one.
Whenever you travel, you are restricted by time. Unlike photography at home (where you can return to the same place time and again and wait for the perfect moment), on a holiday sometimes you just have to settle for the conditions you have and find a way to make a photo out of them. This is where a good wide-angle lens and some quick thinking come in handy. When I am in a hurry, my first instinct is to find a great foreground to create interest to an image.
On my last visit to Taiwan, we visited Taipei’s Square of Freedom in the middle of the day, with lots of people around and an overcast sky; not ideal conditions for a photographer. I didn’t know the area well and I only had a short time to get some photos. So I put my wide angle (12-24mm) lens on, weighed up where my best photo opportunities might be, and went to work.
In the first shot (above) I stood further back and angled the camera down to make the most of the amazing patterns in the courtyard. The wide-angle lens adds so much impact to the foreground, and makes the people further away so small you barely notice them. In the second photo (below) I used the manicured tree to create an interesting foreground. The gardens added a lot of extra colour and a nice contrast with the building, and minimised the impact of the people in the distance.
Notice that with both photos I have used a dominant foreground to take attention away from a pretty ordinary sky. If it was a sunny day with a great cloud formation, I might have taken a different approach.
So when you are doing photography on the run, make sure your wide-angle is handy. With a good foreground and some quick thinking, you can turn an ordinary opportunity into a great photo.