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Monday, May 21, 2012

Travel Photography: How to Get Fabulous Images and Still Have Fun | Stephanie Millner, Professional Photographer Magazine

Consider the following tips for travel photography and your next trip should be smooth sailing as far as your camera is concerned.
So begins photographer/writer Millner. Here's a summary of her suggestions:
Pack Light ...
Unless you’re traveling for a commissioned job, pack only the barest of bare essentials. Bring one camera, two batteries, a few media cards, your charger, and two lenses at most. ... Also, think twice about using a backpack; it will make you a target. ...
Three Must-Have Accessories

There are three more things you need to round out your travel kit: rain sleeves, a multi-plug adaptor, and a dry bag. ...
A good rain sleeve will keep your gear dry and sand-free, regardless of what Mother Nature dishes out. ... Most laptops, cell phones, and camera chargers have built-in transformers (or are dual-voltage), so you usually just need a plug adaptor and not a heavy travel transformer. Be sure to buy a multi-plug adaptor to accommodate different countries. ... Use a dry sack any time you’re even thinking about traveling near water (beach days, boat trips, cruises). ...
Safety ...
Store a copy of your equipment serial numbers in an Internet-accessible file, such as Google Docs, Evernote, or Dropbox. Verify that your equipment insurance covers travel overseas as well as loss due to theft.

Photography Tips
Night Photography: Photographing at night is often a better payoff for unique travel imagery. The downside is that you’ll need a tripod, which pushes the "pack-light" rule to the limit. Make sure it’s small and lightweight, less than 2 pounds. ... I tend to expose for 20-30 seconds at the highest aperture possible—a cheat method to get a star-filter look (above). By shooting in aperture priority at f/22 and f/32, I’ve made beautiful panoramic images that really wow my print buyers. ...
Exposure Lock: ... This single button is the key to great travel imagery. Keep in mind that your camera loves 18-percent gray, and train your eye to see this tone when you’re out and about. Things like stone columns, cement walls, and even the back of your hand can make easily accessible gray cards. ...
Manual Focus Lock: You may experience some problems getting your camera to focus in low-light conditions when it can't find enough reflected light to lock in on. Focus at a fixed length on some sort of incident light—such as a light bulb, candle, torch, etc.—and switch your lens to manual focus. ...
Details: ... Use a wide aperture to really zero-in on your focal point and remove background distraction. Pay attention to unique souvenirs, foods, flowers, and fabrics that make your destination special. ...
Post Processing: It’s vacation, not work. If you must, must, must post-process your photographs, limit your time behind the computer so as not to detract from your travel enjoyment. I use Nik Viveza or Topaz Adjust to post-process for texture and saturation. ... [I've never heard of those tools; I must check them out.]
Put The Camera Down ...
When you start bumping into to people because you’re walking around with one eye in the viewfinder, you need to take a break and just enjoy the place where you are and take it in. ...

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