Mar 07, 2014
Published: Jan 01, 2014
I’ve seen my share, and I expect you have too, of people who basically spray the area hoping to get a keeper. I’ve also seen photographers who wait…wait…and wait some more to catch that decisive moment. I’m neither of those types. I think of what I do as mindful shooting: I know what I want the photo to look like; I preconceive and previsualize the moment; I control the situation as much as I can to get that moment; and I’m prepared to work with what I’m given and what I can’t control in order to get a good result.
In early February I went to Cuba for 10 days of photography. Long before I left I knew what I wanted to accomplish. I’d been to Cuba 10 years before, so I knew the basics of what I’d see and what I could expect. This time I narrowed down what I wanted to photograph. I wanted to shoot mostly in the old section of Havana and in the city of Trinidad. People would be my main subjects—people on the streets, in their homes, going about their lives. In Old Havana I wanted to work in the late afternoon and early evening; in Trinidad I wanted to capture people against colorful backgrounds. On this trip there wouldn’t be open country where I’d be shooting landscapes or people working in the fields; there’d be no wide-open spaces, no photos of tobacco fields or expanses of sugar cane.
At one time or another we’re all tourists somewhere. There’s even the old suggestion that to be a better travel photographer you might pretend to be a tourist in your own hometown. Seek out points of interest and find unusual ways of photographing them and you’re on your way to better images when you get to Paris, London, Toronto, New York, or wherever you’ll someday be headed.
Dec 27, 2013
Published: Nov 01, 2013
Early on I lived in Paris, shooting fashion photography. I saw all the iconic places and landmarks, of course, and observed hundreds of people shooting them. When I became a travel photographer, my initial thought was to shoot lots of subjects other than the icons; to make untypical, evocative images of marketplaces, shop fronts, and unexpected details. Pretty quickly I found out the icons defined a place, and even more important, the icons made the money.
Right from the start it sounded like it was going to be a challenge. In late summer last year I was hired by the Taiwan tourist bureau for a 10-day shoot to take pictures for a travel magazine advertorial. Since I’d never been to Taiwan before, and my usual way of working is to make all my own plans, schedules, and lists of places to shoot, I did some research as soon asI got the assignment. What I found wasn’t promising.
One of the things I always try to do when I’m planning a trip is check out the events calendars of the cities and towns I’ll be visiting to see what sort of festivals might be taking place. Sometimes I’ll even rearrange my schedule to make sure I hit those places at the right time; that’s how important it is for me to take advantage of these photo opportunities. Images of...
In my last column I talked about fixers—the guide/translators who smooth the way and open the doors so I can get the photographs. They’re important when it comes to photographing people, especially when I don’t speak the language, which is most of the time. But while I don’t always have a fixer, I have my people skills.
My route to travel photography was not direct, but looking back, I realize the direction was set fairly early.
While attending the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, I got a chance to spend a semester break photographing in Arkansas at the oldest bluegrass festival in the US. I never forgot how much I’d enjoyed photographing the festival and the local...
Here are a few things AJ Neste's learned about photographing surfers: One, it's the singer, not the song. "The most important part of being successful at this," he says, "is knowing the surfer. It's not just showing up somewhere and taking photos of random surfers. You won't know their personal style."
You may be a beginner, an advanced amateur, or a professional photographer. No matter what your level of experience, selling your photographs can make a lot of sense. For a pro, sales are your lifeblood, and new markets are always welcome. For amateurs, sales can be a way to buy new equipment...
In a previous column I covered some of the online options you have for showing your images. The services I covered then didn't give you many options for layout and design of your web galleries, but do get you online quickly with a professional look and feel. What about those of you who have a hosting service that doesn't provide for a gallery? We'll take a look...
Image theft is a real concern for many people. Anyone who has a website, posts a photo to one of the many sharing sites, or even e-mails a photo to someone is at risk of their image being used without permission. And, if they aren't asking for permission, you can bet they aren't planning to pay you for the fair use of your work.
It's probably no surprise to most of you, but in today's digital world, having a website is almost a requirement if you're to be considered a pro or more than a casual snapshooter. Many publications and image purchasers don't want to deal with looking at contact sheets or browsing at images on a CD or DVD--aside from the task of inserting and reading...
Canvas prints are becoming extremely popular these days and there are a tremendous number of options available to you, both traditionally mounted with a frame and with a gallery wrap, where the image wraps around the side of the mount and no frame is used. Good options for online printing include Canvas On Demand (www.canvasondemand.com)...