Maynard Switzer

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Maynard Switzer Posted: Feb 07, 2013 Published: Jan 01, 2013 1 comments
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.
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Maynard Switzer Posted: Apr 30, 2013 Published: Mar 01, 2013 0 comments
Every traveler with a camera will welcome the words “smaller” and “lighter.” Because I travel and photograph for a living, I not only welcome them, I search for them. I want to see those adjectives accompanying nouns like camera, lens, laptop, and drive (the portable kind).
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Maynard Switzer Posted: Jun 17, 2011 Published: May 01, 2011 2 comments
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.
Maynard Switzer Posted: Mar 01, 2010 0 comments

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...

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Maynard Switzer Posted: Sep 01, 2010 0 comments

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.

The most...

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Maynard Switzer Posted: May 01, 2010 0 comments

This may surprise you, but I prefer to travel with single focal length lenses rather than zooms.

I have several reasons. First, my primes are usually one to two stops faster than zooms, which is important not so much because I shoot with my lenses wide-open but rather because the extra one or two stops of speed makes the image brighter in the viewfinder—which means...

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Maynard Switzer Posted: Jul 01, 2010 0 comments

Travel photographers call them fixers, and that’s what they do: they fix things to make sure the way is smooth so the photographer can do what he needs to do—get pictures that the average tourist can’t. And if you want those kinds of opportunities—in other words, if you’re really serious about your travel photography—there’s no substitute for a savvy...

Maynard Switzer Posted: Jan 01, 2010 0 comments

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...

Maynard Switzer Posted: Jan 01, 2011 0 comments

Ten years ago, when I was primarily a fashion photographer, I did a shoot in Cuba. Normally I’d have used medium and long telephoto lenses, but because the narrow streets I was shooting on featured colorfully painted walls, I switched to a 35mm lens. With that lens I was able to show not only the models but also the background, which revealed a bit about the location. Equally important, I...

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