Category Archives: Photography tips

Travel Photography Portraits

Portrait of a young teenager of the Himba tribe, Namibia
Portrait by Michel Piccaya

Travel photography portraits are a great way to tell the story of any given culture. We're re-posting an article that was not available online by photographer Jim Zuckerman that was first published at Pixiq website. Needless to say that we found it very interesting because it throws away the misconception of magical photo serendipity.
I have seen and heard many great travel photographers illustrate the same concept: You need to plan accordingly, and be ready in order to take a great photo.

It's no secret that models and light need direction and sculpting. Both require knowledge thus is important you assume the director role while on location. A great travel photography portraits can sometimes be a more effective connection with the audience, than a landscape or candid photo.

Here's the original post reproduced here:

Guaranteed results with careful planning

Travel photography is often frustrating because you can’t always be in the right place at the right time with the right lighting. What usually happens, though, is you breeze in and out of a village or town relying on serendipity to get good shots.  This is not the way to do it.

I learned a long time ago that it takes forethought and planning to guarantee great pictures of people in other cultures.  Sure, serendipity does happen sometimes where everything comes together as a pleasant surprise.  We all know, however, that this doesn’t happen often.

Therefore, when I travel to a place like Africa, I make a list of the types of images I want to take in tribal environments.  For example, my preconceived idea list when I took a photo tour group to Namibia looked like this:

  •  Silhouette of Bushman archer in tall grass
  • Bushmen hunting party
  • Silhouette of Bushmen against large sun
  • Himba family in sunset lighting walking toward the camera
  • Himba girls dancing

To get these kinds of shots, I have to wear a director’s hat and set these images up.  I use my local guide to arrange the time of day (usually sunrise or sunset), the location (which I have scouted), and I always select the models to make sure they are the kind of people I want to photograph. The fee is negotiated before the actual shoot, of course.

At the appointed time, through a tribal interpreter, I direct the action.  For example, I’ll tell a mother with children to walk to the camera from a particular place.  I instruct them to forget about the cameras and to pretend we are not there.  Or I will tell a group of Bushmen exactly how to stand, look, crouch, or aim a bow.  In this way, I get perfect pictures for my photo tour group and me.

Travel Photography Tips – Travel Photography like a Professional

Travel photography is an exciting thing. As a photographer, I always look forward to my next travel adventure as soon as I get back home from a recent trip.

Here are some 5 ideas to have in mind while you prepare for any travel photography:

Travel Photography Smart Gear Checklist:

Sling_photo_bag

  1. When on the go, it's very important to have comfortable access to your equipment. That can be anything from camera bodies, lenses, filters, batteries, etc. Long are gone the days of the classic photographer camera bags!
    There are many new alternatives such as the photography back-packs, messenger bags - and my all time favorite - sling photo bags. I like them best since they force me to pack light. The added advantage is the extra support for changing lenses and filters. Beware, always make absolutely sure you close those zippers tightly.  I had lenses drop and damaged because of unzipped pockets.
  2. black_widow_holsterCamera holsters are amazing helpers for traveling photography excursions. I only recent came accustomed to use them and they have made my traveling photography much more enjoyable. I use the black window camera holster. It allows me to 'snap' my camera to the holster, which is attached to my belt. This provides an extra level of independence, without putting pressure on your neck, releasing your neck and extremities from the extra weight. Say goodbye to the regular camera straps !
  3. Camera Memory ReadersMemory readers and an extra sets of cables are a must for traveling photography. No matter if you're in a remote location or in the middle of a urban area, proper back-up of your content should be a serious endeavor you devote yourself once you finish with your photography traveling. I pack an extra set of cables and camera readers just in case of failure. A precious moment perhaps cannot be reproduced on a later date (weather, people, conditions, etc) it's important to always be prepared for safeguarding your photography
  4. photographer_extreme_weahterAre you planning to take your equipment in extreme weather ? Plan to protect it with a rain or dust coat. Sometimes the inclement of the weather can play adversely to your plans. It's smart to have options and protect your gear investment
  5. Batteries and memory cards. I cannot stress this enough. Redundancy is everything. Pack enough batteries and memory to last you for the entire day. Nowadays, both memory and batteries are affordable enough. Make sure you pack enough juice and room to last you for your planned photography traveling and also consider how accessible these are while on location. You don't want to miss a shot due to a dead battery!