The best way to develop your photos into art is adopt a Zen philosophy, and awaken to the context that surrounds you. For instance, you may focus on the waterfall but fail to see the icicles hanging off a conifer limb nearby. Or you may set your frame to capture the magnificent Roman pillars, while totally missing the Bedouin and his grazing camel in the foreground
While I consider myself to be neither an artist or professional photographer, nor a Zen master, here are some tips Iâ€™ll share to help turn your pictures into art:
– Shoot a subject interesting enough that other people will want to see it too.
– Frame the subject with something, and it doesnâ€™t need to encapsulate your subject. A half-frame can be every bit as creative.
– Move the subject off dead center in the viewfinder.
– When shooting portraits, fill two-thirds of your photo with the subject.
– Mix up the colors with light and dark regions.
– Be sure to pay close attention to the foreground/background of the subject in every shot.
Good travel photography isnâ€™t totally about the art, however, it also has a physical element expressed in the kit you carry. With the advent of inexpensive digital cameras that give resolution matching that of print film, itâ€™s simpler than ever to reach for art in your photographs. Just about any $300 pointâ€™nâ€™shoot digital camera will give you 5 megapixels of resolution or better, good zoom capability, and enough sophisticated internal electronics that great aperture and focusing operations are done automatically for you. Add another $100 for accessories and youâ€™ll have a kit like mine thatâ€™s both lightweight and portable. All of this fits comfortably within a 150 cubic inch set of pouches weighing in at just under 3.5 pounds that will slip easily into your d aypack:
– Camera and manual: I use an Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom that outputs TIFF formatted files. A small 2.5 x 4 x 2.7 inches and weighing in at a mere .7 pounds makes it easy to carry, while the 10x optical zoom means you wonâ€™t need to carry it as far.
– USB cable: to download your pictures to computer and then burn them to CD or write them to a flash drive.
– Flash drive: I like the Sandisk Cruzer. It allows you to retract the sensitive USB plug into its case to protect it from the rigors of travel.
– Battery charger: International multi-voltage with worldwide plug selection. I chose the DigiPower TC-371 because it does these in a compact, lightweight package .
– Spare memory cards and batteries: Although manufacturers strongly recommend using brand name replacements, Iâ€™ve had no problems with quality aftermarket parts. Have at least two of each, but as many as you can afford.
– Mini-tripod: Many brands are available – get one with collapsible legs and a tilting camera mount.
Youâ€™ll find many other tips given by photographers within the In The Know Traveler – Camera Talk section. Spend some time with these pages, and you too will bring back great pictures.
Written by Steve Smith and Christine Johnson
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