70 Ways To Take Better Photos (Part 5) - Check you’re covered

8/20/2012 2:47:17 PM


Get to know the pro

Name: Stuart Dunn


Photographic specialism: Travel

Description: Stuart Dunn , One industry insider offers his advice for travel photography.

Stuart Dunn , One industry insider offers his advice for travel photography.

Favourite location for travel photography? India is always a pleasure

Where you most like to visit next? Antarctica

Preferred kit? Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Canon 24-70mm L-series lens

Mini bio: Stuart was born in Newcastle in 1977, he studied at the Northern Media School and gained a masters degree in cinematography. Since then, Stuart has gained an abundance of credits in a variety of publications and TV programmes across the globe

Stuart Dunn’s top six travel recommendations

‘Be brave and talk to people… Making them feel at ease is quite an art’

Engage with people

Be brave and talk to people. Building a rapport with someone and making them feel at ease is quite an art. Interesting experiences will come your way once you begin to engage with people.

Get intimate

When focused on taking travel portrait shots, try to avoid using a long lens. A 50mm lens or wider will give you fantastic results with a more intimate feel.

Preserve your kit

Humidity is a huge problem when working in the jungle. If your camera has condensation issues, place it in a dry bag with several packs of silica gel, seal the bag and hang it out in the sun for an hour or two – your kit will soon be working fine again.

Trust your instincts

Experiment with lighting and interesting compositions. Sometimes you have to throw out the rule book and just go with your instincts and what feels right.

Be inconspicuous

Try not to look too much like a photographer, especially professional one. Being faced with big lenses and expensive kit can often be very daunting for people.

While you’re out and about

Respect other cultures

Description: Respect other cultures

Always be respectful of different cultures and traditions. It’s important to research the way of life at your chosen location.

Do your research

Plan ahead and work around certain times of the day to visit popular tourist destinations. This way you’ll beat the crowds and also know in advance of any scheduled events or ceremonies worth shooting.

Have a camera on hand

Always have a camera on you, even if you’re taking a break from your serious shooting schedule. A compact or even a camera phone can be handy and will ensure you don’t miss an impromptu shot.

Embrace motion

For photographing busy, popular locations where tourists will frequently walk past, use an ND filter and tripod with a long exposure. This will help to remove the people from the scene and create an artistic trace of their steps instead.

Set yourself a challenge

Don’t be put off shooting the big tourist attractions, it may have been done before but it sets you the task of finding a new way to shoot. Start by finding a new angle.

Work with a zoom

Invest in a good-quality zoom lens that offers you a wide angle and medium telephoto range, around 18-200mm. This way you won’t have to worry about having to change lenses and missing any key moments to get your image.

Store your shots safely

Take a portable hard drive with you, or set up an online file-sharing account so you can upload images to free-up space on your memory card. Ask a friend at home to download your shots for you so they can be stored safely.

Work with RAW

Invest in a large memory card so you can always shoot in RAW. This way you can adjust or correct white balance later in post-production – a common problem when shooting under different lighting conditions.

Check you’re covered

Description: Check you’re covered

Before setting off on a trip ensure you and your kit are correctly insured. It means you won’t have to worry if you have an accident or your gear gets stolen.

Prevent pickpockets

To keep your kit safe, disguise it by sticking duct tape onto your camera body. It will make it appear old and worn, and much less appealing to any potential thieves.

Putting it into practice

1.    Settings

On locations, the light can change dramatically. To help ensure you get well-exposed images every time, set your camera to Aperture Priority. This way you can control depth of field while the camera controls the shutter speed.

2.    Setup

Don’t be put off photographing often-shot scenes, simply find new ways to get your image. Try shooting from a low angle for more dynamic results; it will also give your subject more presence within the frame.

3.    The results

Think carefully about your composition when framing the scene. Don’t forget to use lead-in lines and the rule of thirds, it can really help to strengthen your final shot.

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