Thom and Sue met with our photographer Catherine O'Hara earlier this month for a fun and romantic stroll around Paris. That quiet morning, Paris with its little cafés and promenades along the Seine river, belonged only to the two of them. Memories to last a life time!
Articles in Category: The Better Travel Photos Blog
Our blog is a source of photography advice and news about events. We focus of course on Paris and London, but much of our advice can be practiced anywhere.
For our friendly critique #4 we decided to go for the portrait of an elephant about to enjoy its bath in Miami Zoo, by Nancy Bettencourt. This is a tightly-cropped portrait, where one can see only half of the elephant's head, and a spray of water, motion blurred from a slower shutter speed, against a dark background. The close up portrait allows the viewer to explore the elephant's skin texture with all its dots and wrinkles, as well as anticipate the coming refreshing shower.
In previous posts, we discussed various composition rules and ideas that can be used as a good starting point for an aspiring photographer. Once you master these rules and your eye is set to easily recognize various composition ideas through the camera lens, you may also realize that these "rules" are only guidelines and can also be broken. This is where the fun begins! Let's have a look at some examples of how to break the rules and unleash your creativity!
In the previous article we discussed various composition rules and ideas to help you gain more confidence in photography. Knowing how to use the many technical features of a camera is one thing, developing your photographer's eye to actually recognize a good composition is another, and dare I say, is more important. Since there are more ways of composing a stronger image than fits in one article, here are some more ideas for a good starting point in your photographic explorations.
One of the first things a photographer learns is how to create sharp images. In fact, the vast majority of photographs that are exhibited for public view are sharp and in focus. Tripods, fast lenses, Vibration Reduction and Image Stabilisation technologies - all is meant to get maximum sharpness, and for a good reason. Does that mean, however, that if an image is not razor sharp, it is meant to be deleted? In other words, can a photograph with soft focus or some blur be interesting and worth keeping? The answer is yes! Let's have a closer look at some examples...
Paris is widely known as a multicultural city. Traditions and celebrations of various ethnic communities that have long become a part of Parisian life make locals and visitors feel like they are traveling without even leaving the city. Of course, such festivals and celebrations are a great way to practice street and travel photography, and capture some vibrant images! One of the most popular annual events is Chinese New Year, celebrated in February, and this year I decided to experience it through my camera lens. Dragons, Chinese Lanterns, dancing lions, firecrackers, illuminated lanterns... let the celebrations begin!
Even the end of November in Paris sees bright and sunny days! It was a perfect match for a joyful family of five who asked us for a portrait session around the Eiffel tower and along the river Seine. Suzanne and Andy, together with their three children Tim, Ali, and Emily, met our photographer Elena on a Saturday morning and had some fun posing for the camera. But mostly they just forgot about it and enjoyed themselves!
While the Seine river separates the left bank from the right bank of Paris, multiple bridges link the two parts of the city and provide a great subject for photographic exploration. There are 37 bridges within the city of Paris, 4 of which are pedestrian, and some others are rail bridges. Remember that often the best spot to capture a beautiful bridge is from a bridge next to it, so get your maps ready!
Situated in the very heart of the city of Paris (3rd and 4th arrondissements), nowadays Le Marais is one of the most vibrant and attractive areas to explore through your camera lens. One of the few districts that were left untouched by renovation of the city by Baron Haussmann, Le Marais is still full of historic buildings dating back to the 17th century. The maze of narrow streets, hidden gardens and courtyards give the district a unique atmosphere. Also known as home to the largest Jewish community in Paris, a center of LGBT culture and a hub for fashionable boutiques and concept stores, Le Marais provides endless opportunities for street photography against an aristocratic historical background.
While in Paris, if you get tired of the hustle and bustle of the city or the crowds of tourists around the Eiffel tower, take a deep breath (and a few photos, of course) in one of the Parisian gardens. This city is definitely proud of its green spaces: from the posh Luxembourg Gardens to modern Parc de la Villette, from extensive Bois de Boulogne to the green path of La Coulée Verte, it offers a great choice of retreats not only for lungs, but also for photographers' eyes.
The Centre George Pompidou, also known by the locals as Beaubourg, is a complex and colourful building between Le Marais area and Les Halles. Besides housing the largest modern art museum in Europe, a vast public library, a center for music and acoustic research IRCAM, this 7 level high-tech structure also offers great views over the central part of the city of Paris.
Have you ever asked yourself what makes a travel photo stunning? Everyone has their own reaction and sense of aesthetics, however several key ingredients need to come together to create a great image: interesting subject, emotional impact, correctly selected camera settings and strong composition. Speaking of the latter, there is no single way to compose an image. Depending on your subject and the story you want to tell, different composition rules may be applied. Of course, rules are also meant to be broken. Here, we offer a variety of ideas for composing well-balanced images with more impact, and in a future post we will talk about breaking all the rules.