Why I took lousy travel photos? Part 1 of 3

Why I took lousy travel photos? Part 1 of 3

I once heard a photographer illustrated three types of travel image:

  1. What do you see when you are there?
  2. How is it like to be there?
  3. How is it like to live there?

The fact is, most travelers can barely achieve #1 as they do not understand their equipment (camera, smartphone, etc) to capture what they see.  The images are: over-exposure, too dark, blurred and looks odd, even if they have the most advanced digital camera on their hands.  Even with the modern technology and preview screen on a digital camera, blurry night image and contrasty outdoor photo are the two most common failures that I have seen. I recalled a friend commented his $1200 SLR as an expensive Point & Shoot, except he can make more bad shots faster.

It is never a bad idea to make sure you practice shooting with your camera gear before heading out to your travel destination.  For the DSLR users, as a starter, review your user manual and learn how to shoot with the Aperture Priority (A mode). Using the Program mode (P) or the Automatic feature will render your $1000 camera as nothing more but an expensive Point & Shoot camera; it also limits what you can do with your camera.

For the smartphone users, I recommend a book, The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You by Chase Jarvis.  It is an easy-read for someone who would like to maximize the use of a smartphone camera while traveling overseas or at home.  At the minimum, use a phone app that can start up fast, and shoot fast.

Camera View

We will dive into the details of three different types of travel image in the upcoming articles.

A great moment seldom repeats; so make sure you don’t miss it, whether it is through your memory or your lens.