The travel photographer FAQ’s: What is travel photography?

What is travel photography?
Well that depends on whose asking and whose answering because there is no right answer. Look it up on the net and you will find various opinions. My take is that it’s a collection of several genres like landscapes, street, culture, nature, wildlife, black and white, people and so on. Most would say that the shots are from your travels away from home. But that means if I take an image of a cultural activity in my town then it’s not a travel photo but if a visitor from New York takes it then it is. Maybe then its the use of said image………..! Maybe we’re just over-thinking this. So anyway this is a beginning of a new series of posts that aim to help anyone interested enough to take better  photos on their travels. Here’s a black and white ‘travel’ photo.

Men playing Pétanque near the Eiffel tower in Paris, France

Men playing Pétanque near the Eiffel tower in Paris, France

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Photo tip no 6 – using a tripod

Firstly I have to say that despite having five tripods, I have a love/hate relationship with them! Its not just the carrying but the time taken to set up and get it positioned correctly and I’m quick! But it is worth it! There are lots of tripods on the market and they range from $10 to $’ooo’s and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but ultimately you get what you pay for. Lightweight aluminium are fine for small compacts but they will vibrate in the wind. Carbon fibre are much more sturdy. Rule of thumb is buy one that has load capacity of your camera’s weight (preferably with the heaviest lens) plus 50%. Tripods used to come with the head fixed. Nowadays you can mix and match legs and heads. Talking of heads, I use a ball head but some like the tilt and pan which is probably better for video and action. Once on the tripod you have to remember that the act of your finger pushing the shutter button will make the camera vibrate, which kind of defeats the purpose of having it on tripod. Ideally you should use a shutter release cable but you can use the camera timer. Just set the timer for its shortest duration and away you go. Of course if the subject is moving then a cable is best so you can choose the moment and not wait 10 seconds. Ciao for now and go get a tripod!

Humayun's tomb. The tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun which dates back to the 16th century and is in Delhi, India

Humayun’s tomb. The tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun which dates back to the 16th century and is in Delhi, India

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