'Not things I read in a text book' she pleaded, 'Something practical that works'.
'Do you want Boring?' I asked
'Heavens no!' she said 'I've got this passion for travel and a whim to take better photos'.
SEVEN DEADLY WHIMS
1. Travel with a small lens and big heart.
|Tourists in downtown Istanbul|
2. Imagine a sticker on your subject's forehead that reads 'Make me feel special'
I'm deadly serious. Visualise that sticker on your subject's forehead. If they feel nervous or suspicious its your job as photographer to relate to them and make them feel special. One trick is to praise something they own or they look after. 'These are healthy looking sheep you look after' or 'What a great car! How long have you had it'. But be gennuine. One hundred percent genuine.
3. Focus between the colour and the white of their nearside eye.
First, set your camera on single focus point. With multiple focus points the camera decides where to focus. I want you to decide. So just a tiny single rectangle. If your distant, focus on the face. If you are close lock focus between teh colour and the white of the nearside eye. The eyes MUST be sharp!
|Town square, Cartagena, Colombia - polishing a Botero|
How are we doing Fiona?
4. Avoid wearing Estee Lauder's 'Knowing'
Its a beautiful fragrance. Tryly. One of my favourites. But its bad news for travel portrait photographers. The fact yiu arrived by aeroplane, stay in a hotel and carry a camera means you must be a multi-millionaire. That's the perception. So first, dress down. Also, I want you, the photographer, to use your senses to 'read' the environment; tune into the sights, sounds, smells; touch and taste the world you in.
5. Travel Alone
|Broke the rules - a 400mm lens!|
Big groups are comfortable, and comfortably boring for photography.
6. Visualise your end result - Subject and Style
|Ringside at the Tango in BA|
Stay awake Fiona, we're almost there ...
Feel the Emotion
Photographing people is not about taking mug shots for Police Records or recording anthropometric minutiae. Its about emotion. You need to feel the atmosphere; a pulse running through your veins as you click; controlled excitement and exhuberance!
Practical Photography Intermediate