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Photo Traveler

Photo Traveler

OP expert Bob Krist delivers information and advice for the traveling photographer.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

It's A Small(er) World, After All

The voyage of discovery requires seeing with new eyes

I’ve just returned from six weeks of travel on three different continents, and one thing I’ve noticed for sure: The world is getting smaller. I don’t mean that global warming is actually shrinking the planet (although it may be, for all I know), but that more people are traveling, and once-exotic locations are now becoming as tourist-frequented as Disneyland during President’s Week. Part of this is due to the phenomenon described in Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. As the tiger economies of India, China and other once-developing nations are swelling their ranks with educated middle-class consumers, those consumers want to get out and travel, just like us.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dodging The Magic Bullet

It's not the number of megapixels in your camera, it's what you do with them

Every time there’s a spate of new releases of the latest and greatest digital camera or software, I’m reminded of a story that famous
Life Magazine
photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt was fond of recounting. Eisenstaedt, whom many considered to be the father of modern photojournalism, was at the opening of a retrospective show of his work at a major museum.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Time For Giving

'Tis the season when Photo Traveler offers some gift advice for photographers

It’s the time of year when the avid traveling photographer should be thinking of dropping the necessary hints to loved ones of what might be the appropriate gift for the family shutterbug. Yes, dropping not-so-subtle suggestions about what you’d like could be seen as being somewhat uncouth or overtly self-serving. But who else knows the technical subtleties of digital gear and gadgets as well as you, and geez, who needs another tie or scarf with cameras imprinted on it or a cute statuette of a photographer sitting in a sports car with a couple of cameras around his neck and a bumper sticker that reads, "Warning:
I Brake For Pictures"?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Conversion!

Seeing the infrared light can take your photography to entirely new places

Brothers and sisters, my conversion came on the road to Pienza in the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy. I was strolling with Elizabeth Opalenik, a well-known art photographer and a fellow instructor at a weeklong workshop, when she pulled out what appeared to be a Nikon D70 and photographed the beautiful countryside. It was when she showed me the LCD on the back of her camera that I saw the light, and it was black-and-white infrared—and it was good.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hanging With Mr. Greene

Planning and a healthy dose of luck can save the day

As someone who has labored in the vineyards of editorial assignment photography for more years than I care to recall, the one definite truism I’ve observed over time is that the operative law of assignment photography is the one written by Murphy ("Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong"). To that nugget, I’d like to add Krist’s Corollary: The simpler the job sounds at first, the more difficult it will become.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Shoot From The Hip

The instant feedback of digital cameras offers new possibilities for travel street scenes

As a young newspaper photographer in the mid-'70s, I used to look at the work of the great street shooters, from Robert Frank to Alex Webb, and wonder to myself how these shooters could get so close to their subjects without seeming to be noticed by them. They created these wonderful, layered street scenes, using wide-angle lenses, where subjects were just bursting out of the frame, looking like they were about to walk right into the photographer’s lens. Yet they seemingly had no awareness of the photographer’s presence whatsoever.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Scouting Report: Tanzania

Getting the most from a safari demands careful planning given today‚’s baggage restrictions

A photo safari to East Africa is surely one of life’s high points for any wildlife photography enthusiast, and a prime destination for many is the country of Tanzania. Located south of Kenya and including large parts of the Serengeti and the entire Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania never fails to deliver quality game viewing and photography. The fact that it’s politically stable and environmentally conscious makes it all the more appealing.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Backing Up Images In The Field

You can keep your images secure without carrying two laptops on every trip

Since the dawn of the digital era, I’ve sometimes wondered whatever became of the "travel lighter" promise of filmless photography. Finally, it was said, we wouldn’t be required to lug around hundreds of rolls of film on extended trips. While it’s true that a laptop alone is lighter and less bulky than a couple of hundred rolls of 35mm film, what I didn’t realize early on was that the laptop was only one of several components I felt compelled to carry to do digital photography on the road.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Tipping Point

Paying subjects to photograph them is a complex issue with no easy answers

For anyone who travels and photographs, it’s an all-too-familiar scenario: You’re walking down a street in a far-off destination and you spot an interesting-looking local wearing the traditional clothing of the region—a wonderful potential portrait subject. You begin to approach the person to start up a conversation, and you’re sized up immediately: your clothes, your equipment, your lack of the language.

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