Monday, December 15, 2008

Putting some life into your photos

When I first started photographing seriously my main interest was in nature and landscapes. I would sit patiently at popular places waiting for other people to disappear before I took any pictures.

When I was off the beaten track it wasn't a problem but when I visited a popular tourist spot it sometimes meant waiting for a long time.

Then I discovered a truth about travel photography. As opposed to landscape photography, travel clients actually prefer to have people in the picture. Something about making the viewer feel like they could be there too.

Once I discovered that I seemed to be cursed with the opposite problem. Now suddenly there weren't any people. What's a poor photographer to do? Put the self-timer on and get in the picture yourself.

It's very easy to do of course. You set up the camera on a tripod and compose the image. Once you have it set you put the camera on self-timer and make a mad dash into the frame to stand at the right position.

In reality it often involves lots of pictures of the back of the photographer running into position, or the photographer looking at the camera wondering if the shutter has gone off yet!

Another thing to be careful of is that if you're as camera-breakingly ugly as me make sure you use a wide-angle lens and get a long way away. :) And plan on taking a couple of changes of clothes with you so you don't end up in the same t-shirt for 400 photographs. You'd be amazed at how many photos of myself I've seen floating around. I might have to start charging myself a modelling fee. :)

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