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Travel Photography

Last night my husband and I watched an excellent and entertaining presentation on travel photography on You Tube called presentation called “Authentic Travel Photography in the Age of Instagram”. The presentation was sponsored by B&H Photo and the photographer/presenter was Bob Krist who has been a Nat Geo photographer for 40+ years and has traveled extensively throughout the world. This presentation was one of the best I have seen in a long while and well worth the 1+ hour that I spent watching it. I will most likely watch it again. Some of the points Krist brings up is the prevalence of selfies now, the unrealistic expectations we form of destinations due to IG influencers, why meeting and interacting with the locals is so important and part of the travel experience. Another point he makes is the question of why we are photographing our travels - for bragging rights, likes on IG or Facebook?

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4241 posts

Thanks for the post, I've bookmarked it as a reminder to watch the presentation. I understand statements like that but it still makes my blood boil. I take a lot of photos while travelling but I certainly wouldn't call myself an amateur photographer, maybe an above average snapshot taker. I do post daily updates to Facebook while travelling, but I'm not on any other social media platform, and my circle of friends is so small that I'm not going to be accused of being an influencer.

I take them because I enjoy it, and I love looking back at them. The best of my best photos hang up in our living room and kitchen and we swap them out regularly. Yes, I love when I get likes and compliments, but the primary reason I take photos is because I like it. I hope the presenter isn't pigeon holing all picture takers into the same group.

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2461 posts

Thanks for this. I've also bookmarked to watch later.

Another point he makes is the question of why we are photographing our travels - for bragging rights, likes on IG or Facebook?

I'm not on either of those sites. My photos are for me.

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8529 posts

I take photographs for me. I find that quote of his quite ridiculous. Who is he to judge? I have a system I like. I take lots of pictures. Everyday I travel I upload some selected photos and a narrative to my Polar Steps app. My children and my siblings then can access those postings by invitation and see that I’m doing fine and it develops a record of my trip. I enjoying sharing a travel experience and this is one way I share, even though I’m traveling solo.

When I return home,the App gives me the option of using/editing my posts into a published book. I’ve done this 3 times now and really enjoy sitting down on a gloomy winter day and leafing through the pages and reviewing my memories.

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2461 posts

“Another point he makes is the question of why we are photographing our travels - for bragging rights, likes on IG or Facebook?”

I apologize. I didn’t mean to trigger anyone or accuse anyone the forum of this. Certainly in our travels we have all seen people who are not looking at a site but instead have their cameras facing themselves in front of a site or doing really downright dangerous things for the sake of a post on social media. Or we have seen photos of places online that don’t live up to our expectations in reality. That was the point. I only suggested this video because it was about travel and photography which is something that some of us here have an interest in.

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7573 posts

Interesting to hear about this presentation. I’ll have to look for it. I wonder if Bob Krist does any travel outside of his work, and whether he’s loaded down with photo gear all the time? Does he snap a picture with a start phone, or is every shot carefully composed, with lighting and depth of field prime considerations every tine he hits the shutter?

The title “influencer” has always sounded weird to me. Maybe it’s accurate, someone who can influence others to go someplace by creating unrealistic expectations. I’m generally satisfied with places I’ve made the effort to reach, especially if it’s not mobbed by too many other people with the same idea.

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2461 posts

I don't think you have anything to apologize for, Mary. 🙂

I've seen articles where it show photos side by side labelled "Instagram" vs."reality" like St. Mark's square, Trevi Fountain, Charles Bridge, etc. The before being filtered photos with no one around, the latter a mob scene of people. Pretty amusing.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/tripideas/instagram-vs-reality-destinations-and-attractions-that-don-t-always-live-up-to-the-hype/ss-AA11sCvX?ocid=ansmsnweather&fullscreen=true&cvid=8ee526bc190b47d1e291c00477d19315#image=1

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2777 posts

Thanks for the info. I will definitely watch. If you’d like more of bob krist, I just last week watched his fundamentals of travel photography on great courses.

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/the-fundamentals-of-travel-photography

That course, along with several other photography courses, is also available on amazon. You can sign up for a week free trial of the Great Courses channel and watch all that you want. Joel sartore, another nat geo photographer, also has several great courses on photography. I have found all of them super helpful as I have recently become interested in photography. A lot of great tips. I just use my ihpone camera, so I skip the episodes on lenses and shutter speeds. There are many helpful episodes on lighting, framing, composition, etc. And they both stress that it's not the camera that makes a great picture.

I think his question of why we are photographing our travels - for bragging rights, likes on IG or Facebook needs some context. I don’t think he’s suggesting those are the only reasons for photographing travels.

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2461 posts

Thanks @Carrie We just purchased his Great Course on travel photography and will look for others. We love Joel Sartore, too.

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3308 posts

Thank you Mary, going to watch it. I know we have all seen peoples who don’t even look at the picture or ruin, but mostly concerned with their photo with it.

When we were at the Parthenon, there was a woman dressed to the nines, with high heels on!! having a person taking photos of her. If you know the steps/ uneven stones around this site, you would be shocked to see someone dressed that way!

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Hi Tammy,

Yes, I can’t imagine being at the Parthenon in high heels considering the slippery marble. We have seen the same thing at Arches National Park. Or the woman on the boat at Lake Annecy who was standing with her back to the scenery the entire time filming herself on her phone. Or the crazy guy standing above the Seljaland Foss waterfall on a slippery steep slope in Iceland for a selfie. Or the people getting too close to a bull elk during the rut at the Grand Canyon. Seriously, I could go on and on.

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7400 posts

I’m watching grandkids so will look at the article later. When I took our adult daughter to Italy last September, we saw several “influencer “ type young women having photos taken of them by 1-2 photographers at the same time at popular spots. After seeing the general theme, I jokingly had my daughter pose, draped by a Venetian bridge in the silly poses, and I took three photos - LOL!

The sad part was seeing these people obvious to what was around them; they didn’t go into any of the sites - just a fast walk by as they headed to the next spot. And the one on the steps of the Amalfi Cathedral was ridiculously ignoring the formal wedding procession going up the steps as she continued to center the world on herself with her tacky poses.

Why do I photograph my travels? Easy answer. Because seeing them again puts a smile on my face and a beautiful memory of what happened that day. Personally, I don’t like to take photos of myself on vacation, but I do force myself to take one in each city where I stay just to have a few photos that I was there in my photo books.

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Thank you @AMann I am glad you like our photos. We are serious about our photography and constantly trying to improve our skills. We don’t do it for the likes or to get followers. As you can see from my IG, there is very little of that and I really don’t care. We are having fun and learning. Keeping our brains active.

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2461 posts

Thanks @Jean. I hate having my photo taken as it just reminds me of how old I am getting and my husband usually photographs me from behind which is not my most flattering view. LOL!

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2777 posts

Mary, wow!!!!! I just looked at some of your pictures before it kicked my off for not having an account. you probably don’t need those photography classes. 😊

Adding the link to joel sartore’s book that I found helpful. But this is probably for beginners like myself who had never heard of “framing” a shot.

https://www.amazon.com/National-Geographic-Photo-Basics-Photography/dp/1426219709/ref=sr_1_8?crid=WPG13DPNPFUJ&keywords=joel+sartore&qid=1673648478&sprefix=joel+san%2Caps%2C103&sr=8-8

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4241 posts

And they both stress that it's not the camera that makes a great
picture.

I've probably said this before in a post, but does it drive anyone else bonkers when you show a friend a photo that you're proud of and their reaction is "Wow, you must have a nice camera"?

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4241 posts

my husband usually photographs me from behind which is not my most
flattering view. LOL!

I'm always getting in trouble with my wife for doing that, but I find the photo so much more interesting than a mug shot in front of the site, or even a postcard shot of the site itself. It makes it so much more personal.

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2461 posts

Thanks @Carrie. Those shots are mine and my husbands. You are only seeing the good ones. We have plenty of bad shots where our shutter speed or aperture weren’t correct. Or I had the wrong lens. We shoot in raw so LR, PS and Topaz AI a have saved my bacon many times. The good news is I am seeing improvement in our photography.

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2461 posts

@Allan We need to incorporate more people into our photos including ourselves. My husband is good at doing street photography and photographing people. It makes for a far more interesting photo. Just don’t shoot us from behind please.

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1259 posts

I apologize. I didn’t mean to trigger anyone or accuse anyone the forum of this.

Naw, some folks who just like to go off. Not your responsibility.

I made a living for fifty years as a photographer and I’ve got plenty of opinions on the topic. Good photography is a skill quite separate from good travel photography in the same way that travel writing is different from writing scientific papers. And good photography is a world of difference from casually snapping shots with one’s phone, although the tool is not the issue (the best camera is the one in your hands). One aspires to and acquires the skills to take better photos or one remains satisfied with one’s faculties, one’s tools, one shoots whatever one wants, and enjoys sharing the results with one’s audience. Go forth and snap.

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6839 posts

Mary, wow, those photos are absolutely beautiful! I love to take photos of my trips - mostly for memories and to show family and friends - and I like to think they are decent, but yours are breathtaking! I'm now following you on IG so I can see more - and I don't care what your motivation is for posting them. They are beautiful and should be seen.

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Thanks @Mardee. That’s really kind. This is our hobby along with travel.

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my husband usually photographs me from behind which is not my most flattering view.

I like to shoot my husband from behind walking down an otherwise deserted street. We've preserved the memory of the bottom of lots of his shoes midstep. He hates that I do this, btw.

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2461 posts

Adding the link to joel sartore’s book that I found helpful. But this is probably for beginners like myself who had never heard of “framing” a shot.

I just requested this from the library 🙂

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627 posts

And now travel photography.
My wife and I really enjoy it too. Returning home from trips, we're like kids at Xmas first viewing the results on Lightroom. Currently working on 2 new collections for upcoming TRs: England and Quebec.

What follows is related to Krist.
Once in Castelluccio, Umbria we discovered that the man who'd rented next door to our own was also a shutterbug. He was from Val d'Aosta in the north. So all that week whenever our paths crossed, we'd offer him tips about locations, "Yeah man, check out that old Roman well. Foxes congregate there for a drink every sunset!" etc. He returned the favour one sunrise, noting our enthusiasm during one of that village's famed thermal inversions (the entire park valley had filled with a sea of milky mist), "So you two want to get as high up the path as possible for the best perspective."

Fast forward to our mutual morning of departure. That man summoned us over to his van. There, he showed us copies of the several coffee table wildlife books that he'd published. Then he showed us the business card that IDed him as a NG photographer!
Best of all was his latest book, one about Estonian foxes!! We'd unknowingly been 'advising' a true pro!
We all laughed.

i am done. the blushing

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7573 posts

Hmmm, Rick Steves has sure inspired people to travel, and many of them take photos, selfies or otherwise. And he’s made it possible for folks to post their musings and reports on his Website’s Travel Forum.

So does Rick qualify as an “Influencer,” or are there subtle attributes he lacks that keep him from qualifying?

For his TV shows, he leaves the filming to a professional. Maybe that’s a major difference, in addition to being over 65 :)

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556 posts

Same here with my photos - not only the travel related ones. I'm only taking them for myself and only when I'm in the mood. I use flickr as my photo album and I'm happy if others like the photos but if not ok as well.

Mary great photos you are showing :-)

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2461 posts

@gregglamarsh I loved that story! And we’re the same with our photos when we get home. We dive right into them. Do you post them somewhere? I would love to see them. Right now we post some on IG but are looking for a different platform for posting and sharing.

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2777 posts

Mary, have you looked into posting to google photos? Once you do that, you can share an album and then you’ll get a link that you can send to others or post here on the forum and others will be able to click on that link to get to your photos. I know I’d like to see more of your and your husband's. 😊

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I watched this last night and my take away was that Bob was suggesting that we photograph the locals, and not ourselves.

He also mentioned that he has shifted to travel documentaries and rarely takes stills anymore because he was not happy with the turn travel photography has taken. He mentioned a spread he did for travel and leisure magazine and that the goal was to attract ad revenue, not to showcase the location. That he did not like.

Another suggestion he had was to get away from the main sites. Yes, get your pictures of the colosseum if you have never been to Rome before, but also spend some time photographing some lesser known sites and places away from the Instagram crowds.

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@Carrie Thanks so much for the suggestion of using Google photos. We will look into that. And excellent précis of the Bob Krist video.

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627 posts

Yo Mary,
We've actually posted a number of TR/Foto Essays over the years, primarily over on Fodors and Lonely Planet, where I go by 'zebec'. Here's one below, actually our first-ever attempt to go digital and done in China. Its titled 'Passage to China'. Our TRs are by design, long and quirky. We try to combine imagery, music plus logistical tips. *They're great as sleep-aids!

https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/passage-to-china-a-photo-essay-1698000/

Other TRs easily found by Googling 'zebec Fodors' then one of the following titles:

-Deep in the desert (Jordan)
-En pays Villefranchois (the Aveyron area in France)
-The Return of the Son of Isabel's Italy (Venice)
-Metaxi Mas: a 5-parter covering the Greek isles of Folegandros, Santorini, Patmos and Samos (plus Athens)
-Vancouver island
-D'Aix (Aix)
-Cuckoo for Cucuron (Provence)
I am done. The end.

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2461 posts

@gregglamarsh Thanks for sending the link. I have only had a chance to take a quick look but I will view all of them later. From the few that I have seen your photos are gorgeous and very professional looking. Great work!

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2461 posts

Thanks @Carrie I just bookmarked that one.

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I added some of my photos to a shared album on google:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/FGTrqR6yXaDjuYAV9

To do this, on my iphone, I downloaded the google photos app and then selected the photos I wanted to back up. Then I went to my computer, because I find it easier to work on, and went to google photos. I then created an album for the photos I wanted to share here on RS. None with my sister, brother-in-law or me in them. 😊 When you’re in the album, go to options (under the 3 little dots at the upper right) and you can turn on “link sharing” and you will get a link you can copy and send to others. You can also turn off the ability for others to be able to add their photos or comment on your photos.

When i have more time, i'll look to see if i can organize them within the album and label what the are. If anyone knows if this is possible, please let me know how to do it. 😊

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@Carrie Beautiful photos. We have Google photos also on our phone and pc but it limits you to 15 gigabytes (which is half the size of a normal memory card for us) unless you pay a monthly fee. We have already run out of space on the free site. I am not sure how much storage space you get with the pay site. Because our photos are larger jpegs processed from raw files, there probably wouldn’t be much storage space for us.

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2777 posts

Mary, I’m just starting out, so I guess I don’t have the quantity that you have. My uncle, who is way more into photography than I am, uses dropbox, but I’m not familiar with it.

https://www.dropbox.com/