If you’re like me, when you travel you photograph everything that catches your eye and interest, and you end up with a huge pile of images to sort/edit upon your return! But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Responding to what you see is great. Photographing from the heart and the perspective of awe and wonder is the way to go. At the same time, if you want to build a collection of images that tell a story about the place you are visiting, it can help to have some sort of ‘plan’ or checklist or you might find you have lots of camels pictures but no food images – or shoes in the market but no people!
When I travel, I have an overall ‘plan’, a sort of checklist, mostly from doing assignments for magazines and for stock coverage. But that plan has proven useful when I want to build a slide show of my trip, too. I will include close-up details, portraits, intimate landscapes, scenic views and landscapes, food, candid moments,people in the landscape, architecture; dawn/sunrise and sunset/twilight images, and views from towers or hilltops to get that overall image. Each day, and all day, I keep a keen eye out for things that capture the essence of that place, and you never know where those will present themselves.
Yet even though I have this ‘plan’, I keep my eyes and mind relaxed, open to everything around me; after all, if I stick too close to my plan I’m liable to miss something great! So it serves as a general reminder of things to look for when I want to build a collection.
The collage above represents a very tiny sample of what I’ve seen in Morocco. It’s a place that excites the senses – sight, smell and sound all wrapped up in an exotic, warm, sunny package. Like anyplace, it can overwhelm at first, but when I remind myself to slow down, I see more and more each time. After two trips, I feel I’m getting the hang of it! I still don’t have great food images, but tagines are difficult to photograph to look as tasty as they are! I’ll keep trying…
We’re planning a third trip to Morocco in May 2013 with Strabo Tours. Also check my website for information that will be posted as soon as it becomes available.
Yes, where is your next book? 🙂 Great post Brenda. Excellent advice and super images as usual.
JB, note to Kalani above. We’re excited that it’s finally getting finished and will be out late summer. On to the next one – ha ha. Seriously though, I feel a few e-books or apps if not real books trying to get out from inside my brain…if only I had more time!
Whens YOUR next book coming out? I’d buy any of your work and study it as well as display it proudly on my coffee table to share with others who haven’t seen your photos or read your writing 🙂
Well, my next book is a joint effort with my partner, professional photographer Jed Manwaring. It’s title Extraordinary Everyday Photography – and the focus of the book is on seeing the potential for photographs in everything around you – whether it’s a pattern on the sidewalk or the inside of a red cabbage, or whatever. Designed to get people to open up to seeing right where they are. It’s due out in mid-August 2012. Thanks, Kalani!
Great post, and yes great images too. There’s so much to do on a shooting trip. Thanks for all the reminders.
Welcome, Bob – but something tells me you don’t need reminding – you do such creative work and I’m always amazed at what I see on your blog. Keep sharing it…
Wonderful photos, Brenda … thanks for sharing your work – and your insights!
Thank you Kerry – from someone who does great work, too, I appreciate the comments! By the way, did you ever see the review I did on Facebook of your latest book? I was a bit slow getting to it with our move last Fall, and traveling and book edits, and well – life – but I did one. It’s a great book!
Hi Brenda, Thanks for the followup, and thanks so much for the terrific review of The BetterPhoto Guide to Creative Digital Photography! Much appreciated!!