It’s been almost six months since Esteban’s and my big trip, but we’ve been so busy that I haven’t dug any further into my photos than the 16 I posted last October.
But two things happened last week that inspired me to drag out the ol’ hard drive:
1. I saw this wonderful piece at Better Travel Photos about photographic self-assignments.
2. My old post on 10 ideas for better travel photos suddenly sprouted lots of traffic.
With that in mind, I’ve once again started sorting through those 30,092 raw files — and I’ve compiled five more lessons from my recent travels. I promise I’ll be back soon with some new stories, too.
1. Get personal
Street photography can capture some wonderful moments. But talking to your subject — and asking for permission to take their photo — sometimes yields an even greater sense of intimacy and authenticity.
I befriended this man in Paris, and after losing track of him for several years was delighted to run into him again last September. He didn’t remember me anymore … but I’ll never forget him. In spite of the tough life he’s led he remains kind, gentle, and hopeful.
To capture this tender scene I had to get close. The older sister seemed a bit self-conscious when I first approached her, but the children soon forgot my presence and went back to their coloring.
This painter in Montmartre was immune to my charms, but I still love the hazy cloud of his cigarette smoke and his (barely visible) Mona Lisa smile.
2. Get up
Getting up early on vacation may seem like an oxymoron, but the rewards are well worth any sacrifice: The light is often beautiful, and it’s a rare chance to have famous landmarks almost to yourself. Plus, you learn a lot about a new city by watching it wake up.
3. Get wet
Electronics and water generally don’t mix well, but rainy days can be infinitely rewarding if you take the proper precautions. Here are three shots from one particularly damp morning in Venice I would have missed, had I wimped out and stayed indoors.
4. Get abstract
Creative paint jobs. A boat launch. The ghosts of old doors. Most people will pass these without a glance. But you’re not most people, are you? 🙂 Challenge yourself to look for hidden beauty in everyday scenes.
5. Get down
Being not-tall puts me closer to the ground — and to images more vertically gifted photographers might miss. Look down every so often. You may be surprised by how beautiful the sidewalks are, and by who’s looking back.