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Stealthz
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Travel Photography- A Discussion

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:25 am

I am planning a trip next year to Europe and Turkey, travelled a lot with cameras and don’t really need advice on kit, never hurts to pick up a book once in a while for new ideas-
In the introduction to the book the author(a very accomplished professional) outlines the equipment he takes on every trip.

- Two Canon 5D Mk III DSLR bodies
- Canon EF 24-70 f2.8 L Zoom lens
- Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS Zoom lens
- Canon 300mm f4 L IS lens
- Canon 1.4x teleconverter
- Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash
- Gitzo Carbon fibre tripod
- Laptop
- Assorted CF II memory cards
- 15” Laptop
- 2 x750GB portable hard disks
- Memory card reader
- 2 x bags , one for the kit and a smaller one for trekking.

That is NOT a travel kit. It is a commercial location kit!! (could use a few more lights)
I can assure you I will not be travelling with anything like that, not even convinced I will be taking a DSLR. For me a camera is a tool to document my travels, not dominate them.
What are the community’s thoughts on what constitutes a decent travel kit.
I understand mode of transport influences these choices.. for me I will be travelling mostly by train and alone.

Cheers
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
PhilBy
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Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:44 am

RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:06 am

Sometimes the purpose of the journey is to find something new to point the camera at. At these times I've been known to stroll through the mountains with an RB67, SLIK88 and lenses.
At other times the camera is an incidental and a small DSLR with 28-200 or bridge and compact tripod will suffice.
 
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akiss20
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:06 pm

I did a 7 week trip through Qatar, Vietnam, and Tibet with my trusty old Pentax K10D. I only brought my kit lens and fast fifty, leaving the 70-300 F4-5.6 at home for weight reasons. I was doing the backpacker thing and wanted to keep things light (especially important in the 95F and 90% humidity of Vietnam!). I tend to shoot long over wide so there were definitely times I missed my long lens, but not enough where it would warrant the extra weight and hassle imo. If I could do it all again, I might go for a nicer walk around lens like a 28-75 F2.8, but I am a grad student for whom photography is only one of many hobbies (most of which are irritatingly expensive...). A fast 50 or 28 or the like was very useful for the low light shots at night or in temples and it is so small that it is hardly worth leaving behind.

To me the most important thing of the travel kit is that it doesn't get in the way enough that you want to leave parts of it behind. If your focus is travel and not photography specifically, then imo you want to be able to carry your entire kit with you wherever you go, otherwise you will just be annoyed when you need this lens that you left at the hotel (plus if you are cheap like me you don't really want to leave valuables in most hostels anyway) which disrupts the entire vacation. Keep it simple and light and force yourself to work with what you got. I viewed my limited kit as a way to grow as a photographer, forcing myself to use focal lengths and perspectives I normally wouldn't. I could definitely feel myself getting better throughout the trip (also Vietnam/Tibet offered quite a few more photogenic scenes than the desert of Qatar...)


Cheers!
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are
 
photopilot
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:34 pm

When I travel, I want to travel light yet also have a good range of photo possibilities available to me. While I own Nikon DSLR and a raft load of lenses, with airline carry-on weight limits, plus I often travel by motorcycle while touring, I need to be light and compact.

To that end, I love my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 It's a FourThirds sized 12.1-megapixel compact camera with interchangeable lenses. I travel with the standard 14-42mm zoom that it comes with and sprung the admittedly big bucks for the wonderful Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 As I spend a lot of time in old-world cities with their small narrow roads etc, it's nice to have a very sharp ultra-wide lens with me.
http://lenshero.com/lens/Panasonic-7-14mm-f4-lens

Here's a couple of reviews of the camera itself and it's specs.

http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_gf5_review/

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/9813515339/panasonic-launches-dmc-gf5

And a few sample images I've shot on some trips. And yes, they've had post-processing.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Habana%20-%20Dusk%20to%20Dawn/SunsetfromCabana-2.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Habana%20-%20Dusk%20to%20Dawn/CentroCaronNightStreet.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Cross%20Egypt%20Challenge%202013/P1020521_zpsa32570c6.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Cross%20Egypt%20Challenge%202013/P1020108_zps8182f79e.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Cross%20Egypt%20Challenge%202013/P1010613_zps2704903e.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y55/Steve_YYZ/Cross%20Egypt%20Challenge%202013/P1010537_zpsd391a398.jpg
 
bennett123
Posts: 10737
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:37 pm

I normally take my Sony Alpha 57, plus 18-55 and 75-300 lenses.

I would also take my Fuji Finepix Bridge Camera, (takes batteries) as a back up.

Also always have spare memory cards.

I have a Crumpler Camera bag which will go safely under the seat in front.

Really it depends what you want to photograph.
 
flyinggoat
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:22 pm

About two years ago, I had a break between jobs and spent 5 months camping and traveling around the U.S. I was doing this in my SUV, and I didn't have a whole lot of space for a bunch of camera gear (no $$$ for all that either), so I just used an older Canon T2i DSLR with a 18-135mm lens. I brought the same combo on two trips (9 weeks total) to the Philippines, and it worked well there. I shoot mainly landscape and some architecture, and the range of the lens was just about perfect for what I did. I do wish the lens was sharper and maybe a bit wider, but I'm happy with the range overall. A 300mm would have come in handy for a few wildlife shots in Yellowstone, but that's about the only time I wished I had better zoom.

When the Canon 6D MKII comes out, I'd like to purchase one, or even just the Canon 70D. A full-frame camera like the 5D or 6D would be nice, but I would feel a lot worse if one of those were stolen vs. if a 70D or my old T2i were stolen.

Honestly though, there were times that I wished I had a small point-and-shoot that I could stick in my pocket. Even with my cheap T2i, I felt like a thief magnet in some of the Filipino markets. I also felt a bit guilty walking around with a camera that is worth more than what some of these people make in a few months.

A 6D MKII or 70D with the new Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens would cover 90% of my photography needs. A cheaper EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM would cover the other 10% of my photography needs (and I probably wouldn't even carry this around with me all the time). Throw in a tripod, remote, spare memory cards, and some filters; and I'm set.

Below are some pictures I've taken with my T2i and 18-135 IS lens:

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2857/9295648871_0661e6e975_c.jpg

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3767/9298417628_c3eae66d51_c.jpg

http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm233/DHC6twinotter/IMG_7899.jpg

http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm233/DHC6twinotter/Road%20Trip%20Favorites/IMG_5781.jpg

http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm233/DHC6twinotter/Road%20Trip%20Favorites/IMG_2871.jpg

http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm233/DHC6twinotter/Road%20Trip%20Favorites/IMG_1814.jpg

No tripod or filters were used in the above, but I did a little post processing (just upped the contrast and saturation a bit). Neither the camera or lens I used are what I would consider great, but neither are my photography skills, so this combo works for me. Once I get more practice in, I'll upgrade to a better camera.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:54 pm

Quoting stealthz (Thread starter):
What are the community’s thoughts on what constitutes a decent travel kit.

Well, my travel kit is pretty much my whole photography kit (being an enthusiast rather than a professional):

Canon 50D
EF 17-40 F4L
EF 70-200 F4L
EF 300 F4L IS (I don't always bring this lens, mostly for space-saving reasons, but I think I will always carry it in the future)
Extra Battery
Extra CF card
Battery Charger
Filters (ND and Polarizers in 2 or 3 sizes; UV filters tend to permanently sit on the lenses)

That all fits in one of the large pockets on my backpack, which is good, since I travel carry-on.

Then I sometimes bring my tripod, depending on if I think I will be needing it. That doesn't fit in anything, so I have to carry it. Not a particularly big deal, though; I've carried on a rollaboard, backpack, and tripod, and no one has questioned it (I can always gate-check the rollaboard if necessary, no big deal).

If I have my DSLR, I usually won't bring my PoS - er, PaS. But sometimes, for short trips where I'm not particularly interested in shooting anything, I'll just bring the PaS. Or else I'll just use the cell phone.

Too lazy to link any of my photos, but many of them are in the quarterly NonAv Photo threads.

There's also an internal battle that I fight with myself quite often. On the one hand, I'm taking photos to document what I see (whether traveling or near home). On the other hand, I'm taking them because there is something photographically great about the shot, whatever it may be. What ultimately happens is that my albums on Smugmug are quite a mix of "oh hey there's a rock, let me shoot it" and "wow, the texture and light on that rock is absolutely stunning right now, let me shoot it". What ends up happening is that Smugmug is where I upload almost all of my halfway-decent shots. I upload much fewer to Flickr, and I only link to some of the better ones in threads and such.

Oh screw it, I'll self-plug myself: http://www.vksphoto.com/
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:32 am

On my recent African trip, I took
D7000,
D610,
Nikon 28-300mm VR,
Nikon 80-400mm VR
5x batteries and 2 chargers
5x 32GB SD Sandisk
4x 16GB SD Sandisk
Low Pro DryZone Shoulder bag

That was more than I usually would take, but it worked well for Africa. The bag was a tight fit. If it's a plane spotting trip I traditionally take my 18-70 VR and 80-400VR. The 28-300mm is good to avoid dustspots in a dusty environment. though
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
Stealthz
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:57 am

I spent a couple of days commuting with my 60D, Sigma 18-250 and 10-22 lenses .. made think that was more than I needed to be carrying.

Quoting aerorobnz (Reply 7):
On my recent African trip, I took

I was very impressed with the images a couple of (non photographer) friends brought back from Africa all taken with a Nikon P600 Bridge camera.
Perhaps Africa(the parts they saw on a couple of safaris) will always look stunning and all their photos were outside in good light.

The thought that a good bridge camera might work for me has crossed my mind but as some of my intended photo opps will be inside and technical I am becoming resigned to lugging DSLR kit around for 6 weeks!
(Also paid for!!)

Now the subject of tripods... perhaps a whole new conversation!
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:19 pm

I take my Nikon D7100 with one extra (70-300mm) lens, plus a polarizing filter, also the charger and one memory card for each day of the trip, plus one or two spare. I dumped my Nikon bag and use a padded Timberland one instead (it doesn't scream "rob me!").

I also bring my Panasonic point-and-shoot which is handy if I'm going out at night. Most of my trips would be short haul on Ryanair or Aer Lingus, so I only take a cabin bag and all the above is more than enough.

Quoting stealthz (Thread starter):
For me a camera is a tool to document my travels, not dominate them.

     

Oh yeah, I forgot to add my mini tripod!

[Edited 2014-10-12 07:22:33]
 
YVRLTN
Posts: 2348
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:49 pm

RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:17 pm

Quoting stealthz (Thread starter):
For me a camera is a tool to document my travels, not dominate them.
What are the community’s thoughts on what constitutes a decent travel kit.

I agree, the camera is to document the memory and while I do enjoy photography and would like to think I am getting better and artier the main purpose for me on vacation is the vacation, not the photography. Even aviation photography for me is really just to record the different bizjets and unusual traffic at my local airport.

I take my DSLR with a Sigma 18-200 lens. This is super versatile for pretty much anything you need out and about on vacation. That being said I usually do take my 50-500 too and you end up finding that when you have that kind of focal length, its rude not to use it - but its heavy... I often leave it in the hotel unless I know I am going somewhere it would be useful, ie airport or maybe nature. But if I have the car, then theres no reason not to bring it just in case.
Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
 
Stealthz
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:20 pm

Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 10):
I take my DSLR with a Sigma 18-200 lens.

I think I will be taking DSLR and Sigma 18-250 and as much of my photo options will be indoors the Bigma may not get a ticket but the Sigma 10-22 may get some use !!
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
Molykote
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:21 pm

RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:19 am

Quoting stealthz (Thread starter):
That is NOT a travel kit. It is a commercial location kit!! (could use a few more lights)
I can assure you I will not be travelling with anything like that, not even convinced I will be taking a DSLR. For me a camera is a tool to document my travels, not dominate them.
What are the community’s thoughts on what constitutes a decent travel kit.
I understand mode of transport influences these choices.. for me I will be travelling mostly by train and alone.

My short answer is two answers:

(1) If you're travelling with a significant other/friends who are not into photography, just take a quality point and shoot.

(2) If you're travelling alone or will break away from your travelling companions to spend real time with your photography, then I'd recommend taking 1 small/medium camera bag with whatever you can comfortably carry.

I know you didn't ask for advice about gear, but this is what I put in my bag (a "Crumpler 7 Million Dollar Home") for case #2 above. This is more to represent what can fit in such a bag (without too much crowding to permit easy access) rather than what specific gear you should bring. I have owned the f/4L and f/4L IS lenses in addition to my f/2.8L IS II. My bag is no doubt fairly heavy with all this gear, but I don't find that to be a problem if I am alone and focusing on playing with my camera.

- 5D3
- 17-40 f/4L
- 24-70 f/2.8L II
- 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
- Gorillapod w/ ball head
- tiny Canon flash (just enough to fill)
- lens wipes
- a couple batteries
- one charger
- memory cards with case
- lens hoods/collar fit too
- my canon remote control stays attached to my strap. A great purchase and necessary for long Gorillapod exposures.

Importantly (for travel more than photography), I can also fit an iPad in the front sleeve pocket of the bag. The Gorillapod more or less fits under the flap of the bag and is only secure when the bag is strapped shut. I usually don't lug it around during daylight hours.

Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
Stealthz
Topic Author
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:25 am

Quoting Molykote (Reply 12):

My short answer is two answers:

And I am leaning to Answer 2,
Most of my trip will be solo, travelling at my own speed(the things I want to see/do in the time avail means faster than I would prefer)!! And the kit I travel with will be something approaching yours .. likely a Crumpler 6MDH with a bit less kit than you have.
Certainly include cable/remote and some kind of stab device.. tripod/gorilla pod!!
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
bennett123
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:37 pm

Must admit that I forgot the charger and lense wipes.
 
B747-4U3
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:56 pm

I tend to use the Fujifilm x100s now for travel photography. It's small, light, super low-light performance, an inbuilt ND3 filter, fast flash sync speeds, great image quality as well as a whole host of customisable settings. It also looks fantastic.

If I know I will specifically need it (landscapes...etc), I will take my DSLR and whatever lenses I think I'll need.

I've just upgraded so now I'm using:

Nikon D750
Nikkor 16-35 f4
Nikkor 50 f1.8
Nikkor 70-300 f4.5
Sigma 105mm macro f2.8
Samyang 24mm f3.5 tilt-shift lens

Normally I'd take the 16-35 (which I use as the main lens on the D750) and the Samyang tilt-shift lens. I may take the 70-300 as well but I rarely need long focal lengths and beyond 200mm it is too soft for my liking.
 
bhill
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:04 pm

Carpe Pices
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:08 pm

The more I travel the smaller and simpler camera I find myself taking. Last major trip I just took a point and shoot and was totally happy. I found myself just enjoying the moment rather than juggling lenses/filters and lights. Not to mention the constant worry about them being stolen or broken.
 
Stealthz
Topic Author
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:43 am

RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:26 am

Curiously the last few days have found me travelling through Sydney much as a visitor or tourist would.
This has given me the opportunity to observe this "species" and their interactions with image capture devices.
Carrying Kilo$ DSLRs around their necks and rarely using them is the main group, next group are capturing their moment with their phone, then there are those who need the "photo of us at here", often asking a passer by to take their picture this group almost always has an expensive DSLR.
Today a couple asked a lady to take their picture , them in the shade, the intended background in bright sunlight!
To the "hired" photographers credit, while professing no skill in the art she did not like the results, 2 silhouetted figures with a blown out back ground..
I offered to assist, saw this $2000 plus combo was set on "green" program mode... switched to "P", popped up the flash and produced 2 nicely balanced shots with subjects well lit with a nice background.
The camera owners were gushing in their praise and had never seen results like that....Long way from 'murrica... could have read the manual on the plane and a very expensive trip as well .. bit of basic photo theory knowledge might make the trip more memorable!!

That basic knowledge and understanding the capabilities of the equipment allowed my friends mentioned in an earlier post to bring some great images back from Africa with a pretty humble bridge camera

[Edited 2014-10-29 04:28:04]

[Edited 2014-10-29 04:29:54]
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
JRadier
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Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:36 pm

RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:36 pm

Quoting bhill (Reply 16):
What Ken says.....

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/carry-less.htm

I did the same thing on my 2 week Iran trip the last few weeks. I took a 7D + 17-55 f/2.8 plus a 55-200IS with me, nothing more. Since I was backpacking that was heavy enough. I shot 99% of the shots with the short lens, but I never missed any more equipment.
 
Stealthz
Topic Author
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RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:05 am

Hi all, this thread brought up a few different preferences on hardware and what to carry.
If I didn't make it clear in the original post I was not exactly looking for personal advice more a discussion.. now we have discussed hardware let's take a different turn.

How do you shoot when travelling, do you plan shots, do you take time and plan shots... or are you do you shoot a lot and pick the best?
2nd part of that is what do you do with them later.. how do you present your images?

Like I said, not looking for advice.. more a research discussion!

cheers
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
bennett123
Posts: 10737
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:58 pm

Personally, I would have a broad idea of what to shoot.

However, the final choice depends on what happens after I arrive.

I use old fashioned photo albums, and choose what I want from the sometimes many images taken.
 
Molykote
Posts: 1240
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:21 pm

RE: Travel Photography- A Discussion

Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:46 pm

Quoting stealthz (Reply 20):
How do you shoot when travelling, do you plan shots, do you take time and plan shots... or are you do you shoot a lot and pick the best?

I do both, but the vast majority of the vast time I find myself taking quick shots (perhaps taking 1min occasionally to rethink a shot). I'll walk off on my own for a bit (or half a day) if I feel like it, but usually I'll just take what I can get in passing.

I'm (clearly not) a pro and usually don't do much editing to my shot. The most important objective for me when traveling is to get a photo or two that reminds me of exactly the place/time/destination that I visited.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 20):
2nd part of that is what do you do with them later.. how do you present your images?

I usually just share them with friends via e-mail or some other online means. I'll print a few of the ones I like. About a year ago I had a 40" x 60" (!) canvas made simply because I wanted to see how it would look. It's a photo that doesn't look that impressive when shrunk down, but looks great at larger display sizes. As a reference for "large", consider that a 2560x1440 monitor would display ~17% of a 22MP image.

I have some photos on my phone and a picture is worth a thousand words, so....

The photo below was taken in Amsterdam from the Vondelpark looking down P.C. Hooftstraat. This was a completely unplanned photo taken at a moment's notice and was one of the rare times when I doubt I'd have gotten the shot without a very capable AF system and relatively high burst shooting (5D3, though not as fast as my old 7D).

This is a photo of the 40" x 60" canvas hanging in a room of my house.

For a sense of what I am getting at, this shows the cyclist close up at 100%, but still compressed as I was running out of my 10MB a.net image space allotment. Obviously this isn't the edit I used for the B&W print.


Here's a photo a spent a little bit of time waiting for (person blurred out) to coordinate the traffic and stop light (Hyde Park corner in London). As with other photos here, the heavy web compression (pulled form FB or reduced in size by an Apple device) kills the quality quite a bit. I might have spent 5-10min on this one (some exposures being 20+ seconds).



For shots like these I'd usually spend a minute or so (maybe 3-5min if I had to setup my Gorillapod for a long exposure). Typically the shots I "can't" execute (due to crowds, etc) are pretty evident, so it's often just a matter of finding a reasonable composition that isn't spoiled by factors beyond my control. I'd rather slow down and give more thought to photos, but in the digital photography world I'll often take 10 shots in a rush where I'd otherwise take 3.

Arc de Triomphe (flooded at the ground level with tourists)

Frozen canal in Amsterdam (quiet night with nobody around).

Some German ducks (a funny couple that walked around the town I was visiting for work all week).

Some vines outside of Santiago, Chile.


These are probably all shots that I took at least as quickly as a snapshooter would (sometimes with a phone, sometimes with my legit camera, sometimes with something in between):




And sometimes it's fun to prefocus and take shots when you're holding your camera sideways at your hip.

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