Month: October 2016

The Stories Behind My Best Selling, Favorite and Most Challenging Photos

It has been a little over four years since I wrote my very first article for Digital Photography School. In that time, I have covered a vast array of subjects. I still often get asked what is my personal favourite photo that I have taken, or what is my best selling image. So for this, my 50th article for dPS, I will tell you.

The Stories Behind My Best Selling, Favourite and Most Challenging Photos

My Best Selling Photo

I had done a fair bit of research into Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was at the very top of my shoot list. From my research, I found that the majority of photos of this amazing building were from the front, where a grand staircase leads to the main entrance. Naturally, I had this particular view on my shot list, but I always arrive at a location in good time and scout around it. Having looked at satellite images on Google maps I could see that there was clearance from the other side of the mosque that could potentially give me an alternative view and a point of difference.

I had arrived the night before and having preemptively organised a taxi, I arrived at the mosque well before sunrise. Through my research, I knew where the sun would rise so I began to scout locations looking for the perfect composition. Having noticed a small pond that sits behind the mosque, I immediately knew that this was where my camera should be set up. I could picture the shot in my head and envisioned a bit of lighting from the side to light up the minarets of the mosque. When combined with the reflection in the water, I knew I would be onto something that would sell.


My first set up. I felt the image wasn’t balanced.

Set up and be patient

My first couple of shots did not include the grass on the right-hand side and, to me, the photo didn’t feel balanced. It needed something to help frame the mosque. I simply moved back a little to the right and knew straight away that this was the exact composition. Then it was just a matter of waiting for the perfect light and setting my camera.

I used my Canon 24-70mm lens and wanted to keep as much of the background and foreground in focus so I went for f/16. As I was using a tripod I didn’t have to worry about camera shake so I set my ISO at 100 which meant I needed a fairly slow shutter speed (1/13th).

Just after sunrise, the minarets of the mosque were painted with the bright orange rays of the sun and I got a beautiful orange gradient on the horizon which helped bring out the darker areas of the background. I took four shots from around the same point with the same sort of composition. This was the first one (below). As a photographer, you always know straight away when you have captured something decent.

This image has sold six times since then, and the combined fees make it my single most profitable photo.



My Favourite Photo

I think any photographer will tell you that choosing one photo as their favourite is tough. Every photo they’ve taken has a story behind it; a reason why they thought it made a good composition or an interesting subject.

But my personal favourite photo is of this little girl in a tiny village in Vietnam (below). I had been travelling in Vietnam for a while and had a clear plan of my route. But at the last minute, while in the north, I made the decision to head to a region known as Mai Chau. I wanted to visit some of the local villages and experience what everyday life was like for the locals. After arriving at my hotel I started speaking to a local staff member who told me that he was from the next village and there was a local market. When I arrived at the market the next day, even though it was pouring with rain and incredibly foggy, I was blown away. The hustle and bustle and the amazingly vibrant colours overwhelmed me so I walked around the market a few times to take in my surroundings.

The Stories Behind My Best Selling, Favorite and Most Challenging Photos 1

Camera settings

In this sort of environment though you have to work quickly so I already had my settings sorted on the camera. I knew I would have to raise my ISO because of the shortage of light so I set it at 400 to allow me to have a shutter speed of 1/125th (this would mean my photos would not be subject to camera shake). An aperture of f/4.0 was chosen as I needed to keep my shutter speed fast but also because I was only looking at isolating one person at a time (shallow depth of field).

A lot of my time in markets is spent just standing still and watching people and that’s exactly how this shot came about. I noticed this little girl in between the two women so I raised my camera and pointed towards her. She seemed intrigued and didn’t turn away, so I snapped one photo before the scene changed, she moved, and people began walking across the photo. When I looked at the photo again what I loved was her expression, the curious look where she just couldn’t turn away.

So for me, this photo always reminds me of that wonderful experience. Even though it has sold only a few times, it is by no means my best selling, but it is definitely my favourite.

My Most Challenging Photo

Anyone who has ever visited the underground cities in Cappadocia, Turkey will tell you that they are claustrophobic. They’re hot and humid with some parts barely wide enough to walk through. To even think that people lived in these underground cities is simply astonishing. I loved photographing this region because a huge part of its history are these underground cities so I knew that I needed to capture these images.

But besides the obvious low light conditions, it is difficult to portray something that, without being in it, does the scene justice. I knew this would be though so as I worked my way around the maze of tunnels it felt like an impossible task. I tried different areas with different ways to keep the camera steady, by resting it on my bag or on a step and raising the ISO, but nothing stood out.

Portray the feeling of the scene

As I made my way through yet another tunnel I turned around and was immediately drawn to its eerie shape. It looked like a casket to me and I loved how the glow of the light illuminated the outline on the path. I knew that to really show how small and claustrophobic these tunnels are I would need to place a person for a sense of scale, so I had to wait.

While waiting I took a few test shots to get my settings correct.

While waiting I took a few test shots to get my settings correct.

In the meantime, I took a few test shots to check my settings were right and after a bit of trial and error arrived at ISO 3200, f/2.8 and 1/80th. This was the slowest I could go without camera shake as I was utilizing the small tunnel to wedge myself in and keep the camera steady.

After what seemed like an eternity, someone began walking through so I took a deep breath, concentrated on focusing on them, and snapped away. I only managed to take two photos; luckily the first one worked. This was the only photo that I ended up submitting to my stock agency from that particular location.


My first photo and the only one that worked.


The next shot on the roll. The person has moved too close and the photo doesn’t work for me.

Summary and take away lessons

The interesting thing about these three photos is that they all highlight a different skill needed. The first photo is all about research and planning, the second is about spontaneity and being ready, and the third is about perseverance and challenging yourself beyond your comfort levels. Photography requires a lot of skills and hard work but the rewards are worth it.

Thank you to all the readers who have commented on my last 49 articles. Please share your experiences, questions or photos below.

The post The Stories Behind My Best Selling, Favorite and Most Challenging Photos by Kav Dadfar appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Categories: Digital

How Birds Can Help You Learn About Your Photography Journey

When you feel like you don’t know what to do, what’s the next step? Frustrating, isn’t it? I think wisdom is found anywhere, from renaissance statues to butterflies, and even birds. Speaking of which, here’s a weird photography insight that I got by observing them.

Photography Journey

Why birds are amazing

Birds are really awesome. Well, I guess they are, depending on what aspect you are looking at. I mean, we all know they can litter a lot, right? But one thing that has always amazed me is how birds can reach their destination halfway around the world, without ever having been there nor knowing how to get there. Take the Arctic Tern, for example, it’s a bird that goes from Greenland all the way to Antarctica. They make the trip without ever knowing where it is.

Life will find a way?

There’s this scene in Jurassic Park where raptors that were not supposed to reproduce ended up making babies on their own. That’s when Jeff Goldblum said, “Life will find a way”. That is weird but it is true. Birds fly miles upon miles, butterflies too and even turtles. They all reach their destinations without knowing how to get there.

Now, call me crazy but I think that the same hand that made them also made me and you. And if these animals have an internal GPS, I am sure I have one too and so do you. A GPS that allows us to reach our destination as a photographer, wherever that may be. I don’t think any of us have any problem with that GPS concept. But between where we are and where we want to be is a big, scary gap, it’s called process. And if there’s something I’ve learned from nature, it is to embrace it.

Photography Journey

Embrace the process

Try to think like the birds think (don’t worry it’s not that hard with your brain not being larger than theirs). They probably feel a strong urge to go in a certain direction, and I am pretty sure that’s it. They can’t possibly know 100% how to get to their destination for sure because they’ve never been there. All they did was start, and also began embracing the process of life.

Normally when someone talks about the process of photography, they usually refer to stuff like exposure and the making of photographs. But what I would like to talk about here is more about the overall process of photography. I think it is all about accepting where you are and knowing paths will open up along the way. It is up to us to be open to it, and to be brave enough to take step after step, just like millions of birds, butterflies, and turtles.

Photography Journey

Just start even if you don’t know the end yet

But unlike birds, sometimes our destination is not as we expected when we started, that’s where we need to be open. I remember a while back, when I was thinking of what to do with my life, I had no idea what to do next. I accepted that and felt that I would end up figuring it out somehow. I started with the lowest hanging fruit: Video Games. At first, I wanted to go into Video Games, then I realized what I really liked were the graphics. I did not want to spend all that time learning about art, so I entered Graphic Design. From there I got a camera on an impulse and started photography.

When I started with photography, I had no idea what I would do, nor did I have an idea of what I needed to do. All I knew was I needed to start, even if I knew not what I was doing. I had all of the intent of being a wedding shooter but now I am more a street photographer more than anything!  You see, I think photography in an overall sense works that way. Decide to be a photographer, start right now, then be open to other paths that are in front of you. Providence will take care of you. Embrace the process.

Getting past road blocks

Of course, at every turn there are frustrations. No one said this stuff would be easy! But the thing is, you can recognize that you are in the middle of a process so that you can learn to embrace it.

  • Learning your exposure is frustrating you? Embrace the process.
  • Keep missing shots? Embrace the process.
  • Still not where you want to be? Embrace the process.
  • Have no clients knocking at your door? Embrace the process.

Embracing the process is simply accepting the fact that you are where you are supposed to be right now. Once it is time for you to move on, you will. But you will never be able to move any step further if you do not accept the process. Say no clients are knocking at your door, you haven’t gone trough the process of marketing your work yet. It’s pretty simple really, your situation will probably never outgrow your own skills.

Photography Journey


I don’t know where you are, reading this. But I’m pretty sure you know what you want out of photography. Will you trust your inner GPS and take the first step? God only knows what’s in store for you.

All I know for sure is that you can always figure things out along the way. Embrace the Process. Be yourself, stay focused and keep on shooting. Please share your experiences in the comments below as well.

The post How Birds Can Help You Learn About Your Photography Journey by Olivier Duong appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Categories: Digital

2 Simple Methods for Adding Color to Your Images Using Photoshop

Most of us have experienced photographing an incredible sunrise or sunset only to get home and realize that the colors in your images are not nearly as good as the colors you witnessed with your own eyes. There can be many reasons to this, such as camera limitations or mistakes you made in the field. However, that’s not what you will learn about in this article. Correcting the colors, or adding color, isn’t something you need to spend hours working on. In fact, it can be done in just a few minutes using Adobe Photoshop and you don’t need to be a Photoshop expert to do it.

Enhance or adding color in Photoshop

Trolltunga, Norway – We will be adding color to this sky

As we all know there are many ways to get to Rome, there  isn’t only one method of adding colors in Photoshop either. It can, as I mentioned above, be done fairly easy but the more detailed adjustments you wish to make, the harder it will become. In this article, we will be looking at two easy methods to add color in Photoshop.

#1 Adding Color with a Photo Filter

The first method we will look at involves the Photoshop tool called Photo Filter. This is an Adjustment Tool which you can find by clicking the Adjustment Tool icon (the half-filled circle located below the layers palette, see screenshot below). This creates a new layer named Photo Filter 1, which we will be working on.

photo-filter-ps adding color in Photoshop

Photofilter adding color in PhotoshopA warming filter is the default setting so, as you might see, the image now has an orange color cast. Personally, I prefer using Warming Filter (LBA) as I find this to have the most natural color that suits my images best (see screenshot on the right). Select this filter by clicking on the Filter dropdown menu. Alternatively, you can select a color manually that might suit your specific image better. If you find the adjustment to be a little too weak you can strengthen its appearance by increasing the Density. I rarely go above 40% Density as the colors then quickly become washed out and results in a look I don’t want.

Photo filter applied to the whole image - adding color in Photoshop

Photo Filter applied to the whole image at 40% 

Photo filter - adding color in Photoshop

Photo Filter applied to the whole image at the default 25%

By using this filter we have brought back some of the color in the sky. There’s not a huge difference but we’ve managed to keep a natural look in the image while the sky still looks good. However, there’s one problem. We don’t necessarily want to add the extra color to the landscape itself, we only wanted the sky to be affected.

layer-mask-ps - adding color in PhotoshopLeft of the Photo Filter text there’s a white box. This is the layer mask, basically telling Photoshop what area of the image should be affected by that particular layer. White means that it’s visible and black means that it’s concealed. By default the entire mask is white. To remove the adjustment from the landscape itself follow these steps:

  1. Select the Layer Mask by clicking on it (it will show square brackets around the mask when it is selected, see screenshot on the right))
  2. Select a black brush and set Hardness to 0%
  3. Reduce the opacity of the brush to 80%
  4. With the Layer Mask still selected, carefully paint on the areas you do not want affected by the filter. You’ll see the adjustment disappear from those places as you paint.
adding some subtle color to the sky

The Photo Filter layer masked to only affect the sky.

This is the easiest way to manually choose where the adjustment will be visible. Unfortunately, it’s also the least accurate. You might see some haloing along the edges or perhaps the color bleeds onto the horizon at certain places. By zooming in on the image and using a smaller brush you’ll be able to reduce the amount of haloing or bleed. Other methods, such as Luminosity Masking, are more accurate but also demand a better understanding of Adobe Photoshop.

#2 Add contrast with Curves Adjustment Layer

Curves adjustment layerAnother easy method to add colors is by using the Curves Adjustment Layer. Unlike Photo Filter, we will be using Curves to add contrast in the sky. Follow these steps to do a Curves adjustment:

Open a Curves Adjustment Layer by clicking on the Adjustment Layer icon again, and selecting Curves this time.

You want to add some contrast and increase the colors slightly by darkening the sky. Do this by clicking in the middle of the line in your Curves layer and pulling it down gently. Make sure that you don’t go too far as that will lead to unwanted grain or color distortions.

That’s it. To remove the adjustment from the landscape create another Layer Mask and follow the same steps as with the previous method above.

adding color in Photoshop

As you might have noticed these are two subtle adjustments. You won’t get a surreal sky by following these methods. Instead, you’ll maintain a natural look and still bring out some of the color you wanted to capture.

The post 2 Simple Methods for Adding Color to Your Images Using Photoshop by Christian Hoiberg appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Categories: Digital

Tips for Taking the Torture out of Extended Family Portrait Sessions

I have yet to meet someone who loves getting their picture taken with the whole extended family. The thought of getting all the dramatic aunts, crazy uncles, wild kids, and tired grandparents together and smiling all at the same time seems nearly impossible, and not at all fun. I know of many photographers who refuse to do big family portraits because they can be so unpleasant. I have grown to love big extended family portrait sessions throughout the years. You can too, whether you’re the photographer, or one of the silly cousins getting her photo taken.

Extended Family Portrait Session

Think of big groups as your own family

The first thing that helped me love extended family sessions was the way that I thought of them. Instead of a difficult crazy session, I try to think of them as my own family, and take the photos with love. Let me share a story that may change your mind about extended family sessions too.

A while ago I was asked to add a missing brother to an extended family photo. The entire family had been there when they had the photo taken, except for this one brother who couldn’t get off work. Months later, one of the other brothers tragically passed away. Their most recent family portrait wasn’t complete, and they’d never be able to get a new one.

So, I took this working brother to the same location, took a photo of him, worked him into the photo through the magic of Photoshop. I matched everything the best that I could, so they could have the last most complete family portrait. It made me realize how fragile life is, and how fragile families are. If I have an opportunity to capture a family right now, today, as they are, I’m happy to do it. You never know when or why that portrait may become priceless to them.

Not only are these photos precious and invaluable, but they can be a lot of fun, and not too difficult to pull off. Let me give you some tips to help.

Extended Family Portrait Session

Take charge, be bold, move fast

When you’re working with a big group of people, someone has to be in charge. That person is you, the photographer. This is not a time to be timid and quiet, hoping things will fall into place. As soon as you’re ready to start, get everyone’s attention. Taking charge right away will let them know that you are confident, that you know what you are doing, and that they can trust you. Smile a lot, and if it works for you, throw in some humor. Tell your group that if they will listen to you closely, and do everything you say, that it will be quick, painless, and even fun. Everyone there likes to hear “quick, painless, and fun”, so you’ll have their attention right away.

Don’t take a long time getting everything situated. Have everything scoped out beforehand, and have a firm idea of where and how you will place everyone. Know what order you will be photographing each group, and if you have any stragglers, kindly, but firmly move them toward the picture location. If there are a lot of small children, this is especially imperative. You will lose their interest and patience so quickly, so you need to take advantage of any time when they are even remotely cooperative. You won’t get any good photos when everyone is exhausted and sick of you, so you have to be done before that happens.

Extended Family Portrait Session

Add some personality

With a big group, it seems like you might only have one option – get everyone to look at you, and hope they are smiling. Many clients do want a more traditional family photo, very posed, with everyone looking and smiling. But try giving them a few photos with a little bit of their family’s personality. When you are working with so many people it’s really hard to get a perfect traditional photo anyway. Most of my clients know that isn’t really my style, so they are happy with the more fun, casual photos.

My favorite thing is to ask everyone to hug in to Grandpa and Grandma, or hug someone next to them. Set everyone up for the more formal photo, and once you’ve captured that, just ask them all to hug. Usually it feels silly enough that they start to laugh, and you get genuine laughs and connection.

Extended Family Portrait Session

Try different poses and positions

It can be a challenge to know how to arrange a really big family group. You could easily have four generations in one photo, which can add even more challenges with arrangements. Some families like family photos where they are all squished in together, in one big family group. I’ve had some that want them completely mixed up, where nobody is grouped into separate families. This is okay, but I find that most families like to at least be able to tell which small families within the group belong together. You can do this by just having each family stand next to each other, or you can even put gaps in between each family. I usually do both, so they have options to choose from later.

I usually place Grandpa and Grandma in the center then evenly distribute their children’s families on either side.

Extended Family Portrait Session

My style doesn’t involve a lot of props, so you won’t notice a lot of chairs and stools in my family photos. They are an option if you’d like to create different levels, but it usually takes a lot of time to get that set up, and your subjects lose patience fast. I prefer a more casual, natural look to something that looks very precise and contrived. Sometimes worrying about those extra things can cause a lot of stress for you, and for your families, and make the whole process more of a chore. But feel free to use them if it’s your style and preference.

Extended Family Portrait Session

Find suitable locations

If you want to have some seated photos, look for locations that have places to sit built in. I love rocks, logs, or even park benches. You can also have some people sit on the ground, some kneel, some stand, but again, be careful not to take so long over-posing that you lose their patience.

It can be difficult to find a place that will work for such a large group. Try to find locations with simple backgrounds that don’t detract from the faces. If possible, schedule the session during the early morning or evening, to take advantage of better lighting. Look for places that have large trees or buildings to filter the light. It’s much harder to make difficult lighting situations work with 30 people than it is when you’re just photographing one.

Don’t move around a lot with a large family once you’ve found a good spot. Find one or two good backgrounds, three if they’re really close to each other, and stick with them. This will keep their photo groupings more consistent with each other, and will make the session go much faster and smoother. Try getting 30 people to move quickly over to a different rock, and you’ll see what I mean.

Extended Family Portrait Session

Get all the break-off groupings

Once you’ve photographed the big huge family, it’s time to get all of the little groups. Keep this moving quickly, and be efficient moving from one group to the next. Here’s a list of the different groupings that I do:

  • Entire extended family
  • Grandpa and Grandma (Dad and Mom) alone
  • Dad and Mom with their children (siblings)
  • Dad and Mom with their children and children’s spouses
  • All the siblings
  • The siblings and their spouses
  • Grandpa and Grandma with the grandchildren
  • All the grandchildren
  • The sisters together
  • The brothers together
  • Each separate family

I don’t do every one of these every time. It depends on what the family wants. Also, I know every family is different, and there may not be Mom and Dad, or any grandchildren, etc. This is just to give an idea of how you might break the groupings up.

I try to do the whole family first, and then the smaller groupings. Because it’s hardest to get everyone paying attention and happy for the whole group, you want to get that in when everyone’s fresh. However, sometimes some of the families arrive before others. It’s a great use of time to take the photos of those families while you’re waiting for the entire group to get there. They’ll be happy that they’re finished early, and that they don’t have to sit around doing nothing while they’re waiting for the latecomers.

Extended Family Portrait Session

A few more tips

Remember when you’re working with big families, that letting go of perfection can save you, and them, from a miserable experience. Kids often don’t cooperate, and sometimes some of the family is really grumpy about being there for photos. Do the best you can, and let the rest go. If there are little ones not looking at the camera, or even crying, you are still capturing that family at this moment in time, and giving them a gift. They may end up treasuring the silly faces, and loving the memories of when one grandchild was going through his never-sit-still phase.

Direct the adults

Tell the parents and grandparents to do their best to continue looking at you and smiling, even if you are trying to get their kids’ attention. Many a good photo is ruined by a parent looking down and lecturing their child right at the moment when the child finally does look up and smile. If the adults are picture-ready at all times, then you will have a chance at catching the split second that their kid smiles, and they’ll be smiling too.

Extended Family Portrait Session

Shoot lots of the big group

Take LOTS of photos in a row with the big group. You may think that you have what you need, but then later when you look at the photos full size, you’ll realize that Uncle Bob blinked in every single one. If you take a lot of photos, one right after the other, you can do head swaps later if you need to open some eyes. If they’re taken at approximately the same time, it will be really easy to change the faces, because they’ll be in the same place in every photo.

Love your families

Lastly, remember to love the families you are photographing. They love each other, even through their faults and imperfections, enough to want to preserve a moment in their lives. This photo is so important to at least one person there. Important enough to go through all the hassle of gathering their entire family together in one place at one time. They are trusting you to give them this cherished gift. Consider yourself one of the family for that hour or so, and let your lens capture the love.

The post Tips for Taking the Torture out of Extended Family Portrait Sessions by Melinda Smith appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Categories: Digital

5 Tips for Using a Kit Lens for Travel Photography

There are many good reasons not to use a kit lens for travel photography. If a kit lens is the only lens you own and you have a photography trip planned, you may be thinking about buying a better quality mid-range zoom or even a prime lens to replace or accompany it.

Kit lens in travel photography

But before you do so, I want to tell you a story.

Why a kit lens isn’t so bad after all

10 years ago I bought my first digital SLR, a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. I had switched systems from Pentax so I didn’t have any lenses to use with it. The camera came with an 18-55mm kit lens, and undecided about what other lenses I needed, I took it with me on an extended trip to South America.

I soon realized that the quality of the lens was not as good as it could be (I nearly used the word horrible). It wasn’t sharp and there was lots of chromatic aberration and purple fringing in my photos. Canon have since discontinued that early kit lens and replaced it with another, better one.

But that lens and camera combination gave me a tremendous amount of freedom. It was light enough enough to carry with me everywhere. I never had to change lenses, which helped keep the sensor reasonably free of dust. I had a wide-angle lens at 18mm, a short telephoto at 55mm, and all the focal lengths in-between.

It was during this trip that I had time to think about my future and what I wanted to do with it. I decided that I wanted to write about photography for a living.

Five months later I sold my first feature to Practical Photography magazine, illustrated with photos taken in South America with the Digital Rebel XT and that same kit lens. Yes, the lens may have been horrible, and I’d never want to go back to that camera and lens combination, but the photos I took with it were good enough to be published in a major photography magazine.

Kit lens in travel photography

What lessons can we learn from this? Here are some of the key lessons.

1. Your equipment matters, but not in the way you think

The key thing is that the equipment you chose to take with you is light enough for you to take just about everywhere, so that you don’t miss any photo opportunities that present themselves. That’s one of the reasons that mirrorless cameras and high end compacts have become popular with travellers.

Relating this back to lenses, one of the benefits of prime lenses is that they tend to be smaller and lighter than better quality mid-range zooms.

Kit lens in travel photography

2. Location and timing are more important than gear

Travel photography is about getting yourself to interesting places, when the light is beautiful, so that you can take photos that evoke the mood and atmosphere. If you don’t do this, it doesn’t really matter what camera and lens you have. Your photos won’t be as interesting as those from people who do take the trouble to do these things.

Kit lens in travel photography

The photo above was taken during a 4-day jeep trip in south-west Bolivia. It’s a remote location at 4200 meters above sea level in the Andes that I never would have seen without going on that trip. It doesn’t matter what camera and lens you have, you’ll never take photos like this if you don’t make the effort to get to places like this one.

3. You need to interact with the locals

You get more out of the journey on a personal level when you talk to local people. The ability to confidently communicate gives you the chance to learn about their lives and the way of life of people from a different place or country.

It also opens up the number of photographic opportunities that come your way. Perhaps the people you talk to would like to have their photos taken, if you ask. Or you can ask people what local sights they can recommend for you to visit with your camera. You will learn about local temples, markets, festivals and other interesting cultural events or places that make good subjects.

Kit lens in travel photography

I came across this scene in Punta Arenas, Chile (above) and was struck by the contrast between the expensive looking racing car and the houses. These two guys were happy for me to take a photo. The confidence to talk to people in this type of situation, and ask for permission to take a photo, is just as important as your gear.

4. Money is always a factor

Travel can be expensive, and it may be wiser spending money on experiences than gear. You don’t want to be in the situation of having spent so much on lenses that you don’t have enough money left to do all the things you would like on your journey.

Kit lens in travel photography

5. Kit lenses are not perfect

I think it’s wise to acknowledge at this point that there are many reasons why you might want to buy a better lens than your kit lens. You might need a prime lens with a wide aperture for shooting in low light or experimenting with shallow depth-of-field. Or you may need a shorter focal length or a longer one. A weatherproof lens so you can shoot with confidence in the rain might also be handy.

These are all valid reasons for buying a better lens. Most photographers who start out with a kit lens end up buying better ones eventually. My photos were published in spite of me using a kit lens, not because of it.

But if a kit lens is all you have, there is no need to worry. You will have plenty of opportunities to buy better lenses in the future. For now, just get out there and seize the moment. Enjoy your trip, have a wonderful experience and make as many beautiful images as you can.

Kit lens in travel photography

Mastering Lenses

If you want to know more about buying and using lenses then please check out my ebook Mastering Lenses: A Photographer’s Guide to Creating Beautiful Photos With Any Lens.

The post 5 Tips for Using a Kit Lens for Travel Photography by Andrew S. Gibson appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Categories: Digital

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