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A little perspective can fool you

Nikon D800, 1/640 f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm

Nikon D800, 1/640 f/4.5, ISO 800, 70mm

Here’s a great photo that always makes me laugh a little every time I see it. The photo was taken at The National Art Centre, Tokyo. It’s an architectural marvel and photographer’s delight to be inside, especially during sunset, like above.

During one of my trips to Japan, I came here with a friend of mine—the one standing in the middle of this photo with a camera up to her face. The great thing about this photo is that because of where I was standing with my camera, the two people who happen to be in the frame look like they are totally different heights. The security guard on the left looks like he is quite a bit taller than my friend in the middle. Now I know my friend isn’t that short!

As it turns out, although the security guard was only a few feet in front of my friend, because I was so low to the ground, this particular angle makes it look almost as if my friend and the guard were standing along the same line—or the same distance away from my camera. This perspective trickery makes the subject standing further away from my camera appear to be much smaller than the subject who is only a few feet closer to the camera.

My camera was sitting right on the hardwood floor here, and I was taking random photos as people passed by. That was a great moment as there were so many different people walking by my camera. I did manage to get many photos here, and I will be sure to do some more show and tells  in the future.

The takeaway here is to remember to play with the perspective of your camera as you can easily fool the audience by making your subject matter appear much smaller or larger than they really are.

Don’t edit all your photos at once!

When you come back from holidays you may be tempted to start editing all of your photos on your computer. While it’s a great way to reflect on your recent adventures, I always take my time in editing photos so I can truly bring out the best parts of each photo.

Nikon D200, 1/10 sec., f/6.3, ISO 200, 22mm

Nikon D200, 1/10 sec., f/6.3, ISO 200, 22mm

I alluded to this in a previous post where I said to “marinate” your images so your feelings don’t play a role in your editing process.

When we are so caught up in the moment, we tend to remember things in a more exaggerated way, letting our minds fantasize more. If you wait a while before editing your photos, however, you will come back to them without any bias as to how you remembered that moment, thereby allowing you to edit them to reflect the true beauty of the moment.

Even holding off for a couple days will make a noticeable difference in how you edit them. Don’t just take my word on this though. Try it out yourself and you’ll see how a small change like this can make a large improvement to your images.

Get out and go explore your surroundings

When you’re out travelling in a new city or country, I seriously hope you have no days where you are sitting in your hotel room watching TV, letting the day pass by in front of you. Whether you have just one hour or the entire day free, get outside and take a walk to explore your surroundings and see what makes the city what it is today. There’s a bountiful of things to explore even if you don’t see it in front of your eyes. I make it a point to explore every spare moment that I have so as not to waste my time there. After all, you’ve come there for a reason—not to watch TV in a hotel room.

Nikon D200, 1/100 sec., f/19, ISO 100, 21mm

Nikon D200, 1/100 sec., f/19, ISO 100, 21mm

This photo was taken in the outskirts of Osaka where I took the train to a remote area and started walking. I passed by these abandoned red-brick warehouses that were apparently popular to the locals. Coming from a city where we have our own touristy red-brick warehouses, this wasn’t all that special, but I loved the fact that it was abandoned, as it showed on its facade. Boarded up, locked up, and just waiting for budding urban explorers to find its inner secrets.

You’ll be surprised as what you find so I highly encourage you to get out and explore your surroundings!

Why don’t you use a daypack?

Try travelling light. When you go on holidays you’ll be tempted to pack all of your gear to be able to capture any scenario that comes your way. It’s fine if you have shoulders of steel but let’s face it, not everyone is blessed with Clark Kent’s physique.

Nikon D200, 1/80 sec., f/5.0, ISO 100, 20mm

Nikon D200, 1/80 sec., f/5.0, ISO 100, 20mm

While I still do pack most of my gear for the holidays, I try and not take everything with me on my day trips. I’ve soon come to realize that I would like to travel light throughout the day, and keep my neck and shoulders free from all that weight. If you bring a daypack with you, try and bring only the gear that you think you may use for that outing only. This will save you from having to carry all the gear that you have packed.

The added benefit to this method is that it will also teach you to think ahead and allow you to practice taking photos with that particular gear. It’s a great way to mix things up and further enhance your creativity with the gear that you bring. I often find that it makes you think differently as you find more creative ways to work with what you have.

The next day, you’ll be able to change your gear combination for a whole new experience.

Try it out the next time you travel and you’ll save a bundle on your massage fees for your neck and shoulders!

What does this photo have to do with daypacks? Pack light, like I did with this meal!