It sounds obvious, but I love to take my camera with me when I travel, for multiple reasons. Mostly I intend on using it to document the trip, create some record shots that I'll be able to look back on in future to jog my memory - perhaps some nice family photos for an album or to share.
Privately, I always hold out a hope that I'll be able to take a wonderful - competition-worthy shot (or at least, something to hang on the wall) on the dubious assumption that where I am travelling will be abundant with interesting, exotic vistas around every corner ...
Finally, somewhat in between, I'd like to be able to return with a collection of images that do some justice to the place that I've visited. Slightly more artistic than a selfie in the hotel lobby, but nothing too grand ... maybe some images that could adorn a travel guide for someone else visiting.
Here, I love to take photos of the people that we see when travelling. They bring a flavour - and life - to a collection of images, to compliment images of buildings and objects.
The point is not necessarily to take any single shot that would stand by itself, but to come home with a collection of shots of human life that fills out the story of the place that we've been to.
Taking photos of people is fraught with issues - and many words have been written on the subject, that I don't intend on repeating - but for now I know that I would not have enough confidence to ask someone if I could take their portrait; and wouldn't feel comfortable sticking a lens in someone's face and snapping away.
So, I look to take images with a longer lens, allowing me to be further away. This also allows me to avoid disturbing the scene at all, taking a snapshot of the natural situation.
The images in this post were all taken on a trip to New York, October 2017. As mentioned in the last post, this was one of the first holidays where I brought a camera with me specifically to enjoy it as a hobby.
With the exception of the first image - the others were taken from an Open Top Bus! I can highly recommend this. In general the bus stopped often enough that having to take shots while moving wasn't an issue and you were actually in a more stable position sitting down and leaning on the side-railing.
Images could be taken largely unobserved, and from a moderately high viewpoint that gave an opportunity for isolated subjects, and not having to shoot through crowds.
Looking through the settings used for these images, shows a wide variety. Bear in mind the bottom four were all likely taken within a short period of time from each other...
- 1/160 sec at f/6.3, ISO 2000 @ 105mm
- 1/200 sec at f/4.0, ISO 400 @ 105mm
- 1/200 sec at f/4.5, ISO 200 @ 105mm
- 1/200 sec at f/4.0, ISO 500 @ 58mm
- 1/200 sec at f/4.5, ISO 640 @ 105mm
Lens, EF 24 - 105mm f/4L
I can guess from this that I was largely running in Tv mode, probably most concerned about camera shake, and subject motion.
I'm actually pleased with the sharpness of these images, so I think that the call to use Tv mode and manually select a shutter speed that worked was a good one.
I can see the aperture and ISO moving around, as the camera is left to make it's own decisions here. Maybe a minor development point would have been to lock the aperture to f/4.0 and then either ride auto-ISO to not have to worry about exposure; or take more direct control of the ISO myself. Minor adjustments can always be made in post-production, so no need to seek perfection on every shot.
The lens is a great one for travel. While most are taken at the longest focal length (and cropped a bit further), at least one needed me to roll-back to 58mm, so the flexibility of the zoom range was invaluable.
I've recently purchased a super-zoom, which will go from 24mm to 240mm, while still being relatively compact. I am excited to get an opportunity at some point to try this out for these kind of shots!