Today’s guest speaker was David Blecman, a local photographer out of Annapolis who started his photographic career fresh out of high school in 1978. Once deciding to do photography full-time he chose to focus mainly on the fashion industry, though he has done many other types of photography over the years including weddings, portraits, and commercial photography. He still trains and mentors both models and photographers. He started his business, Positive Negatives, in 1997 and is now an internationally recognized photographer and instructor, having taught in 13 countries over 3 continents. David offers a 25 hour one-on-one, in-the-field photography mentoring course to individuals geared to whatever type of photography you wish to learn and taught at whatever pace is convenient for you!
Today David spoke to our group about travel photography. He has traveled extensively and also offers several group travel workshops each year, both in the states and abroad. You can find him at http://www.posneg.com.
When doing travel photography David’s philosophy is as follows:
Know your camera! Get a good book if you do not already have one and study it. You need to know your camera and its features like the back of your hand! This eliminates a lot of wasted time and frustration when your out in the field trying to capture that perfect shot!
Know and understand the importance of the Exposure Triangle – Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. Learning how each of these items works will help you to know what adjustments to make to your camera depending on the various light conditions present.
Know and understand Gray. Every time you aim your camera at something it is trying to give you gray. Knowing how to use a gray card will help to you to set your white balance so that the colors in your image are as accurate as possible.
Calibrate your computer moniters and LCD screen. Get some calibration software and calibrate on a regular basis. This is important so that you can see accurately what you are getting.
Know the climate of the area you’re visiting and how it fluctuates from morning to night.
Know the area. Know what’s around the place you’re going. There are often hidden gems on side roads so look at sites like Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Street Views, and Bing Bird’s Eye View. Look at Yelp and Tripadvisor.com. Also watch dash cam videos on YouTube. You can often see scenery along the road and potential places you may want to stop.
Remember all of your electrical needs such as camera battery chargers (David recommends having two), phone charger, power strips, computer related chargers & connectors, and if traveling abroad you will need the necessary electrical converter/adapter.
Camera Equipment including multiple camera bodies, multiple lens, multiple batteries, multiple small memory cards, rain protection, a Hoodman LCD Loupe, Color Checker Passport, a white balance target, filters, filter cleaning cloths, wireless remote controls, a sturdy tripod with extra plates, allen wrenches, gaffer’s tape, screwdriver set, and a speedlight.
Clothing – make sure you have the necessary climate appropriate apparel.
Pharmacy and cosmetic items including all prescription medications, allergy medication, insect repellent,and a first aid kit.
Paperwork including your passport, itineraries, flight information, hotel reservations, and transportation confirmations and emails. David recommends taking a photo of all important documents with your phone.
On Your Trip
Once you have arrived at your destination there are all types of photographs that you can take.
Street Photography – capture emotion, humor, color/shape, street performers, culinary creations, architecture, the locals.
Iconic Landmarks – find a different perspective than everyone before you had done. Capture it with a twist!
Sea and Sky
Landscapes – when shooting landscapes David recommends using a tripod and an aperture setting of f-16 and focusing one third of the way into the scene. This will give you a sharp image from corner to corner. Also, find the best perspective to block out any people or garbage that you do not want in the scene.
Textures and Patterns
Promotional – think about shots that businesses may be interested in using for promotions. Offering these photos to the business owners can sometimes earn you discounts or free access.
David also says, shoot in RAW and overexpose by 1/3 stop. Darkening an overexposed image is usually preferable to lightening an underexposed image which tends to result in increasing the noise in the image.
And lastly, learn to process! A RAW file is data stripped of everything. So post-processing is an important and necessary step in getting a great image.
The December photo theme was “Reflection”. The winners for this month were: 3rd Place by Anik Sales, 2nd Place by Jim Rogers, and 1st Place by Tammi Gorsak.
The January theme is “The Magic of Christmas”.