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2015 Travel Secrets Photography Contest

Hand Me Some Useful Street Photography Tips

Take these tips from ace street photographer Arindam Mukherjee, and shoot!

If you stand at a broad way crossing from morning to evening you will find how the emotional landscape changes. Every city has its own character at different times of the day. So shoot both during day and night.

A woman working at Grover Vineyard in Bangalore
A woman working at Grover Vineyard in Bangalore

While travelling, carry light equipment. High speed lenses are important for low light situations. Set your camera according to the light of the day before you start walking—you don’t want to miss great moments.

Indian people celebrating Holi at Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan. Holi is the Hindu festival of colours. Every year at the begining of spring this festival takes place throughout India.The biggest celebration takes place in Banke Bihari temple Vrindavan.
Indian people celebrating Holi at Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan. Holi is the Hindu festival of colours. Every year at the begining of spring this festival takes place throughout India.The biggest celebration takes place in Banke Bihari temple Vrindavan.

 

Walk slowly, rather wander, it allows you to observe.

Strap all your stuff with your backpack so you don’t lose anything.

Experience new things, meet new people. Try to trigger a conversation with the locals that will give you knowledge, it adds context in your picture. I listen to them; try to understand their point of view which helps me bring layers in my picture stories.

A Bhutanese man in western outfit surfs his mobile at Ura valley, Bumthang. Effect of globalisation is now getting strong hold in rural Bhutan as well.  Arindam Mukherjee
A Bhutanese man in western outfit surfs his mobile at Ura valley, Bumthang. Effect of globalisation is now getting strong hold in rural Bhutan as well. Arindam Mukherjee

Monochromatic pictures focus on the emotive part of photography. I feel comfortable with black and white as too much of colour surrounding the main subject may distract the viewer.

It is very important that a photographer should know what he/she wants to make their viewer “FEEL”. Monochrome and colour photography need different ways of looking at the same subject. Practice seeing things in black and white when you shoot.

A sadhu (Indian Holy Man) changes his clothes at a ghat in Varanasi.
A sadhu (Indian Holy Man) changes his clothes at a ghat in Varanasi.

A tip I always share is to be safe when it comes to copyrights and illegal photography. Do not shoot private places without prior permission. You can shoot anything and everything in public place without hurting anybody’s sentiment. Don’t forget to look for “Photography Prohibited” boards around you. And do not under estimate common people’s knowledge.

A kashmiri lady prays at Jama Mosque in Srinagar.
A kashmiri lady prays at Jama Mosque in Srinagar.

Go with the flow and enjoy clicking pictures rather than making it an assignment.

ARINDAM MUKHERJEE

DSC_6714

Based in Kolkata, this renowned freelance photojournalist started his career as an advertising photographer where he worked with advertising agencies, fashion designers, graphic designers and NGOs. But he always loved street photography and photojournalism. Apart from hosting several exhibitions, he has written and photographed a book called ‘The Wave that Shook the World’, produced by Hope Foundation.

All pix in this post courtesy Arindam Mukherjee.

Input: Travel Secrets Intern Aarohi Roy

Do I need a DSLR to take good travel pictures? I have not learnt photography.

Good news: you don’t need a DSLR to take good pictures, so don’t bother buying an expensive one.  You can get great results even with a simple P&S, says Samarth Mediratta, whose photos have been showcased in the Travel India Catalog of the National Geographic

Image: www.photosthatmovehouses.com
Image: http://www.photosthatmovehouses.com

Over to him:

“Well I’m going to answer this question keeping in mind that a professional photographer is not reading this, because he’ll carry more lenses than his clothes while travelling.

If you are an amateur photographer, consider the following points before buying a camera:

a) Do you often travel with family?

b) Do you want to build your photography skills eventually or are you mostly into fun trips?

c) How much luggage do you generally carry?

In case of family travel, I suggest the simple Point & Shoot cameras. They are lightweight and easy to use. Because you don’t want to miss the moment where your six-year-old finally catches a fish after waiting for two hours. By the time you pull out the DSLR from your bag, put the right lens and start pressing the shutter half way to focus, the natural emotions would have been lost. The greatest family pictures are usually shot candid. And for that, P&S cameras are the best.

If you want to build your photography skills over a period of time, DSLR would be the right choice. You will feel connected to your camera while you travel. You can experiment with different settings with your DSLR and there is a lot to learn. The features in a P&S camera are limited and do not allow you to explore much.

And finally, if luggage is a major concern, stick to the compact P& S. You don’t want to haul around a camera back pack that has equipment which costs more than all your other bags and its contents.

 

Image: travel.spotcoolstuff.com
Image: travel.spotcoolstuff.com

Now, if you have decided to use a DSLR while travelling and trying to improve your photography skills, consider buying this other equipment too.

  • A tripod: a must if you plan to shoot landscapes or long exposure shots. You can just set it up, take your time to choose the perfect frame, align it within your viewfinder and click. Also, it is a life saver if you plan to shoot panoramas.
  • A flashlight: helps you focus at night when there is no source of light and the camera auto focus assist light doesn’t work.
  • Shutter Remotes: if you’re planning to shoot star trails or any shot that has exposure time of more than a minute, I would suggest you buy a shutter remote. It lets you set a timer so that you just leave it lying beside your camera and enjoy the night looking up to the sky. Read how to use a shutter remote here.
  • Extra Batteries: There is a good chance that you’ll exceed the specified 450 shots in one trip.
  • Bug Sprays: for those venturing into the wild.

You can check out Samarth’s photographs here

Read more about DSLR vs P&S for travelling:

Should you buy a DSLR or a point and shoot digital camera

Choosing the best travel camera

 

Q I would like to learn new skills when travelling. Can you suggest some one-day workshops across the world?

things to do vacation

A: With pleasure! We think it’s a great idea to make your vacation time even more entertaining and productive.  You get to experience the location in a wholly new way, make new friends and return with a new skill that might even flesh out into a business venture.
Here is a list of things we sure want to learn:

    1. Spa and Massages- From beauty massages to aromatherapy and naturopathy, take your pick and learn in just a matter of hours.  London. www.gatewayworkshops.com
    2. Art –  Like to doodle and daddle? One day landscape painting workshops in Paris, on Sundays. France. www.atelieralupi.comlandscape painting workshop
    3. Photography- For those who are enthusiastic with the lens. Jim Atwood’s photography courses all round the year. Pre booking mandatory. Tokyo. www.jimatwood.net

photography workshop

  1. Shoe-making- Learn how to fashion sandals, ballerinas or pumps and design them as per you will. Bookings on your convenience. London. www.icanmakeshoes.com/workshops shoe making workshop
  2. Acting- Want to feel like a Broadway star? One and two days masterclasses with professionals. New York City. http://www.thebroadwayworkshop.com
  3. Dance- Shake a leg in a foreign land. Learn salsa, jive, tango and other dance forms in intensive one day workshops. London. www.swingland.com
  4. Cooking, Winery and Baking- London has a host of bread baking workshops, happening almost every day. Take a chocolate making workshop, and who knows, you might start your own chocolate business!
    One day workshops for gourmet Spanish cooking, and for learning about wines and olive oils are also a worthy option. USA and Europe. www.catacurian.com

cooking workshop

spa

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