Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Take Better Photos on Vacation - Your Photo Tips

I'm so excited about my upcoming trip to Miami (one week to go!) We love going down there and just lying on the beach, having Cuban food at some of our favorite places, shopping and just generally relaxing. I often make big plans to go out and take photos when we're down there but during our last few trips down there my camera just collected dust. I'm not sure why - I guess the idea of knowing that I'm going to go back soon motivates me a bit less to get out and take photographs. But this time I'm feeling the itch to get out and go take some photos. Perhaps because I haven't been taking as many photos as usual here at home during the past few months I'm feeling the urge to dust my Nikon off and get to it. Whatever it is, I'm ready!

I often turn to Your Photo Tips for great photo stories, advice and pretty much everything else photography. I never want to stop learning and reading about what I love and I think that this article about getting great photos while traveling is a helpful reminder for pros and amateurs alike. Here is the text and be sure to take a little visit over and visit my friends at Your Photo Tips:

one little life
Taken in Misiones, Argentina

Air Dry
Taken in Rome, Italy

Every year you make plans to go somewhere new and get some stellar photography out of your trip. Every year you leave wishing you had done more, gotten better images, or simply had more time.

Here are some tips to help ensure you get better pictures in new places.

Research – Research is probably your biggest key to getting better photography out of your next trip. Doing some quick and easy research on your photographic destination will help give you an idea of what that area has to offer.

Visit libraries and bookstores looking at travel guides and photo books of your destination.

The Internet is your friend. So is geo tagging. Use it. Just searching for your destination and clicking on images will help give you an idea of what other photographers have done in that area. Don’t forget to check out tourism sites for that location as well. They’re sure to have some great photographs and beautiful destinations for you to focus on.

Taken in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

At your destination it’s a good idea to look at postcards and brochures. You’ll find those at airports and hotels.

Taken in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The idea of the research isn’t to copy what the other photographers have done. It’s about seeing how they captured that place and how you could do it better or differently. It’s about getting ideas.

Time is probably the most important investment you’ll make in getting good travel photographs. Use it wisely and you’ll find you have more of it.
When you get to your destination spend some time scouting the area. This could mean driving, hiking, or biking to different locations looking for great vantage points.

Life on a River
Taken in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Alone in the Afternoon
Taken in Paris, France

In the Urban Summer VI
Taken in the West Village, New York

Always carry a compass. It’ll help you figure out where the sun is going to set and where it will rise. You’ll be able to imagine what the scene may look like in relation to light and shadow at different times of day.

Different lenses have different effects on travel or landscape photography. Are you looking to compress the scene with a long lens or get a wider shot? Use different lenses to get good variety.

Taken in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Ancient Wonder
Taken in Chichen Itza, Mexico

Make a shooting schedule. Where will you be at sunrise and where will you end up near sunset to get the shots you desire?

Check the weather forecasts and have an alternative plan just in case the weather turns really lousy.

Cycle Afternoon
Taken in Vienna, Austria

Welcome to Hollywood - What's your dream?
Taken in Los Angeles, California

the only pain is to feel nothing at all
Taken in Chiang Mai, Thailand


One thing that is very important and that I think that they left out is to just have fun! Some of the best photographs that I have taken on trips were when we were sitting having drinks in the middle of the afternoon or simply walking down a random street exploring. For me, the most important thing is to just get out there , not think too hard about it, and just enjoy yourself. Of course there are "must-have" images of big sites that I want to get but really I just want to get out there and shoot and try new things. Sure, I can get some good ideas from doing research or looking at postcards but I want to be better and more creative than that.

What do you think? Do you have any tips?

A Quarter and a Half
Taken in New Orleans during a trip to Jazz Fest

History in Some Bottles
Taken in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Taken in Paris, France

Certain text via Your Photo Tips.

All of the photos posted here are my own from various trips I've taken.

Taken in Siena, Italy
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jump for Joy and for Vacations

I'm officially seven months pregnant! yay! To celebrate this wonderful time in our lives and to just generally celebrate happiness and life, we're going away next week. Miami here we come. Usually I am hoping that days and weeks go by slower because I tend to get scared about how quickly time passes us, but not this week...this week cannot be over soon enough.

This photo was not taken in Miami - I took it here in New York and originally processed it in color but the black and white makes me so happy.

Today's Soundtrack:
Radiohead - Black Star (Probably my favorite Radiohead song. I had The Bends on repeat during my four years of college)

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Same Hill, Different Day

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Mine was spent packing and and shopping strategizing for making room for the little miss who will be arriving in June. I also took some time to catch up on some blogs and came across the work of Paul Octavious on one of my favorite blogs, A Cup of Joe.

Photographer Paul Octavious visited the same hill for two years and recorded each of his visits with his camera for his Same Hill, Different Day project. On his website he says: "For the past 2 years I have visited a beautiful mound of earth that I have come to call "the hill." Each time I have come to the hill a new story is told to me as if the hill is my stage and the locals are the actors in this daily play." How awesome is that?





Visit his site to see some more of his inspiring projects.







(All images via Paul Octavious,
A Cup of Joe and Krisatomic - thanks Joanna for the link to this amazing and inspiring blog that I never knew about!)

All images Copyright Paul Octavious

Today's Soundtrack:
Vampire Weekend - A-Punk (I have to admit that I had no idea who these guys were but since I'm obsessed with all things vampire, I checked them out. They're pretty great. And, brilliant marketing...)

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Keep Calm and Snap On

How appropriate that Photojojo, one of my most favorite websites for all things photography and awesomeness would share this amazing print with us on this Friday. Just as I've been talking about not being able to go out and shoot as much as I'd like and I've kind of been stressing about it, I'm reminded to just Keep Calm and Snap On.

Buy this bad boy here. I want one stat!


We all know the Keep Calm and Carry On posters and now we have this fantastic twist on a timeless message.

Happy Friday!



Today's Soundtrack:
60 Miles an Hour - New Order

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Me and My Camera

I can't really complain about very much during this pregnancy. Yes, I wake up five times in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and and yes I'm suddenly a terribly picky eater and yes none of my clothes fit and yes, my back hurts but it usually hurts anyway. In the grand scheme of things, knock on wood, I have had a wonderful six and a half months so far.

But, and there's always a BUT, if there was one thing I could complain about, it would be the fact that I simply cannot carry my camera with me every day, every where I go. I'm looking forward to this baby for so many reasons that I cannot possibly list here - I already feel like I know her with every single kick. And when she gets here I'm very excited to know that I get to show her this beautiful city that she will call him and push her around in a stroller with my camera underneath it. I haven't been able to carry my camera because it's just too heavy to deal with and I'm already carrying around an extra XX amount of pounds of baby weight.

I was looking through my archives and I found these photos, many of which you've seen here before, that remind me of how much I love photography. Me and my camera. My morning walks are not quite the same without my Nikon but I have even better company now as my girl kicks me along and motivates me to keep going and soon we will be together again with a brand new subject to admire. In the meantime, I'm enjoying going back and looking at these.

shadows of ourselves.

you pick the place and I'll choose the time


Blowing Bubbles

The New Yorkers

Urban Wash


Urban Summer Kids

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

Copyright 2009 Monica L. Shulman

Leaving New York...

All of these were taken in New York City. Home sweet home.

Today's Soundtrack:
Phoenix - Lasso

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some Day Some Where

Someday Somewhere is one of my favorite photo blogs right now. I've been following it for a while and you should definitely pay a visit. This is what photographer Jean-Marc Veliscek has to say about his work and the blog:

"Hi, my name is Jean-Marc Veliscek. I live in Marseille, France. SOMEDAY is a project I started in 2006. I like to walk in my own city like a stranger would do. I like to travel. I like music. I like a meditation called 'Feel the moment - Take your camera with you - Be there!'"

I have to say that I subscribe to a very similar philosophy when it comes to my photography. How many times have I encouraged you all to take your camera with you every where you go? Sometimes it's the smallest and seemingly insignificant moments that are the most moving and memorable. Jean-Marc Veliscek proves this with his work. And, incidentally, Marseille happens to be one of my favorite places in Europe.






All images via Someday Somewhere and Copyright Jean Marc Veliscek.

Today's Soundtrack:
Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running

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