January 5, 2017

Capturing People In Travel Photography

Filed under: photography — spanjavan @ 8:25 pm

People are part of the scene. It doesn’t make any sense to try to avoid them when taking photos. I fully embrace the idea of including people in my photos. Oftentimes, They become the main subject.

We all have a good idea about the size of a human body. Simply having a person or persons in the photo can provide an overall sense of scale. In an urban setting, how they dress, their actions, and their facial expression can be a good reflection of locality.


In the shot above, having the tourists in the shot gives the sense of size to the Buddha statue.


In the shot above, the gesture came when the man on the tricycle turned around to check me out.


In the shot above, this couple both wearing read, arrived on a motorbike and started to take some selfie pictures with the mosque.  Instead of trying to avoid capturing them, I made them and their motorbike part of the composition.


The man in the above photo came to worship the Guan Yin statue at a Chinese temple in Hat Yai.  When I saw him raised his arms, I quickly composed and took the snap.


This old lady sells Thai desserts off her row boat at a floating market in Bangkok. She wears a classical style straw hat with a flat top that used to be commonly worn by farmers back in the old days. I spotted her from the distance and rushed toward her to take this photo.

Shooting in an uncontrolled environment can be a hit or miss thing.  It’s just part of the process.  In the digital world, taking bad shots doesn’t add to the cost.  However, it’s still very important to be deliberate about each shot as much as possible, and not just spray and pray.  One key thing is to eliminate/minimize distraction.  I often take multiple shots while trying to anticipate the moment as the scene continues to change.   The majority of the time because the scene never materializes as I expected, I would come out empty.  Every once in a while, I would get shots I like.

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