Photo Walk Part 2: in a New Location

by Guest Contributor Valérie Jardin

Part one was all about finding the extraordinary in a familiar place, getting out of a rut when you feel like you’ve photographed your hometown from every possible angle. Now let’s say you are traveling to that exotic destination and spending a few days in a large city. Believe it or not, it can be just was difficult to produce great images. Why? Because of the overwhelming feeling of wanting to shoot it all and not knowing where to start. If you try to capture it all, you will most likely end up with mediocre shots of random things, some of them uninteresting or too cliché.

Look for a great spot for a street photograph and be patient.

Here again, start your day with a plan or a theme. Let’s say you love shooting architecture. Well, if you’re in Rome, you will soon have this overwhelming feeling of over abundance. Narrowing down your search to more specific types of architecture or architectural details may help you stay more focused. Look for repetitive patterns, reflections, flowered window, colorful doors, etc.

Include signage as much as possible to give a sense of place

Street photography is your thing? How about photographing lovers in Paris or locals walking their dogs? Of course, you won’t miss any other great action happening in the streets, but looking for something specific will sure make your day more challenging and fun! If you are in a foreign city, try including some signage in your frames for a sense of place. Here again, patience is a virtue. Sit outside at a cafe and watch people go about their daily lives. Some story will unfold right in front of you if you give it some time.

Think ‘outside the postcard’

Think ‘outside the postcard’, don’t ignore the local landmarks but try a different approach, a different perspective. Get close, tilt your camera, shoot wide. Get out of your comfort zone, your skills will improve and your passion for the craft will get a boost.

Include signage as much as possible to give a sense of place

You can add to the challenge and pick one lens for the day. This will save your back and will force you to see your surrounding from a different perspective. My go-to lens for traveling is the 24-70 mm because it’s so versatile. But it’s heavy and there are days when I will put the 50mm on my camera simply for comfort and those are the days that will often yield the best pictures because of the power of limitations.

Happy travels!

Bonjour! I’m Valérie Jardin and photography is my passion. It’s what I do to earn a living and for pleasure on my days off. I live and breathe in pixels. I love to share the passion and teach this beautiful craft. You can connect with me on Facebook, visit my website, or join me on my next photo workshop: A week in Paris in October!

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Heather - May 21, 2012 - 1:17 pm

Such beauty captured! Thank you for these awesome tips and just in time for my trip to Maine in a couple days!

Janmary, N Ireland - May 21, 2012 - 4:34 pm

Timely advice – heading to Rome for my first visit next week!

Christy Harper - May 24, 2012 - 6:08 am

Wonderful post!!! I always love inspirational street photography. I love taking street pics as well :)

Kelley Blaine - May 24, 2012 - 10:19 am

Rock the Shot is by far my fav photography page out there! There is so much useful information & beautiful inspiration, I can’t get enough! Just became a member and checking out the wonderful freebies. Thank you!

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