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Recent Blogs from Better Photography

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Travel Photography Toolbox

You probably heard it before: a good image is a storytelling image. But what is a visual story and how to evoke it in your work?

There's far more to travel photography than carrying a smart phone - although a smartphone will do if that's your choice. Oded Wagenstein and Peter Eastway have quite different approaches to photography, but a common philosophy in that so much of our photography happens behind the camera, not just in front of the lens. It's all about setting up the trip and thinking through what you want to achieve that determines the outcome.

This workshop will share with you how two of the world's leading photographers tackle travel photography, delivering both practical and philosophical approaches that will transform your travel snaps into a portfolio of considered masterpieces! Added bonus - practical advice selling your work from industry editors.


Part one - Preparation:

  • 9.00am     Introduction - Peter and Oded introduce themselves
  • 9.15am     Getting ready - planning your trip - itinerary, equipment, outcomes (Peter) 
  • 10.00am   Finding stories - crafting your unique voice (Oded)
  • 10.45am   Morning tea (15 min)

Part two - In the field:

  • 11.00am    Making the portrait - creating visual stories with people (Oded)
  • 12.00pm    Landscape photography; key capture techniques & approaches illustrated with real examples (Peter)
  • 1.00pm      Lunch (1 hour)

Part three - Back at home:

  • 2.00pm      Guest speakers
  • 3.00pm      Post-production on the road for travel photographers - creating the wow factor (Peter)
  • 3.45pm      Building a photo essay (Oded)
  • 4.30pm      Making a living of travel photography (Peter & Oded) + Q&A.
  • 5.00pm      Close

Date: 6/5/19
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm (lunch included over a 1 hour break)
Location: Social Club, Imperial Hotel, 252 Oxford St, Paddington
Cost: $395 (GST incl)
Bring a group (2+) for $100 off each ticket.

For further information and bookings visit the Head On website, click here.

Fujifilm Professional Services!

Fujifilm Australia has launched a professional services program which offers photographers exclusive support for selected camera bodies and lenses. The new service, Fujifilm Professional Services (FPS), provides complimentary phone and email support, checks and cleans, express repairs and loans to customers.

FPS is for enthusiasts who have purchased at least one qualifying GFX camera body and GF lens, or two qualifying X Series bodies and three XF lenses. For a full breakdown of the criteria required to be eligible for FPS, visit www.fujifilm-connect.com/au

The service is also available to professional photographers who have purchased at least one qualifying camera body and lens in either X or GFX Series.

Benefits include: 

  • Priority repair services with best endeavour turnaround times of two working days for GFX series and three working days for X Series.
  • Receive priority telephone and email support from Fujifilm experts.
  • Repair needs extra time? You may be eligible to receive a loan camera while you wait. Note this is subject to product availability - terms and conditions apply.
  • Access to free health checks for two pieces of your Fujifilm kit per year, purchased from an authorised Fujifilm retailer.

To register for FPS and for a list of all qualifying camera bodies and lenses, visit https://fujifilm-connect.com/au/

What Makes An Interesting Travel Photograph?

Prayer flags on the road to Monger, Eastern Bhutan
Phase One A-Series 100MP, 23mm lens, 30 seconds @ f8, ISO 50, 10x ND filter

What makes an interesting travel photograph? The correct answer depends on who is viewing the photograph! I imagine that these prayer flags in Bhutan are relatively uninteresting to a Bhutanese or Nepalese local because prayer flags are everywhere in these countries. And interestingly, prayer flags are in a constant state of change, beginning life like the flags above, with bright, clean colours, but gradually fading, tearing and falling apart with the weather and sunshine. You could drive past this location today and just see a set of tall sticks, but tomorrow there could be a new set of flags in place.

So, what makes an interesting travel photograph depends on your viewer, but if we're bringing photographs home to show our friends and family, it's reasonable to assume that they will find interesting the same things we do. What do we photograph? A subject that is different. This could be as simple as different faces, different clothing, different houses, different landscapes. Our role as travel photographers is to experience where we are and to communicate what we find interesting. No point trying to second-guess what others will find interesting as that is an exercise fraught with disappointment! The only person you can be confident of making happy is yourself - and besides, people will want to know what you found interesting.

The next challenge is to photograph it in an interesting way. For me, this means finding and isolating these points of difference. I have thousands of street photographs and general landscapes from all around the world, and while they are obviously travel photographs, they are so messy and complicated that they are meaningless. There are soooo many general travel snaps out there! The photos that stand out to me have just one aspect of travel carefully framed and presented. So, work out what interests you, then work out how you can capture that interest and make it dominate your photograph.

In the example of the prayer flags above, I've used a few techniques. Firstly, I've come in close to my subject and excluded the surroundings (the road, other buildings and trees), so it's very clear what this is a photograph of. Second, I've chosen a low camera angle so I can isolate the prayer flags against the sky. If the prayer flags were backed by other trees and a busy landscape, they wouldn't stand out. The plain background is a key ingredient which allows the subject to dominate. And finally, I've used a 10X ND filter which gave me a 30 second exposure. This creates a sense of irreality with the clouds and flags moving during the exposure.

I hope you like it!

You can see a YouTube video taken on the Bhutan photo tour David Oliver and I did last year - here's the link: https://youtu.be/YrwX3dJnuz8

And David and I have places available for our November/December 2019 trip to Bhutan - which for the first time will include Eastern Bhutan where the photo above was taken. Why don't you come along?

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