A Sense of Place (Part II)
|Before you arrive in a new location, do research. Looking at map is not enough. Nor are guidebooks necessary the only printed form of information at your fingertips. Get a compass so that you will be able to anticipate how the light will be at different times in the day in different locations. If your shooting location is near the tidal zones, look up the tide charts. Read as much as you can about the place not just in guidebooks but go to the web archives of travel magazines to learn what's new.|
|Visit the city's website to see if there are going to be events that will interfere with your plans or that you can use in your images.|
|I have been reading the print edition of The San Francisco Chronicle during my stay this week. I discovered that its website has a great section of images of the city. Snooping around newspaper websites shows locations that differ from the standard tourist ones. Plus you might see some great photography. Today's lead shot on the Chronicle website is a beautiful aerial view of the Queen Mary sailing under the Golden Gate bridge. It will be in the Chronicle archives if you miss it on the home page.|
|Shooting tips specific to Dreamstime: there are not enough images of tourists themselves with San Francisco as a backdrop. See if you can street cast and get a model for a small fee if you find yourself there. Union Square is difficult to photograph because it is crawling with people who would need a release. But study it long enough and you will find a way to capture this landmark and be one of the first to have it on Dreamstime. Small architectural details are good subjects too as long as they are specific to the city. The light posts in Chinatown are evocative of San Francisco. And Fisherman's Wharf is famous for crab.|
|In this day of digital images, I really don't recommend leaving the camera behind as I suggested in Part I of this piece just in case an opportunity for a terrific image shows up. But if you exercise the discipline to look with your eyes before you put the camera to work, you will be more likely to study composition and light. I have created a collection of San Francisco skyline pictures for you to see. I also urge you to step off the beaten path in famous cities during a portion of your time to catch the unexpected.|
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