Photography News Issue 46

Photography News | Issue 46 |

Technique 32

Shooting old places in a newway

Changing the way you shoot can have as much of an impact on your travel photography as changing the subjects you’re shooting. In these images of Paris, I shot with an infrared-converted Nikon D700, but you can do the same by using a particular lens, focal length, or by sticking to a picture mode on your camera. Similarly, on the right, Joel Santos changed his perspective on Ethiopian scenes, by shooting from a drone. It’s a look that won him the TPOTY crown.

Travel projects don’t just need to be about particular subjects; you can also choose to shoot your exotic surroundings in an unusual way. This could mean sticking to a particular focal length, camera type, angle of shooting, or even a processing style. It’s the coherent aspect that unifies the images and sets them above a random collection of snaps. This is a particularly good way to plan project if you’re going back to a location you’ve shot lots of times before. For example, last year I spent a few days in Paris. Having been lots of times, I wanted to shoot the city in a different way, so decided I would take my infrared-converted Nikon D700 along with a single lens, a Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art. Forcing myself to stick with it, I took no other camera (apart from the one on my phone). Shooting this way wasn’t only a creative exercise, it also meant I could learn a bit more about infrared work; what was successful and what wasn’t. I also got to enjoy the D700 again, with its satisfyingly brutal shutter sound and tank-like build ( that’s enough now – Ed ).

Above Wanting to show how the people co-existed with the harsh geography of Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression, Joel Santos shot from a camera mounted to a drone.

ground, but I self-imposed using the drone. It was the most interesting way to show how the land and the people co-exist.” Of course packing a drone and its batteries means you need to compromise on kit. “Weight is always the biggest concern; because the internal flights in these countries have very small ’planes. Normally, I take two Canon bodies, a 16-35mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm or a 100-400mm. But the drone is a big part of what I do now, so that can mean leaving the heavier glass. Versatility is more important to me now, and light lenses like Canon’s EF 50mm f/1.8 can be trusted. If I manage to go away without it all I feel like a feather!” Are we there yet? Part of shooting a project is knowing when it’s done – and also when to revisit it. Joel has a good example; “There are these cormorant fishermen in China. In 2006 I was shooting them and they were completely rare. Now they’re popular and you see many photos of them, but it’s really people dressed up for tourists. I thought I was done with it, because of that, but I found there was something else to say: the real community is diminishing. China is growing so fast that this 500 year- old culture is collapsing; you can now buy the fish from the market instead, and work for the tourists. I found it great to follow that up and dig deeper, so another project was born.” Versatility is more important to me now, and light lenses like Canon’s EF 50mm f/1.8 can be trusted

Enter andwinabook! If you’re about to go on an exciting trip, or you’ve got a great collection of travel pictures that you want to show off to a wider audience, it’s time to enter them into Travel Photographer of the Year 2017. The competition is open now, and you can enter online at There are categories to suit all photographers, including three portfolio sections which are perfect for your own travel projects as you can submit up to four shots together. The closing date for TPOTY 2017 is 25 September 2017. If you need any further inspiration, why not take a look last year’s collection of stunning travel images, collected into Travel Photographer of the Year Journey Nine (110pp, £9.95). The book will be available from the end of July and can be bought direct from the TPOTYwebsite or from the TPOTY exhibition at 10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich, London (runs 4 August to 3 September). We’ve also got five copies of Journey Nine to give away, so just head to photographynews. to be in with a chance; the closing date to win a book is 13 August.

Formore on the Travel Photographer of theYear competition, visit

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