Tbex 2013 Toronto Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography

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Tbex 2013 Toronto Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography featuring Lola Akinmade Akerstrom. Content track.

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Tbex 2013 Toronto Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography

  1. 1. Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography Lola Akinmade Åkerström
  2. 2. Telling Your Stories Through Travel Photography
  3. 3. Quick Intro as a Photographer Sweden-based photographer www.akinmade.com | @LolaAkinmade Represented by National Geographic Stock Image Collection Was on assignment for National Geographic Channel filming “Through The Lens” in South Africa Contributor to Sweden’s Image Bank and was their official photoblogger for 2 years
  4. 4. What we will cover [1] “Next Step” tips for photographing: People +children, landscapes, animals/wildlife, lowlight + night scenes [2] Shooting creatively during blog/press trips [3] How to choose photos to illustrate your stories
  5. 5. What we won’t cover Specific camera gear – Ask me later! Hard-hitting photojournalism ≠ Travel photography * Chances are most of us aren’t looking to be war photographers
  6. 6. [ 1 ] “Next Step” creative tips for capturing photos that start telling stories
  7. 7. Assumptions You guys already know a few basic technical and composition rules of photography …such as:
  8. 8. My assumption – RULE OF THIRDS
  9. 9. My assumption – DEPTH OF FIELD
  10. 10. My assumption – LEADING LINES
  11. 11. [ 1A ] “Next Step” creative tips for photographing PEOPLE
  12. 12. TIP 1 – INTERACT
  13. 13. Interact and try to avoid sneaking shots of people all the time People want to be acknowledged first HOW? Nonverbal cues Eye contact and smiling Lifting camera as a question Dialogue – If you speak a common language Light but engaging conversation - What did you do today?” Intense and deeper conversations
  14. 14. WHY? Your subject is momentarily comfortable with your presence
  15. 15. Examples Dieter, Busker in Edinburgh
  16. 16. Market Vendors, Durban, South Africa
  17. 17. Per, Sámi Elder
  18. 18. Interacting gets you closer. Closer gets you better travel photographs.
  19. 19. “Befriend people first, and then take the picture. That makes the encounter into a rich and rewarding experience. “ National Geographic, Guide to Travel Photography
  20. 20. TIP 2 – VISUALLY ELEVATE THEM
  21. 21. Getting a few inches lower consciously & subconsciously elevates your subject.
  22. 22. Lets people draw their own conclusions especially when photographing “poverty”
  23. 23. TIP 3 – BE AN OPPORTUNIST
  24. 24. Once you’ve got their attention, always have your camera on burst mode/multiple frames per second.
  25. 25. TIP 4 – BE PATIENT (if you have time)
  26. 26. Observe how they’re interacting with their environment. Observe how light is flowing through their environment
  27. 27. MUNDANE INTERESTING
  28. 28. [ 1B ] “Next Step” creative tips for photographing CHILDREN
  29. 29. TIP 1 – GET REALLY LOW
  30. 30. Not Low Enough LOW
  31. 31. TIP 2 – FOCUS ON GROUP FIRST
  32. 32. Then, single out the subject you’re most interested in.
  33. 33. Applies to candid shots as well.
  34. 34. TIP 3 – INTERACT WITH GUARDIANS
  35. 35. Guardians grant access
  36. 36. TIP 4 – STAY AWAY IF SOLO Reinforce “no talking to strangers” lesson by parents
  37. 37. [ 1C ] “Next Step” creative tips for photographing LANDSCAPES
  38. 38. TIP 1 – INSERT LIFE
  39. 39. Provides scale and context -- Brings landscape to life
  40. 40. Also tells story of interaction
  41. 41. TIP 2 – ISOLATE
  42. 42. TIP 2 – ISOLATE
  43. 43. Isolation makes the mundane seem more interesting
  44. 44. [ 1D ] “Next Step” creative tips for photographing Animals/Wildlife
  45. 45. TIP 1 – MAKE EYE CONTACT
  46. 46. Capturing eyes/eye contact adds life to the photo and automatically makes it more interesting
  47. 47. TIP 2 – GET THEM IN ACTION
  48. 48. Okay shot with eye contact Disturbing but cooler shot
  49. 49. [ 1E ] “Next Step” tips for photographing Night + Low-light scenes
  50. 50. TIP 1 – FOCUS ON SINGLE LIGHT SOURCE
  51. 51. Shows how light source is interacting with its environment
  52. 52. In general, sweeping night scenes are fine. Next level -> Isolate a subject and light source and shoot that in relation to its environment It adds an element of “drama”
  53. 53. TIP 2 – TURN YOUR BACK TO SUNSETS + SUNRISES
  54. 54. GOLDEN GLOW How light is interacting with the landscape
  55. 55. GOLDEN GLOW Light interacting with people
  56. 56. What is called –> GOLDEN HOUR
  57. 57. [ 2 ] Shooting creatively during blog/press trips
  58. 58. Five types of photos we all bring back from press or blog trips
  59. 59. Close-ups of yummy expensive food
  60. 60. Photo of the property
  61. 61. Photo of your host and/or chef
  62. 62. Photo of other bloggers photographing stuff
  63. 63. And…photo of yourself doing something cool
  64. 64. TRUTH IS: These are all mundane and a bit boring even though they’re well composed and “pretty” shots.
  65. 65. Your challenge? (Should you accept!) Make the mundane interesting HOW? By sharpening your observational skills
  66. 66. FOOD - How is it interacting with its environment? - Shoot everything around the food
  67. 67. Food in its domain
  68. 68. Take more environmental portraits of food
  69. 69. Characters interacting with food
  70. 70. PROPERTY - Focus on unique angles - How are people interacting with the property?
  71. 71. Chances are your hosts already have the most attractive angles on file
  72. 72. Focus on human interaction
  73. 73. How people are interacting with the property
  74. 74. HOST / CHEF - As the group moves on, linger for a few moments - Focus on what others aren’t focusing on
  75. 75. Focus when others are gone Closer candid shots
  76. 76. Linger for a bit… or awhile People are more relaxed one-on-one
  77. 77. Other Bloggers + You - Switch your angle - Catch them when they’re NOT photographing More self-portraits
  78. 78. At play
  79. 79. Self-portraits
  80. 80. Takeaway Improving your press/blog trip photos with unique perspectives offers the DMO and your host(s) a fresh angle on their destination or property.
  81. 81. Similar to how my relationship with Sweden started
  82. 82. [ 3 ] How to choose photos to tell your stories
  83. 83. You’ve improved your photos You’ve taken creative shots Now what? How do you “kill your darlings” and choose which photos illustrate your story?
  84. 84. Your photos should answer the following questions: What? When? Why? Who? Any unique details?
  85. 85. The more questions a single photo can answer, the better. And that should be your leading shot in a photo essay.
  86. 86. Example
  87. 87. What? River scene Who? Women When? Daylight Details? Fish + Boats Why? Heavy lifting? Going to sell? Example 1
  88. 88. What? Pier Who? Women When? Daylight Details? Buckets Why? Negotiating? Interacting? Arguing? Example 2
  89. 89. Strongest Your strongest image in a photo essay answers the most questions Stronger Strong Details Strong Open-ended Stronger
  90. 90. What? River scene Who? Woman When? Daylight Details? X Why? X Example – Open-ended question
  91. 91. Did you notice the common thread of interaction throughout these tips? You interacting with your subject? Your subject interacting with its environment?
  92. 92. Your progression as a travel photographer? How well you can interact with and observe interactions within your environment to tell its stories.
  93. 93. In Summary Most people can take pretty decent pictures So how do you stand out and make people notice? Technical prowess IS NOT the #1 reason. Creativity will get you there especially with travel photography. Your creative challenge -> Make the mundane interesting.
  94. 94. “Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money, masters worry about light… I just take pictures… ”…Vernon Trent
  95. 95. Questions? @LolaAkinmade

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