Blog #63 Summer is for Travel (Denver)
As mentioned in the previous blog post, this is first of a triple series, Summer is for Traveling. In the last blog, I posted some photos that were made from my window seat on the plane. They were mostly of clouds and some particularly interesting farm lands around the middle of America that look like a patchwork quilt. These were shot while flying from Denver to Miami. The world looks much different from 35,000 feet and the fresh perspective is cool and different much like the new trend of drone photography. Have you ever wondered how long that trend will last?
Here, I’ll share some photos of Denver, the Mile High city in the first of a three-part series on travel.
A few relevant questions to ponder while traveling is what type of images will you shoot? Of course there is nothing wrong with the quintessential travel snapshot that we all shoot as regular human activity. However, some of us seek to push that boundary and go beyond.
How does one capture the essence of a place? There are some characteristics of the people from a place that may describe some of this essence or spirit of the people. Fashion, dress, or occupation can provide hints as to the nature of a sense of place and its climate or at least the climate at that time of year. Getting close to people, or hanging out with friends from a place can give a unique perspective and “insiders vantage point”. While this can be a real challenge as a foreigner and that challenge is compounded by language barriers, but it comes with the territory for the professional photographer.
Architecture and building façades can reveal the nature of a place as well. The building styles, shapes of the roofs, colors, and building materials can give hints about the uniqueness of a city, region, or country. Of course landmarks are an easy way to communicate elements of a city, but that’s taking the easy road. Give the viewer a little more work to do to figure out the context of the image. Keep them guessing. Make them work a little, but not to much. Avoid being too obvious or stereotypical in your images. There are some universals in many cities that could be anywhere, or at least anywhere USA. Might see the image and think “Somewhere in the mid-west of the USA”. That’s close enough. If the image screens “DENVER”! You’ve gone to far. Dial it back a bit.
I made these images in this post on a recent trip to Denver, Colorado, USA. There are both black and white and color. In general, I avoid posting both together as there seems to be some photography faux pas for doing so, but sometimes you need to break the rules to tell your story in the way that you want to tell it.
The final task in making travel images is deciding if you want to share them, with whom, and how many. Most would agree that 10-20 is plenty of images and appropriate for anything other than a book. I chose 19 that illustrate my adventures in Denver for about five days. I did see some friends while there and really enjoyed the place. Notice this post mentions cameras, lenses, and gear exactly zero times. This is intentional. Sometimes, it’s best to divorce ourselves from the discussion of the technical aspects of photography and focus on the story and the place, and the people. The rest can be rather academic. For more on this topic, check out Blog #58 on the subject of Micro & Macro Education.
Until next time, remember, the light is always right.