You know who you are. You are the tourist (or “traveler”) who can’t work a camera. It’s not your fault. Maybe it’s not your focus. Maybe you don’t have a Canon5DXto-the-camera-limit-max (and you don’t need one). I am no expert. But dear friend, I am here to help you take better photos of the strangers who approach you in the street.
What Went Wrong:
1. You Tried To Get The Whole Building In the Picture
A tip: the focus of the person in front of the building is much more important in the photo than the top edge of the building. I’d rather have some of the building cut off if it means there is a good focus of me in the picture.
Option Two: The building doesn’t have to be that up close. As long as you got the memory of being there, I think that’s what counts.
2. You Weren’t Close Enough
This is something I see strangers do when I give them my camera: they step about five to ten feet back. Please DON’T. This may be great if you’re taking a scenic view. But all of that foreground in the front is not good. And again, the main subject is not featured. But at least there’s my evidence of trying to channel my inner-Zeus.
Solution: Step about 3 feet away and try to get waist level. Getting the paint colour on my toe nails is not necessary. Waist up + enough of the background = successful photo! Always take about three photos for your fellow traveller. Said traveller will happily return the favour (well, this one will, at least).
EXCEPTION: posing in front of fun signs like the Guinness Brewery.
3. Extraneous Details are in The Way
If you see my bag and coat bundled up in the frame, shoot me (or the main subject) from the waist up. Feet and ground do not always necessarily need to be in the shot. Or if you see another person in the background, please wait until said person is gone. It also saves me from going to Photoshop.
In this photo, the structure wasn’t compromised and you can still see that there’s a good portion of the tourist (me) in the photo. Though, I would crop out the structure to the side.
Hope my tips helped! Would you like to see a part two of this post? What are your photography tips to those travelers you need to get your photo? Or are you all about the self-portrait? What tools do you use if you are not relying on others to take your photos?