Travel in itself is a fascinating adventure full of moments that are hard to describe. Photography is a medium that can be used to capture these moments that will remain with you long after the travel has ended.
For a photographer, capturing travel memories in a way that will enable others to feel as if they are actually there is a real art.
If you want your travel photographs to have the wow factor when others view them, then the way we look at our surroundings while travelling has to change - fine-tuning your senses to see perspectives that are interesting, detail that is not obvious, unusual lighting and interesting characters.
One of the most alluring, unique and busy cities in the world would have to be the beautiful northern Italian city of Venice, which is a magnet for travellers with more than 23 million visitors a year. This is the destination I have chosen to demonstrate some of the techniques which will help you take great travel photographs.
To get the best out of a city, a serious photographer would have to spend at least four to five days on the ground. Venice has so many photo opportunities, you feel like a kid in a lolly shop.
While walking the beautiful streets and alleyways or slipping down a canal, be aware of lighting and make a mental note of whether the shot would look more enhanced if taken under different light conditions.
You may need to come back at another time, either early morning or in softer twilight just after the sun has set. Be prepared to get up early and catch the city waking, make sure to take your tripod because lighting will be low and hand- held will be out of the question.
I find this the most rewarding time of the day. There is so much more time to create those special perspectives without the crowds, the sky has warmth and colour as the sun tries to break through, especially if there is a bit of cloud around.
Later on in the day when things get busy, I use my Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 vibration reduction lens on the Nikon D700 body to get more candid and interesting people shots around the busy cafes and markets. This lens is invaluable, enabling me to get in close to capture the fine details which make interesting additions to your travel portfolio.
Apart from my main D-SLR camera, my favourite for street photography is the Leica X1. This high-performance 24mm f2.8 ASPH lens will deliver excellent picture quality. Coming in a beautiful retro leather case, it is light, inconspicuous and feels beautiful in the hand. It never leaves my side when I am travelling.
For today's photographer it is essential to carry a laptop computer. I use a 13-inch Apple Mac. This is the best for viewing and organising images. Each evening I download the day's images and select the best and work on them in Aperture, Apple's version of Photoshop. This program is user-friendly and designed for serious photographers.
·Stan Davies runs private photographic courses. Visit standavies.com.au or call 0403 304 361. He also leads photographic safaris and is currently in Kenya with Wildlife Safari.
- *Essential Travel Knowledge * *
Don't carry your equipment in bags branded with large camera logos. This just makes you a target for would-be robbers. I use an old canvas tote bag, which disguises the contents. Similarly with my laptop , I use an over-the-shoulder canvas mail-type bag which also has all my personal effects, passport, wallet and travel documents.
Always carry your camera bag and chargers on flights as hand luggage so if your case gets lost, you will always be able to take photographs.
- *Stan's photographic gear * *
Nikon D700 body (this is a full frame camera)
Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens
Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens
Leica X1 24mm f2.8 ASPH (this is a fixed-lens camera)
Nikon SB700 flash
2 x 8Gb memory cards
Tripod: Manfrotto carbon fibre