Although I am a photographer by trade, I really don’t consider myself an expert in the field of travel photography. Still, people ask me for tips and tricks on how they can improve their travel snaps all the time, so I thought I’d address the topic today! Often, this comes from people with state of the art gear and little clue on how to use it. Having good equipment could be considered a first step in the right direction, but it really isn’t in some other regards – because photography remains a means of expression. Having technical skills is one thing, but an important aspect is the ability to develop a keen eye for what’s around: learn to see the extraordinary in the mundane, connect emotionally with what surrounds you, speak to people, touch, feel and follow your instinct. Granted, getting this sensibility for photography comes with practice and can be the work of a life time, but there are ways to cheat this and make sure you get the best shot each and every time. Here are some tips!
I’ve written a bit about photography in the past, but not a whole lot if you consider the fact that I actually come from a photography background. I suppose there’s a part of modesty in there, but I also never considered myself to be a travel photographer – where I came from, there were strobes and make-up artists and fluff, all in the confines of a studio. I do however receive a lot of compliments and questions about my photography – which is nice – so today I thought I would address my workflow in regards to retouching my travel photos for my blog and my Instagram account.
I recently posted a “what’s in my camera bag” update where I discussed this little GoPro gadget that has completely changed the way my footage looks and I’ve been asked tons of questions about it. The Zhiyun GoPro Gimbal is a very portable (thus very traveler-friendly!) three-axis motorized stabilizer – unlike a traditional Steadicam that works with counterbalance weights and is super bulky and annoying to carry, not to mention difficult to learn how to use properly. I was really keen to put it to use, so I took advantage of my trip to Northern Italy to film as much as I could and I put together this little video! Can you see how much smoother the panning and moving shots are? Handheld footage can be very shaky and ruin videos, no matter how high resolution your camera is, so to me this is a wonderful investment that will make a world of difference in the overall quality of your footage. I find this specific gimbal great because you can attach it to different mounts, unlike most of the other ones out that that are fixed to a pole. I’m looking forward to do some bike footage!
I get asked pretty much daily what camera(s) I shoot my photos and videos with, so today I thought I would present you with an updated version of what is in my camera bag as a few things have changed since my last post. My approach hasn’t changed so much however: I still do not put so much importance in my camera equipment and tend to cheap out wherever possible because breaking sh*t is a favorite hobby of mine and I do believe good photography lies a lot more in the eye of the beholder rather than in whatever expensive piece of equipment you are gagging to show me with so much pride (hint: don’t). That being said, lately I’ve invested in a GoPro and a few other gadgets after shooting a lot of videos that all ended in the trash for being too shaky (cycling + filming = not awesome). So back by popular demand, here is what’s in my camera bag these days (I still don’t have a camera bag!)
Photography is a very, very large field. A continent. Yes, within this large continent, I am a trained photographer, but just in a specific tiny little nook. Hence, whilst backpacking around the world, I would be hard pressed to call myself a professional photographer – because I don’t know jack about travel photography. Where I feel most at ease is in a controlled environment, with a consenting subject and a well-defined and researched objective, as well as unlimited time to get to my ends.
We were lucky to be invited to spend a long weekend in Las Vegas at the New York, New York last weekend. I had been to Vegas for just a few hours in 2005 on my way to California, so I was so happy to be able to return for a few days to be able to experience it properly.
We hardly slept. At all. And seeing Cirque du Soleil’s “O” from the 3rd row in the middle of the night whilst jet lagged is possibly the closest I will ever feel what it’s like to be on LSD.
This is completely unrelated, but I wanted to share a bit of my current life. Last week I won my first ever photography award at the Infopresse Lux photo contest in the student category, I finished 2nd in the “personal research” sub-category. The photos were published on my blog a little while ago, you can see them here. They were taken last fall for a class at Concordia and are most obviously inspired by the breakup, but they also represent, in a larger perspective, a study on the duality between man and woman through elements borrowed from mythology and symbolism.
How often can you make a trip to your hometown with the wedding on two of your best buds coincide? 🙂
Pictures taken in Maria, Gaspésie, in the east of Québec, where I am originally from.
2 weeks ago we had crazy hot weather here in Montreal that was preceded by a day of very dense fog, which caused all sorts of traffic and flight problems. It was kind of eerie walking around town and I took advantage of the situation to bust out the old Mamiya 7. I’m kinda falling back in love with film photography.
Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt we were never here
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer
THIS IS CALLED “THE BREAK UP”.
*I would like to thank the Redpath Museum for their generosity.