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On the street – travel photography with Linden Neill

December 30, 2010

A guest blog from Linden Neill currently of no fixed address.Bazaar Basics

As we have been travelling around, one of the areas that we try to visit in each town are the markets. Whether it is the local produce and fish markets or the speciality bazaars (in Turkey), we find that they are stimulating to the senses with the smells, sights and sounds of the local area. Being food lovers, we also get some of the local ingredients to use in our nights cooking. They are also great areas to practice photography. There are so many different styles that can be captured is such a small space – from macros to candid portraits, abstracts and street scenes.

Image by Linden Neil

Due to weight restrictions, the camera I have brought with me is a Canon G11. I have found that a camera of this size and capability really excels in a street shooting situation. Here are some tips I have learned in this situation.

Use the custom modes if you have them. I have both of the custom modes on the G11 set-up for street shooting. One of them is set-up based on aperture priority and the other on shutter priority. I use aperture priority most of the time and shutter priority if I want some movement in the image.

Image by Linden Neill

For outdoor markets I have both set-up on Auto White-balance, while indoors I set a custom white balance for the area I’m shooting in, as each stall usually has a different temperature light.

I also have it set-up on manual focus. I leave it at about 5m focus distance. Because of the small sensor in the G11, depth of field is either huge or really huge so I find that even if what I’m shooting isn’t 5m away,it will be acceptably focused. The reason for using manual focus is that all compacts are plagued by shutter lag and this goes some way to reduce it.

Image by Linden Neill

Play with the inbuilt colour settings. Before this trip I shot exclusively RAW files and processed everything, however going home with thousands of files to edit didn’t interest me. Using the controls over jpeg, I can produce something pretty close to processing on the computer.

Most cameras these days have alot of settings that can be changed in respect to the jpeg files. In the G11 for example I can produce black and white, sepia, different film styles, selective colouring, swap colours in the image and make contrast adjustments. Give them a go and you might be surprised with the results.

Image by Linden Neill

Most importantly make sure you take your camera. None of these tips will matter if your camera is sitting on the shelf at home. There is always something to take a cool picture of.

Image by Linden Neill

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