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Archive 2005 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?
  
 
ikzook
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


I did a similar two years in the Netherlands and Belgium years ago before digital, I know missionaries who packed SLR's (security wasn't an issure) but I made do very nicely with Canon range finder, which I still have. When I started shooting again a couple of years ago I started with a Canon G2. The Canon G6 is what is available now you may find that this fits your needs, enough flexability but still small enough not to gather too much attention and sliver so it looks more consumer which should help you blend in as being more of a consumer camera. You don't have to worry about lenses etc. and it does have some manual controls if you feel like shooting that way.

If I were traveling under similar conditions as I did when I was a missionary I would consider it to be an ideal balance between competeting needs/wants. It is light enough to be carried all day but still produces very usuable images. I've sold a few of mine from my G2, printed up to 24x30 framed and hanging in a commercial building in Salt Lake, they have purchased the same size images from a local gallery shot by professionals on film and the customer is just has happy with G2 photos, so I would expect the images from the G6 to hold up just as well. I know a number of serious 10D/20D shooters who have the G6 for travel shooting when they need to travel light.

I just had a publisher from Provo use one my G2 photos from Palmyra on the cover of a collection of music written by Gerald R. Lund and it turned out very nice, much nicer than I expected it to.

You can take a look at my web site if you want there are couple of photos on it that were taken with the G2. www.slicesoflight.com

best of luck
John








Feb 23, 2005 at 08:56 PM
The Big Bad
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


nutek wrote:
I don't understand the concept of travel photography, especially those travel landscape/architectural shots of buildings and places.

definition #1: travel photography = pictures of building-and-places...
Why spend the effort to set up a full tripod, camera, cable release rig to take a picture of say the Effiel Tower or some other scenic place, when there are thousands of postcards already depicting that scene? Most likely than not these places would have already been photographed to death by the local photographers, and in much better lighting and conditions that what you possibly could have gotten in your few days of travel in
...Show more


I have to disagree with this defination. Ive been many places that have been previoulsy photographed to death and I feel that I usually get some pretty good results. Maybe I'm just full of myself, or maybe the way I shoot something in in a manner that only I like it and no one else. Either way though I typically feel that if I want a shot of something, I want to take it myself. Why should I go buy a framed print for $200 when I can take and print my own for $20 and have the pride that its my own ? Granted there are times when the weather was ideal in the other photog's shots and not mine but sometimes I get lucky and get the great weather.

heres Cape hatterus light house, probably the most widely shot lighthouse in the world and yet I think I got some great images of it that I havent seen elsewhere so was it was waste of time to shoot it ?

http://mk37.image.pbase.com/u48/bigbad/upload/30977686.29.jpg
http://i2.pbase.com/u48/bigbad/upload/30981544.39.jpg
http://mishopi.image.pbase.com/u48/bigbad/upload/30939605.5.jpg
http://mk29.image.pbase.com/u48/bigbad/upload/30977128.25.jpg



Feb 23, 2005 at 09:37 PM
The Big Bad
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


whoops, the one shot was Bodie, embedded the wrong image, but you guys get the idea


Feb 23, 2005 at 09:38 PM
The Big Bad
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


or how about Mounument Valley AZ/Utah, been photographed to death but I happened to be there with a duststorm, late afternoon rain and got a pretty unique purplish sky at sunset
http://misheli.image.pbase.com/u42/bigbad/upload/27540823.1.jpg



Feb 23, 2005 at 09:40 PM
JMShort
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


I really enjoy traveling with my Contax G2. I think of it as a rangefinder, though some on this forum consider it a fancy point and shoot. It is small, the optics are spectacular...Zeiss, and I love shooting Velvia, and the Provia slide films with it. I have spent a lot of time in rural Mexico the past 20 years and have never cared to carry around my conspicuous EOS cameras and lenses. (I used to shoot with Olympus OM series cameras). The most common reaction to the G2 there is "Hey, that's some old camera you're using."
It is fast, quiet, unobtrusive, non-flashy, with great image quality. I do change my shooting style without the long glass (90mm max), but I prefer using wide glass anyways....and that Zeiss 21mm is unmatched for quality! I do miss macro capability with it though. Some of those digital point-and-shoots handle that rather nicely.
And, once you are ready to put away the camera and not worry about the photos....there is a lot less bulk to worry about.....so you can lay back and soak in the experience!!!

Just my thoughts on the matter.



Feb 23, 2005 at 09:51 PM
AJ Nadershahi
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Wenyao

Those are excellent points!! I've often asked the same questions.



Feb 23, 2005 at 10:22 PM
Chris SteCroix
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


you know i've been all over the world with an SLR and never had any problems, and i travel primarily in the 'developing world'. I find attitude is everything when travelling, act like an ass, and get treated like an ass, no image is worth a foriegn subject's discomfort as I am the guest. i usually take 1 or 2 lenses in a ratty backpack, slung forward. Sure my eos 1v-hs is heavy, but i'm familiar with it and the extra work gets me in shape

that said, if i had a bazillion dollars and time to learn another system, i'd have an M7 or some such digital equivalent (if there is such a thing)

and sure, i may take a simmilar shot or two to someone else in a famous place but the one I took was taken by me and is even more evocative as such. i also tend to go to places that are less travelled and avoid the eiffel towers, but that's just me.



Feb 23, 2005 at 10:45 PM
maljo
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


If you're serious about photography,
then you carry a DSLR and a couple of lenses.

I travel alot and always take at least this:
Canon 1D Mark II
24-70 f2.8 zoom
70-200 f4 zoom

maljo



Feb 23, 2005 at 11:00 PM
Natron
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


My last travel kit consisted of my Voigtlander Bessa R2 body, Konica M-Hexanon 50mm f/2 lens and Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron lens for it. I could carry that entire kit with me all day and never even notice. It's so small and light that slinging it over a shoulder isn't noticeable and the 2nd lens can easily fit in a jacket or pants pocket.


Feb 23, 2005 at 11:13 PM
viknijjar
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


maljo wrote:
If you're serious about photography,
then you carry a DSLR and a couple of lenses.


what a joke, tell that to henri cartier bresson



Feb 23, 2005 at 11:33 PM
 

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Natron
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


viknijjar wrote:
what a joke, tell that to henri cartier bresson


Seriously.. you can spot someone distanced from reality or someone who *started* with digital cameras with comments like that. Sure, it may output better images than their old digicam but current digicams aren't bad and many film cameras are beyond superb.



Feb 23, 2005 at 11:41 PM
Suba
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


I have read your original post and I understand where you are coming from as I also travel abroad so just a couple of ideas for you to consider

(I had a D60 and now have a 20D. I tried a G2 which was great as a point and shoot but, ultimately, for me at least, nothing beat an DSLR))

In both DSLR cases, the first thing I did was to remove the original neck strap and replace with a totally anonymous un-named one so that from behind me, nothing shouted 'CANON' - steal me!

I then used some carefully cut (and smoothly applied) black insulating tape to cover the camera model logo and 'digital' logo on the front and also changed the lens cap to an unbranded version.

So now, I had an anonymous black camera which could have been an old film camera or a digital SLR when viewed from the front.....

For a similar reason, I would agree with your idea of something like a 17-85 lens which is not too large in length or diameter compared to serious glass.

In my opinion, any local 'threat' is unlikely to be an in-depth camera expert so what you are conveying to them is first impressions. The perception by locals of 'just another black camera' lowers the 'anti' compared to, say, a fully-logo'd digital Canon with base grip and ,say, 24-70 lens with lens hood.....

In summary, I would definitely stick with a DSLR for quality but with a low key appearance.

Hope this helps.....



Feb 23, 2005 at 11:49 PM
CallaLilly81
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


John Topham wrote:
Well, here is my answer. I travel a lot. Sometimes I take both kits, sometimes one.

Big kit:
20D, 50 f/1.4 and/or 35L and/or 85L, 17-85 IS and 70-300 DO IS, 580EX, batteries, CFs and notebook.

Little kit:
Pro 1, 1.75 TC, batteries, CFs and notebook, maybe 420EX

The difference in size, weight and value is not reflected in the difference in performance. The Pro 1 with the latest firmware is an excellent performer, often not readily distinguishable from the 20D, though operation may be slower and you have to find the EVF acceptable.



I was going to suggest the same thing. Wish i had both... or hell... either .




Feb 24, 2005 at 12:18 AM
lovcom
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Here we go Moon....lol

My vote is for a DSLR....any DSLR for best quality.



Feb 24, 2005 at 01:15 AM
nutek
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Ahh... but these travel photographs fall under the category of definition #4: travel with a purpose of photography I understand your point, but I find it difficult sometimes to balance between taking "serious" photos when travelling with non-photog friends, and just putting aside photography for a moment in order to savor the sights and smells without trying to record them on camera. Too often than not, we as photogs miss the big picture of just having fun and just soaking in the atmosphere, while we are fiddling with with our cameras stuff.

I'm not disagreeing with your point about photographing well-beaten locations with your own style - I do it too, to prove to myself that I can capture such scenes that I see in the postcards too.

What I'm really against is that: when you are bogged down with family commitments, poor lighting and time-of-the-day (e.g. high noon), and scenery that reek of tourists in them; one still goes through the trouble of trying to *force* a good picture out of the scene. Why bother? Use a P&S, enjoy the trip/holiday =)

A full SLR kit won't help you get better pictures in this case, and may even detract from your enjoyment of the trip after you feel the weight of carrying a bagful of camera stuff all over Europe, or after you perform your numerous lens changes. An advanced P&S, or a small SLR with just one "walkaround" lens might be more appropriate.

Wenyao


The Big Bad wrote:
or how about Mounument Valley AZ/Utah, been photographed to death but I happened to be there with a duststorm, late afternoon rain and got a pretty unique purplish sky at sunset




Feb 24, 2005 at 01:43 AM
lovcom
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Where does this hang up come from?

"Hey, it's already been photographed....it's been done before....to death!!!".

So what?

It's MY first time. It's MY experience. I don't care about others experiences photographing Big Ben in London. It's my first picture of the Eiffel Tower, or the Louvre, or the Pyramids in Egypt. So what if 8 million other's took that shot this very morning.

Maybe I'm missing something....anyone care to explain?



Feb 24, 2005 at 03:15 AM
Jeff Donald
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


I'm not saying I agree with the argument (which I don't), but the basic argument revolves around the concept of originality. Why produce something, as an artist, that is not original? Is painting by numbers art? Is photography something for the 8,000,001 time producing an original or a copy of something that has already been done?


Feb 24, 2005 at 03:46 AM
The Big Bad
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


I dont think theres anything photographic thats all that original anymore, sunsets, landmarks, beaches, pretty girls, sports action, pets, cars, macro shots, Its all basically been done before but we still do it

I think the same is true for most forms of art, with just 6 strings how many chords on a guitar havent already been put together ?

What new shapes and colors can be blown out of glass ?

To do something unique isnt that hard, but to produce something thats truely never been done before ? Thats near impossible



Feb 24, 2005 at 03:52 AM
Jeff Donald
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


What new shapes and colors can be blown out of glass ?

Obviously you've never been to a Dale Chihuly exhibit.

The impossible only takes a little longer.



Feb 24, 2005 at 03:57 AM
nutek
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


I have no idea how the argument of orginality came about from these discussions, but I have no problems about capturing yet another photo of Effiel Tower or Big Ben or whatever. It's the choice of equipment that the OP was talking about - whether should he use a SLR to capture it or not, and my argument is that: it depends on what kind of travel photography he wants to do. In many cases, a SLR would be overkill and a P&S would be more usable.

But eventually it just boils down to: do what pleases yourself most. =)




Feb 24, 2005 at 04:15 AM
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