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Archive 2005 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?
  
 
The Big Bad
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Well familiar with his work and I'm quite the fan, but the fact remains, that everything that has been done is in some relation to everything else. Consciencely or not, we draw inspirations from other works. I dont think theres a color, a pattern etc that can be made into blown glass that hasnt been done to some extent before.

This isnt to say that new art isnt good and creative, its simply not groundbreaking. Photography is the same way. Is there really anything left in this world that hasnt had a photo taken of it ? I dont think so really, but we still take more anyways.

Its too bad I guess its not the early 1900's and were are with NG taking the first photos of the pryamids and things like that, but its not and they've been shot millions of times, but hey, I'll still be setting up my tripod at sunset to shoot them and I'll be happy to take shot number 1 million and 1 lol

heres a few Chihuly shots of mine that Im rather fond of too
http://mishami.image.pbase.com/u39/bigbad/upload/25464204.kaleidoscope.jpg
http://mk37.image.pbase.com/u41/bigbad/upload/27038136.wave.jpg
http://mishami.image.pbase.com/u39/bigbad/upload/25419954.blue1.jpg



Feb 24, 2005 at 04:19 AM
Rick2
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


swe22 wrote:
...what do you do for travel photography? ... I just don't know if an SLR is right for me, especially my three lens setup. I also worry if I'm putting too much on the line when I travel - that's a lot of money for a poor married college student to be toting around in his backpack.


Here is a somewhat different viewpoint:

1. A camera has no value if you do not use it.
2. The right camera is the camera which is the best fit for the type of pictures you want to take.
3. If you reject a camera as too heavy or too bulky, what you really mean is that you do not care enough about its photographic benefits to justify the inconvenience of carrying it.
4. If you are afraid the camera will be lost or stolen, then include the cost of an insurance policy as part of the camera's price.

I realize that the above is a bit glib and overstated. Obviously, the risks associated with carrying an expensive camera in a "rough" neighborhood are more than just financial. Neverthess, I think my basic message holds. If you want to take the pictures, you can find a way.

Good luck on your travels. And take some great pictures.



Feb 24, 2005 at 04:25 AM
Jeff Donald
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


You can be inspired by many things yet still produce original work. Chihuly has had 3 major exhibits in Florida in as many years and all have been distinctly original. The designs, shapes and compositions are unique. Sorry if maybe he used the same color blue twice.

As you said earlier this is a very gear oriented forum and I agree. In my experience gear oriented photographers tend to concentrate on the craft of photography (like a woodworker) and miss the art. Sure their images are technically correct, in focus, properly exposed etc., but they lack a sense of style and originality. Craftsmen make the same cabinet day in a day out. One day it might be red and the next blue, but it's the same cabinet. Artists make a different cabinet everyday. One day it's tall, the next it's low. Artist's search out the different form, shape and style. No two things alike. It's the difference between crafts and art.



Feb 24, 2005 at 04:36 AM
JMShort
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Cartier-Bresson and David Alan Harvey are good examples of shooters who took or take exceptional photos with basic, simple gear.

If your principle goal is to shoot photos, you may want to haul around a lot of fancy DSLR gear. That is one approach. Yes I am a photographer, but I don't always want to feel obliged to my photo gear and to capturing "the Image." I also like to challenge my own creativity working with fewer gear options. It often makes me push myself beyond the norm.

It really comes down to your own personal style and what you are or are not willing to do to get those photos. My own style when I travel is rather low key. I take photos to compliment my travel. I earn my living taking photos so when I am on my own time, sometimes I like to tuck the little G2 away and enjoy the company and setting I find myself in. I learned a long time ago the camera can enhance the experience as easily as it can get in the way.

Edited by JMShort on Feb 23, 2005 at 10:46 PM GMT



Feb 24, 2005 at 04:41 AM
The Big Bad
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Rick2 wrote:
a couple of comments about some of these points

1. A camera has no value if you do not use it.

That is true but you have to consider what else that camera is good for. If its my tool for making a living shooting portriats for example, if I took it on a trip to take vacation shots, and it got stolen, broken etc, was the camera more valuable at home on the trip ? To buy it and just not use it because your worried is one thing, but theres are cases where something is perhaps too valuable to be
...Show more



Feb 24, 2005 at 04:41 AM
The Big Bad
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


I'd like to challenge everyone to show me an image thats of a subject matter, a process, a technique or a concept that hasnt been done before. Ive got about 60 photo books in my bookcase, I read all the online sites, I subscribe to lots of magazines, etc.

Id really like to see a moment of human condition or a emotion that hasnt been captured.

Id like to see a new form of wildlife that hasnt been captured

A wonder of the ancient world that hasnt been captured


This is by no means saying that there are no good photographs to take, because there are. As I said in my other post, even if its been shot 1000 times, my way of shooting it is still probably going to be special. My lighthouse had that one sunset and theres not going to be anotehr one so its unique. Its not going to happen just like that again so its definatly worth shooting

But, was a lighthosue with a sunset an original idea ? Not hardly



Feb 24, 2005 at 04:47 AM
jcarwardine
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


How about a Ricoh GR-1?

http://home1.pacific.net.sg/~kennetht/GR1specs.html

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/pocket_35.shtml




Feb 24, 2005 at 04:56 AM
Jeff Donald
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


If you're looking for new species of life or the Lost City of Atlantis, I doubt I can help. Human condition is an ever changing series of events that produce new opportunities, tragic as they may be, everyday. Unfortunately the events involve such tragic circumstance. Images of the recent Tsunami are nothing like I've seen in my 48 years. I had seen a few images of the Tsunami that struck Hawaii in the 1940's but nothing like the images of the past few months.

It sounds to me like your looking not just for original photos, but the very first of a kind. I might suggest you wait for one of NASA's probes to land on a never before seen planet, moon etc. But I don't think original images have to be so unique or first of a kind. Show me a view of a lighthouse from a different angle, height etc. and you might have something. One of my students laid on her back right next to a lighthouse and shot upwards. First time I'd seen that perspective of a lighthouse. A lighthouse is not original, but it can be shown in ways not seen before.



Feb 24, 2005 at 05:07 AM
The Big Bad
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


I always like this upward looking view of one myself (will have to redo it though with less shutter as I got star trails)

http://mishopi.image.pbase.com/u48/bigbad/upload/30963195.20.jpg

Anyways though, Im obviously all for doing shots in different ways. That was my very responce to the guy who said why take a DSLR to shoot a landmark, its already been done before.

The sidenote is what is an original photo then ? What does that guy think is worth taking a DSLR for ? If its been shot before its not worth putting much effort into but then what is ?

I agree with everything you say quite actually in terms of actual photography and the reason for shooting, but was simply debating the concept of originality as a whole



Feb 24, 2005 at 05:18 AM
 

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Jeff Donald
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Sorry, you weren't laying on our back when you took that shot or your head was oriented different. My student had her head virtually touching the lighthouse while looking up. I wish I had a copy to post, but it didn't look at all like yours.


Feb 24, 2005 at 05:22 AM
The Big Bad
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


mine was with the tripod pretty much at the base, just far enough out to allow some of the light at the top to show up (light house shots at night without the light probably wouldnt look like much) shooting upwards at about an 80 degree angle Id say

Too bad you dont have a copy of the shot, Id be intrested to see the result.



Feb 24, 2005 at 05:28 AM
rico
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


The Big Bad wrote:
I'd like to challenge everyone to show me an image thats of a subject matter, a process, a technique or a concept that hasnt been done before.


GJ: A flying limo? Now I've seen everything.
S: Have you ever seen a man eat his own head?
GJ: What? No!
S: So you haven't seen everything.

(Two points if you know the source)



Feb 24, 2005 at 09:14 AM
ignace
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


SWE22,

My job (not photo related) requires very frequent travel. On average, I fly once a month between Los Angeles, Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina) and Europe (Spain, France, UK). I think I rack over 300k miles a year on my frequent flyer card, which is always nice for the family vacation...

Anyway, I ALWAYS carry a camera with me for either the just-in-case candid photo opportunity or the planned ahead free afternoon or weekend . Depending on the trip, I take a DSLR (1DmkII), a rangefinder (Leica MP), or both. I second Lord Arka's comments; whether in Calcutta, Santiago de Chile or in Buenos Aires, it is not the 300d Rebel that will make you THE target of a potential pickpocket. It may be your attire (shorts + t-shirt + baseball hat = American tourist...). your back pack, or the group you're walking with, too...

Regarding security, and since you're planning to visit both Santiago and Buenos Aires, let me assure you that crime rates in these two cities are by far lower than the best statistic in Washington DC's recent history. I am not saying you can be careless with your wallet and belongings, but these two cities are as safe as it gets for tourists in Latin America.

With the rangefinder, I need more time to think about composition, lighting parameters, focusing the lens, etc. but I also get an itch of not knowing how my capture is until I go home and process the negative, and then, after a scan preview, here it comes... you may not want to wait and just drop your negative at a one hour photo location, which is a great alternative too in these countries, especially if you do not have access to a laptop or desktop. The rangefinder is compact, easy to carry, and most people think of it as an old pre-digital era camera. Be aware that you may need to shoot a few rolls with a rangefinder to get familiar with it; it is a pretty different experience from shooting with a DSLR. The DSLR gives me all the flexibility I need in terms of bracketing, priority setting, auto focus, low light captures, etc, but it is bulky, and I may not be willing to carry the 1D and a couple of lenses to a business meeting... also, for long trips such as yours, you need to think of digital storage capacity. If you're taking a laptop,. no issue there. Otherwise, you may have to spend some money on memory.

Whatever you chose, you should be OK. Traveling is not without risks, but the memories you will keep through your pics will bring you lots of good moments in a few years.

Cheers,

Ignace



Feb 24, 2005 at 12:19 PM
mark589
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Ask yourself some questions:
Why do you carry the camera?
What kind of photographs to you take?

Are you capturing snapshots for the memories of the places you visit?
Or are you looking at photography as your creative outlet and creating images to display, publish, hang on your walls (or other's walls)?
Or some other reason?

Start with your core purpose rather than the equipment.

If, for example, your core purpose is something that requires the flexibility and control that an interchangable-lens SLR gives you, then you have made one decision.

Then go back again and ask the same questions, and decide for each item of equipment beyond the body and your most-used most-versitle lens (which also depends on the kind of photography YOU do). Each time you add something to the bag you add space and weight. Be honest with yourself. About 20% of your "stuff" will probably account for 80% of your shooting.

Go through that methodical thinking process - core purpose first, then what equipment you need to support it, and you will probably answer your own question.




Feb 24, 2005 at 01:40 PM
crivera
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Swe22,
You are lucky to go to one of the best places in the world to take landscaping photography, south of Chile is must trip you have to make to the lakes region and to the Torres del Paine Nat. park, or if you are in Buenos Aires you can go to the Iguazu Falls or to Bariloche, if yu go to these places I highly recomend to have the best DSRL that you can affort with two lenses a wide (16-35mm or 24-70mm) and midum tele (70-200mm).
I just came back from Chile and the patagonia and is all you will need.

Cesar



Feb 24, 2005 at 03:51 PM
ignace
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


... and to confirm Cesar's point, here is a shot of Lake Espejo in Patagonia. 1DmkII, 16-35mm L

http://www.fredmiranda.com/hosting-data//500/17473Lago_Espejo-med.jpg

Ignace




Feb 24, 2005 at 08:27 PM
swe22
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


I've thought about it long and hard, played around with the current gear, and the decision's been made:

At present, I'm toting around my dRebel, 18-55, 50mm 1.8, 100-300, 420ex and diffuser. Clearly, too much (that's kind of the point of this thread...).

To lighten the load and make it more suitable to what I will be doing for the next while, I'll be getting rid of all of my lenses and the flash (I've discovered I don't like using it much anyways... I strongly prefer natural light) and switching to the 17-85mm as soon as I get the chance.

I also hope to switch camera bodies. A friend of my wife and I's has offered to buy all of my gear from me if she's accepted into the photography program at our university, which we consider likely (all she really would need is the dRebel for now, anyways, and she doesn't have the money to shell out for something nicer - the program back home is really focusing on digital and commercial applications for photography rather than the art).

The camera body switch will be either a new Rebel XT (assuming it receives good reviews) or, if more money than is expected comes my way, a 20D. With prices steadily dropping on the 20D, it's looking more and more likely to be the winner.

I'll have to say that, now that I've gone DSLR, I can't go back. The lag time, noise, and clunky performance of point and shoots just gets to me... I need that instant reaction, and good viewfinder (I'm just not a fan of LCD viewfinders).

For other times when a point and shoot is more appropriate, my wife and I have decided to simply upgrade her point and shoot (for once, she's not opposed to spending money on camera gear... ) and we'll use that when necessary. We're looking into one of the new Nikons for her, and we'll make that decision once we're back in the states.

As for the street photography I want to do in South America, I'm going to stick with 35mm disposables. Keep in mind, though, when I say street photography I mean going into the shanty towns and into the extremely rough areas of town where even those things can be the targets of theft (trust me, I've seen it happen personally). I spent the better part of two years in those surroundings, and I know how the game is played. Rule #1 is don't flash about a piece of equipment that costs more than most of these people make in a year.

Thank you all very much for your comments. They've really given me food for thought, and I appreciate them greatly.



Feb 25, 2005 at 09:00 PM
Tim Gray
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Travel Photo - Ditch the SLR?


Funny, it's all relative, I'm planning a trip to China and I would like to considerably lighten my load by using the new Rebel and the 17-85 EF-S and the 70-300 DO as my walking around tought travel kit.


Feb 25, 2005 at 11:04 PM
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