June 15th 2009

Words & Pictures by: Travel Photojournalist, Ellen Barone 1. Keep your camera handy Some of the best images happen when you least expect them. While boarding a bus in Nicaragua I captured a one-shot image of a woman walking past a colorful wall with a basket atop her head that ended up as the cover of a Lonely Planet guidebook. Wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have my camera in hand. Keep your camera handy, especially when traveling through villages or other interesting or unique terrain. 2. Get focused Ask yourself what about the scene attracts you and make that your subject. Is it the sun-drenched vistas of ancient olive groves and terraced vineyards? That ray of light spotlighting the landscape? Or a riot of red geraniums pushing out from balcony window boxes? Then, exclude anything that doesn’t convey what captured your attention. The image needs to reflect your emotional response to the destination. 3. Get out there Get up early, stay out late. If you are scheduled to leave the hotel at 9:00 AM, make it a point to wander around before meeting up with your companions. Rather than taking the van back at the end of an afternoon tour, hang around a bit and then take a taxi. Use any spare time to get out and look for photographs. Besides creating more opportunities for photography, the additional time spent discovering the place will enrich your experience. 4. Don’t be shy If you approach people with the right intention, they’ll usually be happy to have their picture made. It’s up to you to break the ice and get to know them. Engage them before you pull out your camera. Sit beside them on the park bench and chat for a few minutes. Joke around a little. Learn at least how to say "hello" and "May I make a photograph" in the local language—just showing that you've made a little effort helps. Most of all, relax and enjoy the exchange. If you feel comfortable, so will they. 5. Compose creatively One of the easiest ways to improve your travel photography is to get creative with your compositions. Try Different Compositions: Remember to shoot from different positions. Get elevated, or low. Move in close. Move right or left for a different perspective. Learn more ways to improve your vacation photos by listening to Ellen’s free podcast: Training Your Eye for Photography. Last year, Ellen joined The Wayfarers’ walk in Provence and will be with us again in the Dordogne this September! Grab a camera and join us! As you explore together, Ellen will be happy to answer your in-the-field questions and share photography tips and techniques to help you improve your skills. The Historic Dordogne with Ellen Barone, Photographer – September 27 – October 3 Travel expert Ellen Barone did what many of us only dream of doing: at the age of 35, she traded a successful academic career for the wild blue yonder and set out to explore the world and herself. In the decade since that intrepid decision, she has turned passion into profession, journeying to more than 60 countries in search of evocative images and life-enriching adventures. For her travel tips, vacation advice, gadget reviews and photography, visit www.EllenBarone.com.

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