Thursday, January 20, 2011

Art of the tourist take two

So a while back I wrote up a bit about my thoughts about taking pictures while on travel.  Mainly I focused on how if you practiced looking for interesting photographs in your everyday life it could help you create something special while traveling. Here is a link back to that post if you missed it:


Here is another fun tip for creating some unique travel images.  If you have ever really looked at the typical travel images people take you can pretty much sum them up this way "Some one the photographer knows in front of something supposedly interesting".  Pretty boring in general right?

One of my favorite techniques to use when shooting with my toy cameras, especially my Holgas is overlapping images.  The Holga (and most toy cameras) have a fully manual film advance that isn't tied into to the shutter.  In other words you don't have to advance fully to the next frame to be able to take the next shot so you can take a picture advance part way to the next frame and take another picture that overlaps the first.  You can do this for the entire roll of film if you wanted creating a very long image.  Typically I like to overlap around 3-5 frames, anything longer and you need some good photoshop and scanning skills to scan in the image in pieces and stitch it back together.

Typically I create panoramas of a wide scene this way, but it can be even more fun to overlap images of vastly different scenes or the same scene at different times. An example of the first can be seen in an old post here:


Here is my twist of the usual "Someone I know in front of something" image using the overlapping technique.  I also like to take "tourist" images in very mundane places, like in this case a bus stop.  That is probably more a reflection of how I like to travel, I don't really care about the fancy tourist places or museums.  I'd prefer to spend the day wandering the streets where the people actually live pretending for a day that I live there too.  All I do is look for great places to eat, and enjoy the sights and sounds of where ever I am.

Carolyn, Mike, and I - San Fransisco
Holga, Ilford HP5

For those of you familiar with the Holga here is my technique for creating consistent overlaps.
1. Remove the insert from your holga
2. Tape up the inside of your camera around the lens opening using non reflective black tape, I use gaffers tape.
3. Move the slider on the film counter window to 16 and shoot on every number.  When on 16 you are using the numbers for 6x4.5 images, but without the insert in you are create images slightly bigger than 6x6 so you will have a nice even overlap every time.
Notes: when you want to end an image you need to advance to the second number you see in the window so that you leave enough space to prevent an overlap.  So say you take your last shot and you start winding and see the number 9 in the window, advance to 10 if you want to start a new image.

No comments:

Post a Comment