Sheltering In Place for Photobugs



  • edited September 2020

    BTW, seems to me the issue of paying a gratuity to subjects for taking their picture is a complex one. It depends on the place, the culture, the situation, and other things. In India, traveling with a small group of photographers, it was obvious our purpose was to take pictures, and we stayed together as a gaggle. Our guide established a relationship with our subjects and talked with them for a few minutes, paid the ones we approached who became subjects for the whole group. In rural Inda, subjects often refused payment, instead doing it from the kindness of their hearts. They were poor, and we insisted on paying them.

    On the other hand, for example, traveling through the camel fair or a market, we didn't pay folks.

    Sometimes, folks might be offended by payment, I never paid folks in Japan, a picture friendly country. In Delhi, payment tends to produced more begging, and we were acosted constantly in the big cities by folks that wanted their pictures taken and wanted to be paid. We were told to ignore beggars, look past them. The child beggars often dressed the part. We were told that the begging was organized by a mafia-like organization.

    In the U.S., I probably wouldn't pay subjects, unless it was a model. Instead, establishing a relationship and discussing the purpose would be more egalitarian and valued; expressing qppreciation, and offering to share the photo would be the modus operendi. It's really case by case, situation specific. You have to evaluate your relationship with the person you want to take a pic of.

    Generally, we try to establish good will. We're often asked by folks to use their own cameras to have their pictures taken, and I've even been asked by a few people how to work their own cameras! When I see a family or a couple taking pictures I often ask them if they'd like me to help so the person taking the picture can be included in the shot.

    So, the attempt is to spread good will toward us as tourists and as photographers. Oh yes, notice that the child above is offset on the left side of the image, not centered, but balanced by the balloons. And the balloons are cut-off. I think including all the balloons would detract from the composition and turn in into a snapshot. So, in many images, you IMPLY the rest of the photo and allow the viewer to unconsciously complete it in their mind's eye.


  • Thanks for your tips, yes I do not always have the subject in the center. I have lots of shots of my guy, my photo book has a group of them, full view, background, other people and so on. I often ensure that there is something like a tree branch in the corner of a shot to give perspective to a view, which my hubby just doesn’t get, he’s always saying you’ve got a tree in the way, and I say yes, it’s so you can see how far away we are, or how big such and such is. Then it’s annoying that he gets a clear picture because he has one of those nice Tamron lenses.
    I have had a couple of incidents where taking a photo got us in trouble. A couple of years ago we were in Pittsburg, there is an open Square there with one of those fountain features where the water shoots up unexpectedly and you are supposed to run through and dodge them. There was a young child running through, it looked so much fun, my husband had his phone out and we were at a distance, so I asked him to take a photo to show our grandson. You could not see the child’s face. The mother came running over, very angry, demanding to see the photo and insisted she scroll though and check we had no more photos of him and insisted we delete it, and we did. So embarrassing. Boy was I in trouble from Mr B. Another time, we were walking with our group in a little village in Italy and you know how common it is to see the laundry hanging out high above you between buildings, I love things like that . Yes, he was the one with the phone out, I asked him to take a photograph and a woman came out and screamed at him in Italian, yes, I’m in trouble again....but stories to remember!
    I try to be quick with photos, put the camera away, then focus on being there, the photos are generally just to jog the memory in a photo book. In Africa, that’s especially important for us.

  • Doug - just want to confirm you got my image via PM. No rush, just checking in, as it's been several days. Thanks.

  • Sorry, I didn't know about PMs. I found the little icon. :). But I'll try to pay attention -- if any of you Tauckies have questions you'd rather I answer by PM, go ahead.

  • edited September 2020

    Sorry, didn't catch that post British. I almost always ask parents or guardians -- e.g. teachers, if I can take kids' photos. Don't want parents to think we are some kind of pervert -- so, remain genuine and professional, even if we aren't professionals. I offer the same courtesy to parents -- I'll send them the picture if they wish. But, in reality, parents love to show their kids and babies, and go to great lengths to position their youngsters, to get them to smile or some such. They're often just delighted -- even when you're using a cell-phone.

    I think they're happy that you see their kid as photogenic or interesting. If I don't speak the language, I'll nod, give a smile an thumbs up. More often than not, the kids love to mug for the camera.

    Here's a girl in Ireland that smiled at me, and one could tell she saw my camera and wanted me to take her photo -- she was almost jumping up and down. So, I think I motioned to her mother, who smiled, giving assent, so I took the pic, showed it to "Princess" who was delighted. The photo looks like a snapshot, and was in a crowd, so I changed the background to reflect the disposition of the child -- she just glowed with joy.

    I loved the Disney, rumpled T shirt and the scratch on her face. It just made the photo so ordinary. Could be your grandkid -- but, then, it may not be a snapshot -- she looks like the universal grandkid -- that brings you joy.

    In India, we took pictures of kids without parental permission, when they were in groups, and particularly if they were mugging for us. So, one has to evaluate the situation and whether one can be interpreted as invasive.

    I might have said this before. We all have different purposes in taking photos, and having rememberances is a huge part of it and probably key for most folks. But, I think I take photos because it CHANGES THE WAY I SEE, and we were taught to become more aware of light, color, and the potentials in framing something. And sometimes I'm too pre-occupied and see poorly, I've often had other Tauck guests say, "Doug, did you get that?"

  • I remember how difficult it was when my children to get them to ‘pose’ for a portrait type oo photo when they were young And then you’d have to wait for printing to see how it was. These days, I’m just amazed that if I want a photo of my grandchildren they immediately go it to pose like professional models. Thank goodness to have photographic memories of those you love.

  • Here's an amusing anecdote for the morning:

    Following some PMs and emails back and forth, Doug (Quirky) was kind enough to resurrect via Photoshop a very faded printed photo image that was printed 20 years ago with a first gen inkjet printer. In those days, the inks weren't very stable and the picture had faded and developed a very red/pink hue.

    The picture was of a kid and an adult. Doug assumed it was me and my daughter, and commented that I looked a lot like Alex Trebek. I emailed him back and told him that is Alex Trebek with my daughter - a souvenir of her appearance on Jeopardy. :)

  • Yeah, BK MD looked pretty handsome.

  • Very cute grandkids British !!!!! o:)

  • edited September 2020

    Tips for composing your images:

    Don't be afraid: Get in close. You can cut off heads! -- if you do it in a way that makes sense.

    Old Delhi -- here, I like the secondary subject anchoring the image and implying an interaction. I have to admit, I didn't ask permission, I was in a Tuk-Tuk!

    Lead the viewer's eye front to back.

    Old Delhi Street Scene -- here, two faces lead the viewer's eye. The third head, with the fellow leaning over, adds a little interest. If he were sitting straight up, you wouldn't stop to wonder what he was looking at.


  • Rooster picture was taken in Dubai- the Champagne with the rock refection... Australia of course

  • Varanasi , India. Love his face, I had to smile a lot and tip him to get his picture

  • I like the portrait. I have several portraits with the orange brown stain on the moustache. What is it from, why one side?

  • Images_Quirky_Eye I don't know..... I had to take the pictures so fast that could not seat to talk to any of
    the Sadhus...

  • edited September 2020

    At any rate, lovely portrait, nice soft lighting, nice shooting angle, great unposed expression of the face, lovely colors, if you don't mind comments -- but it might help others learn what to look for in taking their photos. The stain on the moustache complements the other colors. Often we don't think of those things until we see them later, or at least, I don't. One just hopes it's an unconscious process that develops with practice. The 45 degree shooting angle is so flattering, as opposed to being head on, and you chose just the right Moment to release the shutter to capture a sense of his innocence or spiritual purity. Almost makes me want to pursue the Eightfold Path, in these Covid times. :)


  • Google: "The holy men smoke cannabis which has mythological and spiritual associations with Lord Shiva."

  • _I have several portraits with the orange brown stain on the moustache. What is it from, why one side?

    Doug - I think it’s Cheetos.

  • edited September 2020

    Using the ordinary in one's photos. The background was selected to complement the woman's clothing. Often, one has a good subject, but the original background is distracting. Amateur photographers most likely use Adobe's Lightroom or Photoshop. One is minor surgery, the other is capable of major surgery. To place the subject on a different background in the Adobe series, one needs PS, I think.

    Delhi, India, October 2019.
    Can you tell what the background is? A bit nutty -- the picture was taken going through a car wash. :blush:

  • edited September 2020

    The image below was enchanting for me. This was a school girl at the Pushkar Camel Fair, where desert tribes bought and sold, supposedly 10,000 camels during the event. The girl was in a group of girls, and smiled at me, so I took the pic, then blurred her surround and enhanced it. It was a nice image when first worked on in PS, having learned more tools, the tones of the skin and highlights were made a bit more flattering today.

    Again, the subject is off-center to your left. You can take pictures of your own subjects centered, right, left and see what appeals to you most. And I cut off the top of her head. :wink:

  • edited September 2020

    It does not have to be overseas travel -- Tauck's Canadian Rockies:
    The First Peoples

    Travel Maven, in this photo, the chief was in a Calgary Stampede parade on a float, with buildings behind him, so this is a composite, with reticulated clouds from Yosemite. So, one question is, is the image believable (I used an orange gradient to blend the images together), and the second is how one feels about making composites, instead of staying to what comes off the camera sensor. :) Either image, by itself, is boring. But combine the two, and it has some interest.


  • edited September 2020

    Seems like about time to fold the tent and let this thread pass into the night. Was a great sharing and dialogue. Hope some Tauck travelers found the photo tips helpful and that they might find they will get more keepers as they go on these tours and memorialize their Tauck experiences. You don't usually need big, heavy cameras -- smart-phones are getting incredible, and that's what I see Tauck folks use on tour. The camera industry is shrinking as folks fill virtual space with their cell phone images.

    One should not become frustrated when your images don't seem like the travel experience you had. Joel Sartore, a Nat Geo teacher, says that they take 1,000 images and are happy if they publish one. Similarly, on photo workshops, we take 500-1000 a day, and whittle them down to 15 for critique.

    For those of you who are more into photography as a hobby, the issue of how much one might edit your photos is a fantastic one -- minor or major surgery, requiring some thought. I enjoyed sharing my practice images with you as I learned Photoshop. I learned to manipulate several dozen variables and sequences of variables, over several hundred hours. I keep forgetting how to do it, but the process is evolving from work to just playing and experiementing.

    The area that is difficult to learn in taking photos that was not mentioned here is about Light. Camera sensors do not have the dynamic range in appraising light that the human eye does. So, deep shadows and blasting sunlit highlights really make for difficult photo scenes. And, photo workshops for amateur photographers usually emphasize sunrise and sunset shots -- the "golden hours". But on tours like Tauck, most sleep in or are eating at those times. And, a lot of the tour activities occur during the worse of photographic times, noon, mid-day which often produces blasts of light, and squinting eyes. So one last tip is, if you're taking photos of folks or friends, try to do it in the shade -- people will be more relaxed, the colors will be more intense and saturated.

  • Doug -- Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and insights.

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