By T. Michael Stanley
1. That last minute trip or hurried rush to catch a ride or even the inconvenience of
carrying a tripod doesn’t mean disaster. A small bag of rice or beans or even a
sock filled with sand can make a suitable substitute for a tripod. Always carry an
extra sock (they can also be used to protect your lenses) and a small plastic bag.
A plastic bag to put the sock in will keep the sand from getting in your camera or
scratching your lens.
2. Don’t court disaster on a trip to a waterfall or on a boat. Carry a couple of trash
bags in your camera kit to protect your gear and to use as a poncho. The bags
with “cinch” tops are not as waterproof as a heavy duty bag that can be tied with a
piece of twine or twist tie. To be extra careful double bag your extra gear. This is
especially helpful when weather conditions are not optimum.
3. The best times of day to record texture in scenery are early morning, noon and late
evening. Texture is created by shadows cast by sunlight. The shadows create
depth in the image and also add drama and emotion to scenery.
4. A large hat can be used to protect the lens from unwanted sun spots or flaring
lights. A hat for a photographer can be worn on the head or held in the hand and
can also be used as a prop on the head of a model. Add a large scarf and a big
piece of cloth and you have a cape and a belt. Be creative!
5. Most photographers make the mistake of centering their images especially with
landscapes. Try to place landscapes in thirds. One third for the sky and two thirds
for the landscape or vice-a-versa. Try to give yourself a foreground, middle ground
and back ground area in each image. This will create depth and dimension to your
6. Try to work with a theme when you travel. One idea is to photograph only door
knobs or just door frames or maybe only windows. Whatever you select, try to
stay with that theme until the trip is done. The final step is to print the images,
mat them and present them as a body of work. Not only do you have a unique
perspective of your travels, you also have the beginning of a portfolio!
7. Learn the right words to say when you travel to a new place. “Please”, “Thank
You”, “Pardon Me” and “Good Morning” can open doors that are closed to the rude
traveller. Speak softly and beware of local customs. The ugly travellers are the
ones that try to impose their lifestyle on others. Enjoy where you are at and make
the best of it.
These tips brought to you by T.Michael Stanley for