Travel Photography


Travel Photography


Lesson Info

Cameras and Lenses

If we had the rights, we would have the eighteen music remember eighteen when they would get all their gear together don't done. I'm done there grabbing this and that's what it's? One of my favorite parts about traveling is okay. It's actually time to go. I want to take this. Take this, take this and put it in this bag. So let's, talk about the equipment, all right? I have some quotes in here. Every once in a while, just something to think about and so we are choosing years so that we can take good pictures. Let's not be overwhelmed with the gear that we take in here. Now, first off, I'll be the first to admit that there is definitely a balance in the gear that you take there's, lots of different cameras out on the market more than there really has ever been before in what you can take and the cost and the quality of pictures, difficulty and using it. The type of pictures you'll get from it very and what's right for one person may be completely wrong for somebody else. And so if I say ...

that I really like something, all that it means is that I've found that I like it doesn't mean that it's going to be right for you, you could choose exactly what I choose and have a horrible trip because you took the gear that works for me and so it's, a very personal choice and it's fun to be able to go in and say, this is going to work for me and this fits my needs on this trip. So let's go through kind of the full list of types of things that you're going to need, and we're going to start off with cameras. All right, uh, have you ever heard of this quote here? We've seen this one. I worked in a camera store for many years, and I would often have things I would like to have said, but I did it after seeing something like this. Uh, the type of camera that's a disappearing these days is your basic point and shoot camera it's being replaced, obviously, by cell phones because they're able to take much better quality photographs, then they were in the past. These cameras can still be handy for somebody who wants to have a bit of a zoom lens. That's the one thing that current cell phones are not very good at is having a bit of a zoom lens. And so if you want a small bit of a zoom lens, these might make a nice backup camera but for somebody who is really trying to take good pictures they just don't have the controls and so it's not something I'm going to spend any more time on there are some larger zooms say if you're going to africa and you're going to be on safari there was a company who was it that somebody just introduced a camera that goes from the equivalent of twenty millimeter I think to twelve hundred millimeters it's a sixty power zoom which is a huge zoom they still have lots of limitations my main gripe with them is that they're not very good under low light conditions uh and they just don't have a lot of the manual controls that I like to have on the camera so let's get into some of the more serious cameras now there's been a good a number of these advanced point and shoot cameras that have come out recently from a variety of manufacturers and what's typically unique about these is that they have a way larger sensor on him so they're better under low light conditions they're pretty pocketable cameras and they do make darn nice little cameras they're not quite sufficient for what I want to do in the overall scope of things but they might make a nice backup camera for a lot of photographers I'm not going to go into a lot of specific recommendations because I expect this class to be hosted by creative live for the next ten years, and the models are going to change on a very frequent basis. But right now, sony, canon, nikon, there's, some other manufacturers that makes them really nice cameras, kind of in this high end advanced point shoot. That's quite nice sum, quick tips if you are going to be using a point and shoot camera number one, hold the camera steady. I've been out shooting recently, and there is there is just no patients that people have anymore. They were walking along, they're like us is kind of nice. L just come take a picture of that, and they don't even stop to take the picture. They don't even try to hold the camera steady, and so at least put five seconds of good effort of all a mask in his five seconds, a good effort. Try to hold the camera steady when you shoot the picture, obviously, setting the lowest iso setting on the camera is going to help for not having the noise problems, always trying to be aware of that and the understanding of what that is turned off that flash it's not going to help you out when you're at the top of the roman coliseum, and you're shooting this huge expanse in front of you, the automatic flash is next step is very good for doing people shots it's not the best, but at least it's pretty good for phil flash when you got somebody with a big old hat on and the light being shaved in their eyes or in the shade, the phil flash could fill in those shadows and can really help out. And so that's one time when you just kind of manually want to turn the flash on, and so, if you haven't, automatic flash turned that off, just manually force it on from time to time and finally, on the point shoots. If you're brand new to photography, the way we do things here are cameras is you press halfway to focus, get your shot ready and then take the picture ah lot of times will press all the way down, and the camera has a struggle focusing in it delays the picture, and so if you want to really get the timing right, press halfway down to pre focus and then all the way down to take the picture. Now the problem with most pointed shoots and the problem with all the cameras are all the phones that have cameras is that the sensors are really, really small, and having a large sensor is going to help out the image quality largest sensors are based off of thirty five millimeter film and they're known as full frame sensors and this is kind of the ideal holy grail of great cameras these days and there's a number of models that have this full frame sensor and if you can afford one of these if you could carry one of these this is what you're going to get your best images ah great compromise for a lot of people well for both size and cost is a cropped size sense or something smaller in between and there's a number of models out there with one point five crop that's used in icons thie point six crop in cannons is very good there's also a fourth third system used by panasonic and olympus that is very, very good. So the new and growing trend in cameras these days is mirror lis cameras thes air kind of this in between your cameras there's a number of models out there that use a fairly small chip they have interchangeable lenses they have manual capability abilities if you want to manually focus if you want to set a specific shutter speed, you could do that. Pentax and nikon make some very small cameras that have pretty small sensors in them. The fourth third system I'm pretty pretty fond of the olympus and panasonic uh share lenses back and forth which is quite nice and sony and fuji have a system that used a slightly larger sensor with a one point five crop and the advantage of these over the phones and the pointe shoes is you have a larger sensor for much better image quality better work under low light you have interchangeable lenses, so you have lots of little cool lenses that you can put onto it and then finally you have manual control and I have a number of different cameras and camera system that I have back here. This is a muralist system that I have in here, and this is one of my secondary system but it's nice for travel because it's pretty lightweight and pretty small and what's amazing is that in this little bag here I have a camera that one camera but I have four lenses in here, including one that goes up to three hundred millimeters the equivalent of three hundred millimeters. So the camera that I haven't here is thie little olympus o m g m five and this has a like a designed twenty five one point for which is really nice for low light work. I have a nice little wide angle lens over here, it's a fourteen, which is a nice basic wide angle let's. See, what else do I have in here if I wanted to shoot some portrait's, I have a short telephoto forty five one point eight lens right here and then this is my big lad and, uh, let me make it seem bigger I'll put the hood on to it and zoom it out there we go and so this is a forty five to one fifty and you can actually see if they have the camera on this stuff I've actually blacked out some of the logos I've blacked out the olympus on here, so it just seems like a more generic camera and so that's a very small system that's just a couple of pounds very small, very lightweight and for some people that's going to be the best system that they could ever travel with. It's really nice. When I went up hiking, I took this and just two lenses because I wanted to be really likely and I'm a photographer and I have all this other good gear at home I left home some of them best here that you could shoot pictures with and all I went with this and it's like that's. Okay, this is what I'm dealing with on this trip and that's part of travelling is you have to sacrifice a little bit, but you can still do a lot with very little gear like this for those who want to get a little bit more serious, getting into the digital single lens reflex will get you better quality viewfinder and more options cannon and nikon are obviously the two giants in the industry they have a lot of good cameras yesterday. I just did a class on the d seventy one hundred, which is a great camera kind of an intermediate level camera. Great beginner cameras kanan and nikon in this category, you pretty much can't go wrong with any camera they offer in general lee's. They're going to be a little bit larger sensor than many of the muralist cameras. They have a much larger lens collection, so there are many, many more choices of what you can use, and they do have a fantastic view finder, the elektronik viewfinders. I'm still kind of struggling with they're still developing their in their early stages. In my opinion, uh, the viewfinder over here is fantastic, especially if you want to work at night. Taking it to the final level is the full frame sensor. And so this is where a professional photographer is going to invest. Their money is in a full frame camera. Both nikon and cannon have full friend candid cameras, as does sony and likea uh, kind of the go to camera. The five d mark three. The nikon d hundred are favorites of people who are doing travel photography on a very serious basis because off the larger sensor and in general, the higher performance of everything that the camera does. And so this would be the ideal choice you might say it depends on what sort of bag now in here I can carry a full frame camera and in here I have a camera and three lenses as well as a bunch of other stuff will talk more about this in a moment and so I can actually carry more lenses in a smaller packs if it's a smaller system you have to decide what's right for you where you're going and the type of travels that you're going to dio and we're going to jump into lenses next but most might be a good time to jump over to questions specifically on cameras censor general camera system type type thing so what do you got a slew uh um maybe one quick kind of general question actually sam from colorado us you mentioned leading a photo tour of your own would you recommend such tourists for an experienced travellers and besides your tours um how would you go about finding worthwhile tourists right there are a ton of photo tours out there and sometimes it's better to go alone sometimes it's better to go with just one or two friends sometimes if you're going someplace that you're not familiar with it's better to go with somebody who knows what they're doing it depends on how well you know the area and how experienced you are photography I went to school and I got a degree in photography I worked with art wolfe and a professional tv crew for about three years during the production of the show, I would gladly give up the university education for that experience of shooting around another photographer. It was far more value. Well, then my college education if if you're if you're a high school graduate and you have the choice of going to work, it is an internship with a great photographer in a great circumstance vs university, I would probably go with that internship and working with that great photographer. I'm a big proponent of getting an education and getting a degree, and I'm very proud that I do have a degree in photography, but it's not completely necessary and photography kind of drifting from the question here, so let me try to get back to that. But having that experience with another photographer, I mean, I took some classes, I got my degree, I went out and shot pictures on my own, and then when I worked around somebody who really know what they're doing, my photography got much, much better, and so it depends on what level you're at, some people they need to get the basics down more before they could even go on a trip, they're they're just completely lost on the trip because they don't know anything. And some people need a little bit of a ramp up other people can go on a trip for the very first time and be totally fine and so it really varies by individual and so I do two tours I would like to do more tours in the future and so if you're watching this and it's the year twenty sixteen, check out my website I'd probably have like a whole list of tourist places I'm going right now I have a few occasional tours we'll talk about those a little bit but later but that's just some thoughts on that question. All right, so judy wisconsin is going to russia in a couple of months wondering if she should take just like amir lis camera setup or bring the heavy stuff and bring a dslr and all the lenses okay, great question and I have no idea how to answer it I don't know her I don't know what type of picture she's going to take I don't know what she's going to be doing I don't know what she owns I don't know what she can afford to do on this is why it's so tough it's so personal to make these calls on this because let's just say she has scratch every penny that she has for the last five years to take this trip and I recommend that she go out and buy an entire new camera system all right, that doesn't seem like the right thing for me to dio uh, pretty much all of us are having to work with certain budgets. I'm some budgets are larger sum budgets or smaller and so I don't even know where to begin on that. The muralist stuff is really nice, and if you're starting from scratch and you want to do a lot of travel photography and you're pretty serious, you don't want to go hog wild with it. This is a great compromise, okay, if you already own the larger slr stuff, I would probably stick with it if you have the funds in the time to play around, go ahead, but you've got to kind of pick and stick to the game I've shot with both nikon and cannon and the thing that I absolutely hate is switching just too much effort too much to think about and cost too much money and so kind of work with what you got excellent, we have a lot of questions like that, and I know that it's really difficult to answer generally what to bring. But if you were to suggest one camera for a long distance backpacking trip neo ran q is curious I would look very strongly at the potential need for something that's waterproof because when you're backpacking, wait is absolutely critical and depending on where you're hiking here in the northwest we're used to a lot of raid and there's some pretty wonderful waterproof point and shoot cameras and so if you're going to be pretty rugged and rough, I would look at one of those next to that you could get something larger like a muralist camera and keep it in a waterproof bag somewhere in your backpack and so that would be a pretty good choice because there's some really nice bags out there for that and so there's a little bit of a compromise and it really depends on how important photography is to you I mean for me photography is really important when it comes down to a pillow or lens, I'll take the leads and I'm willing to make sacrifices that not everyone is willing to do that also good answer there are a lot of questions I'm looking at right now and I'm also looking at your course outline that's available for free at the end roll if you enroll for the class you can have the entire course outline so I know you're going to be answering some of these questions coming up probably the next moving on yeah okay sorry for everyone who has a question a lot of times I have a slide for that so let's see if I have a slide for your question next up let's talk about lenses, choice of lenses what type of lenses you need okay, so a little clip from my fundamentals class let's, take a camera and take a look at what a normal lens looks like. This is what a traditional standard normal fifty millimeter lens looks like with a full frame camera. If you are using one of the crop frame cameras, you would need a thirty five millimeter lands to do the same job. You're going to want something in the wide angle, because you're going to want to be taking pictures of a larger area and sew a modest wide angle would be round a thirty five millimetre pretty good would be around twenty four, and if you really get into it, you might want something extremely wide, like a sixteen millimeter lands you're going to want a telephoto lens, you're going to want a telephoto lens to shoot things that are further away for doing portrait photography for compressing objects in the distance short, medium tele photos, you often will not need anything bigger than a two hundred millimeter lance, unless you are shooting sports or wildlife, and so, if you are going on trip that is going to encounter wildlife, for that is important, something around four hundred millimeters is going to be necessary, so let's, take it a few images on how I would use these different lenses, the extremely wide lens is great for going into majestic places that you're trying to photograph and you can't back up to get anything maurin there most of the time if I'm traveling pretty seriously I'll have a sixteen or seventeen millimeter lands I like having something that's that wide because a lot of times is the only way you can get it all in, especially when you're photographing architect most people are going to be satisfied with something around twenty four millimeters around sixteen millimeters for thee crop frame cameras and for a lot of those basic cannons and icons they come within eighteen to something zoom and the eighteen is pretty close and will probably do you okay for beginning tio inter intermediate level photography once you get more advanced, you'll probably want to have something a little bit wider than that the very modest wide angle lens is very popular with just photojournalists street photographers, the thirty five millimeter lands the thing about the thirty five millimeter lands is it's very common in every day no one ever looks at this photograph and says, wow, what lens did you use? Okay, and this is that isn't the response that it elicits because it mimics very much what you see with your own eyes for my street photography I really prefer the fifty millimeter lance it's more of a normal angle of view, it means you're a little bit further off from your subjects I I don't like invading people's personal space, I like being back just a little bit further, and so fifty millimeter makes a very nice kind of st leonards. For me, something in the short telephoto range is going to be very good for doing people photography. A lot of times you wantto have shallow depth of field you don't want to be in their personal space. You want to be a little bit further back and sew something around eighty five, one hundred one thirty five that's, the traditional classic portrait range for subjects that are happening that a little bit more active dances and sporting activities. Two hundred millimeter lands is pretty much necessary and most types of travel just for shooting those things that you can't get closer to if I had to specify a range twenty four to two hundred if you have a full frame sensor or the equivalent of that is kind of a good standard and coverage to have, if you do go where places have a lot of wildlife, you're going to want something longer. So if you go to af or you take a say, a boat crews up in alaska where you're going to be doing whale watching, you're going to want something that goes up to three or four hundred millimeters in length now. I'm a little bit of a geek those of, you know, making kind of a test to the fact that I'm a little bit of a geek and one of the things that I did for you guys as I went into my light room collection and I looked at all my travels photographs and I wanted to see which lenses I use and how much I use them. So here is a graph of how often I use a really wide angle lens use about eight percent of the time I've always known that I like the twenty four millimeter lands and I use that for about fifteen percent of my photography I don't use the thirty five and the fifty too much, but I'm starting to use it a little bit more now and I was really surprised when I first put this graph together of how much I use a short telephoto lens and the medium telephoto is used quite a bit and I will have to admit my numbers air slightly skewed because I've had access to large telephoto lens is a bit more than most, so I would say that four hundred number probably would be around five to ten percent if I didn't have access to that big a lenses, but what I found out is that I need a little bit of white angle and I need a little bit of telephoto and I'm probably fine on my trip to iceland I'm travelling by bicycle and I needed to compromise what I took I couldn't take all my lenses and so I had to think very carefully and what I decided on that trip and every trip I've taken has been a different mix of cameras and lenses that trip I took to cameras on one camera I took a twenty four millimeter lands on the other camera I took a seventy two, three hundred and rarely ever did I take the lens often switch and that was kind of convenient because I never had to switch lenses every once in a while I'd be like who the fifty millimeter lands would be perfect? Well, I just get up closer with the twenty four or I get back with the seventy and that usually did the job and so it's okay tohave big gaps in between lenses remember I sold I was working at a camera store many years ago and I sold a settle lenses to a customer and they were we try to get this right it was a twenty eight to eighty millimeter lands and a ninety two three hundred millimeter lands and he came back the day after he bought it and said, do you have a lens that zooms from eighty to ninety? And I said no, we don't they don't make one you could just take a step forward or a step back okay, yeah. It's a good idea. All right, it's. So you can have some big gaps in your in your lenses, it's. Totally fine. You can adjust, you can't bring everything. The other thing that's very important is the size of the aperture. We go through this in the fundamentals of digital photography in more depth here, but a leading light in is really important because a lot of times and travel photography, you're working in dark situations, and you don't have a lot of extra lighting here to help you out. The standard kit lands that comes with a lot of beginner and basic cameras has an aperture of three, five, two, five six, which is kind of slow for those of us in the business. And my favorite, I think, of most of the lenses for traveling is the new siri's of f four zooms. Both cannon and nikon have three lenses each that go from white angle intermediate to tell a photo that a ref foursomes and I think they're the perfect compromise for travel photography. When I was working on travels to the edge and it was all top of the line professional stuff I was using to eight zooms, I was also carrying a backpack that was twice the volume of this, and two and a half times the weight. And that was just part of the job. When I'm doing it for me, I want to cut back a little bit and one of the areas all cutback is rather than buying two, eight zooms all by a foursomes. They're much lighter weight and they're a little bit less money occasionally it's nice to have a really fast lens, one that goes down to one point eight it is nice to have a lens that goes down to one point four, but to be honest, but it's not really necessary for most types of travel photography, although it is if you if you can find room, if one little lens fits in, it works quite nice. I'll show you what I have here in just a moment, so a lot of people get started with the standard kit stuff like eighteen to fifty five, which gives you a modest zoom range. The first thing that you're going to want beyond this is you're gonna want a telephoto lens and so buying the telephoto lands and this is very close. This is the modern day equivalent of what I went to the soviet union with. You know, I don't have a lot of good pictures now to show from it, but I took some that I was happy with at the time and I don't think better equipment would have helped me out at the time and so this is an okay starter package if you know what you're doing, you can get good good pictures, there are some limitations generally the next train of thought for people who've gone down that route is I'm tired of changing lenses, okay? And so they get the all in one zoom and these could be very popular. The column travel zooms in some cases they go from wide angle to very good telephoto, and for some people this is the magic bullet I not a big fan of it because it's so slow they're not quite a sharp and that's not that big a deal, even though it may sound very important there's still quite good. What I recommend for somebody who does want to go down this route is get an extra lands that lets in a lot of light but doesn't zoom a prada fast prime lens? Well, the first complaint that comes back is, but I don't want to change lenses all the time well, the fact that with a setup like this, you're going to keep the zoom lens on probably eighty five to ninety percent of the time so most of the time you don't need to switch lenses it's on ly every once in a while where you need shallow depth of field or you're working under low light that you can flip over to that fast lands and having a small fast lands along with you can be just the ticket for saving the day so here's one of my favorite travel packages every time I say slightly modified but my favorite kid is using a full frame sensor I use a seventeen to forty so I can get ultra wide up to a normal focal length and that's that f or f for zoom that I like for the telephoto work I'm going to use the seventy two two hundred which gives me a good range rarely ever do I need anything more than that and then here's my bonus linds kind of my one extra lenses my fast normal fifty millimeter one point four lens and that just happens to kind of bridge that gap between forty and seventy if I do need something in there now I did check the stats like a geek out on you a little bit here and on the last kind of significant trip that I took with this we try to remember that the numbers here forty percent of the shots were done with wide angle zoom forty percent we're done with the telephoto and the remaining twenty percent we're done with the prime let's and so that's, kind of how I would split my time up. And as far as I'm concerned, I have no problem switching lenses. That does not bother me at all. Generally, I'm anticipating the moment enough that I have time to switch the lens with most of the things I should. I do miss a shot from time to time because I have to switch lands. It's the penalty you pay for having the right piece of equipment, but not on the camera.

Class Description

Travel photography is a wonderfully rewarding experience, but travel itself is a whirlwind in the best of situations. The mix of new landscapes, cultures, and logistical challenges can be difficult to navigate. Being an effective travel photographer requires careful planning and shoot preparation, but also the flexibility and openness of mind to take unforgettable photos.

Join pro photographer John Greengo for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to research and plan a trip around great photography

  • How to tell what gear you’ll need, and how to travel with it safely

  • Shooting tips and some of John’s favorite locations