Over the new year I always love to take photos of fireworks. Nothing says celebration like a giant fireworks explosion! It was my first new year in Melbourne, so I sought out a great spot to take pictures in Footscray, watching both the 9:30pm fireworks in Footscray and the midnight fireworks over the city.
My friends have often asked me how to take photos of fireworks – often they turn out blurry or don’t catch the moment. The great thing is, you can take a good fireworks shot as long as you have a camera with manual controls and a stable base. Here are my best tips.
My friend Jon asks “How can I take a night photo without a tripod?” When you’re travelling light, a tripod is one of the first things to go out the window. No one wants to lug around a full sized tripod on their vacation – unless you’re a crazy photographer like me… But you still want to do night photography right?
On a recent trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, I met a couple of budding photographers. While walking with one such photographer he pulled out his camera and started snapping surreptitiously at a local woman. I told him immediately to stop spy camming her. “You should always ask someone’s permission for their photograph,” I said. He shrugged and walked off. It annoyed me that he didn’t care about her, and it annoyed me more that he seemed nonplussed about my advice.
The Holi festival is one of the most visibly beautiful festivals to photograph for any travel photographer. Holi, otherwise known as the festival of colour, is celebrated in March or April every year. One of my main reasons for visiting India at this time of year was to photograph the festival, with the aim of getting some very colourful portraits.
What is white balance? White balance is an adjustment of all the colours in a photograph to present the correct colour white. But white is white? Right? All types of light give off different colour temperatures that are not visible to the naked eye. White balance adjusts the camera for these different types of light. Sunlight gives off a much different colour to an interior fluorescent light. By correcting white balance either in camera or on the computer, we are able to get a more accurate rendering of the correct image colours.
I’ve given my Nikon D7000 a pretty hefty beating over the last year and a half. I’ve been through deserts, canyons, rivers, beaches and in -20C weather. And of course I changed lenses in these locations. There was bound to be some dust that got into the camera. But having been on the road it was difficult to stop and take the time to find a place that would clean my sensor, so I kept going and put it at the back of my mind.
My favourite artistic period is the Impressionist movement. I adore Renoir and Monet, Pissarro and Cezanne.
I’ve experimented over the years with creating impressionist images in my photography. Impressionist photography is quite broad; some people simply blur images or take photographs of bokeh. I think it’s important to still anchor the viewer in the landscape, having an awareness of place, which means the picture isn’t just mistaken for camera shake.