Category Archives: travel photography

Photographing People when Traveling

I love photographing people when traveling. When I visit a country for its culture, I love wandering around on the streets, capturing the daily interactions of people, the day-to-day activities. It’s the people that can make the place feel alive, when you are in the cities, towns, village. On this day in Cuba I was wandering around a farmers’ market, and came upon what had to be the country’s largest squash for sale. It was the biggest I had even seen there. He was so proud to show it off, too! I noted that he had already cut it in half – no doubt because even the largest of families in Cuba would not be able to prepare or eat a whole one at one time. He assured me it was organically farmed, and I believe him – because pesticides and fertilizers are expensive and hard to come by unless you are farming for the government. Good thing, in this case. 

My Spanish didn’t account for agricultural terms, but I did know the word calabasa meant squash, and I managed to have enough conversation that he was relaxed and happy to be photographed. Travel photography is about capturing a sense of place, both in the landscape and the people that live in that place. Not everyone likes to include people in their landscapes, and I agree – the natural landscape can stand on its own for its stunning beauty. But a place that is inhabited with so many people just feels empty if you capture the street without anyone there – unless you are trying to express the emptiness, a feeling of loneliness, etc. Yet for me, Cuba represents a vibrant culture, and it’s a great place for street and cultural photography. The people living there are so friendly, and genuine, and often visually unique, with their complex ethnic backgrounds. (African, Russian, and Chinese mixed in with the traditional Cuban genes). Cuba is about the people as much as it’s about the decaying buildings, cars, even though I love to photograph those, too! This just makes the place even more visually rich! I know that not everyone feels comfortable photographing people, even if interested, so I teach this on my cultural photography tours, helping people to become comfortable interacting with locals, making portraits, and working the ‘street scene’.

I’ll be returning to eastern Cuba, the oriente as it’s often referred to, in December 2018, co-leading a cultural, people-to-people photo tour that combines an experience of the eastern part of the island with the  streets and environment around Havana. We’ll explore the diverse landscape and cities/towns and interact with and photograph the people of both sides of this intriguing island. The tour is co-lead with pro photographer Jed Manwaring, who has a great eye for the street and the unexpected photograph. We hope you’ll join us for some tropical fun and adventure next December!  See details and more photos here and then go to Strabo Tours’ page to sign up. 

 

 

Brenda Tharp is an award-winning photographer, photo tour leader, workshop instructor, inspirational speaker, fine art photographer, and writer. California photographer, landscape photographer, nature photographer, travel photographer, people photographer, worldwide photographer, western, usa, cuba, morocco, ireland, italy, namibia, myanmar, spain, bhutan, alaska, photo workshops, photo seminars, photo tours, photography workshops, photography tours, keynote speaker, author, photography books, photo books, inspirational.

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Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 10

 

Day 10 – Humbled by the love and tenderness of a Himba woman with her child. Family is at the core of their survival.

Celebrate humanity – of all cultures!

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Nature and Man

 

There are so many titles for a picture like this – ‘persistence’ being one of them. I loved the overlapping shapes and the shades of white/gray, and this little tree was just the perfect focal point to have in there. It may be planted in a pot on a rooftop balcony for all I know, but it represents the persistence of life to grow wherever it can, and I like the natural element juxtaposed with the manmade here. 

Having too much fun here in Santorini! Below is another fun image, converted to black and white, as I felt the blue strip of sky was distracting…

 

 

Thanks for visiting!

 
 

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Seeing Beyond in Santorini

It is very easy to see the luxury villas and hotels stepping up and down the steep hillsides here, like snow blanketing the brown landscape, but I came to Santorini to find a different type of photograph. The architecture provides such an incredible opportunity to find graphic compositions of shadows, shapes, and forms, and color and black and white are superb here! You’ll see pics of those soon!

While walking around looking for those kind of photographs, I couldn’t help but notice all the Asian girls, mostly Chinese, I believe, who were posing in wedding gowns. Many had been married back home but were now on their honeymoon and the girls wanted to have their pictures taken in their dresses in this iconic location, I’m told for Instagram posting. They are everywhere here, around any corner, you will unexpectedly find a girl posing in her dress, her husband (or soon to be husband) dutifully snapping away. It’s not just the brides, though; many women, dressed as if going to a wedding or a ball, are standing on rooftops, posing, like supermodels, while their men make their pictures. I won’t comment on all of that, but it has been fun to try and capture some of those moments, along with other scenes I am actually seeking! This church and bell tower were pretty enough, but who could resist the brilliant red dress of the bride (and in this case her groom) on a rooftop near the dome? I positioned myself to line up the cross on the gate with the back wall as best as it would fit, to complete the composition. 

Enjoy,

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