Photo and Writing Challenges

The more photos you take the better you get, I think. For me, photography has been trial and error. I don’t have expensive cameras and I only know how to use one setting, auto. I know, I know, I am missing out on a lot, according to some. I joined a photography club a few years back and the information at the meetings was way over my entry level, the bottom.  I did go to the group photography meet-ups in several towns, where we all went our separate ways to take pictures. I watched the way the photographers took their pictures and then followed up with the critiquing sessions, usually over drinks after the session, to listen. On the shoots they carried big bags around with all the special gear and attachments; different lenses and tripods and such. They were setting up scenes, laying on the sidewalk to take photos, changing from one lens to another and I thought, “I have to be realistic here, I am not going to do all that.”

I take most of my photos when on vacation. I am nearly seventy years young, so the less I carry the better off I am. I need to be able to get to my camera and put it away in a small, very small handbag. I want to be able to take my camera and look at something and snap, and move on, snap. I don’t want to stage anything or fiddle with settings.

My cameras are all different in size. What I call my “big camera” is my Panasonic Lumix G Mirrorless Digital camera. It takes very crisp, clean photos and is extremely lightweight. Another travel blogger wrote a piece about this camera a few years back and I was sold on it. One of my best purchases ever.

I have a smaller camera too, it is a Canon PowerShot. Another point and shoot and move on camera.

My fall back camera is my iPhone. I have taken some of the best photos with it! It is also the most expensive camera/phone I own. So you can see I don’t spend a great deal on cameras and never on lens and all that other stuff.

I take photos of everything. I document my garden through the seasons. I take photos while out walking the dog. I take photos of food. I take photos of flowers, trees and leaves. I take photos of signs. That is very useful to remember which pictures were taken where, especially when you go to several places in a day. The camera keeps the photos in the order they were taken. I take a photo of the row where I have parked my car in the lot at the airport! Ok, that is really so I know where I can find it when I come back. You never know when you will need a particular photo of something.  At the end of the day I download all my pictures to my IPad, when I am on vacation, in case my camera is lost or stolen. Always carry a spare battery. Keep your batteries charged. On a routine day while traveling, I take between five hundred and one thousand photos a day, particularly if I am touring multiple gardens or estates. I am quick. I don’t lurk. I don’t think too much about it.

When I was in Rome one summer I was lamenting  about taking the “big red bus” to do a whirlwind flash around the city, because we couldn’t get off and take pictures. My daughter looked at me like I was crazy. She said,”Mom do what I do and just hold your camera above your head (we were on the open-air top section of the bus) point at something and click.” You know I did get some fantastic photos that way! What a shock!

Last year I did the Jennifer Nicole Well’s “Color Your World” Photo Challenge, that started January 1st. I posted a photo for all the 120 colors of crayons that were selected. It was also the first time I posted 120 days in a row. It got me into a routine of posting everyday and I do. Except when I am on vacation. When I am on vacation, I am on vacation, and too busy, I guess, taking all those great photos! I blog all about it when I get home. I document everything.

Later in the year I joined Norm2.0 and the other photographers to do  theThursday Doors Challenge.” Now I am always on the prowl for doors! I have learned how to look at doors at different angles. Look up, look down, up close and personal. It is very interesting to see what other photographers are doing!  My favorite photography challenge right now is “Thursday Doors” and that is why I “feature” those photos on the front page of the blog. I hope there are more photo challenges to entice me this year!

So I guess what I am saying is I don’t get too bent out of shape with photography, and my photos have been good enough to put on a travel blog! Enjoy!

PS……… I find to take the best street photos on vacation it is necessary to get up early or wait until late afternoon to take your photos, without people in the way.  In the middle of the day be a tourist like everybody else! Get out there early with the window washers and painters!