Training/Practice Exercises Obviously the more you know about your camera and the various shooting techniques, the more it will help you…

Training/Practice Exercises

Obviously the more you know about your camera and the various shooting techniques, the more it will help you take amazing photographs. Even if you’re not that clued in, a basic knowledge of camera controls will go a long way.

With the amazing controls available on modern cameras it is easy to forget what forms the basis of a properly exposed photograph. Even if the camera is almost completely automatic make sure you take a look at the readings that flash up inside the frame or on the screen. You should have an understanding of shutter speed, exposure and focus.

Composition is another basic element that all photographers need to consider. Familiarize yourself with concepts such as the rule of thirds, the way action should lead into images, how to frame subjects, use different view points, what to do with diagonal lines or curved “s” lines in the frame and how close to get to the subject.

The use of light is also very important. Make sure you understand how to use your flash before you set out and how directional light or the strength of light can be used to create different effects. There are a number of ways to use your flash in photography including bounce, direct and fill flash.

There are also varying techniques for macro, action, candid, wildlife, portraits, color and patterns. There are a number of good photography books on the market, or even available at local libraries, that can fill you in on these basics. Alternatively take a photographic course at home to get you up to scratch.

Gear Requirements/Packing lists

The more you travel and photograph you will learn what does and doesn’t work for you and refine the list of things you should take with you. Camera gear is bulky and heavy and while there are essentials, you should always try to pack light. A lot of photographic touring requires you to be on your feet and mobile so you don’t want to be burdened with a lot of gear.

Things like your camera bodies, lenses, film, flash, filters and tripods are your basic and essential tools. You may also like to bring a notepad and pen to record photographic ideas, places of interest and so on. A computer is also useful so you can download your images at night or even upload them to a website for friends and family to see back home. If you are hoping to recharge camera batteries or a laptop make sure you have the correct country adaptor to use the device and that electricity is actually available. If you don’t have a laptop to download the images you may also wish to check that it is possible to burn back-up CDs and DVDs locally. If you are on a photographic tour with a guide they will probably ensure this is always possible.

Any tour guide worth their salt should not be too concerned if your equipment is simple or sophisticated. As long as it works and you know how to use it, they will treat everyone with the same respect and patience.

Personal items such as toiletries and clothing should be specific to the destination and minimalized as much as possible.