Introduction: Wide Hips, Wide Angles and Wide Eyes
What I wish to emphasize is that, anywhere you go, anything you see, has a story behind it -- here is my own way of interpreting a story through a photograph and I hope it helps you with your own discoveries. I decided to take a backpacking trip to Europe this past summer and journeyed through six countries in 15 days! It was spectacular and revived one of my many passions -- photography. I know that I came off pretty touristy at first but I made some pretty great acquaintances and friends while overseas and my camera documented every moment of it.
Germany is a gorgeous country for hundreds of photo opportunities using natural landscaping, due to the importance of working AROUND the land and not manipulating it. It is eerily calm and peaceful and since I am from the United States in the suburban Midwest, I choose to take pictures of every and anything intriguing.
Now, for the first photo --
Exposure time: 1/2500 sec.
ISO speed: ISO-1600
Focal length:18 mm
**Wide angle used
This photograph was taken with a Canon EOS Rebel XS near Ansbach, Germany (southeast Germany) directly across the street from a train station and as soon as I saw this quaint little B&B, I had to capture this shot. I am always one for experimenting with my cameras (and yes, I did read the owner's manual) and one thing that I really messed around with on this trip was my wide-angle lens, extended exposures, different camera angles (i.e. shooting from the hip, above my head, etc.) plus the environment's reflections, lighting and natural symmetry.
I did a lot of "stop-and-shoot" photographing while I was away and then after reviewing the images upon my return to the United States, quite a few photos stood out. For editing, all I did was create a little bit of contrast and increased shadowing to really emphasize the colors that I saw first-hand because let's face it -- I couldn't ruin the integrity of this vivid, natural shot.
As for angling, I held the camera at my waist (after checking the settings, of course) and angled upwards -- point and shoot! I did this for a couple reasons...
1) Eliminate my reflection in the window -- you should never be afraid of your reflection, but for the purposes of this shot, it would have ruined the image (backpacking makes you look rough!)
2) Frame the image the way that my eyes first laid upon it (I wanted my audience to experience Europe the same way that I did).
3) Create a continuous shot of vine and flora for a sense of surrealism while the watering cans added a hint of domestic modernism.
4) Wide-angle lenses really allow you to be closer to the object than you think, while still providing a wider frame (duh).
The second (Homer) and third (Il Vaticani altar) image --
The Vatican (Il Vaticani) and the Vatican Museum (Il Vaticani Museo) are beautiful, historical sites exploding with images that I had once only read and learned about (I am from a Catholic-background). In the museum, I felt as if I was walking alongside the gods, philosophers and movers-and-shakers of the ancient world. In the Vatican, its significance was strongly directed towards its natural lighting due to an abundance of windows and opportunities for light to trickle into this masterpiece. While I am not fanatically religious, the Vatican holds a certain "awe" that would silence the village idiot.
Homer: The blind poet with sight said to have been given to him from a divine muse to tell the famous stories of Achillean rage and the great leader, Odysseus. To me, Homer's statue was monumental and I truly felt in awe of his presence so I tried to capture an image that interpreted such.
Exposure time: 1/15 sec.
ISO speed: ISO-800
Focal length: 27 mm
For this image, I stood somewhat underneath it (since it is mounted) and once again, I did a hip-shot and angled upwards, using my handy-dandy wide-angle lens. I didn't have to do much editing at all for this image (which was also a perk) but the impression makes you feel that you are listening to a heroic tale from a man with vision from the gods. He draws a lot of attention to viewers and most images I saw of Homer (from this same statue) were full-body, front-view shots. I wanted to do something different... create a personality (and a touch of shadowyundertones).
The Vatican altar: The natural lighting of the Vatican is beautiful and makes it easy to capture the same subject from many different angles and interpretations. So, what do I do? HIP-ANGLE! For this image, I decided that a shadowy, B&W image would preserve some of the natural awe. This was a simple editing of increasing shadow, decreasing brightness and a touch of contrast and cropping.
Exposure time: 1/30 sec.
ISO speed: ISO-200
Focal length: 35 mm
**Wide angle used
If you'd like to see more of my (ever-increasing) album, please visit www.flickr.com/photos/babytealeaves. This past trip included Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Brussels and Holland -- what a whirlwind! I plan on making another adventure this upcoming summer and in the meantime, working on increasing my portfolio here in the States. I'm always happy to make new connections, get some critique and meet fellow travel-nerds.
I hope that you enjoyed my images!