Tag Archives: french quarter

Improve your travel photography/advice from a photojournalist

 

My very favorite thing to photograph is travel/street photography. Especially when I see a place for the very first time.Being a “people” photographer No place on earth inspires me more than New Orleans.To me its the people that make the place!

1ws

 http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

  My best advice.:
1) use a lens that cane do both wide angel and zoom.Invest in a camera backpack,limit the amount of equipment. Its NOT the equipment that capture the moment,its you.
2) Do not walk around alone.
3) Be fearless,go off the beaten path.While visiting New Orleans I went to the ninth ward. There is a magical place  called “musicians Village” that is were I met David
4) DO NOT go on a guided tour
5) Talk to people,get up close and personal
6) Street musicians are a good place to start,they never mind if you are talking their photo.
7)Pay attention to detail
8) think outside of the box,try interesting views,different angels and perspectives
9 ) Go out with your camera in the magic hour right after the sun comes up,right before the sun sets.After the rain,photograph reflections in puddles,take advantage of overcast light,makes colors pop and skin tones, even. Twilight immediately after the sun sets for night scenes.
10)Try to stay in the center of town,I shot this one from my balcony at three in the morning.
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11)Most of all, let the story unfold before you,enjoy the adventure.Its like when I photograph a wedding I dont think about it and put pressure on myself,the story unfolds before me, I am there to tell the story
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FOR THE LOVE OF “STREET PHOTOGRAPHY” PART 1 /creativefreedomphoto

I have a lot to say on the subject of street photography so I am going to have several blogs on this subject,I post approximately once a week, sometimes more when I have the time.

WHAT IS STREET PHOTOGRAPHY?

” Street photographs are mirror images of society,displaying unmanipulated  scenes,with usually unaware subjects”
street musician,french quarter,new orleans at dusk
 Street photography shows a pure vision of something,like holding up a mirror to society.Street photography often tends to be ironic and can be distanced from its subject matter,and often concentrates on a single human moment,caught at a decisive or poignant moment.On the other hand,much street photography takes the opposite approach and provides a very literal and extremely personal rendering of the subject matter,giving the audience a more visceral experience of walks of life they might only be  passingly familiar with.

 

Growing up in New York,It was my first photography class in ninth grade.My Mother would drive me into the heart of New York city ,she was very impatient and I had to roll my window down and shoot from the car, she would say “shoot,Shoot,life is happening fast “! .I wish I still had my work from that time,I do still have these photographs in my mind; angry faces of NYC cab drivers cursing at the traffic,   old ladies looking at the world from the safety of their windows.I have just one photograph from around that age.
 the Bowery NYC,1972
I started to take the train into the city by myself and wander down into”the bowery” a “very bad neighborhood” I was told to stay away from, of course that  intrigued  me!    I started talking to the street people, back then they called them”bums” I asked this old man, bottle of whisky between his legs,sitting against the tire of an old truck ,wisdom and pain displayed on his many wrinkles”Hey,Whats going on,how are you doing today”that would  strike up  a conversation, He then started to tell me a bit about his life while I listened and photographed him,periodically putting my camera down.
      I would bring the film back to class and develop it in the darkroom watching the photo  come to life before my eyes in the developer, in those days I had to wait a long time before I could actually see the photograph .
     I was born with amblyopia and only have sight in one eye), I learned much later in life this is a good thing, close your eye and see the world with one eye, after all that is what the camera does
   ,My photography teacher loved my work,at that time in my life I did not have any confidence in myself,(coming from an abusive home ) it felt strange to me to be complimented, I did not believe in myself all I knew was that I fell in love with photography,It was a way for me to not only express myself but a way to capture a moment forever..I was hooked!!
There seems to be a sentiment out there that somehow “legitimate” street photography involves only candid shots. I began with candid shots myself. It was when I began interacting with my subjects, however, that my photography truly began to stand out. By involving your subject in the process, you can not only compose your shot better, but also reveal more of the subject’s personality.
   I tend to do both,it depends on my subject
 New Orleans Lady

Start in a crowd.

I encourage new street photographers to start with a busy public place such as a street market or an outdoor event as a comfortable start.  You are more invisible in a crowd and can more easily overcome your fear of photographing strangers. Street performers are excellent street photography subjects to start shooting. After all, they are there to be seen and are used to being photographed plus they are part of the culture of the place you are visiting. Buskers perform to make a few bucks, so shoot away, and be generous with what you toss in their hat!

Jah Bless

http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

I photographed the shot above of a street  vendor  at the Goombay festival in Key West. There is always that one face in the crowd that stands out, that particular day, this man was the one face.At that time I was photographing for the newspapers.

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http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

Now that I am older,I enjoy getting to know my subjects,getting up close and personal and listening to their stories.

I was starting out in my career,not as bold as I am now and shot mostly candid with a 300mm zoom lens.I walked up and down the crowded streets that day,hoping for that one shot that would capture this colorful Caribbean festival. I kept my eye on my subject waiting for just the right moment. I had my camera ready and zoomed in on him,a tourist stopped by his set up and asked to see a particular item, that is when he stuck his head through the beautiful material that framed him perfectly with abundant color,that was it!, the photograph that captured the festival, even though I was using film and couldn’t see it right away, I knew in my heart that I had gotten “the one”!

New Orleans,streetmusician

The street musicians of New Orleans among my favorite subjects to photograph (in my favorite city on the planet!)

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“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
~ Imogen Cunningham

New Orleans SUPER Dome wedding/by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

tocoverhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

I have the most amazing job! I get to travel to incredible places like New Orleans (one of my favorite) To capture one of the best days of someones life!

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Last year I had the honor and privilege to photograph Leah and Gregory Orys wedding in New Orleans. The venue was at the Mercedes Benz super dome Club XLIV/ENCORE

 Mecedes Benz Super Dome New Orleans 5

CLUB XLIV / ENCORE

club XLIV is a private lounge, named to honor the victory by the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV. The club is located in the heart of the Square with an entrance next to the stage, and its built-in amenities include modern furnishings, illuminated bars, specialty lighting and advanced audio/video technology. Encore is connected to club XLIV by oversized sliding doors, and the versatile, plush interior is customizable for any event. Combined, the two prime spaces provide nearly 18,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 1,000 patrons.

Leah and Gregory stayed at the magnificent Hyatt Regency New Orleans

http://neworleans.hyatt.com/en/hotel/our-hotel.html

New Orleans hotel near the French Quarter offers easy access to the Super dome

What I loved about this hotel was the spectacular views of downtown! The room was surrounded by glass windows

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Kiss and makeup (love the name) did a beautiful job with hair and makeup.although the ladies where all naturally beautiful http://kissandmakeupbeauty.webs.com/services.htm

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New Orleans is an artists dream,I happen to come across this incredible The scream mural and had to stop to take a photo of Leah before the ceremony! It also helps to “”scream:”before the ceremony!

The guys,I photographed by the Super dome which reminds me of a huge spaceship

 groomsmen at the Super Dome

The ceremony and reception where held at Club XLIV.Inside it feels like you are in a very high class nightclub,very modern with gorgeous colorful up-lighting,takes you to another world!

At night they light up the Super Dome with the wedding colors and also put your name up on a billboard to congratulate you!

Super dome wedding

The following day, after all the stress is left behind is when I like to take my couples  on their “intimate session”just the two of them with New Orleans  as a background, (the world is my oyster) I do this for my destination weddings,I feel that the “alone”time during the wedding day is never enough.The day after session,my couple gets to  play dress up again this time without the stress!   Everywhere we go people are applauding and congratulating  them,they feel like celebrities! bride and groom in ew orleans

There are so many wonderful back drops!

 New Orleans groom aa1

…And magical things happen. I met this musician by the river the previous year photographing another wedding. We just happen to run into him and he invites us into his home and insists on playing a song on the porch while Leah and Gregory dance.
 dancin in new orleans 21a
New Orleans feels like “home “to me.The nicest people on the planet,music ,art ,everywhere,my heaven made to order! The coolest place for a wedding!!
  At last before the sun sets we head off to the river
 by the river in New Orleans 26l

New Orleans/capturing the soul of a place/travelphotography by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13vqqs_nObw&feature=em-upload_owner

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Traveling to a new place that you have never been to is so exciting! You feel like a child,everything is so new to you.

I love capturing the “soul” of a place. I cant think of a better place than New Orleans.,music and art everywhere, the architecture ,the colors,most of all, its the people!

Acopy 1 playing musicby the riva

When I venture out with my camera,( best not to go alone).Get right into it,walk around,talk to people. For candid shots its best to have a zoom lens so that people are not aware of you taking their photograph.Sometimes I will strike up a conversation, and then politely ask if I can photograph them,I continue to talk to them so that they feel comfortable,often times offer to send them the photos in return.

nola 21vDavid from musicians village the ninth wardacopy4-001

include people in your frames. Try to feature local people rather than tourists. Folks buying their daily paper, selecting flowers at the market, having coffee at the outdoor cafe or chatting as they walk their dogs. And if you have the time for doing some street photography, pick a spot and wait a bit. Something interesting will surely happen and a story will unfold for you to capture and take home. The human element always adds interest to your images.

Take your photos during the best light of the day.

Staying on the center of town, or having a room with wonderful views can create a lot of great photo opportunities.

14ws faces of New Orleans collectiona tappin

The best light comes at the beginning and end of each day and the first and last sunlight of the day is what we call the “magic hours” The warm light is much more flattering

What I bring.First and very important is a camera back pack,mine has wheels on it,make sure it is regulation size so that you can bring it on the plane with you,never ever check on your camera bag! Extra batteries,chargers,S.D cards, two camera bodies,wide angel and zoom lens,shoe mount flash.If you are taking a tri pod, pack it in your check on bag,you will not be allowed to carry it on the plane.Most airlines have a weight limit,Southwest is the only airline that does not,so if you are not flying southwest,make sure that you dont go over in weight. The best walk around lens is one that is both wide and telephoto.

 Reflection of the french quarter a shotgun16ws_JMP0787

If Its raining take advantage of this beautiful overcast light that makes color pop! Photograph the reflections ,have fun but most important protect your camera!I use a plastic bag.

Get up Early

The best light to capture most kinds of subjects is in the golden hours- one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset (depend off course on where you are on the globe). So get up early to get that amazing photo opportunities, while all the other tourists are still asleep.

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Have someone go with you . Do get lost! Wander down alleys. Sit in cafés and watch life pass by. Don’t eat where the tourists do, but where you see locals. Just set off down a street and see where it leads. Look around the bends, over the rises. Get away from the crowd. I find that if I meander away from the tourists and tourist sites, away from what is too familiar and comfortable, it’s much easier to adapt to the rhythm of a place, and to be more observant.

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