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Travel Photos: Where do you draw the line?

Travel Photos: Where do you draw the line?

Old Aug 25th, 2004, 03:44 AM
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Travel Photos: Where do you draw the line?

I'm sitting here surrounded by box after box of travel-related photos. We sure did our best to keep Kodak in business! Lots of good memories. Boy, how time flys.

I'm also amazed at just how many shots we took and also have to chuckle at some odd/poor choices we made on light conditions and subjects in our "early years". What were we thinking? Who are those people? Why no heads? What the heck was so cool about that scence?

But some things never change: LW still wants multiple shots of everything, my son wants people in every shot and I want to hold out for only really remarkable shots! Of course they all say I'm really cheap and don't want to pay for film and developing.

Sometimes I'm tempted to just buy postcards and leave the camera at home, but could I ever really adopt that practice? I always love to search for just the right light conditions and "perfect" angle - seems like I "see" so much more of a city when I'm armed with a camera.

Is anybody in the same boat as us? I'd love to hear how you organize your photos and capture the spirit and energy of your trips.

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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:07 AM
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We purchase one of those small albums and make one up IMMEDIATELY after each trip. Selections are made through an editing process and if there are several that are good, you can share them with others who might be interested.

Having a box of photos with multiple duplicate shots and/or a lot of rejects is a great way to make sure they will very rarely be viewed. When you get your pictures back, get a trash can and pitch the ones that you have no earthly reason to keep.

I'm with you as far as photo composition in that I'm looking for light, angles and lines of force. I like some "people" shots, but not necessarily OUR people. I've found that I take less shots now than I did in the past because good photography can be work. I'm looking for things that tell a story or help me to recall something; not just documenting everything that I run across. Some pictures are best left in my head.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:14 AM
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Degas - sounds like you are the perfect candidate for going digital. You can shoot as much as you want and then only print the ones you want. You can please everyone. And once you get the camera and media, then it doesn't cost you anything - actually saves you lots of money over buying film and developing. If anyone ever gave a good reason for using digital you did when you said "LW still wants multiple shots of everything, my son wants people in every shot and I want to hold out for only really remarkable shots! Of course they all say I'm really cheap and don't want to pay for film and developing." and especially when you said " I always love to search for just the right light conditions and "perfect" angle - seems like I "see" so much more of a city when I'm armed with a camera."
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:16 AM
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I'm a pretty good photographer and subscribe to the 'National Geographic Method' of shooting. Basically, assume that 99% of your shots are throw aways. If in doubt, take the picture.

Yes, this can result in a lot of wasted pics (and money), but in the long run it's usually a small cost in relationship to the trip itself.

This is also a great arguement for going digital. Now that I've switched, I have no qualms shooting 20 shots of the same scene from different angles, with different lenses, shutter speeds, etc. I can always delete the 'losers'.

Another great thing about digital is that you can create slide shows in about 10 minutes to allow friends/family to quickly view your trip and worry about prints and albums later (if ever).
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 04:28 AM
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Go digital. My wife hates digital, but I keep reminding her of that huge box down in the basement with all the photos in it that nobody looks at, and the cost of $6-7 per pack.

I make a back-up CD of all my photos and put them on my computer as part of my screen saver.

I take a CD to the drug store and print the photos I want to keep/send to people and I've had a chance to crop them.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:05 AM
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Degas, we write a journal and take photos as we travel. When we get home, we select the best photos and make up an album. We use phrases from the journal as captions for the photographs. When someone looks at the album, they see a short, illustrated version of our journal.

I'd say one in ten of our photos makes the cut for the album. While I can't quite make myself throw out the rejects, we never look at them again, so perhaps I should be more disciplined.

We use both film and digital cameras. We carry an iBook with us when we travel. We write the journal on the computer and download the digital images from the camera to the iBook every evening. Every couple of days we burn the digital images onto CDs as back-up.

It may appear that we carry a lot of gear, but we have gradually learned to pack very lightly, so it's really not that bad.

Anselm
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:10 AM
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Hi degas,

I also suggest a digital camera.

You can also record sound, which allows you to identify the pix.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:14 AM
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I had this same issue going back about 25-years ago with family, friend, summer holiday photos and earlier vacations - all sitting in boxes, though well marked and with their negatives. That's when I "created a project for myself."

I purchased photo albums and did one for family, friends, vacations - this took a few months to get done, but once they were I was able to toss those negatives, and was set to go for future accumulations of photos.

Returning from a holiday, wedding, or whatever, I added to the albums I already had. And for a new vacation, had a album for that only.

I must be very well organized, as the first thing I do when returning from vacation, after emptying the suitcase and sending off the laundry - the photos get taken care of. After the photos are done, I write up my Trip Journal.

Over the years, I've put together albums for all trip, and this past winter, which kept us indoors often, I scanned all photos onto my computer and created photo albums for each vacation, which are not kept online on the 'puter, rather with AOL. You can use may other services as well. Photos do take up so much storage on your computer so best to get rid of them as soon after if someone else will store them for you.

Haven't gone digital yet, still not convinced. Personally, I don't want to have anything to do with printing these or maintaining them; don't want to store disks anymore then I wanted those negatives. So would suggest you create a project for yourself for the photos from years gone by. And to go forward, either do albums immediately if you continue using 35mm and film; or go digital.

 
Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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I've got agree on the digital route if you travel often and like taking numerous shots. The quality of the camera's and their cost have come way down. We recently upgraded to a 5-mexapixel and I honestly can't tell the difference between those photos and the one's we used to take on our Nikon 35mm.

You can delete the photos you don't like, print the one's you do, and then have the photos stored on a CD for future posterity.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:10 AM
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Compared to the cost of getting there and staying there, film and developing are cheap. If you think you might want the picture, take it. And bracket the exposures.
Haven't gone digital yet, but we have downsized a bit. When we first started traveling, the camera bag weighed 26 pounds. And everything in it got used.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:10 AM
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degas, professional photographers typically come in two camps: those who throw away and those who don't. Every master will tell you he/she does one or the other but most lean towards saving everything (you just never know when you'll need that lousy exposure for something).

I inherited my mother's clean-freak gene so I edit and edit fiercely. I also have many years of corporate editing experience from my early days in the business. This means: I'm good at zeroing in on the money shots, I can spot an artistic or commercially strong composition a mile away, I can identify and articulate where and why one exposure calculation will work over another, and I believe I know what is too ugly, too useless, too nothing, to archive and take up valuable storage space.

The amateur world is a bit less perplexing. After all, your images aren't paying the mortgage on your mobile home. Also, one man's cut off head is another's submission to MOMA. It helps to have a sense of how to define art, even from a trailer park sensibility.

The decision to keep or not to keep is a personal one and unless all members of the family agree, a contentious situation could develop. Perhaps a round-table edit session with LW et al can be fun and fruitful. Not only will you get to relive some great memories with those you love, you may actually throw away a truly useless picture or two.

PS Pro digital photographers don't have it any easier. In fact, the retouching community tells you to save everything. "Cut and Paste" is the new bible. Of course it's easier to store every image on a hard drive but you'll need to keep track of the numbers and afford the storage growth. Pro's typically back images up three times, using three resources. That's three times work for each image saved. Enjoy your edit.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:18 AM
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Flyboy has pretty accurately described it for me. And for the past three years NO ONE has been shown my album of pictures from each annual trip. We do get them out from time to time and look through them, enjoying the memories. And I often go back and refer to them when we are trying to remember something about a trip.

I'm convinced digital is not for me. I would probably throw out the disc after printing what I liked and put in an album. Looking at them on a computer isn't going to happen for the two of us. I do theatre and for each play I'm given a disc of all the photo shots from that play. I guess they're all in a drawer now, but I've never looked at them. But I do keep out a few of the actual photos that other people in the casts have given me copies of -- they're easy to put my hands on and I look at them from time to time. I'm sure it would be the same with travel photos, but maybe that's just me.

Each year for a major trip I tend to do about 400 pictures. Cheap film at Costco and cheap development at Walgreen's. I'm not concerned about professional quality, as they are only memories for us. So each year costs maybe $125, and I probably throw away about a dozen or so bad shots. That's fine with me. So some pictures don't come out great and others do.

I often offer to take pics of others when traveling and they are starting to drive me nuts. After taking a picture of the couple in front of Notre Dame, they want to look at in on digital, then have me redo it a little farther back so I get the tower, then do it again because they weren't smiling in that one. I love travel but don't like becoming obsessed with the picture taking, redoing pictures at each spot until I get the perfect photo. All I want is a book of memories.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:18 AM
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Maybe one of you organized folks can come and sort out the TRUNK of loose photos I haven't even looked in for years!

My latest method (which doesn't solve the trunk issue but is going to serve me for the future!) is to simply make a 4x6 index card with the country name and year on it and rubberband the photos together behind it. So I have neat little packets that then reside in shoebox size baskets.

This method deals with a greater volume of photos in a small space. I can't imagine if I tried to go with albums... ooh la la I'd need to quit my job to do the project & get a bigger apartment to store them all.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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Oh yes, and a comment about post cards. Recently I've been leaving the camera at "home" on some travel days and just buying post cards here and there. And of course, I buy a few postcards of church interiors, etc., where I can't take pictures. I used to put those in a box, which as flyboy says guarantees they won't be looked at. But now I freely mix them in the album with my own pictures. Who cares that I didn't take them? All I want them for is to remember that day.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:24 AM
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You don't have to go digital. Using small, inexpensive albums and editing your shots down to a few dozen "keepers" is the best way to share photos with guests & friends, or share memories w/ the LW.

Having said that, going digital is a good thing, for all the reasons cited previously. Post your shots onto your own web page or open a Webshots account, and you can share your pix w/ anyone & everyone who has an internet connection.

These days, we do both.

BTW, looking back at the shots from our first Italy trip (13 years ago), I am amazed at how well we did considering we didn't know what we were doing! I'll have to get Ms_Go to scan & post those shots someday soon.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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"You are tempted to just buy postcards?" - I thought I was the only one who did that! Since I always travel solo, I figure my picture taking is really for others - those people who I want to share my experiences. Personally, I don't need to take a lot of pictures. Those really breathtaking, important shots that one HAS TO HAVE (the epitome of where you have been - i.e. The London Bridge) There is no way I can get the perfect shot ... I mean, the photographers for postcards go up in helicopters etc. for such shots! So, I buy the postcard!!

Sure, I take pictures of my own. I think if you are a tourist and you DON'T take any pictures, you have to pay a $100 fine or something ... I just never thought it necessary to take rolls and rolls. I take the pictures of things that I need help explaining when I get home (i.e. the art exhibit in front of the post office in Brugge ... it was a jail. You put money in it, the (cage) door opens and you are jailed inside for 5mins while a video camera tapes you!!) NOW THAT I HAD TO TAKE A PICTURE OF!!! (I never did see anyone go inside

My first trip out of country, I did the whole scrapbook thing -but since I keep going back to the same places, I don't bother with that anymore
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:36 AM
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We use both a 35mm and a digital. The success to having your photos viewed by you or others is to have them out! For a number of years I've kept continuous photo albums. In the front cover I write the locations or events found in that particular photo album and on the outside I write the dates the album covers. The hard part is training yourself to put your photos in as soon as you get them. But once you get used to doing so - it becomes a habit! Obsessive - I know.

I'm with a previous poster - memories are why I take photos - so I want to see them once in awhile.

Everyone does things different - have fun with whatever you decide.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:39 AM
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Wow - thanks for all the feedback and great ideas. I can see a digital camera in my future.

Getting a trip album or website addition done RIGHT after the trip seems to be a key action - all too often I'm off on some new project and never seem to go back and get that one done.

Being able to record sound and identify the picture and what you were
thinking would also be very helpful.

Well, back to sorting the photos, who knows, maybe there is a "money shot" or two in there somewhere!
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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I buy post cards to supplement my atrocious photography. I've also discovered teh beauty of cropping! Maybe digital is next, but not yet. I've seen too many people have too many problems with them. My phtographer friend's advice to me was "take a lot of pictures, keep the best and throw the rest away." It works.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 07:30 AM
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Oh, please folks, spare us buying a digital video with sound! If I stand one more place and hear people around me talking to their cameras saying "well, here we are on top the Eiffel Tower. Down below is Paris. We had breakfast right over there this morning. If you look out there you can see. . ." It's getting as bad as people talking to themselves on their hidden cell phones!
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