San Francisco Vacation: Photography

Here I sit after day 5 of our vacation, having taken 1,217 photos and recorded approximately 35 minutes of video.  As is always the case, juggling the dslr and camcorder turn into quite an exercise. 

This time around though I’ve taken a slightly different approach to video.  Instead of trying to capture everything I can, I have been looking to record as many small clips when possible with knowledge that any video taken is going to be used as a part of a vacation DVD as a compliment to photos. What doesn’t go into a final video will probably just be posted here – so small standalone clips are preferrable.  This will greatly reduce the amount of boring video segments I have recorded – bonus!

Now that I’m spending less time holding the camcorder, I’ve had more time to be more thoughtful with the still photos I’m taking – which I enjoy far more than video.

On to the photo side of things, a few notes:

  • I brought 4 lenses with me: 10-22mm, 28-135mm, 50mm, and 100mm macro.  I left the 70-300mm at home due to travel constrains; there have a been a few times I wished I had it but it’s just too cumbersome to carry.
  • I typically only use the 10-22 for wide landscape shots and avoid it for people due to its distortion effects at lower than 20mm.  But on this trip I’ve relied on it for a very wide variety of shots, including people, and have been very happy with the results.  I’m surprised by that.
  • Shooting in a forest is difficult.  Shooting in a forest while moving 15mph even moreso.  I spend 90% of my time shooting in Av mode (aperture priority), so every few moments I was having to adjust f-stop and iso to keep motion blur at bay.    -1 to -2 exposure compensation seemed to be a  good override for the camera’s metering to preserve the forest feel.
  • Once again, such a great camera bag for travelling.  I switch lenses A LOT.
  • I’ve  been quicker to recognize what I see as the three types of travel photos: 1) documentary, 2) scenic with framing potential and 3) family-travel photos.  I usually spend too much time thinking about the first two, but this time I’m being more deliberate in getting good family-travel shots. Good, meaning technically good and giving us context and surroundings in the shots.  So far I’m pleased with the results.
  • I’m still not experienced enough with the flash (speedlite) to instintively use it instinctively, as with Alcatraz today.

Hope this didn’t bore any of you 4 readers out there 🙂

3 thoughts on “San Francisco Vacation: Photography

  1. That’ll get better, Maria. You just need to take lots and lots of pictures without using full-auto mode. I’ll become second nature then.

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