Photography in Europe: 2009
Which cameras, film, and gadgets work best for your travel photography. Any tips on getting the best shots? Carry a big 35mm camera or a point 'n shoot? Is a camcorder worth the trouble? What about digital cameras and flash cards?
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Photography in Paris museums
I was delighted and amazed that almost every museum and church that we visited in Paris allowed non-flash indoor photography... including of exhibited paintings and other works of art. The only exceptions (naturally) were Notre Dame Cathedral during Sunday mass, and Sacre Coeur Basilica (which never allows indoor photos of any kind at any time). But I was otherwise amazed at the lack of restrictions on photography... including in the Louvre.
Also, if you can find one in stores or online, an excellent compact digital point-and-shoot for travel is the Fuji FinePix f31fd. Because it's only a 6.3-megapixel camera, it has very large light sensors, and is legendary in photography circles for its ability to take shots with minimal noise in extremely low light conditions. (I once used it to take a hand-held, non-flash, ISO 3200 photo of a waterfall in the caves below Ireland's Burren, and you could see individual droplets in the falling water!)
Winchester, MA USA Mon 11/16/2009
group trips for pleasure and photography
Do we want to form a group of people who like to travel together and take photos? Such trips would be part pleasure, part craft. After the holidays, a trip with other travel bug/photographers would be exciting and fun.
Washington , DC USA Mon 11/02/2009
I bought the new Canon T1I for our trip to Italy in September. Bought it because I wanted a lightweight DSLR. Many of the cameras that I considered were just too heavy for my hands. I used this camera body with the Canon 18-200 lens. It did a great job; I took over 4000 pictures and I am very pleased with the results. I would have liked a few more bells and whistles but it did a great job without killing my neck or back.
A few words of advice. Always shoot on the highest quality setting so that if you want to crop and zoom in on something, you will retain the quality . Also, take lots of memory cards and shoot tons of pictures! Take the same picture from different angles. The shots that you don't expect to be very good are often times the ones that turn out the best. Take pictures of everything; your meals, the doors, the ladies hanging laundry out their windows in Italy, kids, the reflection of the outdoor piazza in your water glass, etc. These types of pictures will really preserve your vacation memories.
Alta Loma, CA USA Tue 10/27/2009
Indoor Digital Photography
I'm an avid photographer but last trip (2007) I left my SLR at home and took a Panasonic point-and-shoot with me - it did a great job for daytime - but was a bit weak for night/indoor shots - I'm taking the SLR this time, and a Panasonic LX3 for the low light/indoor shots. It's got a fast F2.0 lens and does well in low-light - The LX3 is a bit hard to find now, but a new Canon PowerShot S90 has been announced that should also be a good p&s for low light shots...
San Jose, CA USA Tue 09/22/2009
I lived in Europe for 10 years over the past 30 years and most of that time was before the invention of the digital camera. However, upon arriving in Obendorf, Austia over the Thanksgiving holiday of 2006 I bought my first digital camera. After uploading all of my European photos I'm just now learning to appreciate the hundreds of photos that I've published to my google site. I have recently updating the titles and added content and felt the need to share them with everyone in this forum. Please check them out when you find time and send me some feedback. Hopefully someone somewhere will appreciate them as much as I had intented and experienced while visiting these facanating locations. Some featured cities are Basel, Krakow, Kitzbuhel, Normandy and St. Martin the diamond in the German wine country. Enjoy! www.google.com/profiles/atkins.philip
Tacoma, WA USA Sun 09/13/2009
Just got back from Europe. Took my Nikon D300 with an 18-200mm lens. Was flawless. Downloaded pics to a netbook and Snapfish.com every day or two in case my camera was swiped. Worked well. One thing to remember: if your subjects are backlit, don't forget to consider using your flash- even during the day- so their faces don't turn out black.
Melbourne, FL USA Mon 07/20/2009
The best combination I have ever used is the Nikon D300 and the 17-55mm lens. I have been to Europe many times now, the first time I went with more camera gear than clothes... seriously. I pack one camera and one zoom lens. I am a semi-pro, so my gear needs might be different than yours. However, I suggest buying an SLR if you have a point and shoot now, the quality, even in the "cheaper" SLRs is fantastic. The Nikon D40, or the Canon Rebel are both terrific. You won't go wrong with either. I also find a mini-tripod invaluable for capturing low light scenes, such as the Louvre at night, the London Eye, etc. You can view some of my travel photos at www.tayloryoungphotography.com
Chadds Ford, PA USA Mon 06/15/2009
If your digital camera is up to it, shoot all RAW images. Memory cards are cheap. I am seeing too many of my jpg images that are in need of tonal and color balance editing, and I am compromising their quality in doing these edits. Shoot RAW and learn to process them. RAW can be processed in Elements, if you have version 3 or newer.
San Jose, CA USA Thu 05/28/2009
I had to laugh at the arrogant statement made by someone hat "digital pictures are best for those who see them only as fun and aren't really serious about the results." I have friends who are professional photographers who love their digital cameras and use them exclusively.
I went to Europe for two and a half months and I finally bought a digital camera (I had a Nikon FE 35mm that took absolutely sensational pictures and that's why I waited to switch for so long).
Digital just made sense. Most photos don't come out the way you want so you waste a lot of money with processing plus you don't see the results for a while.
I bought a Nikon D90 and the pictures are just sensational. What I loved about taking digital shots is that I can see the results right away and redo a picture to get a different angle. Also, I can take many photos of the same subject from different angles with different exposures and at night decide which one(s) I want to keep. Also, I can switch ISO and take pictures inside or outside without having to change film. Also, my camera has a B&W mode with a simulated filter so I can easily switch to black and white and back. In Rothenburg and in Paris, every day was very dull and overcast and I took black and white photos which turned out very well. In Paris, I encountered thunder storms with black clouds which made perfect backgrounds for the Eiffel Tower and other subjects and black and white gave me exceptional contrasts.
You do have to use the highest setting but I would get about 225 pictures per 4gb memory card (using nef and large jpeg) but it cost only about $12 to transfer that to DVD. I would have spent as much on film and development as I did on my camera so besides the ability to instantly see results, there is a great money saving.
Don't get me wrong. Film probably does give better results and the lowest ISO you can get with digital is 100 but I am going through the 2000 or so pictures I took and saved and I am very happy with the results.
New York, NY USA Fri 05/22/2009
Nightime - Florence Art Crawl
Last week in Florence my family and I tried out an Art Crawl. I don't know how to describe it but it was a combination of dinner, entertainment with our actor host Alessandro and a late evening exploring Florence doing nighttime photography. IT was quite a change of pace after untold museums and churhces! GOt to see th eother side of Florence by night and photos and memories are great. Great evening out - Florence Art Crawl - www.florenceartcrawl.com
Houston, TX USA Thu 05/21/2009
For extra safety of digital photos I up load my images to free online storage sites such as adrive.com. As an added bonus, friends who are stuck at home can log in and follow my progress.
Omaha, Ne USA Wed 05/20/2009
Photography in Europe - what type of camera
Last year, while on a trip to England that included hiking portions of Hadrian's Wall, I wanted something light and yet that produced photos that could be enlarged. Anything under 8 mpx usually loose a lot if you are looking at enlarging the photos. Therefore, I settled on a Leica D-Lux and got breath taking photos. It was small enough to fit in my pocket, light enough so that it didn't weigh me down when climbing up and down the rolling hills of Northumberland, and had large enough mexapixels so that I was able to enlarge some of the photos for Christmas presents.
Vancouver, BC Canada Wed 04/15/2009
When it comes to megapixels, less is more (no, really)
Yes, it's true -- more megapixels doesn't mean a better picture, especially in point-and-shoot cameras.
Think about it: those cameras are the same size they were 5 years ago, or smaller. So what used to be a 4MP or 6PM camera now might be packing 12-15MP -- and so the pixels on the sensor are half the size or smaller. That means they capture less light, and that leads to blurry, grainy pictures (AKA noise).
So, when choosing a camera, check the statistics on the "megapixels per square inch / centimeter". www.dpreview.com has this stat for just about every digital camera ever made. They use square centimeters because they're located in the UK, but the same rule applies: less is more.
Digital SLRs have some of the lowest megapixels per square cm figures -- often ten times lower than compact cameras -- and it's no coincidence that they produce much cleaner, clearer images.
San Francisco, CA USA Mon 04/06/2009
Photo Protection While Traveling
It takes big money to travel in Europe these days. I know this first hand because I'm Canadian and my dollar pretty much sucks on the world stage. The last thing I want to happen is to lose those precious photos I've spent too long planning for and frustrating my wife with, waiting for the perfect light and angle to shoot.
Along with my trusty Nikon D80 and 18-200 lens (the only one I use, very flexible) I don't leave home without my 40 gig Smartdisk portable hard drive. After a day of shooting, I take time that night to back my photos onto it. If the camera disk corrupts or heaven forbid gets stolen along with my camera, I lose only that day's images. I always make sure the backup devise stays separate from my camera, hidden in my backpack back at the hotel, in the dirty sock pouch. I hope this will help you with your trip and photo planning.
Edmonton, AB CDN Tue 01/27/2009
Point and shoot Camera great worked great for my short video on Turkey
This video was made using a Olympus D630 Camera using the video function. A simple point and click is really all you need for a great travel video. This ones has about 30 clips from various places in Turkey.
Lowell, Ar USA Tue 01/13/2009