Tuesday, 1 May 2012

3 Things to Consider While Traveling For Photography

Traveling is pleasure for me. I take it as an opportunity to learn and observe, specially the nature. I always consider these 3 things during my Travels.
1. Respect the Culture you are traveling in.
Once you get to know the culture of the place you are traveling in, be it the Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai in Sindh or the Valley of Kalash in Northern Areas of Pakistan, you will be more comfortable with the sorroundings. You should learn about their culture. Learn few phrases of their language. Know about their dress and try not to wear the cloths which might happen to be offensive for them.
When it comes to culture, it means their values and traditions. Ask for the permission before taking photograph of people, especially the women and the senior citizens. If they do not allow, DO NOT take the picture. It's easy to take the picture and run away but that will then be unprofessional and you will not be able to make a long term relationship. I usually dress up in Shalwar Kameez during my travels to the interior sides of Pakistan especially in North West Frontier Province. It feels good and comfortable.
2. Communication is the key.
Since you have learnt few phrases from the language, it shows that you are actually a part of their family. Talk to them. Do not take picture at once. Hang around. Visit Bazaars. Visit the market, have few conversations with the locals. Introduce yourself. And Shoot next day. They will now know who actually is wandering around. I stayed in Kalash Valley in May 2009, and learnt phrases from the Kalasha Language. I used to greet them every day with "Ishpata" which is a greeting in their language. They loved me taking photographs. I didn't shoot at the very first day. I talked to them and visited their houses. And then shot whole next 2 days. It's all about taking your subjects as a Family.
3. Be rough:
When it comes to traveling, forget all your luxuries. Pack up with your equipments, water bottle, clothing, pair of shoes and a nice book to read because that's what I do during my travels. Remember, traveling is when you buy a one way ticket to a place you have never been to, rest is all unplanned. Go on, take the initiative. Take you camera out and shoot the people, the environment and everything.
So Taking photos while traveling is easy if you understand the culture, communicate with the people and motivate yourself in rough travels.

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