″A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” –Moslih Eddin Saadi
For me to feel that my travel dollars have been well spent I have to immerse myself in my destination. Only during brief lapses of desperation will I eat American fast food while abroad. I like to eat the local food and see as much as I can. Sometimes that involves dragging my jet lagged self off the hotel bed and into the street. Remember, coffee is your friend. I almost always have my camera with me. It can be a pain as it is a rather cumbersome and heavy DSLR, but I don’t mind. Having a camera with you not only allows you to capture moments and show your friends back home the sights you saw, it also makes you see more. This sounds odd but it’s something I noticed when I started carrying my camera with me everywhere when I was at home. Since I was striving to make compelling images from scenery that I saw every day I started seeing things that I never noticed before. There were monuments in my city that I had walked past everyday but never looked at. There were nooks and crannies that I had never explored. I started going to the top of parking garages just to look at my neighborhood from a fresh perspective. Having a camera makes you look more.
The next time you go on a trip, make it a point to bring your camera everywhere. Try taking pictures from up high or down low, even if it means a little climbing. Remember that 99% of people’s travel pictures are taken of the same sights from the same angle, try to switch it up. Take some close ups and not just of people. Capture the details. Make your images more compelling by composing them with something in the foreground, middle ground, and background. When you keep these things in mind you’ll be surprised by the things you begin to notice.
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