New and Better Smart Phone and Tablet Apps for Travel Photographers – An Update

Brand new and better apps for photographers are being released every day. Here are some of the new ones which will make your travel images better.  In fact some of these news apps add important camera features previously available only on higher end cameras to your newer smartphones or tablets. Be sure to update your device’s operating system or getting a newer device as some of these news apps need the latest and greatest. These new apps are so good that you might reconsider a new smart device purchase instead of getting a new or camera upgrade. (Wow, I though I would never say this!). The convenience of a smart phone in your pocket while travelling beats the clunking cameras and heavy camera bags and back breaking back packs. The quality of the bigger lenses in cameras is much higher than the tiny lenses in smart devices but watch for new technology solutions to narrow the lens quality gap between the two.

Superior Camera Apps for your Smart Devices

The camera app provided in iPhones, IPads and older Android devices is very limited.   Consider getting a newer Android device (which may have better camera apps) or using these third party apps to give more photography controls similar to traditional digital cameras. Search your app store on your device (on Android devices it’s called Play Store; on Apple devices it’s called App Store)  to find the apps mentioned in this post.

  • The $3.39 “Manual” App by Little Pixels gives high end camera functionality for your iPhone 5 and up, iPad or iPad touch..  This includes Control of shutter speed, ISO, White Balance and amazingly  exposure compensation as well.  You need to update your IOS operating system and search the app store under iPhone apps.
  • 640 Pro Mk III is a new app for iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch. You have instant access to everything that can be controlled on an iOS camera: e.g. manual exposure control,  Shutter Priority, ISO Priority, spot or matrix metering.  ±3 Exposure Value (EV) compensation and other features.
  • The Camera FV-5 for  Android devices costs $3.90 and provides many higher end camera features such as exposure compensation, ISO, light metering mode, focus mode, white balance, program mode, Exposure bracketing and the option to shoot Raw files (as DNG format).  These are ground breaking features for a smart phone with one app. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a new camera when you can spend just $4? Perhaps poorer cell phone/tablet lens quality and image resolution/size is a factor?

Here are 2 apps for Apple devices and 1 app for Android devices:

for Apple devices only

for Apple devices only

for Android devices only

Other New Apps to make your device’s camera act like a good one

  • Cogitap Software has released a series of individual $1.99 apps for the iPhone and iPad each of which gives a highly creative tool for capturing amazing travel photography just like a sophisticated camera does. The tools include slow shutter cam, burst mode-high speed and night modes; and for the iPhone only an HDR Fusion and Bracket Mode apps. To access these apps open iTunes and search for them by name or Cogitap.
New apps from Cogitap Software

New apps from Cogitap Software

The Cogitap Night Modes app slows down your shutter speed and increases the ISO (sensor sensitivity to light as shown in the following screen shots. Be sure to rest your device on a firm surface for a sharp image.

Night Modes App by Cogitap

Night Modes App by Cogitap

TheCogitap  Slow Shutter Cam app gives you slow shutter speeds for highly creative effects.

Slow Shutter Can app by Cogitap

Slow Shutter Can app by Cogitap

Picsart

  • A highly rated photo editing app
  • create collages, write on a photo
  • High end portrait processing (eg. glamor style)
  • free

One of our favorite photographers is Luana Oliveri a destinations services manager with Oceania Cruise Lines. She does incredibly amazing self portraits with her smart phone and gives them a glamor boost using the Picarts app. Check out her Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lulu.oliveri where she regularly posts here artistic jaw dropping portrait images as she travels the world. Thanks Luana for giving us permission to mention your body of work and Facebook link. You rock! Here is a sample of one of her beautiful self-portraits using Picsart:

Luana Oliveri cell phone self portrait using the Picsart app

Luana Oliveri beautiful cell phone self portrait using the Picsart app

picsart

Here are some other photography apps that have been around some time and are still worth considering.

snapseed

Snapseed – for all devices, a Google company

  • Single tap Auto Correct
  • Tweak your photo with Tune Image
  • enhance specific objects in your photos
  • filters: Drama, Vintage, Grunge, & Tilt-Shift
  • Add Image Borders
  • Easy online sharing tools.

 

snapseed

Instagram

  • A top photography app: Respected smartphone photographers would not be shooting every day if not for Instagram’s vibrant and supportive community, and having a place to share everything they shoot.
  • It continues to change the world’s relationship with photography.  Comment feedback and likes are immediate.

adobephotoshopexpress

360panorama

geotag

fotor

Fotor

  • For tablets either Mac or Pc
  • produce collages
  • cool filters
  • Free

AfterLight

Afterlight

  • Include high-quality presets by well-known smartphone photographers
  • Frames
  • Textures
  • a “clarify” tool for equalizing an image’s exposure
  • editing tools with precise controls

procamera

ProCamera

  • A great camera replacement app @ $2.99

tapestryforandroid

Tapestry 

  • All hardware but Windows phone

dslrremote

DSLR Remote Control App

  • from OnOne Software
  • To fire some Nikon/Canon SLR’s remotely from iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad

gps4cam

Don’t have GPS on your Camera?

  • Use the Android/Iphone app: GPS4CAM fFor geotagging without a camera GPS
  • Lite/Free or Pro/$4  www.gps4cam.com

moviepro


 

If our readers use and recommend apps suitable for travel photographers please include the app details in the comments section below so others can share and use your joy! If you enjoyed this post please share it on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your other social networks.

About the Authors. David and Anna Smith are World travel & fine art photographers, Bloggers, workshop leaders, key note speakers and cruise ship guest lecturers, Their world image archive: Interface Images, fine art gallery: Celebrate the World, on line photo courses  and Blog: Images-Connecting the World.  

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Easy Photo Transfer to Fabric Techniques – A great way to share your travel images

Consider sharing your travel images on fabrics. Anna Smith conducts photo transfer to fabric  workshops and highly recommends this high quality technique. If done properly, the images transferred on the fabric is nearly identical in color and clarity as the original photograph. The technique described simply transfer the photo copy dye from a photocopy of the original photo onto fabric so the original photo is not used in the process. Other photo transfer techniques are mentioned as well.

Anna Smith holds a photo transferred quilt block

HOW TO START:

  • Choose Photographs or Crayon Artwork or any Image that has a clear and high colour contrast.
  • Crop off any unwanted portions.  Keep at least ¼” border around image if sewing project.
  • Arrange on a sheet of white paper (you can get up to 4 on a 8-1/2 x 11” sheet)
  • Reproduce photos either colour or black & white laser copied – Mirror Image/Reversed onto colour quality paper. The staff at Staples and other office supply stores will help you with this

Beads on a world map photo transferred on to cotton in a quilt

Use “Picture This” Opaque Transfer Medium  Available at Michaels or other craft stores or order online at www.plaidonline.com

Use “Picture This” Opaque Transfer Medium

  • Fabric should be smooth fine surface – prewash to remove sizing, press flat.  I find white Pima or Kona cotton or cream muslin works best or artist canvas.
  • Using a sponge applicator brush transfer medium over copied photo about the thickness of a dime (1/16”)  Brush in both directions and make sure all areas are covered.  Lay photo on wax paper to do this and lift it up at corners being careful not to get fingerprints or hair on your work.
  • Place face down on fabric and apply some pressure to ease out any wrinkles can use a roller or your fingers.  Wipe up excess glue off fabric.
  • Let dry 24 – 48 hours.  Then immerse in tepid water and use a wet sponge or your finger to start rubbing off the back paper, continue to do this step until you get a clear image.
  • Now you have your photos ready to put into your project.  NEVER IRON YOUR PHOTO TRANSFER IMAGE also hang to dry.

  OTHER PHOTO TRANSFER OPTIONS

  • Picture This – Glue Transfer Method as described in this Blog post
  • Photo Transfer Paper – Pressed onto Fabric
  • Photo Transfer Colorfast Fabric Sheets
  • Bubble Jet and Bubble Jet Rinse to use with your printer.
    • This process is done by treating fabric with the Bubble Jet product.  Put in a small container and completely soak fabric.  Rinse (not hard wringing) and put the remaining mixture back into bottle to use again.
    • Hang this piece to dry and then press.
    • You can roll this fabric up and store in a Ziploc bag.
    • Transfer photos onto fabric using printer.
    • Fabric pressed to freezer paper or label paper
    • After image transferred onto fabric have to immerse in Bubble Jet Rinse to affix and set colour so it doesn’t wash out. Do not put in dryer and Press with a dry iron.

Photo transfers in a family memory quilt

PROJECT IDEAS

  • Labels
  • Quilt Blocks, Log Cabin/Star Block
  • Wall hangings, Quilts, Pillows
  • Picture Books, Bags
  • T-Shirts, Aprons, Place mats, Potholders
  • Bookcovers, Journals, Albums
  • Gift Ideas, Coasters, Lamp Shades

For more visit these web sites:

www.plaidonline.com

www.technicaldata/transimg.php/cs/techniques/a/transfer.htm

www.zeitgeist.com/acrylicgeltransfers.htm

Author Background  – Anna Smith

Color and fiber have influenced Anna since her toddler years.  Anna has enjoyed a life long passion with fabric, fiber and color that has lead to her all time joy of combining color and textured art designs.  Drawing from her worldly travels, photography and found objects Anna has added both richness and eclectic interest to her vibrant artworks. Anna resides in Kamloops,  BC and has instructed fabric arts, quilting and photo transfer classes at art galleries and quilting guilds. She has served on the Executive on several BC Quilting Guilds. As a frequent world traveler, it is her mission to search out new textiles and innovative fabric art techniques to complement her overflowing fabric and embellishment library.

Anna has a passion for color and creating new designs from world fabrics gathered in her travels. She constantly researches and records her discoveries whether it be in the jungles of South America, markets of South East Asia, deserts of Africa or the galleries of Europe. She has lectured on exotic fabrics of the World on cruise ships in 6 continents and continues to teach fabric arts and share her passion when she is at home. Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally in art galleries, offices, stores and museums.

Contact Anna Smith: cell 778-879-4955 annasmith9@shaw.ca     www.interfaceimages.com

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Travel Photography Tip – Border Patrol

Where you point your camera can make or break a travel image.

Cutting an ankle, trimming words on a sign or letting a tree branch come out of someone’s head ruins an image so conduct a “Border Patrol” before you press the shutter. When travelling your vacation brain doesn’t see the bus in the background, the litter in front of your subject or wires piercing through a head while your camera’s brain records it all. Quickly check your image edges in your viewfinder or LCD screen and move yourself forward, back, left or right, wait for people or vehicles to get our of the way, zoom your lens in or out to avoid cutting an an ankle, wrist or knee (your image viewers feel the pain!) and your travel images will be significantly improved. Sometimes there is no time for border patrol so just take the shot.

Border Patrol before shooting!

No Border Patrol = Bad Image!

 

Border Patrol was done on this image. Click for fine art print

Step back: Border Patrol was done on this image. Click for larger version

Fixing Bad Images by Cropping

Some photo opportunities require a quick grab shot without any time for “border patrol”. While photographing in a fresh market at the UNESCO site of old Antigua, Guatemala I spotted several Mayan fruit sellers chatting and strolling towards me about 50 feet away so I quickly shot off one frame with my zoom lens at 200 mm. Suddenly they turned right down a lane and were gone forever. With no time for border patrol I had cut off their ankles and created a half person on the left. Fortunately I had a solution to the lack of
border patrol – simply crop the image! All photography software has a cropping capability and it can be used for quick fixes. The resultant cropped image was such a huge success it was actually picked as an editor’s choice in Canon’s European professional network (CPN) competition a few years ago and published in Geo Saison (Germany) magazine. Here is the before and after versions:

both Antigua

Image on the right is cropped. Click to view.

 

Use the Clone Stamp Tool to Fix

Watch for tree branches!

Oops! Watch for tree branches!

 

A few months ago while on a travel photography guest lecturing assignment on Oceania’s cruise ship Insignia Around the World voyage we visited the Portuguese island of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) off the coast of Africa where I captured a panoramic scene of Mindelo  and the beautiful coastline of of São Vicente island from a mountain top. The last frame of the multiple image series included a photographer (hi Ryan!)  capturing the same scene but I did not notice the tree branch coming out of his head (well, I was on the cliff’s edge with no fence and was more more worried about falling off the cliff than taking the time for border patrol). The easy solution was to use the clone stamp tool to remove the branch and incorporate the edited image in the final panorama as shown below.

Cape Verde Panorama. Available as a fine art print

Cape Verde Panorama. Available as a fine art print

Simple Objects Can Change the Viewer’s perception of a Scene

Sometimes the presence of a simple object will change the viewer’s perception of what an image is about. While visiting the tiny Akato Viepe village of  in Togo (on the west coast of Africa, in the Ako River valley) and during an amazing welcome ceremony by the Village Chief (actually a King), his royal family and the villagers (this colorful event will be the subject of an upcoming post) I came across what appeared to be a father and daughter leaning against a mud wall and wearing beautiful and colorful African fabrics. Having asked permission (see prior Blog post on How to Photograph People you do not know) I photographed the both of them and then a close-up of the young daughter. To get a good composition of the two I had to include an unusual object at the same wall- an empty gin bottle! I photo journalist would likely be fired for removing the gin bottle while a fine art photographer would likely remove it for aesthetic reason. Here are both versions of the scene and each conveys a totally different message – what would you do? Please comment below. The gin bottle can be easily removed in a few seconds with the often used clone stamp tool.

Compare the Two Images: With or without Gin Bottle? Click on Image for my Choice

Compare the Two Images: With or without Gin Bottle? Click on the image for my Choice

Border Patrol – Summary

Remember that image edges breath – don’t cut them. How do subjects interact with their environment and how to objects (buses, gin bottles, wires, tree trunks) interact with the subjects? Do a border patrol – simply move a bit, wait, zoom in or out and simple cloning or cropping edits can make your bad travel images sing! Border patrol is a must for every travel photographer.

About the Authors. David and Anna Smith are World travel & fine art photographers, Bloggers, photography and fabric arts workshop leaders, key note speakers and cruise ship guest lecturers, Their world image archive: Interface Images and Celebrate the World fine art gallery.  David has just published a brand new series of online travel and general photography courses, visit their blog Travel Photography Tips & Adventures for more. Please share our Blog posts on your social networks. 

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Travel Photography Tip -Taking Photos of People You Don’t Know

© 2011, David/Anna Smith. For copyright permissons

 

Glamour, Dress, Vertical, Looking At Camera, Outdoors, 2024 Years, 2530 Years, Ethnic, Cheerful, Indonesia, Asian Ethnicity, Standing, Sitting, Smiling, Holding, Traditional Culture, Day, Bali, Padang Bai, Cruise ship. destination, travel, Traditional Clothing, Mid Adult, 20s, 30s, Color Image, Ornate, Three People, Women, Young Women, Portrait, Photography, Adults Only, inba011 Close-up portraits of young Bali women wearing traditonal costumes at Padang Bai, Bali, Indonesia, Asia

Local people add color and excitement to travel pictures so photograph them…an intimidating idea to many of us. Flowers, animals and mountain lakes don’t talk back to you but it is people who make the world colorful, friendly and more interesting (IMHO).  Be aware that different cultures react differently to foreigners and photographers.  Don’t violate cultural or religious taboos on photo taking – research this before you arrive.

To start: Experiment with people you know, Use telephoto lenses. Try children first ….they are much easier with few hang-ups. On Location:  Relax, study your site for interesting subjects, get people to be used to you and that you are a photographer with a camera and using it!  When you arrive at a scene for the first time  you are like a rock in a still pond causing huge  ripples everywhere.  If you have the time, hang out, relax, sip a latte, let the “ripples” subside and others will soon get used to you.

Shoot around your subject, then move closer & SMILE.  Engage in friendly conversation “I love your hat” “you have a beautiful village”  “Can you help me find —?”  Learn a few words of the local language, people always appreciate your efforts. After establishing any type of relationship with your subject ask “may I take your picture?” or if there is no common language, point to your camera then your subject with  a “may I?” gesture.  If there is a negative response – move on, there are billions of people in the world left to photograph.   The first poses are often stilted or unnatural – get your subject to hold and show you something or interact with others and plan on taking several shots to get a good one.  Come back later and try again, the second time your subject will be more natural and relaxed.

Don’t feel obligated to tip unless your really want. Bring home town pins, flags, mementos to hand out. In high traffic tourist locales tips can attract amazing subjects dressed in local costumes for better images. Some of your subjects rely on tips for their livelihood so carry lots of small bills to hand out, particularly in high traffic popular sites.

In a photo rich setting, watch and prepare for candid shots and practice your camera technique at home to be ready for that once in a life time opportunity, like this one of women fruit sellers in Antigua, Guatamala. David had 2 seconds to grab 2 shots before they turned down a lane.

 

Closeup. portrait, ethnic, Viet Nam, Viet Namese, Asian, Asia, Da Nang, Hoi An, village, historic, looking at camera, old, man, 70 to 80 years, 80 to 90 years, ancient, rotten, teeth, no teeth, toothless, straw, hat, wearing, smiling, backlight, tooth, toothy smile, blind, backlit, back light, water, boat, canoe, fishermna, fishing, fisher, posing, staring, People, Contemplation, Dress, Hat, Outdoors, War, Vietnam, Traditional Culture, Day, Hue, Traditional Clothing, One Person, Vietnamese Culture, Adult, Young Adult, Color Image, South Vietnam, Old man, Photography, Vietnamese Ethnicity, David Smith, Interface Images, Close-up of a Vietnamese man wearing a straw hat in a fishing boat in Hoi An village, Viet Nam

Close-up of a Vietnamese man wearing a straw hat in a fishing boat in Hoi An village, Viet Nam

A few tricks:

  • Let children pose themselves – they’re natural; Say “Touch heads” and you will always get a smile and a laugh.  Want a friend for life? – exchange contact info, send/email photos.
  • Using a digital Camera? The BIGGEST icebreaker by far is to show them the picture you took.  Everybody likes to look at themselves. Capture yourselves with your new friends by using Dave’s Smile Circle ä effect, a technique which will be explored in detail in a future post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

teenage, girl, young, model, beautiful, attractive, Karen, hill, tribe, Chiang Rai, Thailand, brass, neck, long, ring, neck, longneck, village, villagers, ancient, historic, medical abnormality, ethnic, portrait, tribal, custom, smile, smiling, photographers, adventure, travel, outdoors, Asia, Asian, culture, Thai, ethnicity, culture, David Smith, Interface Images, Teenage girl in the Long Neck village of the Karen hill tribe near Chiang Rai, northern Thailand

Teenage girl in the Long Neck village of the Karen hill tribe near Chiang Rai, northern Thailand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No need to travel afar, watch for local festivals and special events.  When people get dressed up for parades and cultural festivals, they are really saying “take my picture”  Don’t get there just for the parade – get there for setting up and post parade interaction. If you are on a tour be sure to photograph your traveling companions doing things, your tour guide and any local hosts or entertainment events.

gay, pride, pryde, parade, Vancouver, rights, festival, lesbian, bisexual, homsexual, public, nudity, celebration, event, day, editorial, procession, gay rights, movement, transvestite, out of the closet, David Smith, Interface Images, Image by Interface, gayp019 Participants in the annual Gay Pride Parade in Vancouver, BC, Canada on August 5, 2007

Participants in the annual Gay Pride Parade in Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember -A memorable portrait is really a moment in time between a photographer and a subject and is an effective  tool to get to know, experience & appreciate people around the world.

Please share some of your favorite photos and stories of people you didn’t know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fun Travel Photography Tip – Group Photos of People You Meet

 

Group, portrait, teenage, Turkish, Muslim, girls, young, dressed. local, Amazon, smiling, happy, fun, 16 to 18 years, 18 to 20 years, youth, exuberant, excited, dancing, travel, tourism, local, culture, ethnic, portrait, costume, Photographers and Travel Writers, David, Anna Smith, Interface Images, demonstration, photo, Interface Images, Blog, www.interfaceimages.com. Sinop, Turkey, Amazon, Girls, Sinop, Turkey, 010 Group portrait of teenage Turkish girls dressed in local Amazon costume in a circle while looking down on the camera. Photographers and Travel Writers David and Anna Smith of Interface Images are in the top right hand corner of the image. A demonstration photo of David
Group portrait of teenage Turkish girls dressed in local Amazon costume in a circle while looking down on the camera. Photographers and Travel Writers David and Anna Smith of Interface Images are in the top right hand corner of the image. Location is Sinop, Turkey

Cool Photographer Tip – Dave’s ‘Smile Circle Group’

As a former Vancouver BC based wedding photographer, I created a fun and creative photo technique to capture the bridal party. It became my signature wedding image for all my weddings. I would lie on the dance floor with my camera pointed up, flash on and make sure all of the bridal party were positioned above me looking down and smiling while touching heads. Here are a few examples from my wedding shoots. :

 

 

 

 

 

Well I modified this technique to be used in our travel photography adventures so BOTH the photographer and the subjects can be in the shot. This works with BOTH Point and Shoot and SLR cameras and works indoors or outdoors. You can capture up to 10 people with this technique (depends on the camera lens and zoom out setting). Here’s how it’s done.

  1. Set the camera timer to about a 10 second duration. Look for the clock/timer symbol.
  2. Force the flash on to lighten up the faces with the typical strong back lighting from the sky or overhead lights. Look for the lightning bolt symbol or pull up the popup flash (or use an external dedicated strobe flash set at ETL/ATL).
  3. Set the cameras focus method to multiple point or face detection. If left on the default center spot focus setting the camera will not focus on the faces but on the sky or background
  4. Set the lens to the maximum wide angle possible to fit all people in the shot
  5. Remove the lens hood, if any, as the wide angle lens setting will cause a shadow in the lower half of the image created by the light of the popup flash hitting the lens hood
  6. Turn off image stabilization (don’t forget to turn it on afterwards!) to avoid blurring the image when the camera is stable on the ground
  7. Place the camera on the floor/ground pointing up.
  8. Ask your subjects to gather round the camera facing down so their heads form a ring of faces over the camera. Ask them to touch heads. This always invokes laughter and merriment.
  9. Press the shutter button, and if you want to be in the photo yourself, join the ring and encourage the group to smile, laugh, making funny faces, etc. Remember the timer is set to 8 or 10 seconds, don’t have people laugh/giggle until just before the shutter goes.

Notes: By placing the camera on the floor/ground you have an opportunity to get more people in the shot as it us further away from the subjects versus holding the camera while you lie down. 10 seconds later you will have created a memorable photograph. Take several shots to select a best one

Send us your best shots by email using this technique. The best ones will be featured in our next Images newsletter and ALL entries will awarded complimentary access  to both  David’s online Udemy Travel Photography courses

Travel Photography – Amazing Tips and Techniques or Easy Photography Tips for Cruise Ships and Ports

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© 2014 David Smith www.interfaceimages.com. All rights reserved. Licenses for image use and content publication are available. Please share this post and links.

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A Photo and Video Story – A Tiny Village in Togo

Collage of a visit to Akato Village in Togo

Collage of a visit to Akato Village in Togo. Click for prints

 

We recently visited the tiny village of Akato Viepe in the Aka Valley in Togo in west Africa. This village is about an hours drive from the main port of Lomé,  As a youth I collected stamps from all over the World, not realizing that I would actually be visiting most of those locations during my life time. Togo on the west coast of Africa is one of those countries.

From my 1960’s era stamp collection:

Togolese Natives Cooking

Togo Stamp:Togolese Natives Cooking circa 1960s

Celebrating the Young Olympics LA 1960

Togo Stamp: Celebrating the Young Olympics LA 1960

 

Anna and I were both escorting Oceania Cruise Lines shore excursions tours to this village. Instead of waiting on the benches with guests and before the start of the official ceremonies, I decided to wander the village with my usual serendipitous style with my camera and I was rewarded handsomely.  At the back of the village were several rustic huts with no one around (they were all at the ceremony in the village center) except for a very proud looking woman leaning against her front door. As always I approached her and asked permission to take her photo.I covered the subject of how to photograph people you don’t know in a previous post.  Without answering she whispered in broken English voice “come inside I have babies!” and she held my arm and we both went into her modest hut.  With a sweep of her hand she parted the mosquito netting and laid bare very tiny sleeping twins obviously born just a few days ago. With natural light flowing in from the open door I quickly grabbed two shots, mom with her twins and a closeup of the sleeping beauties. We both tiptoed back to the front door where I captured a simple portrait of this beautiful mother. She wanted nothing in return but I gave her some bills anyway “for her babies”. We smiled at each other while I said ” bella bambinos and thank you” as I shamefully did not know a word of her local ewe language but she knew what I meant. Striking a photo op gold medal I hadn’t even seen the ceremonies awaiting me as I strolled back to the village square with a joyful tear in my eye and the distinct feeling that I must be the luckiest photographer alive.

A Togolese mother with her twin babies

A Togolese mother with her twin babies

:

 

Enjoy the excited school children, colorful ethnic costumed villagers and a royal welcome ceremony with the village chief, his royal family and and west African drummers in this colorful 4 minute video:

 

Simple Objects Can Change the Viewer’s perception of a Scene

Sometimes the presence of a simple object will change the viewer’s perception of what an image is about. While visiting this village and during an amazing welcome ceremony by the Village Chief (actually a King), his royal family and the villagers  I came across what appeared to be a father and daughter leaning against a mud wall and wearing beautiful and colorful African fabrics. Having asked permission (see prior Blog post on How to Photograph People you do not know) I photographed the both of them and then a close-up of the young daughter. To get a good composition of the two I had to include an unusual object at the same wall- an empty gin bottle! I photo journalist would likely be fired for removing the gin bottle while a fine art photographer would likely remove it for aesthetic reason. Here are both versions of the scene and each conveys a totally different message – what would you do? Please comment below. The gin bottle can be easily removed in a few seconds with the often used clone stamp tool. I used some of the photographs from this village visit in my last post on Travel Photography Tip – Border Patrol and the section with those images is repeated below,

Compare the Two Images: With or without Gin Bottle? Click on Image for my Choice

Compare the two Images: With or without Gin Bottle? What would you choose? Click on the image for my choice

This is one of my favorite portraits. This image shows how the colors of the young girl’s fabric wrap dress match the colors of the earth in the mud wall exactly. The vivid blue in her wrap compliments the dominant orange-brown tones of this scene  and her beautiful white eyes shine like a beacon towards the viewer against her smooth silky dark face.  Do you get the sense that I love this image?

We also visited the local school where the children went ballistic with excitement as very few visitors come to their school. If you every get depressed just hang out with these wonderful kids, you will be uplifted forever. Watch the video in this post to see what I mean.  This was our second visit to this village and we hope to return soon.

Young girl in Akoto Village, Togo

Young girl in Akoto Village, Togo  Available as a fine art print. Click to view.

 

About the Author. David Smith of Vancouver, BC is a World travel & fine art photographer and is published worldwide. As a Blogger, photography workshop leader, key note speaker and cruise ship guest lecturer, he and his wife Anna have visited over 120 countries on 6 continents. They just returned from assignments in Africa and South America and will be visiting the South Pacific, Mexico and Central America next. Their motto: Capturing the World one smiling face at a time!  

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