Travel In The Age Of Digital Photography

Update: I’ve entered the realm of DSLR photography since writing this post.

Capturing perfect travel photographs has never been easier thanks to digital photography. My compact and inexpensive camera comes with me everywhere and has been clicked thousands of times in the past two months.

I love taking photographs… probably a bit too much.

Sometimes, I literally have to keep hold of my camera all of the time just in case I spot something to snap.

Capturing a cute moment in Victoria

And in Canada there has been a rich supply of eye candy.

It is unbelievable to think about the camera situation on my last long-term trip to Australia several years ago. Although it was not exactly the dark ages and many people had digital cameras, I stupidly opted for a cheap as dirt disposable camera.

In retrospect, I easily could have purchased a digi if my two travel buddies had chipped in on the cost.

This would have been the logical thing to have done.

My Australia photos were awful quality, poor composition and a terrible representation of all of the beautiful places visited. I recently had a go at scanning them, but the result was a blurred mess that was not worth publishing.

I remember the time when you had to wait a week to get your holiday photos developed, and there would often be a few that failed to turn out. On a plus however, it was exciting waiting to see what the pictures would look like. There was always that anticipation, which can be much more fun than instant satisfaction.

In contrast, nowadays you know exactly what you are getting.

With digital cameras, there is the luxury of being able to edit, delete and retake your photographs accordingly. Worrying about using too much film does not even come into the equation.

Despite this, I tend to take too many photographs of the same scene and wait until later on to go through them and pick out the best ones.

Jericho Beach: I always take several shots of the same scene at slightly different perspectives.

It would make more sense to just work on getting a couple of good ones, to prevent the memory card filling up too quickly, but I cannot help being snap happy.

I hate the thought of missing something and this can, funnily enough, make me concentrate too much on getting the best images, rather than taking it easy and actually enjoying my surroundings without that constant urge to grab the camera.

English Bay sunset: Having a digital camera allows you to be confident photographing in challenging conditions – like at night.

Digital photography not only allows more freedom whilst taking pictures, there is also room for improvement afterwards. With an abundance of software available, it is a doddle to improve and doctor images.

I do not like to change my photographs too much, but always press the auto-correct button to sharpen them up, brighten the colours and crop to improve the composition and angle.

Here is an example of what I did to a photograph taken at Jericho Beach in Vancouver

Before:

 After:

I adore my Canon PowerShot, but hopefully one day I’ll able to afford a DSLR in order to take my photography to the next level.

What are your thoughts on digital photography? Do you take a lot of photographs on your travels?

 

9 Comments

  1. July 4, 2012 / 17:16

    When I did my RTW trip (almost ten years ago now) my friend and I both had film cameras and alternated taking them out so we didn’t have loads of duplicate photos – and in case they broke or got lost (two broken and one stolen in 16 months!). We used to get them developed and send a copy back home each and kept the negatives with us. I was so paranoid about losing them! I want to get a negative scanner so I can scan some of them, but as you say not sure about the quality.
    I had a couple of compact digital cameras after that and took the plunge and got a DSLR a couple of years ago and love it. Though I still carry a compact just in case as it’s heavy to lug around all the time. I still only take a couple of each shot though – partly as a hangup from the old film days and partly as I’m too lazy to go though and edit 1000 photos from a week-long trip!
    Lucy recently posted..In pictures: The turquoise waters of Lake TekapoMy Profile

  2. July 5, 2012 / 00:08

    I had someone tell me that it is common for people to concentrate on taking the perfect shot or too many photos of their trip away that they don’t actually enjoy the trip until they go home and look through all their photos. I keep this in mind. I also only went digital a couple of years back so still only take a couple of shots out of habit from my film days. I do try and enjoy where i am and what i’m doing and will take a few pics just for myself, and sometime for evidence :)
    Michelle Blake recently posted..By Request: My WWOOFing experiences in the UKMy Profile

    • July 6, 2012 / 02:45

      I’m not that bad, it’s just occasionally I go overboard. I seem to have calmed down a bit as been travelling for a while now and currently in a place I’ve visited earlier in my trip.

  3. July 7, 2012 / 22:42

    I once had over 700 pictures from a 3 days trip to a city in India, I love taking pictures and I use a Canon A2200…I usually do not appear in most of my pictures but I love capturing every moment.
    ‘Lara recently posted..Dear IndiaMy Profile

    • July 10, 2012 / 20:20

      I bet your India photos are wonderful – all those beautiful colours! I agree, it’s nice capturing every moment :-)

  4. July 20, 2012 / 14:06

    I love taking pictures too especially when traveling. I even hesitate sometimes because I might be overdoing it already.lol But I just don’t care much about it. There’s no limit in “films” unlike before so we can always delete the unnecessary ones. :D

    • July 23, 2012 / 03:37

      You sound like me ha ha! You’re right, there’s no point worrying and indulging in lots of photo-taking can be loads of fun :-)

  5. Ellie
    October 11, 2012 / 12:24

    I’m just going through this debate in my head now. After averaging around 300 a day for a 90 day trip the painful task of culling and editing has begun! I love taking photos and will often shoot the same scene multiple times with slightly different settings, leaving it until now to pick the best shots. I’m also a fan of using continuous shooting modes for any breathing or moving subject. The slightest change in facial expression of both human and animal can be captured this way sensational results especially at sporting and live music events.
    I have been cursing myself recently for my snap happy ways due to the sheer time consuming and rather frustratingly boring task it can be merely waiting for the next image to load but all the same I’m getting a chance to relive so much of my trip and I can recognise how many more great shots I’ve gotten overall with this method. Admittedly my travel companions seemed to tire of my need to tire of my need for a couple more shots and my nightly backing up rituals (SO VERY VERY IMPORTANT!!!) but it didn’t overly affect our efficiency as much as a slack waitress!!! I’m glad I gave as much consideration as I did to lighting and angles etc at the time. I don’t believe it detracted from my trip enjoyment but rather has added to my post trip enjoyment by marvelling at some fantastic artistic shots that I never thought I was capable of achieving. :-)
    Happy snapping travellers!

    • October 15, 2012 / 20:10

      Hi Ellie, it sounds like you really enjoy the whole photography process, despite the time it takes to organize them. I agree with you that it’s worth the work to get the desired result as this is such a great way to preserve memories of a trip.