The human touch - how to capture people for better travel images (Part two)
This is part two of our two part feature on capturing better travel images. You can find part one here.
Patterns with People
Another method for photographing people in a scene is to find or make patterns with the people. A great way to make patterns is to photograph them from above, as in a bird’s eye view perspective.
In this case, you need to be on a bridge, balcony, table or another structure with height. From a high angle, you can look down to photograph patterns made by people sitting or moving below, and choose how to frame the photo by zooming in or carefully composing so a pattern is evident.
Lines, symmetrical arrangements and filling of the frame with repetition are all good pattern ideas to look for or to create with locals who are happy to be your photographic subjects.
It’s a great chance to be creative, which to me is an important part of photography, and since the results can be very aesthetically pleasing, it’s always wise to be thinking about featuring patterns in your photography. People are a good subject for this.
Layering People Throughout a Scene
Photographing people in a wide scene can be taken to an even more advanced level, which is to layer multiple people throughout a scene, occupying potentially foreground, middle ground and background.
Just two of these layers is usually challenging enough to figure out, and it requires visualising the overall image in your mind first, which is a very creative approach to photography.
Occasionally, you may be lucky to capture a photo where people are occupying spaces at different depths, clearly to be seen, satisfying the figure to ground concept, doing something interesting and in a good position compositionally. But it’s not very often this will occur, which is why there is usually an element of directing and organising such a photo.
The results can be very satisfying, creating unique images consisting of much layer and depth. For most people, focusing on one person consumes all attention, so to be considering multiple people on different planes of the photo, requires foresight, patience and dedication.
In such a photo there’s usually one main focal point, and then more people to be discovered around the frame in compositionally pleasing areas, filling the space.
This is another idea to have in your mind when out and about photographing people in their environment, for the creating of impactful and emotive cultural landscape photos which tell a story. ❂
About the author: David Lazar is a travel photographer and musician from Brisbane who loves to capture moments of life, beauty and culture through his photography. See more of his work on Facebook, Instagram and his website.