Ellicott’s Mills

f/4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 100

f/4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 100

This photo is from the same town as yesterday’s post.  I would be remiss to take all abstract photos on vacation, so here’s an attempt to capture a “landmark” (an old railroad station, in this case) while still paying attention to the composition of the image.  Any suggestions on how to balance the documentary perspective with the artistic?

f/11, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

f/11, 1/50 sec, ISO 100

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Details: Railing

f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO 100

In my years of using a point and shoot, approximately 95% of the photos I’ve taken are from travelling.  While my husband and I love to explore new places and try to take several trips each year, I’m also a little obsessive in trying to capture everything on film.  (Is it weird to still use that expression?  “On my memory card” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.)  A big draw of learning to use a DSLR is being able to take better photos so I’m not left with tons of regular old snapshots (sometimes the sheer quantity can override the sentimental value of some of them).  Sure, I’ve gotten some good ones over the years, but there really is a limit to what you can manage with a point and shoot.

I don’t want to be completely unprepared the next time I go somewhere, so I am trying to practice practice practice. Last week we visited a small historic town nearby that has a cute main street full of restaurants, antique stores, and the like.  Having been there several times before, I figured there would be plenty of picturesque places I could use to try out my shooting.  Well, turns out I never noticed all the eyesores until I was looking at it through a camera lens!  Nothing obscene, but there are electrical wires and phone lines and sign posts everywhere.  Ugh.  Way to ruin it for me, camera.  Anyway, no time like the present to learn how to depict a place without the obviousness of a landscape snap shot.  The photo above is of Main Street, but through a close-up of a railing on one side of the street.  I like how the railing provides some geometric interest, and the bits of peeling paint add some age to the image.  You can still see enough of the old buildings across the street to get a feel for what the town looks like, and best of all: no phone lines to be seen!