If you have a camera that uses interchangeable lenses and you have a wide zoom (in the range of 16-35mm or 17-40mm), you’re in for some real fun. When your subject is people – which, of course, is often the case when traveling – you’ll have fun engaging with them while snapping and laughing with them when showing them the pictures afterwards. There was considerable laughter when I showed the kindly ladies in a Peruvian marketplace the next photo. The hats these women wear are tall, but they aren’t that tall.


Also, note another too-common problem in the photo of the women with the hats – the pole coming out of the back of the smiling lady’s head. “Check your background” is a photographic principle. Something terrible behind what you’re concentrating on getting in focus can ruin what you’re busy shooting.


But there are a couple positive things at work here, in addition to the very best element – the human warmth of the engaging smile and the arm reaching out in my direction. There’s good color, and, while the lens has stretched the hat too much, the stretching at the bottom. The street stones and the nuts that appear to fall toward us lend a bit of visual drama.


But where am I? That is, what’s my position when I took the shot? That’s right, I’m crouched or kneeling (I can’t recall). The point is that I’m on the same level as the ladies. Most things we shoot look best when photographed on their own level, whether that’s someone sitting, or kids standing, or your dog on all fours. Even frogs look neater when eyeball to eyeball.


Please remember to stay healthy and keep everyone happy by asking permission before you photograph someone. If you don’t enjoy mixing it up with people, there’s always another landscape to be photographed, statues, or the wall of your hotel room. Wide-angle lenses are perfect for all.


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