I’m not a good traveller when it comes to photography – which I suppose could be a problem for someone who mostly shoots landscape and seascapes.
I should probably clarify and say that I find taking landscape photos difficult when I’m on holiday. Perhaps if I was travelling for the express purpose of taking photographs it might be different, but fitting landscape photography in to a family holiday can be problematic.
My wife and I visited the Algarve recently and although I came back with a few photos that I was reasonably happy with, I didn’t fulfil the potential of the Algarve from a landscape perspective anything like as much as I could have.
First of all, there’s the equipment. My usual tripod wouldn’t fit in our suitcase so I ended up taking a lightweight travel tripod instead. It did the job reasonably well, but it wasn’t ideal with the Hasselblad and I found myself getting frustrated with it because it was different from the one I normally use. When you’re trying to set up quickly to catch fleeting changes of light, or dodging in between waves, grappling with unfamiliar equipment is a challenge. I’ve had the lightweight tripod a long time, it’s just that I don’t use it very often.
And then there is the time element. My wife is very patient with me, but when she is with me I still feel obliged not to take any more time over taking photos than I have to. When I’m on my own at home I can spend hours sometimes waiting for the right light, or the right state of tide; on holiday I don’t feel I can do that.
And of course there is the question of familiarity (or lack of it) with the area. At home I know the best locations to visit to get the best out of the light and state of the tide. In an unfamiliar area one can consult Google Maps and use tools such as the Photographers Ephemeris to help find suitable locations, but nothing beats an intimate knowledge of an area.
A few of the shots taken with the Hasselblad in the Algarve…
Hand held shooting, on the other hand, is much easier in the context of a holiday. I agonised long and hard about the cameras that I would take with me in addition to the Hasselblad and finally settled on the Olympus OM-4ti loaded with Agfa CT Precisa and an Olympus 35DC loaded with IlfordXP2. That combination worked perfectly.
Some shots with the OM-4ti…
And some shots with the 35DC…
Photographing the Algarve with the OM-4ti and 35DC was a joy but for ‘serious’ landscapes and seascapes I’m glad to be back on home turf again.