Monthly Archives: August 2015

Seeking the artistic side of travel photos

Ernesto and I took an amazing two week trip in July of 2015; one week in Iceland and one week in Paris, France. I had never been to Iceland and, much to my surprise, I knew several friends and acquaintances who just happened to be going there this summer. I had always seen the lush green landscapes with waterfalls and majestic glaciers, but I took this opportunity to do all black and white photos. I strived for abstraction, texture and a more moody palette. I found that the Icelandic landscape seemed to change dramatically every 100 kilometers, going from old lava fields covered with spongy green, gray and black moss to hilly farmlands with herds of Icelandic horses, sheep and black cows, broad mountain ranges with waterfalls of all heights and sizes, to black sands and lava rocks butting up against glacial streams and foreboding glacial masses.

iceland-abstraction

gullfoss-iceland

textured-mountain-iceland

After a six-day “self-drive tour” of Iceland, we headed back to Reykjavik to prepare for the second leg of the trip to Paris, France. In a mere three hours on Iceland Air, we would be walking on the cobblestone streets of Paris. I took this on as a challenge; sticking to black and white film and trying to take “not so touristy” photos of Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Arch de Triumph and many of the key sights. I think I captured the spirit of the tourists and Parisians and included enough visual familiarity with the common monuments.

jardin-plant

tour-eiffel

tourist-phone

It’s a little tricky to “shoot from the hip” since some Parisians and select tourists don’t like to be photographed. I was using a Leica M8, which is still kind of noisy so I couldn’t go unnoticed. I often used the trick of focusing on the monument and, at the last minute moving the camera to my desired target and moving on with a confident stride. I made a point to tip the many street musicians after photographing them.

Cameras used on the trip: Leica M8, Leicaflex and, if this counts, the iPhone.

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