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Here’s a quick tip to add a new dimension to your travel photography.
Last time we took an overseas trip (we travelled mainly through Turkey) I set myself the task of photographing the ‘little things’ that we saw along the way.
My hope was that in photographing ordinary, everyday aspects of the countries that we were travelling through that I’d capture the essence of the country.
One thing that I was drawn to photograph as we travelled was signs.
Of course I didn’t exclusively photograph signs – I took all the normal shots of people and sites along the way – but signs were a definite theme and ended up being a feature of the album of photos I showed friends and family on my return.
I photographed Street Signs, Shop Signs, Advertising Billboards, Town Signs and more.
Why do I like signs as a subject? A number of reasons come to mind. Here’s a few:
How to Photograph Signs
Photographing Signs is perhaps not the most technical subject to write about as they’re not particularly difficult to capture.
I’m not sure that there are any rules to follow as such but would suggest mixing up the framing of your shots. Sometimes it’s appropriate to zoom right in on the sign and let it speak for itself but quite often signs can be shot within their context quite effectively as their surrounds significantly alter what the image communicates.
If you’re shooting them within their context make sure you’re close enough to see the detail on them and consider using a smaller aperture in order to increase your depth of field so that both the sign and background/foreground are also in focus.
PS: if many modern signs have a reflective quality about them which really light up when you use a flash. This can both enhance your sign photo or kill it depending just how they react to it. Test both with and without the flash to see what impact it might have.