photos at dusk

Posted by susan on May 3rd, 2011. Filed under: getaways.

Taking great photos is something I have always struggled with. For me, it’s kind of like learning a new language. I tell myself that one day I’ll study those photography books that Mike has stacked so nicely into our bookshelf, ready for me to open and learn the art of the perfect photograph. One day I’ll sit down with my camera, take shot after shot and test out every single setting over and over again so that it suddenly becomes second nature to stand at the perfect distance, hold my camera at the perfect angle and have a steady enough hand to get the shot just right.

In the end, all of this takes discipline and patience.

Unfortunately, I have a sporadic sense of urgency that eliminates my patience as I encounter experiences that I do want to capture on film – ahem – digitally. And while I almost always have my camera on me, there are times that I don’t, and I am limited by the camera on my phone.

There’s also the issue of lighting and time of day, neither of which I have mastered. They are also elements that I can’t control. Photo-worthy moments don’t wait for the sun to slide precisely into the perfect part of the sky.

While in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, I found myself  racing the sunset and fumbling with the camera on my phone, just to capture the beautiful scenes around me.

transamerica building san francisco

china town san francisco

Not the same. But can you imagine how perfect it was?

The air was brisk, the sky was pink, shadows cascaded down buildings and traffic on the streets was thinning – it was in between the after work commute and just before dinner. There was a short break in the city’s routine and only a short time to capture it in its element.

What are your tips for taking great photos while you travel?

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