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Travel Photography How-Tos: Capturing Color

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The world is your palate. As the photographer, you have a choice how you want to portray the world, what you want people to see about it, and what you want people to feel about it.

2012-05-23-SaltB.jpg

Salt carver at the San Antonio de Los Cobres salt beds, Argentina

When you enter the field (i.e. walk out the door with your camera in hand) set the intention to capture color. Look for natural brilliant hues. Pay attention to buildings in order to spot a vibrant background then set up a shot: wait for someone colorful to walk by and ask to use them as your subject. Setting an intention is the best way to stay focused and train the eye to see the world as art.

Even the most barren landscapes can be colorful. This picture, for example, I took in the salt beds in northern Argentina, a white wasteland in the middle of the desert. I spotted this salt carver wearing a blue shirt and invited him to pose in front of the blue car. Then, I crouched down and photographed him at an upward angle to capture the blue sky.

Tip: Are you taking a lot of photos that come out over exposed or with a gray/milky-looking quality? Consider purchasing a polarizing filter. Reasonably priced and easy to use, polarizing filters can be twisted onto the camera's lens in order to cancel out excess light in the same way sunglasses do for your eyes. It reduces reflection and darkens the sky.

Observe the work of your favorite photographers and notice how they capture color. Steve McCurry's India collection is a prime example.

To learn more, sign up for my New York City photo excursion, here.