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October 2, 2012

Travel Photography | The Gesture

As I was gathering pictures for this post, I realized it’s been a little while since Ben and I have been anywhere… and I’m starting to get the itch.  And not just to get in the car and drive a few hours away, but to get on a plane and fly 8+ hours to another destination.  I have no idea when we’ll be able to do that again, but just in case someone out there in the interwebs would like to sponsor a trip, I wanted to let everyone know that we are able and willing to go.  All I have to do is get my name changed on my passport… :-/  Annnnd, that just moved to the top of my to-do list! :-)

So, while we’re dreaming of far-off lands and wonderful food and amazing sights, I wanted to point out “the gesture”.  I’d never thought of such a thing, nor trying to capture such a thing until my trip to Provence for the National Geographic workshop.  And if you think about it, it’s a fairly simple concept… although, it might sometimes require you to wait, to hang around and to watch.  The Gesture is just someone making a motion rather than just standing still or looking at or away from the camera.  It can be a gesture such as the exchange of money or even someone pointing towards something.  I know some people either don’t have the time (or the patience) for the wait this may need :-)  But… sometimes it’s worth it.  And think of the stories you might have!  Ok, none of mine are extremely exciting, but it’s still fun to speculate.

“The Gesture” can be seen in both of the images below.  However, it fits a little better in the one on the left because while that isn’t the part of the image that’s in focus, it’s more a part of what’s going on than the gesture on the right.

I don’t think I meant to capture the movement on the right (didn’t know how to control shutter speed at the time!), but it adds to the image and I like it!

We went to a “bull fight” in Arles (more of a dance since there was no actual fighting…) and while we were waiting to go in, we were just wandering and watching people.
I didn’t speak with these ladies, but they add to my collection of pictures from the event that day because you can tell they’re talking about it and figuring out where to go.

This was in the market in St. Rémy.  I’d spoken to this guy already so I was hanging out and trying not to drool over the cheese he was selling.
One of my favorite things about this image is that the lady has character!!  Her hair, especially with the wind blowing it a little bit, her clothing… and the lines around her eyes make me think she smiles a lot :-) Something the instructors pointed out with this image was that the white package being passed might not have shown up had that green car not driven by…
COMPLETELY didn’t think of that or see it when I took the picture, but thankful it happened!

And this one?  Oh my heavens.  I think that lady looked to her side just as she reached her money over the counter, but it totally MAKES this picture!
I was simply waiting for her to pay, but her glance is perfection!

The two images below are a little over-processed for my style these days, but I still love them.  I remember seeing these guys playing chess in the park and waiting for this gentleman to make his move. All I had was my 50mm lens at the time (the other one had broken after returning from my trip before this one!), so I was stretching myself with how I was shooting, but it worked because shooting more wide open makes him pop out of the image.

This one was in San Francisco at the Saturday market.  I was hanging around because of the colors of the veggies, but her yellow jacket and bag fit perfectly with the scene.

I’ll end with these two below because who doesn’t love a little Paris??  The gesture is only in the image on the left, but I wanted to share it because it’s like the one of the two ladies above…
she’s gesturing toward something, which helps you know what’s going on when you go back through your pictures after your trip.

Like I’ve said before, I’m not a professional travel photographer, but I love being able to share tips I’ve picked up and learned along the way.  And if this has helped at least one person, then that makes me happy!

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