Transcript for Episode 220: How to Capture the Best Vacation Photos

Categories: France How To, Photography


Jessica Hello. Welcome to join us in France. Hello. Anybody knows how I’m very excited to talk to you about photography? Because I love photography. I don’t know why I love it so much because it’s a bug I caught later in life. But it’s, it’s been a fun,

a fun thing for me. And I’ve noticed that your photos are just really interesting. So I want to know, how did you get to take such excellent photos while on vacation in France? Thank you. First of all, thank you for that. So I have always loved Well, for as long as I can remember. I’ve I’ve loved photography. And as I mentioned in a previous episode, I lived in France for a year back in university, and back then it was just film. Mm hmm. There were no did cameras yet. And so I remember coming home with, I think, after a year abroad, coming home with, I don’t know, close to 100 girls that

were developed. So it was this big, you know, excitement of getting back. Yeah,

it was amazing. And that’s sort of, then I caught you know, that was that was it for me trouble. And that was it. Yeah. So, and then I eventually got, you know, into digital. And so, I, I have a full time job working in communications, but I’m also a photographer and, and do a lot of family photography and documentary photography, that sort of thing. Cool. And so when I’m on vacation, I’m trying to avoid the stand in front of the Eiffel Tower. And let me get your picture.

And also my kids are at an age so my kids are a nine and six. And they’ve grown up with me taking pictures of them since they were, you know, infants. Yeah, they know they’re, they’re tired of posing, Ryan. So they just want to do their own thing. So a lot of my

challenge, I guess, is trying to get photos where they’re just doing what they’re doing. We’re all just doing what they’re doing.

And so they end up I think my photos end up being more just real life.

spontaneity. Yeah,

we get we do get the occasional, you know, lined up pose shot, but yeah, yeah.

Well, and also, the angle that you use is really interesting. Like, you know, you you’ll be low or high or you just see a corner of the interesting monument. Yes, but, you know, but not all of it. And it just makes it really into and your kids are doing something interesting in front of the monument. So, yes, so

I mean, that’s how I can get them to cooperate if we make it into a game. Or they could jump off something. Yeah, or climb on something. And, and then I can also get a picture at the same time, I think that makes for more interesting photo anyway, right? And, and then a lot of while we’re on vacation, a lot of what I’m doing is just watching to see what interests them. So you know, have a lot of pictures or a few pictures where they are peering up into the, the, you know, the glass case with the ice cream flavor. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Because that’s, that’s where you get these fresh, the interesting facial expressions and all that. Yeah, so yeah,

so it’s, for me, it was a bit hard for me to plan for this trip, to be honest, because I was so excited about taking pictures. But I also knew that not everyone would cooperate with my level of love for photography. Yes,

they do get sick of us after a while. Yeah.

And so there’s a few things I did to sort of prepare for that. One was to prepare for that mentally that I’m not, this isn’t a solo photo journey that I’m going on. This is a family vacation. And I’m not going to go out every day with, you know, three different cameras and three different lenses. And you know, that that actually was stressing me out just to think about even going out for a day with all that gear. Yeah. And,

and then also to just try because we were going for a nice length of time or trip was a little over two weeks that I didn’t need to capture every single moment of every single day. Right. And that sort of freed me up to be okay, with even leaving my camera at home sometimes and not bringing it or the one thing I did, which I found really freeing was I decided when we were going out. So

in Paris, for example,

Paris was a place where we would leave in the morning and may not come back until dinnertime. Because we went on Monday, I would just decide I’m going to bring one camera and one lens. And that’s it. So I’d have to pick what I was going to bring. Yeah. And

but so what what cameras Did you bring into friends? What cameras and lenses Did you pack?

So I have a digital SLR. So I the Canon camera. So brought that into the 60. Yeah,

that’s when I have to. I have to. Yeah.

Um, so I brought that. And then I brought my film camera because I’m getting back into film photography. Because you’re nuts.

Any I love it so much. Yeah, so

I have a Canon Rebel 2000, which is old, but it’s an automatic so and what is great is that it would take my Canon lenses, so right, all of my Canon lenses, and I had I brought three. So I brought the 24 millimeter, the 35 millimeter and the 50 millimeter. All of those

prime lenses

are all prime lens. Okay, so for the people who are not nerds

prime lens is a is a lens that doesn’t change the focal distance. So here, right, so you do the walking, if you want to be closer, you get closer. If you want to be further, you get further you. You do this woman with your feet. Yeah,

exactly. And lice. My favorite and preferred style of photography is much more of a documentary or street style photography. So I find that the 35 and the 24 millimeter are perfectly suited for that. Yeah. And to be honest, it also eliminates any more decisions I have to make. I can’t zoom. I can only do what the lens is going to do. So yeah, it you know, I don’t want it

also smaller and lighter in prime lenses are smaller, you know, then, yeah,

well, I don’t know. My 24 millimeter doesn’t feel

I don’t have I just have a 50 prime lens. But otherwise, I

love that one. Because it is small. It’s light. Yeah. So I brought the digital, I brought the film camera. And, and of course, then I also brought 20 rolls of film back that and then I brought a like a film camera. But like a toy camera. Man. I brought that because my son just liked carrying it around and taking pictures with it. So I had it loaded with film. But if nothing turned out, I didn’t really care. It was more just for him. for him. Yeah.

And some people bring an inexpensive digital camera for their kids. Yeah,

which one your daughter had one, she had one. And hers is it can go underwater. So she actually didn’t use it a ton on the trip. But when we were in places with we were in a place with the pool, and she spent, you know, an hour taking underwater photos of her brother doing handstands and reducing

that was good. That’s good. Yeah. And I would caution you if you’re going to give a digital camera to your kids, just so that they can enjoy the experience of doing some photography as well. Make sure you practice a little bit at home before you come. Because

I mean, they need to know a few things. And they mostly need to know not to twirl the camera around, you know, and then swing it at their brother or whatever,

which I’ve seen.

So we, my daughter asked for a camera for Christmas last year. So we got her this digital point. Shoot. Yeah. And and I can share the model with it. I can’t remember what it is right now. But yeah, we did some research knowing that at the time she was only eight. And so this camera is waterproof. But it’s also drop proof. Oh, well, it can be dropped from 10 feet or something.

Oh, definitely. You share the model. Yes.

And so that was really appealing to us. And mind you. She hasn’t dropped it yet. But I like knowing that hopefully it would survive if she did. Yeah, yeah,

that’s good. That’s good. Yeah, because some kids, I mean, their kids, you know, so I’ve known people who just have this old digital camera point and shoot that they’ve had for years, and they just go dig that up and use that. And then the first day of the trip, the kid just crushes it, or something

well, and you also want it to be good enough that the pictures turn out. I mean, right there, they’re, they’re not spending time thinking about lighting and composition. And they, they’re just snapping the picture. So right, you know, the, the newer models are pretty good at just taking a good photo without trying very hard, right.

And also the some of these older digital cameras, you have to be able to navigate the menu system. So to be able to tell it, you know, I’m now indoors or I’m now you know, moving or something. And you Yeah,

if the parents don’t know how to do this, then the kids just gonna get fresh. So if so, if you’re going to bring a digital camera for your kids, play with it a little bit and read the manual or find some tutorial on YouTube or something about how to use that particular model. Because there’s some like Sony cameras. You give me a Sony camera, and I don’t know what to do with it. Because the menus are so different from Canon, Nikon is also very different. So even the point and shoots they’re kind of all different a little bit not

if you want to go really analog. I mean, I’ve seen people again, bringing back the disposable camera. Yeah, so just grab a disposable camera there. They’re still very inexpensive. Yeah, there are still contrary to what you might think there are a lot of film labs that will develop film. Sure, and, and give your kids that I mean, there’s something my son preferred a film camera experience on this trip, because I think he just liked in his mind, you know, he would be setting up the shop and figure out what it was, and he couldn’t see the end result. So, right. There’s thing there was something kind of cool about dissipation. Yeah. And a disposable camera is, you know, $10, $12.

So that’s another option. And then you really don’t have to worry if it’s dropped or lost or

right. And then, of course, you have the Polaroid cameras, which are funds fun for kids to they don’t do much other than developed then. But it can be fun for kids. Yeah,

it can be fun. I do have a bit of a camera problem. I mean, I have a lot of cameras.

And I just got a vintage Polaroid camera. And yeah, so But yes, you can get a lot of those are fun. And I actually think the the newer Polaroids or the Fuji in stacks, cameras, those are really fun. It’s a kids are keeping a journal or something for the trip. Mm hmm. And you can take a picture or a few pictures from your day. And then they can tape it or glue it right into their journal.

And then write something that day or whatever. Yeah, yeah, that’s a good way to handle it. Yeah,

I like a sec. I had. So I had two good cameras. But then I also have my iPhone. And I use that a ton, right? Yeah, yeah,

we need to get to that because the iPhones anymore are really, really good. And also the Samsung’s they really have good cameras. The pixels have good cameras to do. Yeah, yeah.

So I was not,

I didn’t want to be hard on myself. If, you know, some days, I just only brought my iPhone with me, because it does take amazing pictures. And I still would try to take the type of picture I would take, you know, in terms of composition, or perspective or whatever, right? I still applied those same, that same mindset to my iPhone, right? And yeah, I think it’s, it’s just being there’s some saying about the best cameras, the one that you have with you, or something like, exactly,

and it’s so true. I mean, anymore. If I’m going somewhere, and I know I want to take pictures. I will bring my my cat made the SLR and no lens, I usually bring I have a 17 to 24, okay, that I use the time I for some reason. That’s the one I use the most. Yeah,

but if I have just my phone, I will take really good, really good pictures with a with just a phone. And again, like, I don’t have the kids around anymore. So I take a picture. I can take pictures of the dogs. And just like with the kids and dogs, you just lower your perspective like, point up at them. And you will it will look very different. And it will look interesting, you know, because from your height, sometimes it’s not interesting.

No. Yeah, I mean, I think generally, in terms of composition, getting if there’s little people or pets or whatever, getting down to their level is a great way to totally change the feeling of a photo. Yep. And and then just paying attention to what’s in the photo. You know, is there a giant garbage can right behind them? Yeah. Or is there a, you know, a light post that looks like it’s coming out of the top of somebody’s head, like, just or shift yourself a long time you move yourself. You don’t get people to do anything. Yeah. And so I try. I try as much as possible. But I don’t also obsess over it. Because you can also crop things out. Yeah, you know, I took I took some or I had my husband take a few photos of me and the kids at the top of the Eiffel Tower. And there’s, you know, this man in the side of the photos who did not move the entire time. He just was error with his big backpack. And yeah, so I got home and I just cropped him out. Yeah, I don’t know that he’s there like it. But it’s not worth trying to walk around for five minutes. Trying to find a different spot. Yeah.

So what do you use light room or Photoshop or something like that.

I use light room for everything. Yeah, and I light room on. So maybe I’ll just talk about a bit about what I did while I was on my trick, because it can be really overwhelming to come home and have potentially thousands of photos fell through. And while I love taking pictures, I’m also part of the appeal of getting back into film is that there’s only 24 or 36 pictures on a roll, right? And there’s not hundreds of hundreds of hundreds of this or, or there’s not 10 photos of the same thing.

We seek more. Yeah, you think about it more.

So one of the things I do when I’m traveling is I go through, especially on my phone. I go through my pictures every evening. and delete, delete, delete, delete, yeah, plate, delete, delete, the ones that definitely are just bad. If they didn’t turn out. I took three or four photos of the same scene. I did that because I want one of them to turn in. I didn’t do that. Because I want four of them. Right? So pick one. I just picked one. Yeah. And then when I am home at the end, and I’ll actually edit them. So I have light room on my phone. And or I have, you know, even just the basic editor that comes on the phone is is enough. Yeah, and I will do that. Because then I found when I got home, I didn’t have to do anything with my iPhone pictures, except upload them to my computer. And they were dying. Yeah. So I think that helped. I didn’t do that with my digital photos. I didn’t go through them on my camera. Because I also just didn’t want to spend every evening just going through photos. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And so I found that that was helpful. And I also find, it’s really good to think about before you leave on your trip. What? Why are you taking the pictures? Are you taking them to just show people on your phone when you get home? Or do you want to make a book or, you know, upload them to an online album or something like that? Because I think it’s good to have a plan so that they don’t just sit on a hard drive, or

Yeah, a desk or whatever. I think the more you think about your photography, the better you’re going to get at it. Yeah, you know, what am I trying to capture? Why do I want this photo? And it takes I mean, when I first got into photography, I would take thousands of pictures that I know, never did anything with. Yeah. And when I go back now, because then, of course, you have to backup your photos because you don’t want to lose them and a lot and it gets like you have giant backup

drives with you. Oh, yeah. And so.

And so I went back to some of my old photos, because I got into this habit. Trying to photograph my daughter’s basketball games. Yes. Which is challenging. It’s, it’s really challenging, because especially kids basketball is indoors. It’s not well, it, you know, it’s, it can be really bad. But, but you learn a lot doing that. But what I do, but I what I didn’t learn until much later, is stop taking so many photos and think about what you want. Yes? Like, what are you trying to capture? So it’s, I think it’s, it’s important for people to think about that and have kind of a general plan. You know, there are people and that’s why very early photographers, one of the things that they often like to do is they take pictures of doors, interesting doors, or interesting this, or interesting that flowers, whatever it is. And I think that’s a good way to get started with thinking about photography. Like, because then you develop an eye for something that captures your attention. And you go for that. I totally agree. Instead of spray and pray. Yeah,

you if you’re think if you think about why you’re taking photos. So if your goal is or your you know, the general reason that you’re taking pictures is because you want to come home and show your family, for example, or your extended family or something. Think about whether or not they’ll want to look through everything you’re taking. Right. Well, I mean, one of the things I really learned and I learned this

many years ago, was looking through. So my grandparents traveled a lot they did in their retirement, they did a lot of traveling, and it was all film and my grandfather was the photographer. And so they’re all in albums. And I look, you know, I remember finding out that they had these albums and sitting down to look at them. And so many of them were so boring, like, they were just, they were, no one was in them. There’s no people in them. They were just scenery or buildings, my or or, you know,

the things they were seeing on their tours. But there there was nothing interesting about that. Right. And, yeah,

lots of people do that. And if I’m going to follow, like, I go to a lot of interesting places. I go to chateaus and stuff. But I tried to find an interesting angle to my photo. Yes, you know, not the straight on wide angle, like the hundred be, you know, because that’s boring. Nobody wants to see that.

And I think when those are interspersed with a sense of maybe who was on the trip with you, or, you know, this the lunch you had, you know, between between museums that you were visiting, or whatever, yeah, it It tells a story of a day for your time. And I think that, you know, just photos of senior or of, you know, yeah, buildings or all landscapes. It just, I don’t know, you just have to think about your audience. If you’re, if the goal is that you’re doing it to share with others, right. Think about maybe how your pictures tell the story of your trip. And if your goal is because you love taking pictures of antique doors, and you do that for yourself. And that’s different. Yeah, yeah. So I think it is having

having that in mind before you go. One thing. One tip I can give for iPhone or smartphone photography that I did before I left was I backed up all my photos and deleted all the photos. So I didn’t empty photo

right or so. I empty library. Yeah, because you have room

I had room. And I knew. I also knew that when I got back from my trip that I could easily everything on my phone was from our trip, right. So I could just and I’ve done this already. I could just upload them to like, I keep everything online. And then it’s backed up in full resolution. And I’ve started to delete these off my phone because I don’t want you know, 1000 iPhone pictures from our trip on my phone for all eternity either. What am I going right? Right. And to me, it’s much more important to have. I don’t know how if I go somewhere for a week, I will probably keep 100 photos. Yeah,

which is it seems like a lot. But when you start with photography, you will probably have 10,000 of them week. And that’s overwhelming. So it’s better to keep just a few photos that you’re proud of. That means something to you then thousands of photos that are just going to clog up your hard drive. And you’re never going to look at again. It’s it’s like the old albums, you know. And I have friends who put together beautiful albums. And that’s a really good way to go to just to print a book with, you know, 20 photos of your trip or something. It doesn’t need to be massive.

But it’s something that you have around your house that you will sit I love to look at photos. I never look at video. So this is this is a quirk of mine. I see people walking around doing video of stuff. And I would never ever look at that again. And even to the podcast. I know I should get into video. I know it would be a little bit you know, I would have to give a little bit of learning. But it wouldn’t be that hard. But I don’t enjoy. I mean, I haven’t found the enjoyment in because it’s video I just too much information. Too much going on. Like I don’t know. I can’t deal with it. Yeah,

I I’m kind of the same. I mean, I take away more still photos that I do. video I did take I did take video short video clips on vacation this time. Because I do want to remember what we all were like. Yeah, certain points and what you know how small the kids were, or how your voice sounded like impulses. Yeah. And so, but it doesn’t need to be a 10 minute video. It can be exactly 30 seconds. Right?

Again, if you do it with a purpose. It’s good. That’s right. You know, yeah. If you know what you’re trying to get out of this video. Wonderful. But if you just like holding your phone,

see people do this.

When people are you can tell they’re doing it so that they can share it on social media or whatever. And that’s the whole purpose of it.

Is anybody gonna watch this?

Well, I guess so. I

don’t know.

Patient friends. I guess. I know.

I do big photo books. So yeah, that’s, that’s the ultimate goal for this trip is that all of my photos are not all of them. But you know, a big a big amount of them will go into a nice book. Yeah, yeah. Yeah,

I think that’s a very, very good

plan. Okay. Let’s talk about safety a little bit.

I’ll let you go first. Sure. So I did find there was a few episodes of your podcast that talked about pickpockets, and safety. And I found those not that I didn’t know those tips. But they were a good reminder. Because I haven’t been to Europe in many years. I just needed to keep that in the back of my mind. Mm hmm. And so there’s a few things I bought a or I brought with me a very small cross body purse. Yeah, that would fit so I didn’t bring my Full Wallet with me to friends. I pared it down to just the things that needed. Yep, had those on a small wallet, like a small wallet that had a key chain attached to it. And I can actually click that to the inside zipper of my purse. Cool. So I knew that if anyone reached into grab it, it wasn’t going to just come out of my bag, right? So that feels

something. Yeah,

so that was my wallet. But it also so it would hold that and it would hold my iPhone and my sunglasses like, not a lot, but then it could sit really close to my body, and I could always have it accessible. And then for my camera I bought before we left a new camera bag, because I have as much of a problem with camera bags as I do with cameras. We all do buying too many of them. But I bought a I’d had a really cool looking camera bag. But in the end, it was cool looking and not very functional. Mm hmm.

I ended up selling that one and getting a low Pro, which is a camera found, but it was a nice looking back. That didn’t look like a like a very obvious camera bag. Um, but what I really liked about it was that the way that you get into the camera storage area is you have to take the whole backpack off my up against you back. it zips up against your back, huh. And so there was no way if it was on me that anyone could ever get into and get any of my gear. Right. And so that and it was all padded and super comfortable on top of it didn’t have a raincoat

had a raincoat. Yeah, exactly. So you need that in France. I mean, the rain coat, honestly, you need that. Yes, it does rain, you know, know we had

we had really good weather. And thankfully I didn’t need it. But yes, I was very happy that I had it knowing that if we were out and it started to rain, I’d be fine. Yeah, yeah. So but I didn’t necessarily bring that bag out every time we went because I said, I only brought one camera and one lens out. Usually when we did so often what I would do is I would just have the camera itself on the strap around my like, cross body around me.

And my husband would usually have a backpack with, you know, water bottles and our extra supplies and stuff as if needed. If I wanted a break from carrying it. I could put it in there. But usually I just carry and I didn’t love the idea of carrying around my camera gear. Yeah, all my camera gear. And I think you mentioned in one of your podcasts, like, you put it down and you just you don’t want to forget about it. Or something like that

happened to me when you’re tired in jet lag. Oh, yeah. Yeah, things happen.

or something. Right.

I left it on a bus. Yes. I left it on a bus in Paris. And then got it again. Yeah,

like, I feel sick. Just thinking about

Yes, yes. Oh, and it had so it had my 60 and it had

the Canon l 1724 wickedness attached to the body. And I had another one. I can’t remember which it might have been the 75 to 150 also an hour lens. So I had plenty of

Yeah, and I left it on the bus. I just brought it back. But I got it back. I

got it back. Thank goodness that people are really There’s wonderful people in the world. I have been so lucky with my camera equipment. I have done really stupid things. But it’s usually because I’m tired. And yeah,

you too tired. And you get dumb. Yeah. So yeah,

I mean, take take out as little as you really need. Yeah, is my advice. And as long as you’re, you feel safe, and hopefully you do leaving the rest back in your hotel or apartment apartment. Yeah. And we always did. We always felt very safe. And really outside of Paris. We weren’t in big touristy major cities. Right Montpellier was we were in locally, and it was big. But it still wasn’t. It’s nothing like Paris. So. And we didn’t. We were very fortunate. We didn’t experience any attempts at pickpocketing, or people trying to, you know, trick us into things. We didn’t experience any of that in Paris. So good.

I felt very I was prepared for it. Because I’ve definitely experienced it. And I’ve experienced it in other European cities

quite aggressively at times. But no, everything was was fine. And, you know, the reality is, lots of people are walking around with cameras, right? Nice arrows around their necks. Yo, you’re not alone. You don’t stand out. Yeah. And yeah, yeah,

you just have to be you just have to be you have to have your wits about you. And, and zip up your bag, and all the all the stuff that we’ve talked about in previous episodes. But in my case, because I carry heavy lenses, I typically I got myself a belt with a clip on thing. And I just, it’s absolutely the ugliest thing you can do. But I don’t care. Because if I keep it around my neck after a while, My neck hurts. Yeah, I know. And so I just go. You know what, I’ll just put it on my belt and not be too worried about how it looks. It doesn’t look great. But nobody can get that thing off for me. And I can’t forget it anywhere either. Because it’s hooked to my body. So you know, so

I was gonna say the other thing. And just speaking of, you know, looking ridiculous or looking like you have, I don’t know, like you’re a photographer is you have to come come to terms with that. If you want to take pictures with your really good camera, then you have to have your camera with you. I mean, yeah,

yes. You know, this, you don’t bring it to you won’t do anything with it.

That’s right. And if you’re so concerned with how you look then or, you know, not revealing yourself as a visitor, then maybe you just need to have an iPhone with you. Or smile. Yeah, yeah.

And smartphones, they do a really good job. They even do nice, big, I mean, like the, I have the iPhone 10, I get like, 440, 300

pixels by something. It’s, it’s a big, nice, you know, nice size photo that you can crop and still get a decent picture. So, yeah, yeah, honestly,

I have the iPhone eight. And it I’m just blown away. Or

he is so good. And

I mean, they’re not, they’re not good. If you’re going to be taking pictures inside of a cathedral. I mean, you know, unless, I mean, some if it fits a spot that happens to be well lit, you’ll be fine. But

for the kind of casino photography that I like to do, I need a I need a prime lens. I need a you know, when you do good. Yeah. But or sports. You can’t do that with an iPhone. But they’ve come a long way. Like, you know, you think you can

go I was just gonna say, I think you also have to, you have to know yourself. And if you if you bring your DSL Are you take, you know, thousands of pictures, they, they often need a bit more editing work at the end, right? Nothing you get. If you really don’t plan on doing that and have no interest in it, then just think about that. Like is that if you’re going to be unhappy, because you don’t really want you don’t like the quality of the photos. But you don’t want to take time in labor room or Photoshop or whatever, to do any work on them. Then what was the point of taking pictures if you don’t? Exactly. So you just have to know who you are. I personally love editing. And you know, that, for me is a fun. Yeah, so it’s something I look forward to. But it’s not something everyone looks forward to. Right. I

can totally spend five hours just in light room fiddling with my photos and tagging photos. I’m quite happy doing that. Yeah,

your weight loss photography soul,

but I but I don’t use Photoshop, I have a thing called Affinity Photo that can do little things. It’s kind of a much, much simplified version of Photoshop. I tried to I got into GIMP a little bit, but then my husband got better at it. So if I need something done in game, but just to fix that. Yeah,

exclusively. Light room. I just use light room. Yeah.

And that works. That works for me. So yeah,

and I have to I have to, of course, have to be cranky. A little bit.

A lot of these Instagram because I’m trying to do some posting some pictures on Instagram for addicted to France for the well. It’s the kind of thing that I do along with the podcast. Yeah, and it’s so many of these photos that they post on Instagram. These accounts that I follow the they look completely unnatural, like these people have created nearly spent way too much time in Photoshop, applying all sorts of filters and layers and whatever it is that they’re doing. I’m like, Oh, this doesn’t look anything like France. Yeah. To me, and I live here. So kind of. So I think it’s good. Also, if you have an idea of the aesthetic of what you want, like there are some people just love this stuff, though. I mean, they

Yeah, absolutely. High Definition stuff, right? I think Yeah. Right. If it’s an you know, what are eyes are so used to seeing it now that it can make your own photos feel disappointing. And I think that you, you do have to remember that none of that is what the original photo look like. Right? There’s so much post production and right, you know, layers that have been added and

removed, morphed and yeah, some of these some of these photos. You know, I’ve been in this, I know, it doesn’t look like that. They’ve like my please. But people don’t know. And they just get drawn because it does look beautiful. You know, you can’t you can’t take that away from them. They did, they do make beautiful, but your vacation photos are not going to be quite that impressive looking. Most of us but but that’s why I enjoyed yours is because your angle was so interesting. Even though you weren’t doing the you know anything. I mean, clearly you you were fixing a few color things in light room. And you were you know, I mean, like the white balance or whatever that we all do. Yeah. Which is fine. But you don’t you didn’t dr your photos. You just have you know, nice natural looking photos of what’s happening around you with your kids and stuff. And that’s really good. Be

honest. I mean, I said I love editing. But there’s also a point like I have, you know, I have a job I have two kids. Yeah, basically, I have a dog to walk like I can’t sit and be swapping out be swapping out skies to make the sky look more because that’s just not well and it’s just for me that’s not where I want I want my photos to be I want my photo to be a representation of what it actually was yeah and how I remember it to be yes

I bought I bought a thing that I used to a few times for swapping skies Yeah, that’s all it does is just swaps the sky and because sometimes since I live in France here around I’m sometimes in places like in the middle of the winter or if I if I go in the middle of the afternoon and the looks milky you know the sky in an interesting and and honestly, if you go to Normandy, it’s really hard to get a nice looking sky in Normandy, because it’s always milky and grey. And just not very interesting. Anyway, I got one of those. And I played with the first month and got it. And then I just decided, you know, when

you’re being an idiot, it doesn’t look any better. It just looks like just show me it just makes your photo look showing. And but but at least it had the I mean, it would only take two minutes to do it. Whereas if you tried to do that in Photoshop, there’s lots of steps. Lots

actually, sometimes. Yeah. And sometimes it’s fun to just figure out what you like, and don’t like. And like you said, What’s your aesthetic that you’re looking for? Is it is it

is it for your photos to look really dramatic, your that to, for them to look exactly like how you remember it to be or, you know, do you want them all to be black and white? Whatever. Yeah,


But you can do a lot of that with an iPhone, I mean, the iPhone, just the stuff that comes with the editing that they give, you will let you do well want to escape replacement at this point. But it will do quite a bit bit of like enhancing colors. And it will make it great, very smart. And

if you’re thinking about if you have a modern version of a smartphone, and you’re thinking Should I go and get like a decent point and shoot or just use my phone. A friend of mine went to a good camera store and ask them that same question. And they said use your phone. Yeah. Because basically the reason your phone cost $800 or whatever it cost is because of the camera. Yeah. And it’s a really, really good camera. And so yeah,

you’re not gonna get

Yeah, I’ve had people ask me the same question is, should I buy a point and shoot it. But they their intention is not to get into photography and edit and all of that they’re, you know, they’re never going to shoot RAW. They don’t even know that means they don’t care. Like so. So I tell them just use your phone. And like you said, backup your phone before you go empty your you know, copy all your photos and make room on your phone. So you have enough room to take a bunch of photos and then being picky about how you take your photos. You know have a think about it a little bit. And you’ll take really good photos like you don’t need a point and shoot nobody buys point and shoots anymore. It’s free of kids in my be interested. It’s

Yeah. Or for special purpose. Like you can get you know fun ones that are for underwater or


But yeah, either. I don’t know. I just think I think you’re right. Like, just use the camera you have. Yep.

You have to know yourself. If you’re not someone who likes to take photos. Don’t worry. You don’t have to be Yeah, not everyone is expecting him to come home

with no, no. And if you just take a few good ones that will make you smile when you see them again in five years. That’s right. That’s it. You’ve you’ve

that’s what you need. You know you you need to have some things that will bring back the memory of whatever it is you enjoyed. So if it was that beautiful meal. You know, people get chided about taking photos of their food, but maybe they will really enjoy. You know, I like to cook. So sometimes I take a photo just so I can remember the arrangement on the plate and things like that. For sure. Yeah, that’s interesting. And so so just do what’s interesting to you give it some thought use your iPhone, if you zoom in with your iPhone or a little bit, you tend to get a little, you know, you zoom in, and then you tap where you want the focus to be yes, you get better pictures that way. So again, you just like when you’re shooting with a DSL, or you have to think where’s my focus, you can now do that with an iPhone which is extraordinary. Like, you know,

and you can take photos with your with your smartphone that will compensate for the fact that you are totally backlit or and you’re in shadow and it will compensate. And yes, you a better photo than you’d ever be able to get by handing someone you’re good DSR. And I

always give the 60 you can do that, too.

Yes. But to have to hand it to somebody.

We did that a few times. But mostly I just if I wanted a photo of our family, and we were out somewhere, I just gave them someone to take it with my phone. Yeah,

I never hand isn’t that strange, because my phone is pretty expensive to I know. But I don’t have my DSL or to anybody. You know,

I did it once. I think I only did it once on the trip. And we were on the Eiffel Tower upon the Eiffel Tower. So first of all, I knew that that the man probably wasn’t going to run

and he was doing I did the same for him. So I took a picture of him and his wife. And then he took a picture of our family, right. But the photo he took was terrible. Because he doesn’t know how to use my camera. And so it would have been better to just hand over my phone. Yeah, picture with that, so.

Oh, very nice. Okay, well, we managed to talk about photography for a long time.

We probably could talk about it for longer, but maybe not everyone. Yeah, yeah. Yeah,

though. But but its end. Be very, very careful with your phone. People will their season parents, they will try to look for opportunities to grab your phone and run. And if you’re not a marathon runner,

they like they look at me. And they’re like, Oh, this check can run after me. And it’s true. And so they will target me just because of that. And so I need to be really, really careful to have my phone somewhere. Always know where it is. Have it zipped up unless it’s in my hand and I’m using it and and be paranoid about the cameras too. Because although nobody’s ever tried to steal my camera and friends. I’ve tried to lose my camera. But nobody’s ever tried to just do it for me. But. But again, be you know, be careful. I don’t think honestly, if I were a safe I look for your iPhone more than your camera because you get money out of an iPhone. Yeah, yeah,

I had an inside zipped pocket in my purse, the one I talked about. So I found that if that was going to be several steps for someone to have to go get that away from me. So that made me feel an extra level of security with my phone.

And for some reason, you don’t have pickpockets in America. I don’t know what it is that they don’t want to go to America

or Canada or, but it’s not. Yeah, I mean, I have several times on the subway here in Toronto tapped people on the shoulder and said, your bag is wide open

so that they can zip it up. But you know, yeah, you

don’t have to think about it over there.

No, it’s not the same. Not the same. Yeah,

if you’d she leave you back end, sipped in Paris, things are going to come out that you wanted to. Yeah,

you do have to think about it. And I think your point about being, you know, being tired or, you know, after a long day of walking, or maybe it’s your travel day, that’s when you make mistakes that you might not normally Yeah, it’s just good to, to think about that. Be prepared, be prepared.

Know your limits.

Jessica, thank you so much. It’s been lovely talking to you. I again, I couldn’t do this podcast without people like you who are willing to tell me all about their thoughts and their experiences. Because you know, it’s to me that matters more than anything else is, is sharing real things that really happened to you that really you care about.

I really appreciate it any and talking about the trip. If you can find someone when you get home from your trip to talk about it in a way that is, you know, sort of brings all the memories back like this. This is done it’s it makes your trip last that much longer. So yeah.

And then you’ll get to listen to the episode in 10 years or whatever angle was

really funny

very much. And I’ll I’ll maybe share a link where I post a lot of my will be posting a lot of my pictures from this trip. So if anyone wants to look at them. Yes, yes,

I’ll put links to your goods to the stuff that you send me that we’ve discussed in the show notes for this episode.

That’s great.

Hey, Sandy. Thank you very much.

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Categories: France How To, Photography