If you’ve been following my blog, one of my favorite things is just to take my camera and just slowly walk around looking for new things to photograph along with new perspectives on things that have photographed thousands of times already.
One of my projects has been to write a book called “Secrets of Machu Picchu: Interesting Things the Guides Know.” While most of the book is finished, unfortunately the closing of the site has slowed down my final preparations.
So now I’m working on another project I’ve been putting off for a long time: photographing Cusco.
I’ve always been frustrated seeing people take typical tourist pictures that look like everyone else’s pics. It would be so easy to do a few simple things differently and get much better photos, but they just seem in a hurry to get their “bucket list” photo and move on without even trying to get photos that capture so much more about the city they spent so much money, time, and commitment to visit.
Today I decided to go out with a long (300mm) lens and see what I could do with some serious telephoto shots. Neither the lens or my camera is expensive. Both are over 10 years old so it’s not the quality of the equipment, but knowing how to find interesting things.
The trick is to take my time and look all around. I constantly am stopping and looking all around for potential photographs. Watching people and anticipating what is going to happen is something I’m not very good at, but it’s a skill I’m working to develop.
I’m not really good at photographing candid shots of people on the street. That’s why I like the really long lens. People rarely have any idea that I’m taking a photo.
I’m not a big fan of street photos of people anyway. People in Cusco really don’t appreciate tourists taking photos of them all the time as if they’re in a zoo. These are real people with real lives who deserve respect. Often I go up and show them the photo I just took and ask if they’d like a copy. If they say yes, I give them my card and ask them to send me their email so I can send them a copy.
I’ve even printed out copies and taken them to some people who I know don’t have the money to get a good one printed. Often they ask me to take more photos which I happily do as many may not have photos of their family.
These shot today were random photos taken with no particular theme in mind. Until the cold wind sent me back home, I think I got some interesting ones to share. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these.
[Be sure to click on each individual pic to see the larger, full version.]
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