Photographer Spotlight: Rashad Sisemore, Day 4

In today’s post I will continue to share some more of my travel photography. Whenever I am traveling I don’t like carrying a lot of gear, and I find that most times your restricted with your gear in terms of space and weight in your travel bags anyways. Currently, I carry around a 16-85mm Nikon lens attached to my Nikon D300 when I am traveling, in order to capture wide-angle and semi-telephoto shots. In fact all of my shots on the blog have been taken with this lens, which I have come to appreciate for its versatility. I’ve found that this wide to mid-range zoom lens gets the job done, allowing me the freedom to capture, in great detail, shots up close and far away from my subjects. A better set-up may be a two separate lenses like a wide angle (below 24mm) and maybe a mid-range zoom (24-70mm), but these will cost you a lot more and use up more space in your travel bags and day packs (not to mention the weight!). Normally  when traveling I find that I don’t have a lot of space for too much photo gear, including special equipment like camera bags. So most times when I travel i’ve found that simply wrapping a thick shirt around your camera and stowing it in-between other things in your bag will do just fine. I’ve personally watched in horror as I dropped my bag or had my bag thrown out of a car, only to be amazed at the fact that my equipment survived unscathed. Basically the take away from all i’ve said is this: You don’t need to have an arsenal of gear to get a great shot while traveling. Push the equipment that you have and be practical in what equipment you’ll actually be using. Keep your load light and don’t be afraid to be rugged!

Rashad Sisemore / Staff Photographer

Kashmir, 2010. While walking along a food market in a town nearby Srinagar, I stumbled across this man and asked him if I could take his photograph. I got closer to him and his cart and kept my lens wide to try and have him fill the frame. I then dropped my aperture to f/3.5 to keep him and the foreground sharp, while blurring out the background just enough to put the man really in focus.

Rashad Sisemore / Staff Photographer

Srinagar, Kashmir, 2010. I was standing on a house boat in the middle of the lake in the city of Srinagar when I saw this boatman crossing the lake. I was a good distance away so I zoomed my lens all the way to get this shot. If I had a nice 70-200mm I may have been able to get in closer or a more crisp shot, but I used my 16-85mm at 85mm and I think the image turned out nicely. This is a good example of using what resources you have available, if I wanted use a telephoto I would have had to change my lens and possibly missing the shot.

Rashad Sisemore / Staff Photographer

Thailand, 2010. On a trip I made to Thailand with my family, we stopped at an umbrella making factory in a city outside of Chang Mai in northern Thailand. Within the factory I noticed that there were several stages in production, similar to an assembly line, in which people were responsible for making or painting certain parts of the umbrellas. I noticed in one section a man who would paint some flowers on the umbrella before moving them to another painter who would add more details until they were finished. So I got low to the ground and opened my lens up wide to capture this shot of umbrellas that had just been painted right before they were to be drawn in with more details from another painter down the line.

Rashad Sisemore / Staff Photographer

Thailand, 2010. Next to the umbrella factory was of course a gift shop for visitors to buy some of these umbrellas that were being made. There were row-after-row of different colors, shapes, and sizes of umbrellas that visitors could look at and buy. I decided to try and capture the dense amount of umbrellas there were by taking this shot. I set my aperture as low at it would go (f/ 3.5) for a nice depth of field look and adjusted my shutter manually. The lighting in the room was okay so I didn’t have to bump up my ISO really high and instead kept it at about ISO 400. I then zoomed in a little and manually set my focus to be on the tops of the umbrellas. I really enjoyed taking this shot and playing around with the focus manually. I find that sometimes its best to take off the auto focus and play around with it manually to get the shot your looking for.

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