We have all suffered the tourist spots with all these randomly dressed, annoyingly happy tourists jumping into our shot. I have written before on the attitude adjustment that I had to go through to just accept them and try to incorporate them. Looking over all of the images from previous vacations, I find that my best shots have people in the frame.
The shot above was a throw away image taken with my Leica ME. I love the frame and bright colors contrasted with the deep black of the tunnel. This shot has fascinating people standing, waiting, walking, running or talking.
We are drawn to buildings and smaller permanent cultural reminders and focus our attention on these. Going to the Parthenon can be a wonderful experience however it has not changed in 500 years! But the people, walking around, looking and marveling at the beauty, have changed.
If we look at the images we love, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sabine Weiss, Fan Ho and others, the magic in their images are the people they capture. It is the people, dressed in the fashion of the time, that help us put the scene in context.
The next time you are out with your camera on a family vacation, take a moment to look at the people around you, the locals, tourists and other photographers. These are the people that help define a place. Find an interesting background and wait a few minutes. Look for the interesting person walking by and take your picture.
This simple picture will be a keeper and one of your favorite images of the vacation. The human element is the most intriguing in any photograph we just need to be willing to capture it.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.