To a different destination

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I am at Bangalore, India now. I’ve been here for more than one week and I will leave back home at the end of the week. Traveling in India is quite different than traveling around Europe, there is so much contrast, colors, people and activities happening that for a photographer is quite an interesting place to be. My first impression of Bangalore was, “OMG! How much people around”, but even though there is a lot of people here you feel like an outsider, you look different from the rest but that can be used as a good thing. People are friendly and curious so if you point your camera to someone, I always got a really friendly response, people smile for the camera and they even ask if I can take pictures from them.

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During the weekend I went to one of the most local street markets in the cities, it was very interesting, we were the only foreigners there and I got a lot of requests to take pictures of a lot of people there. It was really nice to talk with the people and interact with the locals there. For a photographer these situations are challenging, even though the pictures will be in your camera, but when a random person comes and ask you for a picture, you have to make a good picture so you can show to them the picture you just took. Knowing the right mode and the right settings for your camera is really important when doing traveling photography, there you cannot prepare the shoot, you have to be ready, things don’t happen twice. Be ready for the change of lighting conditions, for capturing speed and movement, for capturing expression, to make focus in the right places.

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I took most of my pictures in Av mode at f8, outside the street market and that was ok for shooting normal outdoor situations, but for indoors I used manual mode and set the shutter and aperture according to the situation. I was using auto focus and usually as I was with f8 I was using the central point for focusing and then recomposing to the place that I wanted the focus.  I took my 18-55mm lens to the street market, there I had some flexibility about what to capture and where to frame.

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So knowing your camera is really important, but also interacting with people, be friendly and you don’t need to ask for them to take a picture of them, but be friendly if someone says something. Always friendly and don’t feel paranoic of getting caught or show the pictures and they will be happy :)

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When shooting a market or any place always try to capture the ambient, do some wide shots and some focus shots. Try to shoot some action and things happening that tell a story. Don’t get all your subjects looking at you.  Sometimes black and white can help you to make the picture less busy. And at the end street photography is not having the perfect technical picture, but having the emotions and the stories right in the picture.

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