Probably one of my best experiences doing travel photography was when I was in the historical district of Cartagena, Colombia. Our tour leader, a woman with world-class skills both as a photographer and as a teacher, brought us to a quaint street to watch and photograph horse drawn carriages as they strolled by. There were some tables and chairs set out and via a waiter, we could order beer, relax and photograph. The sun was setting and one-by-one the carriages moved by.
The horses moved slowly so the passengers could enjoy an easy ride and this situation was ideal for us. We could sit and watch and snap photos, peek at the camera LCD, make adjustments and wait for the next carriage to come by. Perhaps a dozen or so carriages were in motion and the gentle clip-clop-clip-clop of the horse’s hooves blended with the sounds of passengers pedestrians having a good time.
After a while a street mime appeared and started dancing and entertaining us and others. He was very funny, helped us to relax even more and made for a great subject. Since the light was getting dimmer by the minute, camera adjustments had to be made constantly to photograph him but that just added to the challenge and fun.
I like traveling with other avid photographers. We can collaborate and talk non-stop about how best to make a photo, what the best camera settings are, discuss lens choices and all of the photo-nerd things that bore others but make sense only to us. The whole evening went well, and when the dusk light faded, we picked up our camera gear, paid for our beers and went to dinner.
Mostly, my photography trips are pretty intense. I love the challenge of trying to do great photography and sometimes it’s difficult to just sit back an relax with it. I am, after all, doing photography for the fun of it. This particular evening, in this particular location and time made for one of the most memorable moments of my life.