Thailand Dispatch #2: The easiest night-shoot
Entirely white, and glittering with tiny mirrors, the White Temple is unlike any other temple in Thailand. (And Thailand boasts a lot of temples. So many, in fact, that if you visited one a day, it would take you 109 years to see them all.)
Bonnie here, again, writing to you after our Thailand Photo Expedition with professional photographer Rich Wagner. Six of your fellow readers and I lived the adventure of being travel photographers… experiencing another country the way we never could as regular tourists.
As a travel photographer, with your camera to your eye, you’re watching more. You see more. And sometimes you take an extra step to show the rest of the world what you see.
For example, even though the White Temple is undeniably gorgeous, the truth is that the sky was pretty boring that day. Since the sky was white and the temple is white, our daylight photos weren’t doing the temple justice.
When that happens, sometimes all you need to do is stick around until sunset.
And really, all it takes is a few minutes to make a big difference. Take a look at these three photos I took just minutes apart while we waited for the sun to set and the temple to light up:
Shot 1 – Dull and boring. Taken at 6:03 p.m.
Shot 3 – Also better. Taken at 6:16 p.m.
Rich showed us how to make it even easier. Here’s how:
** 1. Get a tripod or set your camera on a stable surface where it won’t move.
** 2. Turn on your camera’s timer, so that you can hit the shutter and let go. This way, you won’t be touching your camera and causing it to shake when it takes the shot.
** 3. Put your camera into Program mode and compose your photo.
That’s it! All you need to do now is to wait for dark and shoot. Make sure you take plenty of shots while the sun goes down, so that you can get some with that deep blue in the sky, and then more with a black sky.
Check the back of your camera to see how they’re turning out. If they’re too light or too dark, use your Exposure Compensation button to add or subtract light. (It’s the button with a +/- symbol on it.)
Also — before you travel somewhere new, it’s a good idea to check and see which monuments are lit up at night and what time the lights come on.
Thailand is absolutely full of temples you can try this trick on. It’s also full of friendly people who, in most cases, don’t mind having their photo taken.
Tomorrow, I’ll share a tip for taking better people shots while you’re on the road.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]