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When travelling, good shots of people in their working environment can complement scenic pictures and add an extra dimension to a record of a journey. These pictures will often provide a more intimate insight into places visited and show what is special about a particular area. They can be displayed in an album beside pictures of landscapes, buildings and family. Shots of factories or farms which offer tours, waiters serving in a favourite restaurant, or a craft centre with unusual items – these may all capture the essence of the holiday or trip and serve as a useful reference later on.

If the work that people are engaged in is very detailed, try to get in close so you can see what they are doing. Remember not to get in their way and so become a nuisance or they may refuse to allow the picture to be taken. If you are indoors and the light is low flash may be needed. Try to bounce it off the ceiling or diffuse it. Nothing is worse than a harsh blast of strong flashlight that burns out the foreground but leaves the background dark and murky. Pay attention to the background, too; does it add something to the shot? Does it provide any information about the work being done, or is it a useful plain backdrop?

People will add colour to travel pictures, especially when featured in shots presented alongside others concentrating on landscape, architecture or the sea. A series of pictures of the people of a locality can form a portrait of life in that region. To catch the spirit of local activities, go in close so that people are related to their work or environment. shot blasting machine

When photographing strangers politeness is the key. If people are approached in a friendly and reassuring way only the most recalcitrant will object to being photographed. Remember, though, that in some parts of the world it is inadvisable to photograph people – or even to make drawings of them. In some cultures there is a belief that if people are photographed their soul is removed. However strange such an opinion may seem it is important to respect it.

Remonstrating with people will only make matters worse. It would be far more productive to find someone in authority and use your best diplomatic skills to get them to reassure and persuade your subjects to give their assent. In most cases such an approach, aided perhaps by a small gift, will win the day. A very effective method is to offer them a Polaroid portrait.

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