your own camera with you. The one you KNOW!
Do not buy it 1 day before you go and are unfamiliar
If you thinking on buying one consider the following
points and get acquainted with the camera and at least
run one film to see if you get the options of the camera
IF weight is important, buy a light camera
Buy a camera with also a light surface (the new ones
with golden and silver looks reflect the sun and leaving
it on a table in the sun will destroy the images if
the temp. goes up to high).
In buying a camera, go for the wide-angle option.
Churches, groups, interiors of churches can nicely
done with 30 to 35 mm, even landscapes with enormous
skies are impressive.
If you can spare the money try a compact and lightest
camera available and look for the zoom f.i. (it says
33~70 mm) The more you can spend on it, the better
the zoom qualities become
.say 35 or 45 ~240mm
(the longer the telephoto, the longer your wide angle
(it's technical very difficult to incorporate)
a nice wide extreme wide angle with a good telephoto
(to get detail out of
a church (a statue of
Mind that if your getting to telephoto there is a
loss in light coming to your film; so steady the camera
The mentioned cameras are all 35 mm no APS as 35
mm is more readily available in Spain.
However a compact camera always is surpassed by the
normal SLR camera's in quality of sharpness. If you
think you can carry it, think about it.
Again a wide angle is always useful. Or take a wide
angle and a zoom (80~200 or 250mm)
Compact camera's come with more or less intelligent
flash. They do not only calculate the amount of flash
to the distance (be careful by placing the automatic
sharpness control area on your camera on the right
subject, then pressing the pushbutton slightly down
to fix the distance and than compose and release shutter.),
some have also the option of flash outside to revive
colours. Use it! On dull days in makes a difference
or when you shooting towards the sun.
To keep the "mood" of the scene never set
it on flash, but disable it.
Never flash in churches or large interiors: it makes
no sense. It never shows!
Adjust your photography to your subject. So a tall
vertical object will be a standing photo etc.
Always remember the golden rule 1/3 to 2/3. This will
say never have the horizon or line in the middle of
your photo. Think of what part is more important.
Is it the cobles on the Roman way
then only a
bit of clouds If you're on the meseta and seeing all
around..go for the skies with the clouds ( if any)
and have only a minor section of "ground".
Doing a city street; watch for activity: a dog in
the street will already liven up your picture.
Buy colour negative even if you not used to these
kind of thing. 36 Exposures
Colour- negative is sharper due to the thinner film
and you can make perfect transp. and black and white
out of it. The speed you choose will be between 200
and 800 (for all seasons)
There are very small foldable ultra mini tripods
on the market (9 grams). (Usually sold as display
units in camera stores) - check for socket to hold
These tripods come in very handy: if you're going
alone and you like to be incorporated in the picture
(or all of you). Use the self-timer and
leaving home try out the camera and its option first
without and later with film and check the results!
You always find a table, a stone, the roof of a
car to place your camera on, set the timer and run
and smile. Do not forget in leaving the camera alone
to secure it with the strap
. gravity likes cameras!!
Without a tripod try to find a stable underground
a little bit of luck you're getting handy in these
(By the way sharpness in you're picture
is mostly set by camera motion not by the quality
of the lens uses - source:Ansel Adams).
What to photograph?
I found out that the most cherished photos are those
of friends and not of beautiful landscapes
do not forget that. To see if a landscape "works",
close one eye and SEE if it is still as impressive.
Some tips: Try to incorporate foreground (which will
give distance) A small flower in the foreground give
a relation to the scene behind.
Try to incorporate colour
Try to incorporate lines (roads
which lead to
your subject). Play with shadow, dark and light.
Do not assume that the moment you come to think to
photograph something, you're also on the right spot
to do so.!! Investigate your subject.
In buildings etc. go forward backwards up and down,
move around to see if it's getting better. Mind that
a low perspective ( on your belly) or standing somewhere
on it, can make the photo more attractive.
A good set consist of a grand overview ( 50 meters),
nearer to get an interesting sight (10 m) and a close
up (3 m) and a very close up (1 m or nearer)
If it's people: press the button and see later. If
you're in doubt and your close ask the person involved
if he/she is all right to have the picture taken
Should you buy postcards
? .Yes if you're not
sure These card making people had their camera, the
right moment and the right time to do so, but even
it's your Camino so make a photo yourself as well.
It's your personal statement of that what you found
interesting. Do not try to copy a postcard- if you
like that: copy these photo standards outside with
all the cards in it.!
Photos a generally speaking taken too far away. A
nice close up makes the difference in your series.
Try to get hold of the essentials of your pilgrim
way. (I liked more my photos of the interiors of an
alberque than the inside of Eunate )
Go for people you meet, the daily routine, which
becomes THE Story, when you come home.
The blisters, the mud, the inside of a bar, your food,
signs and shields on the Camino. Do not have all sunshine
photos. I there is fog or rain
. If you cannot find the right films for a moment
go for the substitute; you will find that something
happens on the way - when you have no film.!
Always check if the film is rightly set in the camera
and there is a film in it! Check progress in
the camera and do not rely only on the counter
Have the camera always ready in your front pouch!
Never hide it in your backpack.
What to do with the films?
Keep processed and unprocessed films in the most inner
side of your backpack in the plastic container it
comes in. Keep it cool! (If you can). See to it that
the used film has no film slip outside (roll it entirely
into the cassette). So you are not troubled by the
fact op using one film twice
If you think you can, take the films with you and
have them processed at home. Or you can send a packet
containing these films home.
One day processing is not bad in Spain, so you can
try that as well. The Fuji shop more or less next
to the Officina de Peregrinos works very well and
fast. Nice people too!
I made a photo of my arrival with Trigo in Santiago
and had it copied several times there and send it
to all my friends back home as a postcard (prepared
the stickers at home). Much nicer than a bought card.
If you promise people a photo, do not "forget"
to send it.
On digitals: This is the latest of course and the
only problem is
battery power and storage.
Buy an at least 3.3 million pixel one. For batteries:
the rechargeable of 1800 mAh type and do take the
charger with you. Try to get as much memory cards
with you as possible 128 MB or 256 MB.
To preserve battery power do NOT use the screen: it
consumes. A set of empty batteries will be recharged
in one night! So if you can ALWAYS recharge: it's
like taking water on your trip.
Be aware that there IS a delay in pressing the "shutter"
and the actual taking of it as the CCD reads it in
not set the camera on the lowest resolution in order
to get more photos on your memory card or stick. It
will not print very well!
Happy hunting and a good Camino!