The right place at the right time
The beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia, is like any other place when it comes to timing your shot. Ok, while timing may not be everything, it sure is one huge factor in my decision making process when it comes to my travel photography. Not only will you get different light and weather during different times of day and night, but you will get different kinds of activity, especially in an urban setting.
I was staying at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Savanna, which is situated right on the waterfront. Lucky for me that I had the nicest desk clerk in all of Savannah to help me check in, because not only did she throw in free internet (I hate those crazy fees), but she also gave me the perfect room facing the Talmadge Memorial Bridge. Even cooler for me was the fact that my room had a door that led directly out onto the roof top outdoor lounge, perfect for taking photos!
A few hours can make a huge difference in the photo that I am able to capture. Sometimes it’s a matter of minutes. Take a look at the first two photos above for example, there are subtle changes in tone, light, colour, and vantage point. When I find a location or a scene that I think will make for a good subject to photograph, I’ll try to return to that spot at least one more time unless I know I got a killer photo. This is not always easy or possible to do, so I’ll at least try to get the shot from several different angles. Sometimes I’ll find myself in a great location with dreadful lighting or other types of impediments like scaffolding or huge crowds. Unfortunately I can’t always be at the great locations at sunrise and sunset. You can’t always get what you want, but you can be content that you tried your best.
The first bit of advice I give when people ask me for tips on photography is: “Take a LOT of photos”.
Memory cards are cheap and buying a plane ticket to reshoot is substantially more expensive ;)
You never know if that one frame you just shot is in focus, or if the fifth frame that you cropped differently or exposed differently will be the winner. Variety is the spice of life, so I try and mix it up a bit when I’m shooting, and I’m usually very glad I did.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
The photo of the gargantuan container ship was one that I was not expecting to get. In fact, I had no clue that these ships would be streaming by my hotel room window. As I opened up the curtains to get a look at the view, I was thrilled to have the waterfront view of the river and bridge. When I found the door that led from my room to the terrace, I went to get some fresh air and noticed that there were some of these ships on the horizon. As time went by I saw that they were headed my way and as they approached I was rather stunned by the sheer enormity of these vessels. It was almost as if from my vantage point, I could take a running jump and land on the deck. They really were coming in close to the shore.
I planned to be at the hotel at different times of day and night to be able to get these shots, and to quote Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith from the A team: “I love it when a plan comes together.” :D
My memoriesof the hotel room itself are vague, but I’ll never forget the view. Sure, I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, but I also made good use of the fact that I had such a cool perspective. So maybe timing isn’t everything after all. Patience, planning, timing and luck all are a part of getting the shots I’m after.
Hope you enjoyed this look at a fun corner of Savannah.
Austria, Hungary & Germany here I come!
I’m really excited to be leaving later today for my trip to Europe. I’ll be heading to Innsbruck to attend the Travel Bloggers Unite conference, where I’ll be doing a couple of photo walks for the people attending the conference. I can’t wait! In Innsbruck I’ll get the chance to meet other travel bloggers and travel industry people, visit the city, take some great photos, sample some local foods and drinks and make some new friends. This is going to be so much fun.
After the conference is over I’ll be heading to Vienna, Budapest, Salzburg, and Munich. So much to see and photograph and I’m really looking forward to sharing those photographs here on my blog when I return home.
I’ll do my best to keep in touch via Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. If you’d like to follow me on these social media platforms, just click on the buttons in the sidebar of the blog. If you’re not already on Google+ you can ask me for an invitation. Please follow the directions:
Sincere thanks to:
- Oliver – the big cheese at Travel Bloggers Unite
- Martina – from the Austrian Tourism Board
- Petra – from Air B&B (sponsors of my stays in Vienna, Budapest, Salzburg, and Munich)
- Roberta – Editor of http://visitbudapest.travel/
- Dóra & Vivien – from the Hungarian National Tourist Office
- Isabella – from the City of Munich Tourist Office
Enjoy more travel photos and stories:
Len Saltiel says
These images are simply amazing Ken.
I really hope your blog never stops making me smile every single time there’s a new post. So much awesomeness :D
I miss you already! You better have a WONDERFUL time in Europe…
I love all the shots — but the movement one of the barge is especially awesome. Have fun at Innsbruck. So jealous!! I had such a great time at the Manchester TBU!
Carlos Garcia says
Ken: great “storytelling” blog! The images are superb! Have a great time in Austria, Hungary and Germany! Please be sure to greet Mozart and Beethoven :)
Kris Koeller says
What a great collection of long-exposures. I like the ghosting on the ship in the last one. I agree, timing is everything!
I’ve stayed at that Hyatt before and it was so cool being able to watch the ships go by and I remember being surprised how close and big they were. Wonderful photos.. I love the way they make me feel and agree about the general awesomeness of that last shot.
Edith Levy says
Great images Ken. I think the last one is my favorite. Happy travels. I look forward to seeing the pictures.
Ken Kaminesky says
Thank you all for the nice comments!
Abby, hope to see you in Italy at the next TBU cconference.
Sept 6th today and I’m leaving Budapest to go to Salzburg. I already have so many photos and I can’t wait to share them here on my blog :)
I currently live in Savannah and the most pictures I’ve taken have been on River St. Interesting you were in the Hyatt. My husband and I stayed there for a getaway night, and we, too, saw a container ship from our window which I had to take a picture of. I still have yet to go through those pictures to post them but I should soon. Of course, mine are nowhere near as good as these, especially considering they were just taken from my Droid X (although it has a surprisingly good camera for being a cell phone).