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BAD TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY SECRETS REVEALED

photography secrets

Find the right cluster of furniture piled behind a steel fence.

If it carries an association with a famous author, all the better.

Frame it in and push the button. All done, right?

Photography secrets are in plain sight in this example.

The fence distorts the view. The frame’s too small to read anything. It looks like a contrived pile of furniture to reflect the voice of the Roaring 20’s Jazz Age.

Either take your picture and move along, or break it down into moments.

Photography secrets believe deleting some pictures is okay. Or fix them.

photography secrets

The chair from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s room at the Grove Park Inn gives a sense of time and place.

You still can’t read the framed material, or the center banner, but the red flowers show nicely.

Bad travel photography makes the viewer yearn to find a better picture, which deepens their own knowledge of a time and place.

That’s not a bad thing.

 Photography secrets to eliminate reflections

photography secrets

Oh to find romance with Sally Carrol in midsummer Asheville, North Carolina.

Instead you’ll find Fitzgerald in Thomas Wolfe’s hometown, the background for his Look Homeward Angel.

Does ‘hanging fire’ sound like an STD to you, too?

“Got the hanging fire in Asheville from Sally Connor, or Carrol, somebody. I was drunk.”

Reading the poster with the hot spots reinforces the pain of contracting Asheville’s hanging fire.

Bad travel photography secrets suggest the fading fame of a once bright light

Like reflections, unfocused print makes a reader concentrate.

They really want to read it, not just scan.

I’ll save you the trouble.

F. Scott Fitzgerald is not vacationing in Asheville.

This is his happy face

photography secrets

No one looks thrilled when they’re depressed, severely alcoholic, with a wife in a Baltimore mental hospital.

Don’t ask for a smile, or read too much into a picture.

But you can’t help yourself. Neither can I.

Clean up the picture, clean up the author

photography secrets

If you’re fluent in reading between the lines, this is the picture of a very promising man, c. 1921.

He looks haunted here due to a bad travel photo secret: sepia makes everything look haunted.

This is what he looked like two years after he sat in the hotel chair.

Not his happy face, though he looks happy enough

photography secrets

C. 1937. Image via Library of Congress

From NPR:

He was drinking 50 ponies of beer a day — the “beer cure” — in an attempt to wean himself off gin. His writing, 10 years after The Great Gatsby, had gone flat. He was churning out hack stories for magazines, trying to pay off debts and the bills for his wife Zelda’s hospitalization in a psychiatric facility. Few magazines were interested. Fitzgerald thought Grove Park Inn might help.

Fifty anythings of beer a day sounds like too many. What’s a pony?

Using a beer cure to get off gin, alcohol to avoid alcohol, sounds like a beer company’s evil marketing plan.

It’s not trick photography that makes Fitzgerald look normal in pictures. The secret is in the pose and his tie.

If you didn’t know, he looks like a regular guy.

Swathed in an alcoholic haze, Fitzgerald turned 40 at Grove Park, broke his shoulder in a bad dive, slipped in the bathroom and was found on the floor the next morning. Hoping to elevate his reputation, he let a New York Post reporter pay a visit.

The newspaperman portrayed him as a lost soul of the Jazz Age. He was depicted as a “very broken man, who’s physically feeble and mentally very pathetic and reaching to the highboy to have a drink — with a nurse on hand to watch him constantly because he had fired off a gun here in the hotel that same summer in ’36.”

If you’ve seen one down and out 40 year old drunk, then you know it’s not pretty at any age.

But a famous man trashed out of his mind must be worse than most.

How can photography secrets bring that out?

Zelda Fitzgerald outlived her husband by eight years. F. Scott Fitzgerald died in 1940 in Hollywood, where he’d begun pulling himself together, drinking less and writing The Last Tycoon — an unfinished masterpiece. Asheville, N.C., was an interlude in their brief, unquiet lives.

Who doesn’t dream of leaving an unfinished masterpiece? No better way to say, “I wasn’t always a screw up.”

Travel photography says the same thing. The secret is making it about more than travel.

It’s about the surprise of discovery, like the F. Scott Fitzgerald shrine.

It’s about the backstory of pictures you can’t stop looking at.

People need more context than a timeline, or one shot of someplace they’ve never been.

They want to climb on in and BE there.

Before you take another picture with these new photography secrets, ask this, “Who am I inviting in?”

About David Gillaspie
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