aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Ourminds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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portrait of pisa
leaning and straight

Pisa Duomo complex

View of the Piazza dei Miracoli

If you've read the same articles I have, the story goes that a high end camera doesn't make much difference in photography.  The key to good photography is experience, practice, and creative imaging.  A great photographer can take a photo with an iPhone that will blow the socks off a picture from an amateur with the most expensive DSLR. 

Leaning Tower of Pisa Pisa Campanile
Pisa Duomo Pisa Duomo

Exterior views

We don't aspire to be professional photographers or even semi-professionals but, when I look back at our old photography, I can see the leaps and bounds by which our photography has improved.  Sure, we have a higher end DSLR now than when we first took shots of Pisa but that's not the real difference.

Pisa Duomo

Pisa Duomo  Interior of Pisa Duomo
 Pisa Duomo  Ceiling of Pisa Duomo
 Pisa Duomo  Interior of Pisa Duomo

Interior of Pisa Duomo

The real difference is that, when we came to Pisa five years ago and took pictures of the Leaning Tower, our framing was boring; we didn't take advantage of the huge contrast in color between the brilliant white marble against green grass and blue skies, the differences in size between tiny people and massive buildings, and the strange shapes in the Piazza dei Miracoli.  We didn't know how to utilize natural light to take interior shots and we didn't know anything about post processing either.

Piazza dei Miracoli

Piazza dei Miracoli

Piazza dei Miracoli at dusk

We get a lot of questions from folks asking us about our photography --- how do we take certain snapshots, what sort of equipment do we use, and so on --- which both humbles and surprises us.  (And, perhaps, if folks are interested, I'll do a full run down on our photography equipment at some point.)  Lately, we've even been getting requests from people to sell our images which is even nicer.  We're working to meet people interested in photography, taking classes and photography walks, and experimenting with new techniques.

But, as we work to continue improving our photography, what we find is that the best teacher is practice. 

05/04/2012 05:33
So beautiful!

I also agree that great photography comes with experience - just as writing, painting or any other creative hobby.
A Montrealer Abroad's recent blog post: #Frifotos: Flowers
05/23/2012 14:04
Thank you! Absolutely - practice always makes perfect.
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/04/2012 05:54
I would love to hear more about your photography!
Jill's recent blog post: Walking in Vientiane.
05/23/2012 13:49
Thanks Jill! I'm adding photography posts to my posting calendar. :)
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/04/2012 09:49
Beautiful shots! I would love to hear about your photography. I have kind of a mini DSLR, but I'm really interested to hear what other traveller bring with them and tips for making the most of not having all the professional equipment/experience.
wandergirl's recent blog post: Welcome to Wanderlustkind!
05/23/2012 13:47
Thank you! Will do --- and I'm completely curious as to what a "mini DSLR" is. :)
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/04/2012 10:40
Your photographs were pretty awesome the first time around in Pisa but they have certainly drastically improved since then! I personally love the photography on this site and think out of all the travel blogs I've seen/read you two have some of the best photography out there! I strive to keep practicing to one day take photos even remotely as vibrant/amazing as yours! I would love to read about your photography equipment, recommendations, tips, tutorials, etc.
Vicky's recent blog post: Lentil Soup
05/23/2012 13:42
Vicky, thank you, thank you, thank you! That is such a huge compliment and we both really appreciate it. I'm planning on running a few separate posts on this topic starting next month so it's really useful to get input on what readers want to read with respect to photography. Thanks!
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/04/2012 18:58
I do agree that equipment does make a difference though. Because I come from an artistic background, I've never had problems with framing and colour, but because I take pictures with a simple point and shoot, sometimes the images are disappointing. I've been having a lot of problems lately with photos which are always not sharp enough, and let's not mentioned how bad my camera is at capturing landscapes because it's wide angle. This, however, is a sacrifice I have to make because I don't want to run around with heavy equipment.
05/23/2012 13:40
Denise, I definitely agree that there's a big jump in quality between a point and shoot and a DSLR, largely because of the ability to zoom and use wide angles. But, once you get into the DSLRs, I feel that the difference in quality isn't as dramatic. That being said, we love our point and shoot for certain types of pictures, especially when hanging out with friends, and we don't want to lug around our heavy DSLR equipment.
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/06/2012 12:57
Definitely some of the best photos I've seen of Pisa! Love the wide angle interior shots. :-)
Matthew Karsten's recent blog post: Swimming with Sea Turtles [PHOTO]
05/08/2012 22:46
I agree! Did you just use an Iphone in taking those pictures?
05/23/2012 10:39
Tanaris - No, I wish! We used our DSLR for all of these photos but we have taken other sets just with our iPad. We're learning more on how to do iphoneography but right now, prefer our DSLR.
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/23/2012 10:44
Thank you Matt! That means a lot coming from you. :)
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/09/2012 20:03
Your practice has paid off! These are beautiful photos
Brock - Backpack with Brock's recent blog post: At a Glance: New Hampshire Road Trip Day Four
05/23/2012 10:37
Thank you Brock!
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/11/2012 09:27
I'm always interested in hearing about other's tips on photography as well as the gear that they're using. I agree that in the end, experience is the best teacher for these kind of things... and the willingness to keep taking pictures! My husband, who worked as a professional photographer, reminds me that in this digital age, you can take hundreds of shots and it's ok, so long as you get "the one". Patience and persistence pays off!
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)'s recent blog post: A Tale of Two Backpacks
05/23/2012 10:18
Steph, I totally agree! That's the best part about digital photography. We can take lots of pictures to try things out and fiddle around with different settings and if we don't like them, we just press delete! Much better than the old way of developing photos.
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/18/2012 03:40
One word: Breathtaking.
Claire Kole's recent blog post: Tips for a Drive Holiday
05/23/2012 07:49
Thank you Claire!
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
10/18/2012 04:47
Nice pics. We just went to Italy/Pisa and had a great time.
10/23/2012 13:41
05/15/2015 10:58
Umh. I think you guys need to visit Italy again, and head to Sardinia!
10/29/2015 00:30
Tim Rorbinson
It’s all in visualizing the picture before you snap it. That requires maintaining a certain alternate perspective, which you can switch to even while looking at the object. Once you achieve that, you’re likely to take better pictures than someone who simply flaunts a DSLR and pretends to know how to use it. catalina island hotels

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