Photography in popular tourist destinations: use the intruder


Photography in popular tourist destinations: use the intruder

Has it ever happened, during one of your trips, that you have found yourself looking at the perfect panoramic view, one that you absolutely have to get a picture of, but you can’t because of the annoying presence of people or things that get in the way, between you and your target subject?
It’s a classic situation, especially in popular tourist locations, and I have to admit that, many times, I’ve just given up on the idea and put my camera away.
However, I came to realise that it wasn’t fair that I had to miss out on every opportunity to take home beautiful memories, so I decided to try to find the positive side, even in the midst of a crowd of selfie-mad tourists.

The secret lies in trying to make your photos unique; in other words, you use the intruder and make him part of the photographic context.
After all, if you think about it, there are thousands of beautiful panoramas, so why not try to personalise yours by framing it in a more creative manner?

For example, there are areas of some rather folkloric cities that are absolutely worth photographing. Obviously. it is nearly impossible to find the perfect moment in which the passers-by can’t be seen, especially during a trip where you really don’t have all the time in the world to hang around waiting.
For example, I once found an interesting detail in the Chinatown area of Milan: a street lamp caught my attention because of all the notices stuck on it, in Chinese writing. Given that it is point of passage, it was practically impossible to get an obstacle-free environment; so I decided to just get my subject of interest in focus and snap away. For my background, I chose the blurred image of two passers-by who were kissing.


More often than not, the problem is to do with crowds of people that are all there to take pictures of a beautiful place or thing. It’s annoying, of course, but you can’t expect to have the place to yourself. A panoramic viewpoint can actually appear a lot less flat if you include them in it.


Dingli cliffs Malta

Taking pictures within an archaeological site is difficult because of the crowds, especially close to the most famous monuments. I, for example, am not one for asking my travelling companion to take pictures of me next to the monument in question; nonetheless, it does appear to be a very popular practice. As soon as waiting for every tourist to take his picture starts to get wearying, I try to use one as a creative subject in my photo.

Amman, archaeological site

Very often, photos are able to tell you about only that one place, about the good things and the not-so-good. In Thailand, for example, I have often seen windows and great billboards devoted to royalty; they are everywhere, covering the street of the city.
I wanted to photograph at least one, in order to preserve the memory of this widespread custom but, especially in Bangkok, you have to negotiate the countless electricity wires that stretch down both sides of every street. Instead of just taking a picture of the portrait, I decided to include another typical feature of Bangkok to represent the different sides of the city: devotion to royalty and total chaos. Electricity wires and street signs both seemed to me elements that represented the reality of the city of angels.

bangkok, electricity wires


Stefania Pozzi

Stefania, born in Milan -a city with which I have a love/hate relationship. I write only what my heart sees, not absolute truths. I like to savour the true feelings of the places I visit. I set aside any comforts to experience people and places to the full. I love to dabble in taking photos with a propensity for street photography. I love to mix in with people and gather fragments of local culture.

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