Is there such a thing as the perfect travel photo? By now, most are aware of the stunning, nuanced photos of National Geographic and the Travel Channel. For most of us, we also know that, hard as we may try, we will never be able to get our own vacation photographs looking quite as polished, quite as balanced, quite as rich.
According to John Rapisardi, there is actually very little reason that even absolute beginner travel photographers shouldn’t be able to produce stunning work. But Rapisardi also happens to have descended from a long line of creatives. One of his ancestors Mario, was a renowned Sicilian poet. “I came from a family of writers, poets, and intellectuals in Sicily,” he says. “The Rapisardi family name has a long creative history that predates our immigration to America.” While Rapisardi’sprimary employment is in finance, his creative passion is travel photography. He has traveled extensively in his spare time and has a keen eye for the right shot.
“Sometimes the best shots aren’t really rehearsed,” says Rapisardi. “They’re just about having your camera and being in the right place at the right time. I find some of my favorite shots are around 6am for lighting reasons and because there are usually less people around.”
Rapisardi says that there are specific techniques that the beginner photographer should learn and keep in mind. He mentions the “rule of thirds,” in which you break a shot down into three fractions both horizontally and vertically to achieve a sense of balance. There is also something to be said for having reliable, essential equipment such as tripods in low light situations and some basic essential lenses.
Most of all, though, Rapisardi says that finding a good shot requires a sense of presence. “What you’re trying to find is a kind of the essence of a place,” says Rapisardi. “Sometimes finding a great shot isn’t a matter of location, it’s just opening up your creative eye more.”
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