Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.
You get to dress up in scary, slutty (not me, of course), funny, and/ or inappropriate costumes. You get to eat candy. You get to stay up partying until 6am. Oh, wait… The 6am thing is just a normal Saturday night in Buenos Aires.
I also really enjoy photography. So this Halloween, I got to combine two things I love by participating in a Buenos Aires street photography tour with Foto-Ruta.
Foto-Ruta is a new tour company started by a couple of expats who enjoy exploring cities through photography.
I can relate!
My friend Rease from Travelated and I dressed up in our homemade costumes. She made a pretty good Ninja, complete with a metal sword bought in Barrio Chino. I was more limited with my wardrobe options and refusal to spend any of my travel money on a costume.
(Special thanks to my friends who answered my call for Halloween costume ideas on Facebook. Really creative ideas, but in the end I went the easy route.)
Anyways… back on topic.
We met the crew from Foto-Ruta in Monserrat.
This is a neighborhood in the center of the city that borders San Telmo. It is easily overlooked, but it actually has some of the oldest and most impressive architecture of the city.
Foto-Ruta picks an interesting (and safe) neighborhood. Participants bring whatever camera they have (doesn’t have to be fancy) and get a short introduction that includes an overview of the neighborhood and photography tips.
You get a list of 10 photo clues. You split up into small groups and go out and explore, looking for photos that represent each clue. You are encouraged to be as creative as you would like. In fact, some of the clues can be difficult to represent literally, so you have to get creative.
At the end, your team selects which 10 photos (1 for each clue) to give to Foto-Ruta, and they are all displayed on a screen for the whole group to see.
4 Things I Like About This Tour
# 1 – You break up into small groups.
I do not enjoy walking around in a herd.
And especially when I am taking photos, I prefer to be on my own. I can linger in one spot if I see something I like and take 50 photos from different angles.
#2 – It forces you to be creative.
I do not consider myself to be a creative person. Or maybe I should say that I would like to be more creative. The challenge to capture all 10 photo clues makes you be creative. And you have a partner with you to help come up with ideas.
#3 – It is designed for both the beginner and intermediate level.
The photography tips overview Foto-Ruta provides does not go into detail on the technical stuff like aperture. They focus on composition and how to get artistic images with any camera. So it is perfect for beginners.
Although I do not have any training or professional experience, I do know a bit about photography after investing in a good camera and lenses and learning/ practicing on the road over the last year. I know to look for things like texture and pattern and find interesting viewpoints, but it is still a good exercise to review these techniques and go out and focus on a few of them.
I also really enjoyed looking at the photo examples they provided to illustrate each technique
#4 – It is organized and professional.
To be honest, I was not expecting much. But these ladies have their stuff together. They were ready to start on time (although some participants arrived late). They had nicely-designed handouts, including a map and clues and a list of creative photography techniques to keep.
Wine and snacks were waiting for us when we got back to share our photos.
Let’s face it. Wine wins me over every time.
Rease and I paired up and combined our photos to select our top 10. Here are a few of my favorites from my camera.
Clue: Haunted and Holy
I am using the techniques of light (a small amount illuminates this glass artwork) movement (the blur caused by a slow shutter-speed at night) to make this holy picture look a little haunted.
As soon as Rease and I saw this clue, we knew we needed to take a photo of her using the Ninja sword to chop off something’s head. We stumbled across this graffiti art depicting a rabbit with it’s head cut off (creepy, I know), so it was perfect.
Clue: Trick or Meat
Our creative idea was to have me pose at a carniceria with me holding out a bag and the butcher pretending to drop a big hunk of meat in my trick-or-treat bag. There weren’t any open at this hour, so we had to get creative. We saw this unfortunately-named restaurant and knew this was our shot.
Seriously, who wants to eat at an all-you-can-eat parrilla called Good Luck?
Clue: Traveling Ghost
This is my favorite photo of the shooting session. Rease spotted this interesting stencil art on the sidewalk. We ended up submitting her shot as the best representation of the clue, but I also like my shot. I used the techniques of patterns, lines, and a different viewpoint to capture a unique image.
You can check out the rest of the photos from the Halloween event on the Foto-Ruta Facebook Page photo album. You may have to ‘Like’ their page to see the album.
This experience has inspired me to spend more time on the creative aspect of my photography. I will challenge myself to spend dedicated time out walking the streets (not like that!) and actively practicing the creative photography techniques provided by Foto-Ruta. I will share the results in a Favorite Photo of the Week post on my website.
I hope to improve the creativity of my photos and share some cool shots with everyone. Feel free to critique…. the good and the bad
Check it out!
Have you taken a photography tour while traveling? What did you learn from it?
I attended this tour as a guest of Foto-Ruta, however, my opinions are always my own.