Travel Photography Tips: 04

Travel Photography Tips is a section giving a variety of advice for using photography while traveling. The usual advice goes something like this, “the best camera is the one you have with you” or “use only your cell phone”.  Both are useful tips, but this section will go beyond that.


telling story in one photo

This month’s Travel Photography Tip is a little humorous. If you have read the other Travel Photography Tip posts, you know they come from my own experience of traveling. This tip is no different.

For some people it is common for them to lose weight when they travel, while others gain weight. Before I came to India the first time, my professor told me she usually gains 5 pounds when she comes. To my great surprise on that trip I lost 5 pounds because I was much more active. I was excited because at the time I was in a losing battle with my weight. I probably weighed between 160 and 170 pounds (there is a photo below) and by 2011 I weighed almost 200 pounds.

In 2012, I lost 60 pounds and now my weight generally stays between 135 and 140 pounds. However, right before I came to India this year I had gained around 10 pounds. By August I had lost the weight and was actually thinner than I had been since I first lost weight in 2012. I lost some of the weight for the same reasons others lose weight while traveling, diarrhea.

At the end of October I went back to the States for a visit and of course I gained some weight. I was eating all the things I cannot get here in India, plus I was home for Thanksgiving.

Now I am back in India and working on a new project. If you read the post on my new Self-Portrait project, you know the background. I was making a picture with my body in profile and I did not like what I saw. In the first photograph (above) you see that my stomach is sticking out. I feel like I look unnaturally big. So I retook the shot and sucked in my gut. This is the beauty of photography; it does not have to show reality. You can suck it in or make photos with just your face in them.

You may also notice that all of my profile photographs are my shadow. I take these photographs because I think they make interesting compositions but also because my shadow always looks thinner.

Now I hope everyone reading has a great body image of themselves. Now that I have lost weight I have body dysmorphia, this means when I look in the mirror I think I look fatter than I am. Regardless of our imperfections it is nice to see a photograph where we feel like we look good.

My advice, if you are traveling try all the new foods you can but also walk as much as you can, don’t take that tuk-tuk! If you come to Udaipur I will walk all over town with you. Regardless, do make sure to take some selfies or have someone photograph you, your will appreciate the memory later.

Me during my first trip to India, May 2009

Me in Delhi this past October, 2016

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By |2018-10-15T11:57:32-05:00December 21st, 2016|Travel Photography Tips|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

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