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Confessions of a Devious Photographer

This is just for Roy and other technically minded people

semi-overcast 24 °C

Well spotted R&B, (see blog comments re: When it Rains...It Pours). Why are there no other tourists in our pictures?
We could tell you that we painstakingly photoshop them out; or that we're not really travelling at all but we are hiding at home and we just pinch the pictures off the internet - it is possible. However, the truth is much simpler.
Almost everywhere we have been in Turkey has been very busy - sometimes packed with tourists. Here's an example - the beach at Fethiye...
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But the majority of tourists stay at all-inclusive resorts, or travel with an organised bus tour or on a cruise ship. We, on the other hand are seasoned soloists and early-birds. And so, by the time the package tour crowd has got up, had breakfast, waited for the inevitable layabout and been shepherded aboard a tour bus, we've already spent a couple of hours solitary sightseeing, wandering deserted streets or swimming off a pristine beach - and getting some nice clear shots. For instance: we were completely alone on the river in Dalyan at 7am, but by 9 am there was a constant parade of boats packed with snap-happy holidaymakers at the same spot...
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Another ploy to avoid the crowds is to visit lesser known places; places that are just too remote for a day trip from the big resorts or cruise ship ports.
Most often it is a combination of timing, opportunity, optical illusion, editing and luck. We never take guided tours - we read up beforehand and get all the information we want from brochures and signs - so while most people are tightly clumped around tour guides we are free to roam. So, by timing our shots between tour groups, we often make it appear that we are alone when in fact there are hundreds of people just ahead and behind us. And then there is the sheep syndrome; tourists generally follow the crowd. We, on the other hand, always seek a different path and consequently get views that others miss. We also create many of our 'people-free' shots by optical illusion. There are often numerous tourists in the scene, but by carefully choosing the foreground it is possible to hide them behind trees, rocks and structures. And often when you see one of us in close-up in the foreground it is to disguise the fact that a particularly pesky bunch of tourists is in the frame. Here a entire bus-load of French tourists were being lectured to the left of this tunnel entrance that I used as a screen...
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And then - the editing. By careful selection and cropping of shots we are usually able to 'clean' the picture of unwanted people. Here we have cut out some strays on the left and used the pillar on the right to hide an entire guided tour....
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Finally - luck. Sometimes we just spot a split-second when there is a gap in the crowd.and we get a picture like this...
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Who would believe that we were having lunch at a busy waterfront restaurant?

Posted by Hawkson 22:17 Archived in Turkey

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Comments

This is what makes you such great travel journalists. Will you be offering courses on photo editing when you get back?

by The Vickerage

Yup, that is the way to do it. I had the same comments for my photos of India: "Where are all the people?" If you time it right you can avoid the hordes. Love your travelogue!

by Abigail Gossage

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