Travel Photo Thursday: It Takes Two to Tango

Travel Photo Thursday: It Takes Two to Tango

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Lennon Wall, PragueIn past “Travel Photo Thursday” posts I stressed the importance of having peoplenot just grand edifices or sweeping landscapes—in your trip photos.

Your photos can show “locals” doing something, capture “look-alikes,”  or feature inanimate “people.” And you can use people to add a sense of scale to the shot.

While having a lone person in the photo is fine, including two is twice as good.

“Please, No Posing!”

Candid photos are great. But ones where people pose while the photographer says “Smile!” or “Cheese!” are generally cheesy and trite.

But sometimes people posing for a photo make for a great shot.

Prague Castle Sentry and TouristVisitors entering the “Prague Castle” complex from its east side pass through an ornate gate flanked on either side by a solider in a power-blue uniform standing stiffly at attention in a striped sentry box.

As at Buckingham Palace, these military guards are not supposed to move or crack a smile. They’re supposed to be like living mannequins, but without showing any signs of life.

And just like tourists who visit that London landmark, those who come to the Prague Castle often want to stand next to the sentry box and pose for an “I Was There” souvenir photo taken by a fellow traveler.

In this shot that I took, the tourist is standing almost as motionless as a the sentry.

“Take My Wife—Please!”

Comedian Henny Youngman made a living with this single line: “Take My Wife—Please!”

Wedding Day in PragueMarriage is a relationship between two people. And people get married everywhere that you’ll travel.

I encountered wedding parties on Rome’s Palatine Hill, where back in 1999 the government required couples to go through a civil ceremony even if they had already been joined in matrimony in church.

And I’ve nuptials taking place at Caen in France’s Normandy,  and Amboise in its chateau-castle lined Loire Valley.

But just downhill from the Prague Castle I was passed by this newly united happy couple.

“Please Dance with Me!”

Hofgarten Dancers, MunichOdds are good that in both large cities and even small towns you’ll find a discotheque, nightclub, or bar where there’s live music and dancing.

You can do the Texas Two-Step in Austin, the Blue Danube Waltz in Vienna, or the Polka in Stockholm.

But what dances do folks do in Munich, Germany? The Oktoberfest Octopus?

After walking out of that cities English Garden I came upon these dancers “hoofin”’ it” to recorded music in the nearby Hofgarten Pavilion.

It does take “Two to Tango,” you know, whatever dance you’re doing.

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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5 Replies to “Travel Photo Thursday: It Takes Two to Tango”

  1. I still don’t take enough photos with people in them but since reading a post on your blog some time ago I have paid attention to including people – for scale and interest. I’m not a fan of staged shots either.

  2. I agree that having a person in the shot can totally bring home the scale of surrounding objects. Without a person to compare to, the largest of objects can appear insignificant.

  3. When we went to China nine years ago, I didn’t get many photos with people in them. Much of the scale was lost. Not only that, I didn’t capture the culture of the people. Since that trip, I’ve gotten more intentional about photographing the people of the story — and you’re right, such photos can make the picture richer.

  4. When I traveled with my manual 35 MM camera camera with zoom lens it was easy to shoot pictures of people unobtrusively. But man was it heavy to carry around. I finally gave in to a pocket size digital, which is handy and does a lot. But I miss my zoon lens.

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