Travel photography in Europe with four kids and a non-enthusiast spouse

Bif

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This is where that "kit" lens everyone "puts down" comes into it's own. It is usually fairly sharp, more than sharp enough to get memories. The GX1 is a very compact camera (I had one and gave it to my grandson when I got the GX7.

With that lens, in normal daylight, you can frame and capture quickly anything from wide angle views to across the street selective views. The 42mm end is a pretty good portrait perspective for grabbing some memories of the wife and kids in some of those neat locations.

The "kit" lens and the 20mm f1.7 are all I'd take on any trip I wanted to be "light" on.
 

fortwodriver

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How about this...
When you sit down to dinner, try and pick the lightest dishes as often as possible.
Finish a little before everyone else and then excuse yourself from the table to run around and get some shots nearby.
This way, the kids are stuffing their faces and quiet, and wife is enjoying her meal.

That seemed to work with me when travelling with my wife and nieces and nephews.
Some of the best pictures can be had at around dinner time as the sun gets low.
Then run back and enjoy some dessert and a nice little espresso or a cafe creme with your wife!
 

Steven

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Definitely take the 14mm. Not only is it indispensable for evening architecture photos, it will save you tons of time when you just take the photo of something and don't worry about zooming in or out. The fact that it is so small and unassuming will only help as well.
 

T N Args

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call me Arg
If my wife said what your wife said, I would make it clear that the ONLY way I am going to enjoy the holiday is by expressing myself as a person, and that my choice is to do that via photography.
I would then proceed to put counter-articles on the fridge, right over the top of hers. :evilsmile:

She puts articles on the fridge door about how taking photographs ruins our ability to enjoy life and remember key moments.
What a killjoy attitude! Not to mention an extreme minority position. The general consensus of most holidayers and travelers is the opposite: taking photographs enhances our ability to enjoy life and remember key moments. My wife would be lovingly reminded that she is free to take as few or many photos as she wants, and I am too.
 

Ramsey

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Zagreb, Croatia
Bring the kit lens. It's not that big and you will appreciate the ability to zoom.

Take an occasional picture of tourist places but make the most pictures of your family. It doesn't have to be art pictures, snapshots are fun and photography should be (IMO) fun.

I will refrain from marital advice, as I only have 4 years of experience. Luckily, my wife gets that i enjoy my crappy photography and is OK with it. She was aganist all the costs but forgot (the most) about it when i printed 10 or so larger images from our vacation.

I went on a business trip 2 months ago with two relative unknowns. I told them relatively soon that i have a camera and that i will sometimes lag behind them during sightseeing, but they can continue without me or tell me directly if they are fed up (i appreciate honesty). They waited patiently and i made it a priority to make sure they don't wait too long (came back alone if i wanted to get a better shot). Also, got a couple of good portrait shots of them to reward them for their patience. Same with wife.

Enjoy your vacation.
 

dwig

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Use this as an excuse to buy a RX100 with a fixed zoom. Claim you did it for the good of the family.
NO NO NO.

Given that the OP is leaving right away, the window to considering the purchase of new equipment closed several months ago. It is a MASSIVE mistake to take brand new equipment on an important trip and it is 10x as bad to do it under the circumstances (family issues) the OP is under.

New equipment will only be a bigger distraction. Take an "old worn shoe" of a camera. One that you can use without much thought other than image composition; one where your fingers already know where every button is.
 

craniac

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Update: I used the 14mm the first few days and kept the camera in my pocket. After three days of thousands of tourists with entry-level or better DSLRs everwhere I went, I said screw it and put on the kit lens with the hood and attached the neck strap and let my geek flag fly. I took 400 photos today. This is me after six hours in the Louvre. I told my daughter that she takes the photos tomorrow, because I think I hurt myself.
 

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Replytoken

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Update: I used the 14mm the first few days and kept the camera in my pocket. After three days of thousands of tourists with entry-level or better DSLRs everwhere I went, I said screw it and put on the kit lens with the hood and attached the neck strap and let my geek flag fly. I took 400 photos today. This is me after six hours in the Louvre. I told my daughter that she takes the photos tomorrow, because I think I hurt myself.
Glad you provided an explanation with that photo. For a moment I thought it was your wife with her hands around your neck! :eek:

Glad your trip is going well. I hope your daughter enjoys her time "behind the wheel".

--Ken
 

barry13

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So with those variables in mind, I'm looking for tips on getting some good photos in Europe (France/Edinburgh/Amsterdam) while keeping the family happy and not being too disengaged. I think what I will end up doing is getting up early and going for photo walks, and just taking opportunistic snapshots when we're out and about for the day. I'm keeping my expectations low so i don't get too stressed about missed photos.
I just watched The Traveling Photographer series on Lynda by David Hobby (aka Strobist.com); it was directly relevant to balancing family travel with taking pictures and I enjoyed it.
One of his main points was to do family stuff during the day, and do photo stuff during the golden hours / blue hours.

Lynda.com is free with some library memberships, btw.
 
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Holly
This is where that "kit" lens everyone "puts down" comes into it's own. It is usually fairly sharp, more than sharp enough to get memories. The GX1 is a very compact camera (I had one and gave it to my grandson when I got the GX7.

With that lens, in normal daylight, you can frame and capture quickly anything from wide angle views to across the street selective views. The 42mm end is a pretty good portrait perspective for grabbing some memories of the wife and kids in some of those neat locations.

The "kit" lens and the 20mm f1.7 are all I'd take on any trip I wanted to be "light" on.
Very good advice here.....
 

LilSebastian

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I just watched The Traveling Photographer series on Lynda by David Hobby (aka Strobist.com); it was directly relevant to balancing family travel with taking pictures and I enjoyed it.
One of his main points was to do family stuff during the day, and do photo stuff during the golden hours / blue hours.

Lynda.com is free with some library memberships, btw.
Good suggestion Barry. I've watch the Traveling Photographer: The Basics as well as the Hong Kong course. Both full of practical tips, delivered by an ernest and experienced photographer. The fact that he brings a fixed lens X100S as his only camera challenges us to travel light and get creative through selective restrictions.
 
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