Hate Trolls, Love ELPHS

Strrets of Moyogolpa, Nicaragua, ©2011 Shelley Seale

My next camera will be a Canon ELPH. The wonderful photo above is by Austin-based travel writer Shelley Seale. She captured the colorful street in a small town on Ometepe, a volcanic island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. Oddly enough, Shelley doesn’t think of herself as a gifted photographer. Do check out her ‘Trading Places Global’ travel blog to follow her adventures and see more of her work. Josh Berman, co-author the The Moon Handbook: Nicaragua shared Shelley’s picture (above) on Facebook. I wrote to her to ask about this eye-popping image, and if she had any photography advice to share.

Volcano, Ometepe, Nicaragua photo © 2011 Shelley Seale

“I assure you that was all the work of my fun, fantastic ‘miniature’ setting on my little Canon ELPH 500 camera. I don’t know if I would have any real tips for newbies; I can only say what I do, which is have my camera ready at almost any given time to snap that quick street shot or something happening in the moment. This is why I like having such a small camera.  – I even shot photos and video from the back of a motorcycle with it! I let the camera do the work and experiment with the fun settings and unusual angles or eye levels.”

Street scene, Luang Prabang, Laos, © 2012 Shelley Seale

Looking at Shelley’s Trading Places Global blog, I noticed she takes advantage of the magic of early morning light for her most dramatic shots, as in the Laotian street above. Canon’s ELPH 500, the model Shelly uses, can now be found online for about $220. Canon’s ELPH 300 is a slightly cheaper alternative: refurbished units go for under $150.

On a tighter budget? Rona Dacoscos, a San Francisco friend, uses the Canon’s A1200 HD. It has the same miniature setting. Canon’s A1200 can be found on Amazon or Best Buy for as little as $80. However, Rona recommends finding time to test every possible effect as soon as you unpack your camera. She sent back 2 lemons before she got one that was fully functional. Next post I’ll share some of Rona’s images.

Speaking of Scenic Nicaragua: My brother lives there part of each year and I’ve visited twice. Nicaragua is a colorful place to sketch, paint, or photograph. My friend Gerald Pavon is a great guide, and fluent in English, German, and Spanish. His Eco-Camp Expeditions, based in Leon, leads treks to Nicaragua’s highland coffee country, Ometepe, and other parts of Central America. Info: www.ecocampexpeditions.com

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