Travel Photography Tips
How to Take Better Holiday Photos and Avoid Picture Problems
We all want to take great photos whilst on holiday. They serve as a reminder of the wonderful time that we had and are a way to share our experience with others.
However, we are sometimes disappointed with the way our holiday photos turn out – images are blurred, out of focus or are just plain boring. But what can we do about it?
Here are twelve tips to make you a happy snapper, get you taking better holiday photos and avoid some common picture problems.
1) Learn to use some of your camera’s most useful ‘holiday settings’ before you go. Know how to turn on the flash, increase your ISO and macro settings and use self-timer. It beats fumbling with your camera and missing great photo opportunities.
2) Take your camera everywhere and don’t weigh yourself down with cumbersome equipment. Travel light. A small, light-weight tripod or ‘Gorrillapod’ is a useful accessory, ideal for low light conditions/night shots/slow shutter speeds.
3) Avoid underexposing faces. When people pose in front of bright backgrounds (sand, snow, sunsets or sea) they can become silhouetted. This might can an interesting photo, but if you’d like to recognise them, use flash to illuminate them.
4) Avoid blurry night and low-light shots. At night and in low light conditions, your camera has to keep open its shutter to gather enough light to expose your images. If anything or anyone moves whilst the camera shutter remains open the image will be blurred. Keep your camera steady by using a tripod. If you don’t have a tripod, hold your camera as steady as possible and use high ISO setting. If people are posing in the frame – ask them to keep very still, and use flash.
5) Memory cards. Don’t keep ‘all your eggs in one basket’. Rather than loading all your images onto one large capacity memory card – use several smaller capacity cards in case you loose your card or it is faulty.
6) Fully charge your camera batteries before you go and remember to take your battery charger with you (with a suitable adapter for the local electricity supply).
7) Think about composition. Make your images look more interesting. Take pictures from different angles and points of view. Instead of taking all your pictures at head height, get up high or down low. Use ‘leading lines’ – lines which draw the viewer into the picture and the ‘rule of thirds’ – which places your subject one third of the way (horizontally or vertically) into the frame, rather than dead centre,
8) For more interesting people pictures. Use the rule of thirds for people, too. Don’t place people dead centre in the frame – move them to one side. To keep them in sharp focus, point your camera at them, half-press your shutter (you should hear the auto focussing bleep). Keeping your shutter half-pressed, you can now recompose your picture and press the shutter fully to take the shot.
9) To find good locations for taking photos, look at local postcards and buy a good guide book.
10) Shoot your pictures in the morning and evening for the best light conditions. Light during this time looks warmer and makes your images more attractive.
11) Portraits of locals can make great images. Before taking close-ups of local people, ask permission. If they say no, respect their wishes.
12) Make a more interesting photographic record of your trip by photographing the small details. Take close up and macro shots of unusual features, local food and flowers.
I hope that these tips will help you take better holiday photos and avoid picture problems.
Have a great time!
By: Mark S. Elliott
Better Photos – Digital Photography and DSLR Training UK