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6 Tips to Capture Your Picture Perfect Vacation
When I sat down to create my vision board at the start of the year, “Be More Creative” was one of the goals that topped my list of 2014 resolutions. For me, part of accomplishing this goal meant becoming more familiar with the DSLR camera I’d purchased. Fortunately, the year has afforded plenty of reason to flex my newly forming photography muscles. The most recent of which was the trip to Cannes and Vienna from which I’ve just returned.
In the days leading up to the trip I kept my “DSLRs for Dummy” book by my bedside to brush up on my beginner photographer skills. Then, camera in hand as we jet set across Europe, I set out to capture the perfect vacation pics. Though I still have a great deal to learn, I’ve picked up a few basic skills from which any camera-happy single girl could benefit.
Whether you’ve got a vacation of your own coming up or would simply like to pick up a few new tricks, here are 6 tips to help you capture your favorite days in the most memorable of ways.
1. Pick a theme
Ever find yourself seized by analysis paralysis where you have so many options to choose from you ultimately choose none at all? When I’m traveling I find that I can fall victim to this ill-fate. With so many things to photograph I sometimes don’t even know where to start. To alleviate this woe and add purpose to my picture-taking, I like to pick a theme to focus on throughout my trip. I pick one subject and make sure to capture it as I go. Since visiting the Santa Monica farmer’s market is one of my favorite things to do, during this past trip, I focused on photographing the food markets that we passed through. I love getting a feel for how the locals shop and find the colors of the markets make beautiful photos. On your next trip, think about a theme you could focus on–this besides markets, food, doors, alleys, and shoes are a few of my favorites.
2. Focus on a subject
Speaking of picking out a subject to theme your photographs around, you always want to make sure you can identify the subject of your photo. Trying to capture the expanse of an amazing street or beautiful beach can fall short when your photo lacks focus. Rather than attempting to include everything in eyesight in your photo, crop in to the most important elements. Above is a shot of a horse carriage with sprawling gardens to one side and a palace to the other. While I could have attempted to include all these things in the image, it would have resulted in a lackluster shot. Despite the fact that you’ve excluded parts of the frame, your photo will be more interesting and will ultimately tell a better story when you’ve got a clear focus.
3. Check your light
If you know anything about photography than you know that lighting is everything! The right light can make all the difference between a phenomenal and a so-so shot. When possible always shoot in natural light. The best parts of the day to do so are at dawn and dusk. When you are taking photos mid-day be sure to take note of how the shadows fall. They can either help enhance and add interest to a photo or ruin it by masking or drawing focus away from your subject.
4. Switch up the angles
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your shots. An image can become much more interesting when captured from an a-typical angle. Additionally, capturing the same subject from multiple sides can help you build a more interesting album of photos. The examples above are images that were taken in a specialty salt and olive oil shop in Cannes. The two different angles allow you to see both the beautiful colors of the different salts as well as the breadth of flavors they stocked. Next time you get your camera out think about what your subject would look like if you took the photo while standing on a chair, lying on the ground, or with your camera tilted up/down.
5. Capture the moment
While everyone likes a sorority shot with you and your friends perfectly lined up, hands on hips, smiles pointed at the camera, there are many other ways to frame a photograph. While on vacation I like to get a feel for how people actually live by strolling through the streets, visiting the shops, and getting off the beaten path. Likewise, when I’m taking photos I like to mix in shots that capture daily life. The photo above was taken at a small beach oft frequented by locals. I find that images like this tell a much truer story of the experience than perfectly staged images.
6. Get snap happy
Perhaps the greatest tip I have learned is to simply start snapping. I’ve come to realize that nobody gets the perfect shot on the first take. It takes many many bad photos to get a handful of amazing ones. Your best bet is to just take as many photos as you can. Have fun with your photography and don’t be afraid to get a little trigger happy. After all, practice makes perfect!
JenWhat are you tips for taking the perfect vacation pics? Share them in the comments below or tweet us @SingleDiariesXO!