(Family Features) –
It happens all the time. You work hard to plan a great vacation; you see memorable sights, have a terrific time and take plenty of pictures. But when you actually see the pictures, they’re a bit disappointing. Some are too light or too dark, others just don’t capture the moment quite as vividly as you remember it.
Don’t despair. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take good travel pictures. These tips from the real pros can help you take pictures you can be proud of.
Keep It Simple. Trying to cram too much visual information into the picture is like trying to cram too much stuff into a suitcase – you end up with a confusing mess. Instead, photographers for Fodor’s say to keep it simple. They say that a good photograph – travel or otherwise – should have a single subject or idea with as little clutter as possible.
Balance. When taking pictures of friends or family members in your vacation spot, try to strike a balance between a picture of them and a picture of a place. National Geographic pros recommend showing enough of a person to be able to recognize him or her, but not to be so close-up that there’s no context and you can’t tell where they are.
Pay Attention to Light. The Society of American Travel Writers, an organization of professional travel journalists and photographers, recommends shooting photos early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the sun is overhead and the light is flat – which makes pictures boring. Shooting in early morning and late afternoon adds more color and shadows to your photos, giving more definition to the subject.
Think in Thirds. Putting your subject in the middle of the frame doesn’t always make the best picture. Imagine a three-by-three grid in your viewfinder – some cameras can actually show you this grid. Place your subject at one of the intersections of those lines. This “Golden Mean” technique can add more interest and dimension to your shot.
Here are some other quick tips to help you create memorable photos:
- Take a lot of pictures – digital is free. The best image is often the one you didn’t plan for. You can always delete the ones that don’t work out.
- Use the highest resolution possible. Image quality is compromised when you try to enlarge low-resolution pictures.
- Switch to macro mode when zooming in. Macro is a close-up setting for small images, usually depicted by a flower on your camera.
- Don’t always use the camera’s rectangular viewfinder to frame your picture. Look for natural frames, such as an arch, a tree branch or a rock formation.
- Look for unusual angles to lend more interest to your photographs. Don’t be afraid to get on the ground to shoot low or climb up higher to get a better perspective.
- Be on the lookout for humor you can incorporate into your photographs.
You don’t have to be a pro to take better photos. Practice and experiment before your trip so when you’re out there, you can give it your best shot.
SOURCE: Family Features