Tips for Taking Better Photos on Your Summer Trip
Photos are a great way to remember everything you have done over the years. If you take pictures of all the birthday parties, anniversaries, and trips you take, you’ll have an excellent recollection for a rainy day. You can enjoy the photos with family and friends, and be reminded of what transpired at each gala. For instance, while browsing through your pictures from Hawaii, you’ll see how silly you looked in that bathingsuit and hat, and remember that awesome restaurant with the fabulous lobster tails that you want to go back to someday.
Photos have many different purposes. You can share them with your friends and family so they can share in the joy of your trip, they can become keepsakes of what you looked like at a certain time, and they can help you recall details of long forgotten special events. Any way you look at it, pictures are the windows to our souls, evidenced in the emotions provoked anytime you look at that special photo….
So what do you do if when you look through the photo album, your thoughts don’t turn to the happy event, but how that picture of the Caribbean sunset was really blurry, or how you cut off your mother’s head in the family portrait you took at your parent’s wedding anniversary. If the picture isn’t great, it can inhibit the happiness you find when you look at it.
I have been taking pictures all my life. I started when I was about five years old, with my first polaroid camera. The cameras stepped up over the years, and now include a digital Sony Cybershot DSC W7, and a Canon Rebel EOS film camera. I have taken tips from all kinds of amateur and professional photographers on how to improve my photos, as well as learning from trial and error. I would like to share these tips with you….
- You can take gorgeous sunset and sunrise pictures by taking pictures of scenery with the sun directly in front of you. Most people will tell you never to take a photo looking into the sun, because it won’t turn out. This is not the case. If you are taking a photo of scenery, the photo will turn out fine. If you are taking a photo of people, the people should be off to the side or at least ten feet away, so that there is not a shade on their faces.
- If you are going to take a closeup photo of people, don’t have too bright of a flash. If you do, the faces will be ‘whited-out.’ You won’t be able to see definition in the face. If you desire to use a flash, give at least four feet between the subjects and the camera to avoid this effect. In general, if the lighting is good, less flash is needed for closeups.
- If you want to take a photo with people and scenery, place the people off to one side so that you can see the scenery. For instance, you could have the sun in the middle, the person on the left, and the scenery on the right. If you try to take a scenery and person picture and the person is in the scenery, you lose the effect of the scenery, and it becomes just about the person.
- If you continuously are getting blurry pictures, your camera film speed isn’t high enough if you are using a film camera. If you use 400 or 800 speed, you will find this blurriness effect decrease. If you are using a digital camera, you will need to use your manual to decrease the time the shutter is open (meaing that you increase the shutter speed), so that a still image can be shot despite the movement. If this seems too complicated, make sure to take photos while the object is standing still.
- In general, the shots you will enjoy the most are ones that are close up rather than far away. If you can see the details on someone’s face, the picture will have much more intrinsic value than if the person is standing twenty feet away and you can just see their outline. For photos of persons, try to be close enough to have some detail, unless you are trying to place them in with scenery like in tip number 3.
- Try using unique angles to get interesting photos. Instead of just holding the camera the regular way, try holding it on a diagonal and taking diamond-shaped photos, for example. This will add a flare to the photos and make them memorable.
- Make sure to be close enough to a scene to have some flash on it if the photo is taken at night. Otherwise, when the photo comes back from processing, you may just have some lights but no distinction, and you may not even know what the photo was a picture of!
- If it’s bright daylight, you may want to turn off your flash. If you are taking photos of people on the beach, you may get a glare from the sand or a glare on the person’s face during a close up if you use the flash when it isn’t needed.
- Try taking photos of people when they aren’t aware. Take a picture of your mother relaxing in a chair on the beach, or a shot of your father sipping coffee in the morning. You can use the zoom lens to make the photo have enough clarity to be worthwhile (tip 5), so that you don’t let on to them that they’re taking the picture. Natural shots can be very meaningful.
- Putting people in your scenery photos make them more memorable. Have you ever returned home and had 30 shots of a beach, and wondered why you wasted so much film on this one scene? You won’t say this if there are loved ones in the shot as well. People shots tend to hold more value to you when you look back at them years later.
Have fun this summer on your trips. Hope these tips help!