_The old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” is particularly true when it comes to travel photos. We no longer have time to hear the full-length story or read the journal that is slated for summer book release. You know the type, the rambler, who goes on and on about every minute of their trip. Telling you every detail about the time Katie Holmes ran them down on the slopes of Telluride while avoiding Princess what’s-her-name. What your friends and family really want to see are the photos that capture special moments like, the time you made it to the top of Mount Fuji for sunrise with the champagne at the perfect temperature and of course CNN still wants you to send the photo from the morning you woke up early and your yacht was surrounded by a small group with automatic weapons…or were those water guns?
Plus, technology is helping people share photos easily and quickly. So do your friends and family a favor and share the photos that showcase your awesome world travels and keep the private photos…well, private. You remember what happened the time you shared that one photo of you and a certain celebrity who shall remain nameless with one “friend.” Your PR team managed to get that “mostly” under control but you don’t want to go through that again. So, how do you get those amazing photos on vacation when you’re not a professional photographer? Hire a professional? That’s one option. Or at least ask them for some good advice. Recently, I asked three great photographers for advice on taking awesome photos when traveling.
Kim Wedowof WedowWerks in Chicago, Illinois provided me with these great tips:
Whether you are taking photos with a pocket point-and-shoot, a high-end SLR or D-SLR or your mobile phone, there are a few simple rules – that if you follow, can produce the picture you meant to take.
1. Know the limitations of your camera. If you are using a point-and-shoot or your mobile phone, it is best to keep your subject fairly close. This is due to the inability of these types of cameras to clearly focus for more that several feet (shallow depth of field). This is most noticeable when trying to enlarge the shot.
2. Take your time. Many times you will see someone taking a photo and within a fraction of a second of clicking the picture the camera is on its way back into their pocket or bag. Once you depress the shutter button, count to two. The two-count rule applies to film as well as digital because it will prevent blurring of the shot. It is especially important with digital because with many digital cameras there is a slight delay between the time you depress the shutter and when the camera captures the picture. So remember: Click – one – two.
3. Frame your shot. When you look through the viewfinder take a second to look past your subject and to the left and right to be sure you don’t have anything you don’t want in the shot.
Remember, it’s not the price of the camera that determines the shot – it’s the skill of the photographer.
Stephen Breau, a freelance photographer in Toronto, Canada shared these helpful points:
Travel - the perfect opportunity to expand your photography horizons. You are in a new place, seeing new things, and surrounded by inspiration. The trick, however, is to avoid the typical tourist trapand just take the expected pictures. You know the ones - your travel companions in front of a landmark, your travel companions in front of another landmark, yet another landmark filling the frame. Instead, go for the unexpected; look for the little details that make a landmark or location unique. Look for interesting shadows, gorgeous light reflecting onto some piece of architecture, or masses of color that invoke the feeling of the day.
On my last trip to Europe with my wife, we visited several locations in Italy, Greece and Turkey. My favorite photos from that trip are not the expected shots of the Coliseum in Rome, the Acropolis in Athens, or the shores of Santorini. Instead, they are a single flower lying on a cobblestone street in Rhodes, an odd looking bug buzzing around a gorgeous flower in Sicily, and the setting sun streaming through the clouds at lighting-up a fishing boat off in the distance off the coast of Santorini. I’ll always remember where I took those photos, and seeing them takes me right back to those spots and reminds me of all the landmarks we saw along the way, but because I shot the unexpected, I have unique souvenirs from the trip.
Whenever I can on our trips, I get up early in the morning, take my camera, and go for a walk. The light first thing in the morning is beautiful – and shooting before the crowds arrive means you can get closer to your subjects and take the time to look for interesting takes on them. I also love to shoot around sunset – the colors make everything look warm and inviting.
_Carolyn Koschnickof Carolyn Koschnick Photography in New York City pointed out: Having the right equipment and knowing how to use it is essential. You can have the most amazing camera in the world but if you don’t know how to use it there isn’t much of a point in picking it up. Get the equipment that is right for you and then learn how to use it correctly. The instruction manual is full of great information and examples that will help you know how to use the camera you have.
1. Pre-set options:The most common questions I receive from people are related to taking pictures of sunsets, fireworks, and snow. Many point-and-shoot cameras have fantastic preprogrammed settings for specific situations/settings. Take a look at your camera and see what pre-set options your camera has that can help you capture that perfect moment. Then try testing out these options at home before you go on that dream vacation so that you will be more comfortable in using them once you are out there.
2. Tripods:One of the other tools that most professional photographers use at some point is a tripod. This tool helps keep the camera still during those slow shutter shots. But when you are on vacation or at a special event people don’t want to lug around a big tripod. And sometimes there isn’t a solid place to set your camera to help it stay still. However, there are several small tripods that are easily portable. I have used the Gorillapod for both my little point and shoot and my bigger cameras too.
_Now that you have read a thousand words about travel photography hopefully you feel motivated to get out there and capture your amazing travels. Do you have a favorite photo from one of your trips? Share them with us on our Facebook Page for A.M. Bespoke Travel. Still have questions? Contact our panel for more info. They also offer photography trips in their respective cities that will help you explore some of the best cities in North America and improve your photography skills along the way.
Kim Wedow: can be found on her Facebook page and via firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Breau has all his information on www.stephenbreau.com.
Carolyn Koschnick can be reached through carolyninc.com