We’ve all been on holiday taken a few images on our cameras, smartphones or tablets - I know you've seen the hoards of people snapping anything and everything I certainly have. So when I go on holiday I like to try and get photos that no one else did. Admittedly that's not always easy but here are a few of my top tips and secrets to getting the shot.
When you're on a trip to a famous landmark everyone is vying for position to get their shot and it’s usually pretty standard, very similar to one you could find on a stock photo site. So I tend to move a way from the crowd. Then I take a shot from a different perspective, not straight on at eye level, but maybe I will crouch down and shoot up the landmark, sometimes I will climb higher and shoot down the landmark, I’ve even turned the camera and shot from the landmark to the crowd all taking their photos.
The classic ‘rule of thirds’ is handy when it comes to composition and involves visually splitting your shot into a grid of nine squares – or into thirds. The idea is to fit the subject you’re shooting along the imaginary lines, rather than slap bang in the middle, resulting in a much more effective image. Most cameras and phones will have an optional onscreen grid to help you compose your shots. It does have to be every shot - that would be boring too - so mix it up.
If you do centre your subject moving in close is the one thing that will make the biggest difference in the success of your picture-taking. The simple fact is the audiences are always more impressed when the subject is huge and impossible to miss. Therefore, you want your subject to fill the frame. Lets you are photographing some interesting details you've found, food, decorations, signage etc, you may want to move in as close as you can. Causing the entire frame to be filled with your subject will inevitably result in a photo that has true impact on your viewer.
In many instances the locals will just be going about their normal day, try to capture them in the process. Maybe at the market, watch for animated people, but also look out for things like money changing hands, bags being packed, anything that will remind you of the sights and sounds. Look for facial expressions too - wouldn't it be great to capture the look on your childs face when he or she sees Mickey Mouse or their favourite Disney princess rather than a picture of Mickey walking by? These are things memories are made of and will make you laugh and maybe even cry for years to come.
Imagine walking along the beach, the sea is swishing on the shore and creating beautiful patterns in the sand, the hammock tied between the palm trees is casting a clever shadow in the sun filled day, the flowers in the gardens are blooming. Capturing all these will instantly take you back to that place.
You know the ones, standing outside a landmark, plastering a fake smile on. As you visit new and breathtaking places, resist the urge to just throw people in front of something and snap a picture. Try to create some clever poses and composition, and I don't mean the whole trying to push the leaning tower of Pisa straight, that other people haven't got.
Overall you don't want to end up with lots of scenery snaps and hundreds of photos of your partner sitting opposite you at dinner. Its much better to have photos that evoke a memory and transport you back. So take a variety of long shots, portraits and close ups of interesting details you see along the way. Your friends will thank you for it when you post them on Facebook
But above all have fun and enjoy your holiday.
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