Picture Perfect

So this little blogger was off sating the wanderlust for the last month . . . armed with a memory card too big in my camera and a memory card too small in my brain, I thought I’d throw out a few travel photography tips. I’ve had more misses than hits, but I sure do enjoy the pursuit.

1) Never go anywhere without your camera. Ever. Take it to breakfast. Take it to the bathroom. Take it with you at night when there’s no hope in heaven of you getting a good shot of anything. Take it with you even when people make fun of you for taking it with you.

2) If there’s a crowd of people taking a picture of a temple/celebrity/cathedral/statue/vista turn around – a complete 180 – and make a picture of what people are missing. Pictures of people taking pictures are kinda endlessly amusing, too.

3) Turn off the sound effects. Unless you have an SLR, your camera shouldn’t be making noises! Clandestine is the name of the travel photography name. So are swivel screens. That way you can innocently face away from your subject, with the camera draped around your neck and snag some pretty sweet photos.

4) Take the pictures you want to take. Don’t think about Facebook or your mom or your guidebook.  Take only the photos you are moved to take.

5) Believe that photography is first an art of the heart, second of the camera, and a far, far distant third of software.

6) Take fewer photos – Get in the habit of taking one and only one shot. Think, look, make the photo in your mind first – if this means paring back down to a 1GB memory card, go for it. Decide in the moment what picture will be making the cut.

7) Take more photos – You’re not going to be making world-class, breathtaking photos if you’re totally unfamiliar with your camera, what you like in a photo, or you only drag it out three times a year.

8 ) Use the zoom for all it’s worth. Throw yourself into the fray. And if you think you should take two steps forward, take ten. In the words of one of my favourites, famed photojournalist Robert Capa, “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Everyone’s seen photos of a dude on a horse in Europe. So shoot the horse hoof, bridle, the big nose on its rider.

9) Be a bit of a fool. Don’t be shy to crouch, lean, crawl, hold the camera high as your arms can reach. Playing with perspective is one of the best ways to get an honest shot.

10) If all else fails, open up Picasa and wash the sucker in black and white . . . it’s a great way to hide grainy low-light shots and washed out overexposed areas.

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One thought on “Picture Perfect

  1. These are really great tips! And they help me feel better about being the one who’s always taking pictures as family members groan, “Not again!”

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