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Take Great Vacation Pictures

Tips for Better Travel Photography


dividivi tree

A diagonal object and horizon that fills 1/3 of the frame both add dramatic tension to a picture.

(c) Aruba Tourism.
Want to take great vacation pictures? These simple tips can turn your pictures from ordinary to frame-worthy and yield pictures you'll cherish long after your vacation ends.

Vacation Pictures Do's and Don'ts

    DON'T shoot facing the sun. For best results, position yourself so that the sun is over your shoulder.

    DO put a person in your picture. A human figure provides a sense of scale, and uninterrupted shots of scenery can get boring.

    DO think about composition. Putting the main object in the center of a picture makes for a dull image. Instead, position the object 1/3 of the way above or below the center of the rangefinder, 1/3 of the way from the right or left side.

    DO take some extreme closeups that capture the essence of your destination, such as a single flower or an interesting texture.

    DO be sensitive to color. Both contrasting and monochromatic scenes can add interest to a photo.

    DON'T be shy about asking a stranger to shoot a picture of the two of you together. (But do learn to use the timer so you won't always have to.)

    DO pack twice the number of batteries you think you need and extra flash memory for a digital camera.

    DO strive to take photos at different times of day. Just after sunrise and before sunset will yield dramatic images.

    DO learn how to use the voice memo on your digital camera (if it has one) to record where a particular picture was taken. Or shoot an extra picture of a sign or address to remind you later.

    DO learn how to use a simple photo editing program so that you can make image corrections using your computer. About's Guide to Graphics Software offers advice on different image editors.

    DO study and learn from great outdoors photographers. A subscription to National Geographic Traveler can be eye-opening and inspiring.

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