I am eagerly preparing for our BIG ADVENTURE coming up soon, and one of the things I’ve been excited about is getting some awesome photos with my new Canon PowerShot SX50 HS.
I was really happy when a recent issue of an on-line newsletter included an article entitled “7 Proven Ways to Come Home With Better Travel Photos”. (You can read the article for yourself here.)
Imagine my dismay when I read the last tip – don’t even bother touching your camera between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. because the light is not good during that time.
My first thought was: has this photographer ever been on VACATION??? I guess his idea of “travel photography” is going around the globe shooting for National Geographic.
I have to say that after reading that sentence, the article in general lost all credibility for me because just about anyone should understand that people on vacation are going to be doing the majority of their sightseeing between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Most vacationers aren’t going to hold off shooting photos until the “golden hours” for perfect light.
I’m not looking to shoot National Geographic quality travel photos. I’m just hoping to come home with some awesome images of the beautiful things we see on our adventure — and be able to use some of them here on this blog to journal our trip.
If you were giving advice to a beginner photographer, what would you say are some good tips to remember for getting great vacation photos?
Please give me your best tips in the comment section below. I’m really looking forward to what my awesome photographer friends have to say! Have a blessed day everyone! 🙂
Hi Amy! To me, good travel photos (or any photo for that matter) have more to do with what I want to remember vs how great they look. Trying to find unique places or people or animals seems worthwhile because we may never see those things where we live. I have tried to remind myself to always take a picture of the sign that tells where we are if possible. Or you can jot down some notes, but I find that tedious. The time of day can sometimes be to your advantage, especially if you have a particularly beautiful view; a spectacular sunrise, or sunset will make the photo even better, but it’s not a “must” in my opinion. And it may not be practical, you will limit what you can see in a day if you only wait for the right time…who’s got the time or money to do that! In that article too it said to get lost! Yeah Right! That doesn’t exactly sound like good advice…LOL
What if you “wander into a village that no one visits” and its full of people who want to kill you or something! Maybe no one visits for a reason!!! However, I don’t think that will be the case in Vermont. Getting voluntarily lost does not sound like fun to me…just saying.
Anyhow, thanks for the great questions. Enjoy your new experience and have fun. Document as much as you can, but don’t get too caught up in the camera, enjoy the views! – Juli 🙂
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Hahaha, yes I agree with you! I already did the “getting lost” thing once this summer!! LOLOL And I agree that it’s important to not spend so much time trying to get the right photo that I miss all the scenery! Don’t want to live vacation from behind the camera the entire time! I like your advice very much! 🙂
Juli already beat me to the tip of photographing the signs, it’s the only way that I can remember what things were. 😉
If it’s a sunny day with no clouds to add interest to the sky, or, if it’s a dull completely overcast sky, go in tighter on the scenery, and don’t include any of the sky, or as little as you can. Watch out for shadows, or I should say, a mix of bright sunlight and shadows in your photos. Either everything in a shadow, or in bright sunlight.
If you can, plan your days around photography. When I went to Yellowstone, I shot one noted landscape feature in the morning, wildlife in the afternoon while travelling to the next part of the park, then another landscape feature in the evening.
I love the idea of photographing the signs to remember where the photos were taken – that’s a great tip! I also plan to keep a written journal, as well. (I am a writer, after all.)
The tip about the sky is very helpful, too – what to keep in the shot on a sunny vs cloudy day. Much more helpful than some of what I read in that article! 🙂 Thanks, Jerry!
Holy Cow!, Amy, I think that author needs to rethink a lot of what he said. I think that Juli and Jerry covered just about all I could have said. Vacation photos are not meant to be esthetically perfect. That is nonsense about avoiding those daytime hours. In my line of photography, wildlife isn’t going to look at the clock. I shoot at anytime it is as necessary. About photographing people, a little tact can be useful, as not everybody is thrilled to have a camera in their face. I don’t know how Vermonters will feel about that. I, personally, don’t like to take what I call ‘people pictures’. But that is just me. Of course, when I am with relatives, I don’t have much choice.
On another subject, I believe I mentioned to you about using a circular polarizer to cut glare. I forgot that you use that SX50, and you may not be able to get one for that. And I know, that your lens has as much reach as my big Tamron zoom. You should get some great photos on your “adventure”.
Oh Bob, this is one of the many reasons I’ve come to love you! ❤ Both your candor and your wisdom are so refreshing!
Like you, I'm not much on taking photos of people – unless they are demonstrating something that I want to capture. I think the writer of this article was used to traveling to foreign and exotic locals, where it would be more interesting to get portraits of native people.
I have seen that Vivitar offers a set of filters for my SX50 – it includes a polarizing filter, UV filter and some other things and it also comes with an adapter ring for the SX50 and a center pinch lens cap to fit, since I think it's a 58mm size. The price is pretty good, but Jerry warned that cheap filters can hurt the photos you get with a good lens. I may order it just because it's not a huge investment, and if I don't like the quality I could return it.
Look carefully before you shoot. If you are too quick with the camera you may well miss better shots.
That’s great advice – to not be in a hurry. Thankfully, now that we are older, we can take a little more time to see things and I will try to remember to be purposeful about what I shoot.
Take lots and lots of photos….. you can always delete later, that’s the beauty of digital. And don’t over think, you’re on vacation after all. I always use a polarizing filter unless it’s overcast. Have a great trip 🙂
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Thank you, Ingrid! Excellent advice! Perhaps I will invest in the filter kit before we go. I am praying for good weather as we have lots of sightseeing and outdoor activities planned.
Biggest tip I know, do not spend all you time worrying (been there, done that) and trying to get the best, perfect, pictures. Enjoy your vacation !! Going for the perfect shot may make you miss the perfect memories you will hold dear. Your pictures my friend are always good and will always be special for you!
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Thank you, my friend!! I know Mark won’t let me fool around too much trying to get the perfect shot – he doesn’t have that kind of patience! 🙂
Selfies! Must take selfies! LoL
😀 Hahaha — I’ve never learned the “fine art” of selfies. I hate photos of myself when other people take them, I can’t imagine doing it myself! LOL