Most people take pictures on their family vacations
the way their parents did: They plop whomever they happen to be vacationing with in front of a statue, a sign, or a waterfall, put them smack dab in the middle of the frame, tell them to smile, fumble with the camera for a while, and then, finally, push the button. (And when they get home they torture their friends and coworkers with a large pile of full-length shots of people in front of stuff.)
Truthfully, if there were ever a time to relax and take all kinds of pictures, it's while you're on vacation. There are landscapes and portraits and sunsets and animals and kids being cute just waiting for you to experiment with.
If you're looking to shoot more than just monuments (and I'll help you with that, too), here are a few tips and ideas for taking vacation pictures that won't leave your extended family groaning:
If you do want to photograph someone in front of a monument (and there's really nothing wrong with that), try to avoid photographing a relatively tiny person in front of a great big monument. First decide what would make the best picture of the monument and then place the person in the picture, close to the camera. That way you have the best of both worlds—big person, big monument.Avoid midday sun when photographing just about everything—especially people. If the idea is to take a picture that will flatter your family, do it late in the afternoon. Overhead sun has all the appeal of a bare lightbulb hanging over your head.
- You need two charged batteries for your camera. This is not optional. You will never regret it.
Night shots can be downright extraordinary. City streets and lakes at twilight photographed with a pocket digital camera can rival anything you will see in the best travel magazines. But to take a good one, you need to stabilize your camera. Tripods are terrific for that, but do you really want to travel with a tripod? Instead, try holding it against something that's rock solid—a lamppost or a car can work perfectly. Try a really long exposure—one or two or even five seconds long. If you've never done this before, you're in for a treat.Though you may not like the idea of rain on your family vacation, dramatic weather is wonderful for photographs. Things look great (and moody) in rain or fog. Keep your eyes open for interesting reflections when everything gets wet—especially at sunset and sunrise.Photograph memorable details—a table setting, a beautiful flower, a close-up of some interesting cobblestone. A few close-ups make any set of photographs more interesting and will bring back the feelings you have for a place long after you're home.Try to let your personality come through in the photographs. A friend of mine photographed everything he ate on a 10-day trip to Mexico—a bag of peanuts on the airplane, a burrito, chips and salsa ... you get the idea. I know that's a little excessive, but we're still laughing about the slide show/Mexican dinner party he threw 20 years ago.
If there's ever a time to be photographically playful, it's on your family vacation. Relax and enjoy!report abuse