8 tips for taking better holiday snaps

Taking holiday photos does not always have to involve extreme close-ups of your sunburnt face, nor does it require professional equipment for them to turn out a success. Here are eight travel photography tips to help you towards taking better pictures on your next holiday.

1. Research the location

If you want stereotypical photos (pushing back the Leaning Tower of Pisa, anyone?), you might want to do a basic Google search of the location you have in mind and see what are the most common pictures. This way, you will have a good idea of the angles you can explore to make your photos unique and truly memorable.

Research will also help you find picturesque locations that you might be interested to take pictures of, or even the time the sun sets to get that magic moment recorded in photographs.

2. Look for interesting details

Showing off a holiday album filled with sweaty selfies is not really appealing, especially to the people you are showing the photos to. Break up the monotony of “people” pictures with interesting details that capture a certain moment.

Apple pie

3. Breathe in, breathe out

In the age of digital photography, many of us have become trigger-happy with our cameras, shooting away like there is no tomorrow. Make sure to experience your destination first before whipping out your camera from your bag. Taking a bit of time to breathe in the place will allow you to record the experience better in a photograph.

4. Photography is all about light

The quality of the light is extremely important when it comes to photography. You have to be conscious of the fact that the quality of light changes throughout the day to take dramatic pictures—sunlight at noon is perhaps the harshest, and all pictures taken during this time would not have interesting shadows and will tend to be overexposed. Early mornings and late afternoons are perfect for pictures. For night photography, you might want to diffuse the light from the flash or place the camera on a tripod (or any stable surface) to get nice photos. In a related note, try not to shoot a subject with the flash behind it/him/her unless you are gunning for a silhouette.

Uluru sunset

5. Remember the rule of thirds

The word “rule” might connote that this is an advanced photography technique, but the rule of thirds for non-professional photographers—put your main subject or focal point off-centre. Not to the actual sides though, but slightly off the exact middle of the frame.

6. Act fast for group photos

When taking group photos, it is important to act fast. Allow your subjects a few seconds to compose themselves before focusing the camera on them, but do not take too long to press the shutter. People tend to get impatient and might frown in the photograph!

Children in Nepal

7. Reflections

Reflections on shop windows and puddles on the road will make interesting pictures—the viewer knows that the subject is there, but the added mystery comes in the whole not being wholly there in the frame.

Uyuni Salt Flats

8. Plan ahead

Make sure to charge your batteries (better if you carry around extra batteries as not to miss out on a moment) and bring along extra memory cards or film whenever you are traveling.

Marco Sagese is Director at Discount Car Hire.

Comments (1)

  1. Paul Basudde says:

    For better snaps on African safari, a 4×4 vehicle is recommended with a pop-up roof for excellent game viewing and photographing especially in Savanah national parks where one can see hundreds of animals in in spot.

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