Many people are now heading off on their annual holidays, and will be keen to record those memorable moments and scenes from their travels with still photographs or video.
Some basic guidelines need to be followed to capture the images in the most spectacular way.
If snapping your family and friends in front of buildings or well-known tourist locations, always try to pose them nearer to you; so the scale of the people is not overwhelmed by the size of the location. Also try to have the sun behind the people, so they don’t close their eyes in the glaring light. Shadows can be eliminated with ‘fill-in’ flash.
Landscape photography is best undertaken at dawn or dusk, when the colours are deeper and more saturated at those hours. This can be further enhanced by using a polarizing filter on the front of the lens if blue skies and water are part of the scene.
Underexpose (or bracket the exposures) the images when photographing sunrises or sunsets, to create a warmer and more defined picture. Use a lens hood to prevent lens flare from stray sun rays.
If taking pictures of mountains or deep valleys include recognizable objects such as trees/bushes or animals/people to provide scale and a sense of size to the landscape.
The best quality of image is achieved by using a small aperture (i.e f16 or f22 or higher), and hence a very slow shutter speed to get the correct exposure. Therefore it’s essential to use a tripod to prevent camera shake. Also useful when photographing panoramas – a series of images that can be joined together to create one wide, shallow picture.
To take a panorama ensure the tripod is level (some have mini spirit levels), use a standard length (or longer) lens as wide-angle will distort the straight lines of buildings when joining the images. Take the first image as normal – taking note of the exposure and focus – and then switch to manual settings for the succeeding images using the first image exposure and focus point. Overlap by about 20% on each subsequent image. Some modern cameras will join the images automatically, or they can be uploaded onto a computer and joined together in Photoshop.
Whether you’re an amateur or professional it’s always fun to capture those holiday snaps, and re-live the memorable moments.