An important part of holiday gatherings and vacations is taking photos of family and friends. Digital cameras make it easy to snap the shutter, but there are ways you can take better photos than allowing the camera to do all the work. These top photo tips are from the professional photographers of the Society of American Travel Writers.
Avoid mid-day for outdoor photos. That’s because between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the sun is overhead and the light is flat. Shooting in early morning and late afternoon adds more color and shadows to your photos, giving more definition to the subject.
Get close. When you are too far away, there can be a disconnect from you and your subject. Or, when there is too much happening in the picture a close-up can be a better image than a ‘busy’ wide shot where a lot of things are competing for attention, advises Michael Ventura. Instead of using the zoom, which can blur the photo, move in closer to your subject. Fill the frame, he advises.
Always use the flash. Indoors, of course, but outdoors, also, as a ‘fill’ to minimize the shadows on somebody’s face. The flash has a limited distance, so that’s another reason to get close.
Move away from the middle. Instead of putting your subject in the center of the photo, it is often a more interesting photo to move him or her or it to the side, and show more of the background.
Pay attention to what’s in the background. Before you click the shutter, look for distractions in the back of the photo or behind the heads of your subjects. Move yourself or your subject so there’s no tree or telephone pole growing out of his or her head, advises Dennis Cox, director of Photo Explorer Tours.