Taking Photographs on Holiday

6 Tips for better planned photos

The best holiday souvenirs are always the photos that you have taken yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you take photographs just for your own pleasure, or for your travel blog: you will be looking for unique holiday photographs instead mass produced images. There are already far too many of those on all the usual internet portals. Let us show you how to make distinctive holiday photos that will remind you of your travels for many months and years to come.

Early Bird or Night Owl?

You probably know this kind of problem already: you want to take a photo of the Spanish Steps in Rome, and hundreds of other people are in the area and blocking your view. You find the same thing at the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. How do professional photographers manage to take perfect pictures, without people always running in front of the camera? They get up early in the morning, and they visit all these interesting places before other holidaymakers have even got to the breakfast table. Of course, you will want to have some days during your holiday when you can have a lie in and start your day at a gentle pace, but it is worthwhile, at least on one occasion, to set your alarm for sunrise. That way your chosen target will be in full view, and you can enjoy the scene in perfect peace and quiet. You will also benefit from the fantastic quality of light that is available early in the morning.

Get up early and avoid crowded tourist magnets if you want more spectacular photos

Get up early and avoid crowded tourist magnets if you want more spectacular photos

If you are a night owl, you can do exactly the opposite: instead of forcing yourself out of bed early in the morning, you can just wait until everything has calmed down a bit in the evening. At dusk, the quality of the light is wonderful. If you are holidaying in one of the more rural parts of Europe, you might find that you come across a timid deer or a cunning fox on your photo safari. A photo by night of an impressive building is every bit as beautiful as a day-time picture. Just make sure that when you are taking night-time photos, you adjust the ISO setting on your camera correctly. If there are no external light sources at all, then you will have to use a flash.

Find something special in everyday things

Spectacular beaches, breath-taking architecture, exotic markets and much more: you will want to capture some very special subjects so that you can impress your friends and family. That’s what everybody wants to do, and so every album from a holiday in Milan will have photos of Milan Cathedra, while holidays in Thailand are commemorated by photos of temples and statues of the Buddha. A holiday trip is a very personal experience. Even when you do take in some sightseeing, it is not the tourist hotspots that make your holiday a unique experience. Really, it’s all about the little details of everyday life. Try to capture exactly these little details, and discover something special in everyday things. Perhaps your hotel is in a picturesque little side street that would make a fantastic subject for a photo? Or do you buy your morning rolls every day at the same little baker’s shop? Maybe you could take a few pictures in the baker’s shop? When you are travelling abroad, you will be keen to discover different cultures, so observe how the local people are going about their daily jobs, and take pictures of what is happening in the street.

Always take your camera with you!

The best subjects are often off the beaten track, and far away from the places that most people visit. So, always take your camera with you, even if you are only nipping out to grab something at the shops or if you are taking a last evening stroll before bedtime. Just keep your eyes open and be inspired by the shapes, colours and moods that you encounter. When you are out with your family and friends, there might be a golden opportunity for a group photo.

Spontaneous snapshots add a playful touch to your holiday photo collection

Spontaneous snapshots add a playful touch to your holiday photo collection

Snapshots, too, are an absolute must when you are on a trip somewhere: there should always be some of them in your holiday album! Imagine, your buy your child an ice-cream, and before she has the chance to taste it, a scarlet blob of raspberry ice drops on to her pure white top – the colours and the facial expression would make a fantastic photo! You might meet some people and get along with them like a house on fire. Take a picture of yourself with them, and send the photo on to them after the holiday is over. This could be the beginning of a wonderful friendship!

Play with perspective and format

If you want to have interesting and expressive photos, then you should definitely play around with different perspectives. If you are taking pictures of famous sights, it is worth changing the perspective. Not only will you present a familiar subject in a new way, but you will also get to know the surrounding area better. Explore the area and find a spot that gives you a great view of the motif you have in mind. Or take a photo of a building from a worm’s eye view. You can also vary the format as much as you like. Cameras are made in such a way that you are automatically tempted to take pictures in a landscape format. But sometimes a portrait format is absolutely the better choice. Pictures of buildings especially, but also pictures of people in portrait format can make the best of the chosen subject.

Develop a passion for close-ups

You can find heaps of great photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, or the Reichstag building in Berlin, and you will find it very difficult to make a big impression on anyone with this kind of image. If you want to document your visit, just to make sure you remember it, then of course it is fine to take photos like this. But close-ups are much more interesting. They are not taken so frequently, and they can express your own take on the subject. Maybe you were struck by a particular carving, or your attention was drawn to a certain inscription, or perhaps you liked the surface texture of a building, and then you take a photo of it.

Close-ups are often much better photos, and there won’t be any tourists in the way

Close-ups are often much better photos, and there won’t be any tourists in the way

If you are taking close-ups you often have to get very near to your subject. Think about your subject, and try out different options. You can take your time to do this, because there won’t be anyone standing in the way: most holidaymakers want long shots, or want to have a photo of themselves standing in front of a building, or some natural phenomenon, and so they won’t be bothering you.

You can tell stories with a series of photographs

You can tell complete stories with your photographs. This is what makes your holiday into something special. Instead of taking single photos of great tourist sites, delicious meals, or lively action on the streets, you can create a photo story. A day of at the beach in Bali, or a visit to the Vienna food market are just as suitable for a photo story as a safari in Kenya or a shopping trip in New York. Exotic markets with fruit, vegetables and spices are also a fantastic subject: take pictures of details and people as you find them, and make you own, personal photo story. And the most important thing of all: display your work in your home with Photo Canvas Prints so that you will always be reminded of your wonderful holidays!

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