How to Take Great Vacation Photos

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Source: NY TIMES By SHIVANI VORA

You could lose the souvenirs you buy when you go on vacation, but the pictures you take from your trips will last forever, says the travel photographer Natalie Amrossi. A brand ambassador for the camera company Canon, Ms. Amrossi has a portfolio of travel shots from more than 50 countries.

“Travel pictures instantly transport you back to those destinations and evoke the good times you had,” she said.

Fear not, inexperienced photographers — you can take great pictures even if you’re not a pro. Here, Ms. Amrossi tells you how:

"Humorous" Kangaroo & Camera Near Adelaide, Australia photo by Stuart Westmoreland
"Humorous" Kangaroo & Camera Near Adelaide, Australia photo by Stuart Westmoreland

No Fancy Camera Required

You don’t need high-priced equipment with frills in order to get memorable shots. Though the one on your smartphone is perfectly acceptable, a good camera that costs as little as $100 is a worthwhile investment because the images will be sharper and of better quality. Look for a camera that’s compact and easy to travel with, that can zoom in and out and that has Wi-Fi capability, a feature that lets you transfer your shots to your mobile device and instantly share with friends and family.

Rural fishing village, Diego-Suarez Bay, Northernmost Madagascar photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Rural fishing village, Diego-Suarez Bay, Northernmost Madagascar photo by Stuart Westmoreland

Keep a Shot List

Before you go, make a list of the images that you’d like to capture on your trip and include the time of day — such as the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, at sunrise. “It’s easy to be overwhelmed by everything you’re seeing, and a list helps you make sure that you don’t miss any pictures you want,” Ms. Amrossi said. A list of 10 to 20 desirable images is plenty, but don’t include only popular sites on it — aiming for less touristy pictures such as some from a residential neighborhood in a big city is a creative way to capture a sense of place.

Sydney Opera House, Australia photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Sydney Opera House, Australia photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Coconut Drinks at Sunset, Lanta Island, Krabi Area, Thailand Coast photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Coconut Drinks at Sunset, Lanta Island, Krabi Area, Thailand Coast photo by Stuart Westmoreland

Go for Sunrise and Sunset Shots

Show off your destination in opposite ways — sunrise images usually mean limited crowds and capturing the solace of where you are; sunset shots, on the other hand, present an opportunity to reflect the pulse of your destination. “Sunset pictures showing people milling around or busy streets grab a place when it’s most alive,” Ms. Amrossi said. For an interesting contrast, get both sunrise and sunset pictures at the same location.

Giant Tortoise (Geochelone elephantopas), The Tortoise Reserve, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands National Park, Ecuador photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Giant Tortoise (Geochelone elephantopas), The Tortoise Reserve, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands National Park, Ecuador photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita perlatus) Coringa Island, Australia photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita perlatus) Coringa Island, Australia photo by Stuart Westmoreland

Be Spontaneous

While some planning is a good idea when it comes to vacation pictures, don’t script all of your images — shooting anything that appeals to you while you’re exploring, whether it’s a pretty flower or local residents conversing at a sidewalk cafe, can also lead to album-worthy photography.

Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhunus longimanus), Daedalus Reef, marine preserve, Southern Red Sea,  Egypt, Middle East, Africa photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhunus longimanus), Daedalus Reef, marine preserve, Southern Red Sea, Egypt, Middle East, Africa photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Snorkelers in inner tube photo by Stuart Westmoreland
Snorkelers in inner tube photo by Stuart Westmoreland

Experiment With Angles. Viewing popular attractions from aerial and low perspectives, said Ms. Amrossi, can make for unique images. If shooting the Eiffel Tower, for example, consider taking the pictures from a rooftop nearby or the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Angle shots, she said, “are fun ways to interpret touristy sites.”

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February 9, 2017 |

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