Saturday, 04 October 2008

Tips for better holiday photographs

Holidays are over all too soon leaving only memories memories that can be re-awakened by great photos! To make the most of your holiday snaps, follow a few simple rules.

Carry a camera with you at all times! Opportunities for pictures present themselves unexpectedly. A simple cell-phone camera is extremely mobile and can do the job. Keep the SLR for special occasions. The Nokia N95 comes with a 5 mega pixel camera that can produce excellent results.

Look after your camera and remember to protect it from sand and sea water at all times! The last thing you want is to lose the camera and your precious pictures.

Ensure that you have enough memory (or film) to take as many pictures as you want, and don't forget to charge the batteries. An extra memory card may be the answer.

Before you go, spend time with your camera. Get to know what it can do. Many cameras have special settings for landscapes, portraits, close-ups and night scenes. These can help produce great results.

A common holiday maker mistake is to try to capture people and landscapes in one shot - for instance the spouse or kids posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Both lose out! A good rule of thumb is that people photos should focus on people. The person should be the main object. The pyramids make a great backdrop, but don't try to do both. Spontaneous people pictures are often the most memorable. Children caught at play, people admiring an unusual scene and people celebrating. If you have a zoom option, then keep your distance and zoom in on unsuspecting subjects and capture the moment!

Children can be photographed in almost any lighting conditions, but older people benefit from indirect lighting. Back lighting only works if you adjust the exposure to suit the portrait or use a fill-in flash.

Holidays are often spent in beautiful - perhaps spectacular surroundings. Look through the camera to find interesting shots. Experiment with different angles. If your friends or family are with you let them explore the scene and capture them as part of the shot. A person near a pyramid provides a sense of perspective. The time of day can make a huge difference to the results. Look at the lighting, and try to avoid huge contrasts. Our eyes adjust easily from strong sunshine to a dark shadow. Cameras don't manage these that well. Your camera will respond differently to the same scene at different times of day.

Events and celebrations benefit from lots of photographs. Too many is better than too few. More is more! Most modern digital cameras perform well in at night with or without a flash.

Back at home, touch-up you pictures. Red-eye reduction, changing the brightness, contrast and colour saturation can enhance them. Crop photos to focus in on an interesting detail. Great holiday shots make calendars, key-holders or table mats. Print some enlargements and laminate them for stunning results!

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