AARP Eye Center
5 Tips for Great Vacation Photographs
By David Porter, June 6, 2012 03:30 PM
Summer is upon us. That means that millions of Americans' cameras will be preserving precious memories from family vacations, get-togethers, weddings, graduations, and so much more.
However, when the perfect photographic moment comes into view, a great many find themselves frustrated with their ability to capture the moment with a great photograph.
Enter to win a Nikon digital camera. Look below!
Here's five simple tips that will go a long, long ways to helping you be prepared to get that great family vacation photograph.
5 Simple Tips for Great Vacation Photographs
- Practice before you leave home - This is quite likely the most important tip of all. Get your owners manual out and practice some of the lighting and subject situations that you are likely to find yourself with. You're likely to have family members posing in front of scenes and objects. You're likely to be photographing in bright sun, cloudy skies, indoors, in places where flash is not allowed, on beaches, on hiking trails; the various situations are near infinite. Set up these situations as best you can at home and practice, practice, practice.
- Memory Cards - Today's megapixal digital cameras can quickly eat up a memory card. This is particularly true if you plan to shoot any video on your vacation. Today's digital cameras will generally tell you how many photographs you can store on your memory card. Take a look at this and determine if your card is large enough to store all the photographs from your vacation. If you happen to witness an elk doing the moonwalk, you'll want to be certain to have enough space on your memory card to capture it.
- Scene Modes -It's a simple fact: many baby boomers have never taken a photograph out of their digital camera's green automatic setting. Come on...live large...explore the scene settings on your camera! If your camera was purchased in the last few years, you are very likely to have quite a number of special scene modes. These might include special settings for portraits, beach/snow, cloudy skies, sunsets, landscapes, museum, close-up, indoors, etc, etc. While your green automatic setting will try to accomplish all things, these special setting will give your camera more information and allow it to do a better job.
- Fill-Flash - One of the most common mistakes I see in vacation photographs is shadowy faces in front of a brightly-lite background. Your family is posed in front of the Grand Canyon. The scene is stunning. You shoot the photograph and the faces of your loved ones are dark and shadowy. Believe it or not, you should be using your flash quite a bit in sunny situations where people are standing in front of brightly-lit subjects. Your camera doesn't know that you have loved ones in front of the Grand Canyon. It just sees all that light and compensates accordingly. In situations like these, you need to force your camera to flash and then your loved ones faces will be bright and clear. Practice this at home before you leave!
- Composition - In photography, it seems to be human nature to stick our subjects smack dab in the middle of a photograph. However, this can result in drab, predictable photos. Before you get to the subject of your photograph, give some thought to how you will compose it. How can you better tell a story with your photograph? Instead of shooting straight on, can you shoot down on your subjects? Can you get ground level and shoot up? Type "rule of thirds" in Google and do a little study on composition. A little creativity and study on photographic composition can really make a big difference in coming home with great vacation photographs.
Win a Nikon Coolpix S9300 Digital Camera
The Nikon Coolpix S9300 retails for $349.95 and has the following cool features:
- A 16.0 Megapixal CMOS Sensor w/ 10x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom
- 3" Ultra-High Resolution LCD Monitor
- Shoots Full HD 1080p Movies w/ Stereo Sound
- Shoots Unbelievable Low-Light Photographs
- Built-In GPS
- Shoots Amazing Panoramic Photographs
How to Win:
Complete the following sentence in the comments section below:
"I'd like to win the Nikon S9300 because _____________________"
Winner must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years of age. Final entry date is July 14th. Winner will be determined using random.org.