How To... Take Vacation Pix
Make sure your vacation photos are as memorable as the trip itself! Here are some tips for taking great travel pictures.
Tell a story
When going on an trip, why not document this entire trip -- not just the destination? Photograph the departure, the "getting there," the arrival, all of the day's activities, and the arrival back at home.
Don't forget to take snaps of the little moments, too -- the kids snoozing on the plane, the chaos of the hotel room after everyone's unpacked, picking up the luggage from the baggage carousel.
Interact with the environment
For a well-balanced scrapbook or photo album (online or off), make sure there are people in your photographs! It is easy to get blown away by amazing scenery and to forget to get people in your pix. Candid shots are great! As a rule, pictures with people in them are much more interesting to friends and family than something that looks just like a postcard.
Photos can also be used to demonstrate scale -- just how huge the Grand Canyon really is or how tall that wild roller coaster was. They can also show how something works or moves -- stockades in Williamsburg, petting a manta ray at the aquarium, or trying to make three hoops in a row to win a prize at the fair.
Don't forget yourself
You're on this trip, too -- and you're not just the designated photographer! Have someone else take photos from time-to-time, and if you need, stick your arm out and take pictures of yourself with the sights and scenes.
Use the right camera
Cell phone cameras are handy for quick snapshots, but when you're on a family trip, it's smart to bring along a camera that will allow you to make quality prints for your album or scrapbook, and allow you to also make enlargements to frame.
For a day to a theme park, you'll want a versatile camera that can capture fast-moving rides as well as still moments throughout the day. But you don't necessarily need to go completely high-end. For example, if you're going to be carrying around a baby or have your hands otherwise occupied, a DSLR camera may too bulky to carry and use. Point and shoot cameras are pocket-sized and easy enough even for the kids to use.
If you're heading out for a day at the beach, you may want to use a disposable camera to protect your "real" camera from sand and water.
It can be easy to forget where a photo was take, but sometimes a sign gives information about a historical or other important site. If there is such a sign, photograph it! It'll be a great asset to any scrapbook page documenting your trip.
Signs are all around -- from small plaques on the ground to memorable street signs to the enormous HOLLYWOOD sign. If you want to make your pictures look a little different, try shooting them from a unique angle, or playing around with them in an image editing program.
For more tips on taking photos, check this out: