When you're on a trip, you see a multitude of things that catch your eye. It's natural to want to record these memories of your trip, but that inclination can lead to the exact opposite: uninteresting, unmemorable shots. I've got a few tips to keep you from returning home with a virtual pile of photos that you'll never want to look at.
- Avoid signs or text.
- People + Landmark = Boring.
- Avoid bad light.
Sometimes you'll find a display or sign that you find interesting, educational, or odd. Perhaps you think someone at home may like it. Photos can't capture the interest you have, especially if you take a flat snapshot. The remedy? Either avoid the shot or try to capture a tiny bit of it at an odd angle, in good light with shadow, or in a way that shows some vibrant color. That way, you'll be left with a small jewel that triggers good memories, instead of wondering why the heck you took that photo.
You and your friends have arrived at the Eiffel Tower. You've climbed to the top, seen the lights and are about to leave when someone gets the bright idea to get everyone's photo in front of it. Stop and think. Skip the flat, featureless snapshot and try something captivating. Yes, you can take your girlfriend's picture, but walk around a little and take advantage of light, shadow, and maybe even a little shallow depth of field to get a shot that you'd be proud to put on display.
It's sundown at the beach and you wand your friends want to get a group photo. Everyone lines up and "snap." When you get home, you end up with everyone silhouetted in the big, bright sun and their faces looking like featureless blobs. Be aware of the sun and don't let it ruin your shots. Make sure it is behind the photographer and lighting your subjects rather than the front of the camera.