Take better photos on your NZ Holiday
There are many books, blogs, magazine articles etc about travel photography and many aspire to take that winning shot. I am not going to compete with them. Some people go on holiday specifically to take photos, either on a dedicated photographic holiday, or where taking photos is a major part of the trip. But equally many of us just want to have some very happy memories recorded and something to show the folk back home. Sometimes we can be disappointed, but with a little thought our results can improve exponentially.
Digital – the good and the bad
There was a time when one of the things on your packing list or to grab at duty free, were a few rolls of camera film to take on holiday. And on return there was the excitement of getting photos back from the developers to lift those post holiday blues. Those days have gone and we have pretty much become universally digital.
The good side
The technology has advanced beyond recognition. It is cheap and convenient, you can take heaps of photos, you can experiment, different angles, different light, close up, far away, with people, without, you are instantly rewarded and can quickly correct mistakes. Hey – you can even upload to Facebook and your friends can stay abreast of your travels!
The down side
We take far too many photos!!! We spend too long behind the viewfinder rather than enjoying the moment – just think about it:
Your friend is Bungy Jumping – you are trusted with her camera and you spend the next 30 seconds trailing her through the view finder trying to get that action shot hoping to capture the fear in her eyes and you end up with her out of focus right arm in the corner of the picture and you, yourself missed the event. Watch her jump and leave the photos to the experts! You are on a boat trip in the Bay of Islands and a pod of dolphins comes alongside, playing in your bow wave (to me the most graceful of all, I could never tire of watching them), they are leaping out of the water, soaking those at the front of the boat – you too want that shot of them mid air and you are in sports mode, click click click – you may capture it, you may not, but if you did, there is a high chance that the horizon is leans to the left, you have 4 other tourists heads in the bottom right and a selfie stick poking in the middle! Forget the photo and just enjoy the spectacle. We would never have done this back in the film camera days – two or three photos and then we would have put the camera away.
Think – take a moment to compose your shot – is the flag pole sticking out of your husband’s head? Is half your group in the shadow, half in full sun? Can you really see everyone in the group, or is someone just peeking over the top? If the photo is of a person, make sure you can see them and that they are not just a dot in the middle – you want to see their face, you want to see their smile! Fill the Frame!
Make sure the horizon is level.
Don’t take a blunderbuss approach – lots of photos, surely there will be a good one in there – think before you shoot!
Our digital devices, cameras or phones have zooms on them we would never have thought possible or afforded with our old film cameras. And aren’t they great, but haven’t they made us lazy!!! We used not be able to zoom, or it was limited, so we took a few extra steps – got a bit closer, probably thought a bit about the shot while we were actually doing it, but now we just press that zoom button and our subject comes to us! Go back to taking those extra steps and get closer to your subject – unless of course it is inappropriate – it is a wild animal, or you would be invading someone’s privacy (in which case you probably shouldn’t be taking the shot anyway), or you physically can’t – you are already on the edge of the cliff!
Change the angle, change the perspective – you can create all sorts of interesting shots – get down low, stand up on a rock, go for a quirky angle – Move!
Take a few steps from the obvious spot to take a photo – make yours a bit different – walk a bit further down the road, when you have stopped at a scenic view point, walk out to the edge when you are on top of a mountain – but please be careful and respect all safety barriers – they are there for a reason!
New Zealand is beautiful – there are mountains of coffee table books and zillions of postcards to prove it! Buy one! You can make your photos personal to you by putting yourself in there. You will of course want to have some which are just the scenery, but your friends will want to see what you have been up to, so don’t be shy, take some of your travelling companions and get some of yourself. This is certainly a happy trio after their Mt Arthur climb. And don’t forget to take your hat and sunglasses off – we would like to see your eyes, and your hat will shade your face!
Yes, as I said, far too many photos – where do they end up? Consigned to the hard drive of some device which itself may be consigned to the bin!! Do go through your photos, delete the bad ones and the repeats, label the rest, store them and do print a few.
It is best to edit after you have down loaded them, rather than from the camera – while the display screen is useful, your computer is better!
Enjoy your holiday, don’t be a slave to your camera – have fun, experiment get some tips from the real experts!