Summertime means vacation time for most people.
And with vacation comes lots and lots of photos.
We all want to capture our precious moments and memories that will be cherished for years to come, however sometimes those images just don’t turn out the way we had hoped.
We get it! We’ve been there!
So to help you make the most of your wonderful photographs, we have put together a list of 5 simple tips that you can implement right away whether you use a point and shoot camera, a DSLR, or your phone.
1. Stay away from high contrast lighting!
When it comes to photography, lighting is EVERYTHING!
So often, a perfectly planned and composed image doesn’t turn out the way it was imagined due to improper lighting.
Lighting is key!
But what is ideal lighting? And how do we adjust in less than perfect conditions?
Perfect lighting is even lighting.
Perfect lighting conditions would be no harsh shadows, or super bright areas of sun.
This is the definition of high contrast : Dark, harsh shadows, and bright sun.
Typically this occurs during midday. Especially during summer.
High contrast scenes usually result in spotty lighting on your subject, blown out backgrounds, and so much more.
Try to take the majority of your photographs in the late afternoon or evening, depending on the season.
“The Golden Hour” is the best time, while the sun is just starting to move down toward the horizon.
This isn’t always possible, however. Especially when you’re on vacation. So how do you take great photographs in a high contrast situation?
Find an area of soft shade, such as a doorway, against a building or wall, or under some sort of covering.
And if there is no shade? Use a fill light, such as the flash on your camera or phone.
2. Be aware of your background.
Have you ever taken a bunch of photos, only to get home, upload them, and find that the subject you were photographing had gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of their background?
Or perhaps it appears that your subject has a branch or other object coming out of his/her head or body.
Friends, your background is key!
While taking photographs, focus equal attention on both your subject and background.
A super busy background will draw attention away from your subject.
Remember, the goal in photography is capturing a moment or a subject.
You’re telling a story.
Limit the distractions that are not part of the story you are trying to tell, whether it be a crowd of people, or other objects.
3. Use the Rule of Thirds as often as possible.
When you look through your viewfinder, or gaze at the screen of your phone, imagine a grid similar to the game Tic-Tac-Toe, with three columns, each containing three boxes.
The idea is to position your subject off center, to the side of the frame.
Perfectly centered photos are great from time to time, but can appear a bit boring.
Placing your subject to the side is pleasing to the eye, and adds a touch of drama to your photo.
4. Change your perspective.
Perfectly posed and positioned photographs are great, but sometimes changing things up is better.
Try going outside of the norm and setting your focus on something different.
Perhaps your children are building sandcastles at the beach. Instead of photographing the whole scene, focus on their hands in the sand.
Step outside of the box. Look for other focal points.
Zoom in, up close, and capture the beauty in the small details.
5. Look for natural framing opportunities.
Tree branches, flowers, or door frames. All of these things can act as a natural frame for your photo.
We have often trudged through bushes and shrubs just so we could photograph our subject through the greenery, framing him/her nicely in the middle.
While framing isn’t a vital part of photography, it definitely adds a lot to an image.
A well placed frame will draw the eye to your subject, and add a splash of depth to an otherwise ordinary photograph.
Friends, there are unique opportunities all around you!
Just take a look around, be creative, and have fun!