Guest Blogger Series: Creating Great Vacation Photos
This guest post was written by the talented Laurelle Farrell of AR Images
We can all travel and take a few snapshots, but what if you want to come home with artwork that stands the test of time? Here are my tips and tricks to capture images that will find a home among your walls and photo albums. Travel photography is a very deliberate art, so don’t forget to plan ahead of time.
Make the Time:
Scheduling your day too tightly will lead to rushed photographs. If there is an area where you know you will want to stop, make sure your have time in between excursions or tours.
While planning landscape photos try to arrive early in the day or close to dusk. This will allow for the best lighting.
Your spouse or travel companions may not want to wait as you create artwork. Make sure they are aware of any time when you may be absorbed in your camera for a while. They just may choose to find a local coffee shop while you create your art.
Pack with Care:
You may have a whole arsenal of lenses and flashes at home, but do you want to carry it all? Pick one or two lenses to bring with you that will cover your bases. A wider pick such as a 17mm -55mm will have you covered for landscapes and cityscapes. A standard 80mm fixed lens will give you some zoom without being bulky. A 50mm 1.8 will give you speed and versatility within an extremely lightweight lens. Get to know your location. If you feel a longer zoom is needed a 70mm-200mm is a great versatile choice.
Keep it Safe:
Packing light will help you to not be overloaded as you may want to keep your gear on your person at all times. If you do leave gear behind be sure to lock it in your hotel room safe. Call ahead of your travel date to ensure that any items you wish to bring will fit in this space.
Mix it Up:
We are lucky enough to not be held back by fear of wasting film. Change your angle. Get higher and lower. Play with your focus points and depth of field. You won’t ever regret having too many photos, but you may regret wishing your composition was just slightly different.
Know your surroundings:
Headed to the beach? You won't want to take your removable lens off in any location with sand or high winds as you will risk damaging your camera’s sensor. Either stick to one lens or travel with a smaller point and shoot for days when a DSLR isn’t practical.
Break up with Auto Mode:
If you’re still using your camera's fully automatic functions you may want to consider a class as you prepare for your trip. Learning how to creatively control your aperture and shutter speed will give you the ability to create the images your desire.
Your camera’s auto mode is only looking to absorb the proper amount of light. Often times this leads to slower shutter speeds that you will not be able to hand hold. Not knowing how to control this could lead to blurred images that could otherwise have been avoided.
Best of luck with your travel photography!
Laurelle Farrell is owner and principal photographer at AR Images where she specializes in wedding and lifestyle portraiture with a strong emphasis on custom album design. In addtion to her photography work, Laurelle is co-owner and executive director of Timeless Bridal Creations, an alternative bouquet company offering individually handcrafted alternative bouquets. She teaches several photography courses throughout the Boston area and earned her certificate in professional photography from Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts.