As you choose your summer vacation destination, and before you pack your bags, take some time to think about the tips in this PhotographyTalk article that could make this summer’s adventure one of the most memorable.
Summer vacations are meant to be fun, fun and more fun! When you approach it with that mindset, not only will you, your significant other and/or your children enjoy themselves thoroughly, but also you’ll discover a fun attitude is the best way to approach summer vacation photography.
Whoever is accompanying you during your summer vacation would certainly be disappointed if you spent most of your time with your camera pursuing photos instead of joining in the group activities and fun. Your goal, therefore, is to find and capture better photos during the group activities of your vacation: with the kids on the beach, family entertainment parks, hiking and camping, watersports, etc.
Great summer vacation photos don’t require expensive cameras and equipment. Very affordable compact cameras are constantly being introduced with better specs, providing all the capabilities and functionality that you would ever need. This could become an excellent learning experience because ultimately what makes great digital photos is the photographer, not the equipment. Bringing home exceptional pictures from your summer vacation shot with a compact camera is a greater testament to your skills (and the wise use of your money) than shooting with an expensive DSLR and an array of lenses. In fact, many advanced amateurs and professionals would tell you that they leave their heavy, cumbersome, pro-quality equipment at home and bring a compact.
If you do want DSLR-like features and a choice of lenses, then consider one of the mirrorless, or interchangeable lens, systems. Small like a compact, but packed with many of the functions and controls found on DSLRs.
Think also about the environment of your summer vacation and the activities you’ve planned. If much of the time you’ll be in a wet environment, such as the beach, rafting, boating, etc., then consider one of the compact, waterproof cameras. Not only will you save your regular camera from ruin, but also capture some exciting and wonderful images that would not otherwise be possible.
An optional piece of equipment to consider is a tripod, but only if you have the room. If you’re traveling by air, then you should probably leave it at home.
Remember, you can also rent camera equipment. You may be able to leave all your equipment at home and rent it at your summer vacation destination, or have it shipped there.
You’re more likely to bring home great summer vacation pictures if you first apply your planning skills. Now is the time to think in advance about what kind of photo opportunities are available at the specific places you expect to visit and enjoy. Shooting on a beach means you need to know how to take pictures in strong, overhead light. Family entertainment parks, museums, zoos, etc. will have more low-light situations, so learn a few tips about taking excellent pictures with much less light.
If you’re like most summer vacation digital photographers, shooting in Auto mode with a compact camera will give you all the functionality you’ll need to take great photos. Your R&R time, however, is also an excellent opportunity to experiment with a compact camera in Manual mode, or the capabilities of your mirrorless or DSLR camera you’ve avoided learning how to use.
You’ll find many of the tips and techniques you should know to take great summer vacation photos in the PhotographyTalk library of articles. You’ll find articles about boating photography, landscape photography, seascape photography, zoo photography and many other topics that will match your vacation destination.
Visit the PhotographyTalk Galleries to view images from fellow photographers and study their vacation and travel photos to inspire and guide you.
PhotographyTalk vendor partners, The Perfect Picture School of Photography, My Photo School and Love That Shot, offer a wonderful selection of online courses and tutorials for beginners, casual and intermediate digital photographers. You’ll learn new techniques and improve your skills, so you are truly ready to take great summer vacation photos.
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Photograph by Photography Talk Member Czaldy Garrote