Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vacation Pictures

How's this for capturing a quintessential Fourth of July moment?

Taking great vacation photographs often means removing yourself from the heart of the action.  Instead of sitting on the blanket, I chose to sit above and behind my friend's children so that I could get a few vacation pictures for her.  You may miss a few minutes of interaction, but in the end you'll be glad to have photographs that will last a lifetime.

You can read my thought-process below for this photograph, and perhaps consider these tips when taking your own vacation pictures:
  • Light - By staying in the shade, I let the "spotlight" of natural sun be on my subjects
  • Angle - Timing is everything when taking a picture.  When I arrived at the parade, I could see that capturing the boys waving at the floats would be darling.  By keeping myself at an angle to my subjects (instead of sitting directly behind them) I had more chances to get this firetruck as it approached.  I was able to take 3 photos just like this, with the only difference being where the firetruck is in the frame.  Later (when the parade was over and I had time to evaluate) I could choose to keep the picture where all the elements looked the best.
  • Secrecy - Once the boys realized that I was taking their picture, they turned around a lot to see what I was up to.  If you decide what photo you want (first lick of an ice cream cone, kids jumping off the dock), don't announce your intention.  You might miss out on capturing a perfectly natural moment.
  • Determination - Just do it! Bring your camera along and grab pictures when you can.  If you think about constructing the perfect shot too much, you'll miss out on some really good ones.  Just always take your camera with you and enjoy!

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