7 Top Tips for taking great photos when on holiday

Want to take great photos when you’re on holiday? Then here are a few hints and tips on how to go about it. From looking at your subject from a different perspective to employing the golden ratio and focusing on details – use these tips to help you take photographs you’ll cherish long after your holiday is over.

Tips for taking great photos when on holiday

1) The golden ratio  

It’s sometimes called the golden ratio or the rule of thirds. It’s a concept employed across disciplines such as art, architecture, science, mathematics and more; and you can employ it in your photographs too. In basic terms, don’t put your main subject in the centre of your photo. Instead, divide your view into thirds and fit the subject you are photographing onto one of the lines that marks a third. You’ll find it creates a sense of harmony, balance and is pleasing to the eye.

  • Close up

If you’re taking a photo of a group of people, get much closer than you think you need to and fill the frame of your camera. Also, ask the group you’re photographing to stand much closer than they usually would do, as spaces between heads, for instance, are magnified in a photo and can look odd. If you have a large group of people to photograph, asking them to stand in a ‘v’ formation can help you to capture them all, without it looking like a line-up of suspects. Also, try taking the photo from a vantage point slightly above their level, from a few steps up a staircase for instance, as it will help you to get everyone in the photo.

3) Don’t be afraid of space

Conversely, don’t be afraid of leaving space in your photographs, in fact, it can do marvellous things in terms of evoking atmosphere and drawing attention to the main elements of your photo. The website www.photographymad.com has some great advice on employing negative space (the space around your main subject) to enhance your photographs. Don’t just think of your main subjects when taking a photo, but consider the space around them too. Think about the balance between the positive and negative space.

4) Viewpoints

Experiment by taking your photos from different viewpoints; don’t just take them all from front and centre, so crouch down or sit down on the floor or conversely take photos from a higher up vantage point. Look at your subject from different perspectives and viewpoints; don’t just take the same dull photos as everyone else.

5) Focus on details

Focussing on details can give your photos a unique flavour and feel for a place, from a close-up of a wildflower to architectural detail. Look for colour, form, shape and texture. A tiny detail, close-up, can evoke a much broader sense of place. You’re also much more likely to get a photo that no one else has, giving you a much more personal and distinctive record of the places you’ve visited, rather than simply snapping the same tourist hotspots as everyone else.

6) Vary the times of day

Vary the times of day that you take your holiday photos. Try getting up early to see the sun rising or to have a better chance of catching the local wildlife, or simply to take in a few views before they are filled with holiday makers like you. If you’re enjoying a city break, capture the skyline at night time in all its twinkling glory. Vary the time of day that you take your photos and you’ll add a different atmosphere and quality of light to your holiday snaps. The beginning and end of the day have an especially magical quality of light to offer your photos.

7) Don’t forget the sun

The traditional advice is to take a photo with the sun behind you, but this can simply end up with your subject squinting uncomfortably into the camera, so instead stand them in front of the sun, so they are shielding the sun from your view. Remember, neither you or your subject should look directly into the sun.

Don’t forget your sun hat and sun block, so you don’t damage your skin whilst you’re concentrating on taking your photos. Look for body care with a high SPF factor, so that your skin gets all of the protection it should. Think about taking a good quality sun protection with you that you can easily reapply to areas prone to burning. Remember, you should reapplying it every 2 hours or so.

Camera at the ready?

So there you have a few hints and tips on taking your holiday photos. From making the most of negative space to looking at your subject from different vantage points and taking your photos at different times of the day. We’ve hope you’ll find these tips helpful and that your portfolio of holiday photos will look better than ever. So get your camera at the ready, keep it to hand, so you’re ready for those opportune moments and say ‘cheese.’



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