Vacation pictures don’t have to look like boring snapshots from a phone camera. They can also be a part of our masterpieces. But sometimes when we are abroad on vacation, we unknowingly also send our brain on vacation.
Oh great, just another article / blog with tips and tricks on how to take great pictures of statues, sunsets and old ruins. If that’s what you want, stop reading now. This is intended to be an eyeopener for the people already in touch with their camera and technique.
Someone once said: “Once a photographer, always a photographer”. A quotation very easy to say, but quite hard to live up to. Sometimes our brain and eyes simply need a vacation. You just need to “shut down” for a moment. But for a photographer that wants great vacation pictures, it’s a bad idea to combine such occasions. In this case you have to listen to the quotation.
After a year of hard work you decide to go on holiday with your family. You pick a nice place to relax, eat great food and just take care of yourselves. And of course, at least you, to also take great pictures. It’s expected both from you and your audience. Then, something weird happens. You decide to pack your worst equipment. Just because “You’re on vacation”. Okay, it’s said that the photographer doesn’t live inside the gear but inside you. But great gear helps. And for an educated and experienced photographer the difference is even bigger. You may think that since you already are good, you can take great pictures with whatever camera choice. It may somewhat be true. But since you are good, you are also able to handle great equipment. That makes the difference between crap and great equipment even bigger.
Stay with me. Imagine two different scenarios; You look outside your hotel room and you pick up your iPhone to take a shot of the stunning view. Click. You’re Done. Rewind; You look outside your hotel room and instead you pick up your DSLR to take a shot of the stunning view. You change the aperture, maybe adjust your ND filter, you attach a mini tripod to your camera, you use a remote or delayed capture mode. Why this enormous difference in shooting? Because your equipment has the ability? My answer would be, yes, and no. The biggest difference is within you and your brain. With your “work gear” you automatically get into “work mode”. And for a professional photographer “work mode” means great pictures.
To enter “Work mode” also means you can’t only rely on your gear. You still have to want to take great pictures. You still have to use all of your knowledge, senses and abilities. Your mind isn’t allowed to take a vacation, at least not on your bodys vacation. That will have to wait. That is if you want to take great pictures. Does it sound a bit harsh? Well, don’t look at me. The header stated “Take better pictures on your vacation” and you’re still reading.
Is there anything more to it? Of course it is, but to make a list of different, obvious tips and tricks doesn’t really help you, and does not in any way differ from any other article or newspaper about travel photography. Use your knowledge about lights, shadows, patterns and storytelling already in your head and pack it in your bag. Your carry-on bag. It should always be there with you. Good hunting!
A petit gallery from different trips, all with DSLR, big lenses and some even tripods.