April 17, 2009

Get the best pictures on your vacation

No matter if you’re embarking on a water vacation or a family vacation at a beautiful place like Dubrovnik for example, it’s going to be a special time for you and you want to remember them best with photos. Here are some ideas to enhance your vacation as well as your memories of them.

From that moment when you know where you’re going, doesn’t it make sense to check out the location before you get there? Create a list of attractions, accommodations, special points of interest, amusement areas, shopping, etc.

Thant, figure out the photo opps for each appropriate venue. Everyone can take a "so-so" photograph of the kids at an amusement park. But wouldn’t you rather capture a WOW masterpiece that could be hung over the mantle?

Whether you're going on a family gathering a skiing vacation in Austria or a beach and city-tour vacation in Dubrovnik, check out the books written about the destination and highlight the best photo opportunities BEFORE YOU GET THERE.

If you’re taking a hiking vacation to a more remote area, scout out the national parks in the area. The great thing about national parks is that the scenery is so breathtaking, that an average picture looks outstanding... just because of the location. Do an Internet search for possible photos at the National Park Service or simply do a Google search on the location. Phenomenal shots will present themselves all over the place.

Imagine a typical scenario you could find at Dubrovnik... you’re up at the crack of dawn (OK, not realistic for many of us, including me, but go with me here) and you’re just pulling into the most scenic overlook for 400 miles as the sun is starting to break the horizon.

You instinctively stop the car, grab your camera and your tripod, and look for the optimum location to set up. There's just one tiny little problem…You Didn't Take Your Tripod on this family vacation. Rather than smack yourself on the forehead, why not plan for these things now, by constructing a list before you leave?

Your list should include AT LEAST the following:

Tripod Do I need to repeat – BRING YOUR TRIPOD? It doesn’t take up much room, and it allows you to capture entirely new categories of pictures that wouldn’t be possible without one

Memory Bring all the memory you have. But don't stop there; also pack your portable storage devices if you have any.

Flash If your camera has a hot shoe, bring your external flash, and any additional equipment that can be used to help with bounce flash. Also, don't forget to use it during the daytime to make your pictures really come alive.

Shutter Release Cable Remember your external shutter release cable for those long exposures. How else are you going to get that “angel-hair” look of the waterfalls without camera-shake ruining the photo?

Remember the Basics Don’t forget the basics like: batteries, battery charger, camera bag, and additional lenses and filters (if applicable on your camera).

User Manual And just in case you need it, bring the manuals for your equipment. It's only when you start to use things that you realize you forgot how!

Finally, don’t get so wrapped up in taking the perfect picture that you don’t enjoy the trip. And, remember to use the tripod so that you'll be in at least some of the shots. I would like to recommend Dubrovnik with its amazing monuments, beaches and Dubrovnik hotel for an amazing vacation where you can get amazing pictures.

By ANITA BARBARIC

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