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  • Writer's pictureAbena


5 tips to capture the best moments of any vacation!

1. Do your Research on Pinterest and Instagram

To be honest, there is nothing new under the sun. So why not get inspiration from other travelers visiting your next vacation destination? Search on Pinterest and Instagram for the kind of shots you like, save them and observe your new inspiration board once you are done. Don’t copy. I repeat DON'T COPY. That takes all the fun out of it. However, combine your own style with what inspires you to create something unique.

For example: I repeatedly saw this door on the gram and knew I wanted to find it when I arrived in Cartagena, Colombia. I accessorized with local wares and purchased some flowers at a nearby market. These little touches transformed a run of the mill photo shoot into something that reflected my own personal style.

2. Phone a friend or bring the right equipment

I'm a solo traveler, so most of my moments are captured with a tripod. I actually prefer this because I tend to be more free when no one is watching. I use a simple travel tripod from Amazon that can extend to 59 inches and breaks down to fit in an average sized backpack. I use it to shoot time lapses, group shots, or to get a picture from a different angle.

I also employ the services of guides, fellow travelers, or strangers when necessary. However, this is with guidance. Frame out the picture you want by positioning their hands or taking a picture of them in frame. This will give the willing volunteer an idea of what you envision for yourself. For example, when traveling to Cartagena, I posted on Facebook groups to see if I could connect with other solo travelers during my trip. I know you might think this is crazy, but I shared my itinerary with a female lawyer I met online, and she traveled for 3 days with me. She took this epic shot above, which is still my most liked photo on my IG feed.

3. The early bird gets the worm

Maybe this should have been first, but avoid midday at all costs! The sun is at its highest point and will make it harder to get properly exposed images. Additionally, tourist attractions are at their busiest at midday, so getting there first thing in the morning helps you avoid this.

It is so much easier to take the photo you want when you don't have to wait in line for the perfect shot or you don't have to position your camera in such a way that it blocks out the crowds behind you.

There will be moments that you can’t avoid the strong sun. Just make sure that you don’t shoot with your back against the light but facing it. For example, the photo above was taken around 2pm and because of the lighting, it required serious post editing to salvage it.

4. Change your perspective

Taking a photo with the subject directly in front of you at eye level is great, but to add variety, try shooting at different angles. Try getting down low, holding your camera high up above your head, switching your camera vertically or horizontally. For example, the photo above was taken with the camera tilted up to give the illusion that this ground level terrace was actually a second story balcony.

5. Do something!

Movement and activities add depth to photography. I am still learning the art of movement, but the most engaging photos tell a story. Movement is the easiest way to do this. Pick up a prop like your hat or sunglasses and play around with putting them on and off. Grab a drink or some delicious street food and snap a few pics. The point is that action is more interesting than standing still. For example, the image above could have been more captivating if I was splashing in the mud or putting it on a fellow traveler. PS. If you're using a cell phone, try burst mode or SuperBurst App to capture the best action photos.

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