Snippets Issue 26 : The Road Trip Issue

Arty Photos

Tips for better photography!

Arty Photos

One important aspect of any holiday, be it a road trip or any other trip, is capturing the experience and nothing brings back memories as vividly as good photos.

1. Get to know your camera

No matter what camera your using, point and shoot or DSLR, there are bound to be several settings to choose from. Take an hour or so before your trip to play around with these settings. For example, portrait mode boosts skin tones and sports mode uses a fast shutter speed, which can be useful in all sorts of situations not just for sport. Sepia and other colour filters can also add a special touch.

2. Take your time

Arriving at a landmark, it's tempting to just turn on your camera and take a standard tourist snap. This, however, may not be the most interesting photo and you could easily find something similar in someone else's photo albums. Take your time to find an interesting position from which to take your photo, spending an extra few seconds considering this can make the difference between a mediocre photo and a superb one.

3. Capture small details

Everyone has a photo of those famous statues and buildings, so why not try something different and get up close. Old buildings have beautifully ornate door handles and roofs can have lovely decorative features that one might usually miss.

4. Take photos at night

The night shift is completely unlike the day shift. The lights of a city can be enchanting and offer a new perspective. Use longer exposures to capure the blur of headlights and remember to use a tripod to keep your camera steady.

5. Experiment with film

Even if you don't have a highend digital camera it's easy to get a good quality film camera from ebay or at a flea market for very little. They offer an opportunity to get that wonderfully lo-fi look and the thrill of having film developed is second to none.

6. Photoshop is your friend

Retouching photos is all part of the process of photography. Use a photo editing programme to crop photos and adjust the brightness and colour to make them look the best they can. You don't need to use photoshop, there are plenty of free programmes, for example, gimpshop or picnik.

7. Remember the rule of thirds

If you look at photos you've taken and pick your favourites, the chances are that they obey the rule of thirds. This rules helps keep the photo well proportioned which in turn makes it visually pleasing. To find out more just google the rule of thirds, there are plenty of articles and tutorials that go into far more depth that I can here.

8. Make your photos move

Take a set of photos of a single action, a cartwheel or someone walking. You can then combine the photos to create an animated gif (there are several tutorials for this all over the internet). These are heaps of fun and can make dull photos in something very funny (take photos of your food after ever bite and watch as it magically eats itself as a gif!) For a challenge, capture the motion in several different locations, making it look like you're teleporting mid-cartwheel.

9. Shoot at sunset

The secret to the most flattering light is to shoot at sunset or sunrise, when the sun is low in the sky and casts an orange glow. Not only is it softer than the harsh light of the midday sun but the colours are amazing. An added bonus is that no one is up at dawn, allowing you to do all sorts of silly things without any strange looks.

10. Take a gnome

If you've ever seen the classic French film Amelie, you'll know what I mean. It doesn't have to be a gnome, it can be a stuffed toy or any object you desire. Simply take it everywhere you go and pose it in front of everything, soon you'll have an album dedicated to the adventures of your gnome, who knew he was so adventurous!? Alternatly try planking or any of the new fads in joke posing as a way of making ordinary landmark photos extraordinary.

You can see more of Ron's photography on her blog, Dresses On A Clothes Line.


LOL i love Amelie, i always wished i had done the "gnome" idea. Tongue
These r helpful ...i just wish i had a better camera with cool settings.
I love the Gnome idea and I think I'm going to start my very own album just for that.
Thank you for the idea.

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