“They’re just holiday snaps.”

How many times do I hear people say, “They’re just holiday snaps”?   Well, your holidays are the time off you’ve earned as a result of all the hard work you’ve done during the rest of the year, so shouldn’t your holiday photographs be the best they can be!   Luckily, there are techniques you can learn to get great holiday images. 

Here are some of my recent holiday images.  They were all taken with a digital compact camera, which shows that you don’t need a fancy camera to get great holiday images.

Holiday images need to capture the feelings you had on your holiday, or recreate the experiences.  This image of the sky at Whitstable in Kent sums up my feelings of relaxation on that day, and also the superb view.

sea-&-sky by Gale Photography

"Sky at Whitstable" by Gale Photography

Once you have chosen your subject, you should then compose your shot to give the greatest impact.

"O2 arena at dusk" by Gale Photography

"O2 Arena at dusk" by Gale Photography

With this image of the O2 Arena in London I’ve waited till sunset so I got the arena’s lights with an interesting sky behind the arena’s supports.  I’ve then cropped off  some of the foreground to give the best composition.  This is the “fill the frame only with interesting stuff” rule.

Some of our trips on holiday involve going to historic buildings where photography can be a bit of a challenge.  Here’s an example from Canterbury Cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral ceiling by Gale Photography

Canterbury Cathedral ceiling by Gale Photography

I wanted to capture the fantastic vaulted ceiling on the “Bell Harry Tower”, but the exposure set by the camera meant that hand-holding wasn’t practical because of camera shake.  The little flash on my Lumix digital compact camera wasn’t anywhere near powerful enough to light it, so what could I do?  Easy !!  Put the camera on the floor underneath the centre of the ceiling, set the self-timer, press the shutter, and move out of the way.  The result is a sharp image showing just what I wanted.

"Ightam Mote panorama" by Gale Photography

"Ightham Mote panorama" by Gale Photography

Finally, there are times when you just can’t get everything in because your camera’s lens isn’t wide enough, or you just can’t get far enough away.  I had this problem at Ightham Mote in Kent.  I couldn’t fit it all in because a hedge stopped me going far enough back.  The solution was to take a number of images (6 I think) that covered the whole of the building, and then stitch them together afterwards to give one complete image of the whole building.  Sounds a bit complicated but it’s actually very easy.  I used a free program called Autostitch, but there are plenty of others available.

All of these tips, and plenty more, are covered in our “The Creative Eye” photographic training course which we’re running in the New Year.  Our website www.lifestylephotos.co.uk has details of the dates and venues.

Happy Holidays | EichyNovember 5, 2009 - 5:25 am

[…] http://thegalephotographyblog.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/theyre-just-holiday-snaps-not/. So what are you waiting for? Hop on a plane, get in a car or just take a walk somewhere. Take your friends or family and don’t forget that camera:) […]

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