We all take photos on vacation but do we all take good photos? If you’re one of those people who’s more disappointed than pleased with your vacation photos, the good news is that’s all about to change.
Many years ago I was fortunate enough to take classes from National Geographic photographers at UCLA. The 3 most valuable secrets they shared will make a dramatic difference in your travel photos. The beauty of these 3 secrets is their pure simplicity.
Everyone puts their main subject in the middle of their photo. Bor-ing. When you place your subject off-center viewers find it intriguing. Though they may not consciously know exactly why, they’re compelled to take a closer look. To compose an attention-grabbing photo nudge your main subject toward one of the four corners. First focus it in the center by pressing the shutter half way. Without releasing the shutter shift your camera so your subject is off center then gently press the shutter the rest of the way. Your subject will remain in focus.
Secret #2: Shoot Everything Twice
Cameras are made in a horizontal format, so it feels natural to take all your photos that way. However, for every photo you take in a horizontal format, stand your camera on its side and take another in a vertical format. Some subjects lend themselves to the vertical format like tall trees or skyscrapers. This also adds eye appeal if you’re putting together a travel blog or a scrapbook. You’ll have several options of how to make your text and photos flow together in an appealing way.
Secret # 3 – The Rule of 3
The number 3 has significance in photography. Visually it adds balance and symmetry to your photos. It’s appealing to the eye and can result in an extraordinary moment frozen forever in time. So, let’s say you’re photographing elephants in Thailand. Isolate 3 from the herd and feature them. If you’re photographing monkeys in Costa Rica pick out 3 of them huddled together or playing. If 3 isn’t an option you can still achieve symmetry with an odd number like 5 or 7.
Make the most of your vacation photos by following these simple tips. Off centered subjects taken in vertical and horizontal formats in groups of threes will make you look like a pro. Happy shooting.