Wish your vacation photos looked more
like those in the travel mags? Whether you're in the outback
or your own backyard, the following tips and images from
award-winning photographer will ensure your pictures are all
The moment you snapped the shutter, you knew you had created your
masterpiece. Surely it would make the editors at National
Geographic proud, and in the three weeks since you returned from
Machu Picchu you've been able to think of little else. The serene
evening light was perfect. A woman walked by, caught in the setting
sun with a large basket balanced precariously on her hip and her
brightly colored dress blowing in the breeze. All you had to do was
push the button.
Now you rush to the photo lab envisioning your new career as a
travel photographer. Ripping open the package, your heart sinks.
The picture is muddy, missing the vibrant colors you remember, and
the woman is slightly blurred. It doesn't look anything like the
image in your imagination.
You're not alone. Bridging what you see and what you get is the
toughest part of any type of photography, and when it comes to
travel, where the newness of an exotic environment is often
overwhelming, the challenge can be even greater. But you don't have
to become a professional photographer to get great pictures.
Assuming you already know the basics of working your camera,
heeding the following advice can lend you enough technique to break
from the ranks of the unskilled beginner, without having to get a
second job to pay for fancy equipment or ruin your trip by spending
all your time looking through the camera lens.
Develop Your Photographic Eye
For starters, look at great travel photographs. Don't just flip
through and admire, but really look at them. Consider what it is
that works well, and try to apply those same el-ements to your own