When Facebook replaced the traditional family album, it raised the bar for what were considered acceptable vacation photos. Just pointing your lens at a spectacular sunset and shooting is not enough to keep those ‘Likes’ coming. You need to stun your friends with innovative camera angles, detailed composition and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it candid moments.
Photographer Amit Ashar prefers using his small camera when he’s travelling. “Pictures are not about technique. Some of the best photos have no great technical wizardry behind them. You just have to keep your eyes and mind open to see the usual spots in a way that nobody else does,” he says.
Going by the dictum of ‘anything that makes you look twice is worth a photograph’, lensman Prashant Vishwanathan insists that the best holiday photos are the ones that give you a feel of the holiday long after you’re back to the daily grind. “If you were vacationing on a beach, photos of someone lazing in a hammock, or standing on a beach with their hair blowing in the breeze transport you back to that moment.”
Vishwanathan also recommends shooting photographs that reveal facets of your personality. “Some people like waking up in the morning and going to the beach where the fishermen are pulling in their nets. Others prefer night parties. These are the personal images to remind you of the fun you had,” he says.
For photographer Gaurav Sawn however, capturing local flavours makes all the difference. “Instead of taking standard photos of monuments and iconic sites, shoot the local food or the way people dress. Most people try to fit everything into a wide angle shot, and lose out on the details,” says Sawn.
Tip 1: Light it up
The ideal light for photographs is after sunrise or just before sunset. The afternoon sun creates harsh shadows on the subjects. Try and ensure the light is behind the photographer, rather than behind the subject. Backlit photos tend to be underexposed.
Tip 2: Joke
Try cracking a joke right before you take the photo so that you can capture everybody laughing candidly. And instead of asking everyone to stand in a straight line, arrange them with some standing up, some crouching, some off to the side. Also, use props to add accents.
Tip 3: Be prepared
Often, you tend to lose out on a great image because your batteries are not charged or your memory card is full. Trying to be subtle if you’re in a popular tourist spot. You won’t attract the attention of people, who could get in the way of you taking a really good photo.