Whenever I get the chance to take a break or go on a quick vacation somewhere I always take the opportunity. There’s nothing better than taking a few days away from a stressful busy life and recharge the batteries. Wherever I go, I’m always carrying a camera with me. Over the years I’ve built quite an extensive private gallery of different picture from different locations I’ve visited, and I always have fond memories when looking back at them, when showing them to friends and family, especially when they were there with me.
My favourite camera of choice for vacation pictures and video is a camera which is small and compact in size, and doesn’t take a lot of room which is good when you’re short on space. I find that for such a small device it really can shoot great videos and many still pictures. In some models of the Coolpix series you can even shoot video in HD or full HD formats, and can use a variety of special effects. With a little practice you’re able to create some great pictures and videos as a keepsake.
With all the travelling I have been fortunate enough to do; I’ve made some mistakes over the years and have learned from them and I’d like to share them with you. These recommendations do not necessarily have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of your time, but can really make the difference in between a good vacation and a bad one in terms of pictures and videos. I’ve created these 6 quick tips to give you the best chance of really creating some great holiday video and snaps.
Once you’ve chosen a destination, carry out some research. If I’m not familiar with the location, what I do is go on Google and research the hotspots and places of interest in advance. By doing this you can build a realistic itinerary that you can complete. When you get to your destination if you do get stuck or the itinerary doesn’t work well for you I always ask the local people, if there are any other places to go where you can take interesting video or photographs.
This is especially important when you’re not travelling alone and with family or a group of friends. How is anyone going to know where you have been or that you were even there if you have been behind the camera all along? Ask friends or family accompanying you to take pictures of you. In addition your friends and family might have already taken pictures of you enjoying yourself so encourage sharing your pictures and video’s together. Another great tip I picked up a while back and one of my favorites, is to either use a tripod or a hard surface, and use the timer functions so you can get into the shot yourself.
The disappointment that comes from taking a great picture, only for it to come out fuzzy or blurred. I’m sure you can relate it’s just totally frustrating. I’ve learned to always remember to use the VR (vibration reduction) function, which helps enormously in keeping the picture stable. Another is to use a monopod or tripod, these are fantastic for panning and zooming subjects into frame shots. If you haven’t got a monopod or a tripod handy, don’t worry I have found that standing against a wall or a fence can help to keep any vibration or camera shake to an absolute minimum.
An obvious one, but nonetheless critical for not running out of power at the moment you need it the most. Disposable batteries are notorious for not lasting long especially when there is a lot of video being taken. So always bring an extra pack with you. Personally I use rechargeable batteries and bring two sets with me. For a small cost upfront, they tend to last a lot longer and when they do run out you can just charge them up again, whilst using the second set. When using rechargeable batteries, do make sure they’re fully charged before first use.
There’s only so many pictures you can store on your camera and even media cards at any one time, especially when capturing video and pictures in HD format. I’d highly recommend taking an extra card with you. There’s nothing worse than having to select which videos or pictures you should delete in order to make room for more. More often than not you don’t want to delete the picture you’ve already taken and that’s why another card is really handy.
Last but not least is what you were going on holiday in the first place for, and that’s to have fun! I get really adventurous with the pictures I take and you should too. By adventurous I mean look for more unique angles for example with your camera low to the ground, or high above your subject makes for different viewpoints and ways of looking at an object. For those once in a lifetime shots which are just simply breathtaking i.e. a mountainous views, I take videos and stills to capture that moment and they provide different varieties for me. If your taking a picture of someone in the foreground of a beautiful view, you can always ask that person to use different angles and poses so you capture the views in more ways than just one.
Using these 6 simple tips you’ll create the best chances of ensuring that whatever video or pictures you shoot, they will be special. Sharing camera duties, keeping your camera stable, and taking a supply of batteries and media cards means that you will not be caught out either. When you get home, you can use a variety of software to help you create slideshows and edit videos to add music or even narration in your own voice. What you will end up with is a great story to share with your friends and family that you will want to watch again and again.
How about you? Have you got any vacation photography tips you would like to share or add to this list? You can leave a comment below