Taking Your Vacation the Smart(Phone) Way

Vacation memories should last forever, but sometimes people forget the precise details. That’s the beauty of living in an era with ubiquitous smartphones. You’re always just a button click away from saving a moment in time. For this reason, it’s important that your cellphone be reliable when it comes to vacation photos. Here are five tips for taking your vacation the smart(phone) way.

Add a Splash of Personality

smart way photo graphy tips

Image via Flickr by Michael Bentley

Literally millions of people before you have taken pictures of sunsets, rainbows, and landmarks. If your friends frequent any picture-intensive websites such as Instagram or Twisted Sifter, odds are good that they’ve seen the same image you want to capture, only a better version of it done by a professional.

The way to differentiate your picture is to include a piece of yourself. It doesn’t have to be as simple as making a goofy face, either, although those can be memorable. Instead, you could play against your personality as you interact with the scene. If people tease you about being short or tall, find a way to accentuate your height in the shot. Anyone can take a picture, but you’re the only one capable of taking one that encapsulates who you are.

Get a Different Point of View

While you are the best person for emphasizing your personality in a picture, you can always get some great pictures by doing the inverse of this. Ask a stranger if they’d be willing to take your picture. They don’t know you, so their evaluation of you as a model is completely subjective and superficial. Each person you ask will bring his own personality into the mix, meaning that you could stand in front of the same landmark several times. Simply by having different people take the picture, you’ll wind up with distinct perspectives from the same setting.

A fun pro tip here is to ask a kid to do it. Don’t make conversation with one without the parent’s permission, of course. If you see a nice family with a free-spirited child, however, ask them if they’d mind letting the kid operate the camera. The situation is fun for the other family, and the presence of a child guarantees a unique point of view. Plus, you’ll feel more energetic about putting on a show for someone so young. It’ll bring out a different part of your personality.

Use a Different Lens

The worst cellphone camera today is still better than almost every digital camera in existence 20 years ago. That’s the power of digital technology. Even so, it never hurts to add a better lens to your smart device. You can buy an adapter and then pick your favorite SLR camera lens. You don’t want a big one, of course, but even an entry-level 37mm lens will provide photorealistic imagery straight from your cellphone.

Use Grid Lines

Presuming you’re using a smartphone, like the Samsung Galaxy S6, you’ll have this amazing functionality available. Grid Lines alters the basic image you see on your phone display. By adding four parallel lines across the screen, this function divides the image into a series of nine boxes. This empowers you as a photographer, because you can now employ the rule of thirds to compose a much more interesting visual composite.

If you’ve taken a photography class, you already know that the rule of thirds represents one of the most important concepts in image-capture. If you haven’t taken one, another suggestion is that you take the time to read a photography site that explains the rule of thirds. By understanding this strategy, you’ll take much more engaging pictures, and thanks to Grid Lines, it’s an easy process on your phone.

Use a Mount

Tripods are out of vogue in the era of selfies, but the core concept is still solid. Utilizing a mount guarantees a still image that is stable and balanced. Plus, you’ll know the precise height of your camera, which means you’ll know where to stand. You can be eye level with the lens, or you can mess with convention by standing lower or higher if so inclined. Whatever you choose, a mount offers a lot more versatility with your photography.

Taking memorable vacation images doesn’t take a lot of effort. You can start in the planning phase by buying a few accessories. Once you’re on the trip, try to think differently when you pose. You’ll guarantee yourself some unforgettable images.

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