This is a pharmacy – so why am I talking about photography?
2 Reasons really.
The first – I love photography.
And the Second – We have expanded our travel clinic so that we can now provide travel and other vaccinations in addition to malaria prophylaxis.
I am a bit of an enthusiast. I have 2 main camera bodies and lots of lenses. I have shot a few weddings and lots of sports events. And I could talk about photography all day.
So, I thought that since I prescribe anti-malarial tablets, and send people off to lots of exotic places, that they should come back with the best memories possible.
So here we go:
Tip Number 1: The Best Travel Camera.
The best travel camera is the camera that you have on you. Not the one that was too bulky, or too fiddly that you left it in the hotel room. So this may be your mobile phone, and an action camera, a point and shoot or a more “professional” camera. The point is, take a camera with you that you know how to use, and that you are comfortable taking around with you. There is no point in having an expensive camera, that you don’t really know how to use, and that you only bring out for a few shots a day.
Tip Number 2: It’s all about the Light.
The best times of the day to shoot photographs are during the golden hour. This is the hour before sunset and the hour after sunrise. Why? because the sun is low in the sky, and you get beautiful soft light without the harsh shadows that you get during midday when the sun is right on top of you. Cloudy days are also great because the clouds spread the sunlight out evenly. If you are shooting at midday, on a sunny day, it is sometimes better to shoot in the shade to avoid the harsh shadows. However, if you are shooting buildings and architecture, you may want the harsh shadows in your photographs.
Tip Number 3: The Rule of Thirds.
Imagine that you are taking a photograph of a relative. If they are centred in the photograph, with lots of space all around them, this is not as aesthetically pleasing as placing them a third into the frame. Also, imagine shooting a horizon. Rather than placing the horizon midway in the photograph, try placing it a third from the top or a third from the bottom. This is more aesthetically pleasing. A lot of cameras and digital phones have an option to show grid lines. If you turn this function on, the grid lines act as a great reminder and aide in using the rule of thirds.
Tip Number 4: Odd Numbers Work Better Than Even Numbers.
Quite simply, if we have a small group of people in a photograph, then an odd number of people generally look better than an even number. For example, a group of 3 or 5 people would look better than 4 people. Why? I don’t know, they just do. But don’t be dragging strangers into your family shots just to prove or disprove this point.
Tip Number 5: Fill the Frame.
Unless you are deliberately trying to show the surrounding area, don’t be afraid to fill the frame with your subject (the person or thing that you are capturing). This may be your relatives, or some street performers or whatever. Sometimes you may even move in so close that you cannot get the complete subject in and you chop off bits of the subject. This is ok, as long as the bits that are left don’t look too odd!
Tip Number 6: Shoot Vertically and Horizontally.
When you take a shot, turn the camera 90 degrees (a quarter turn) and take the same shot again. So that you end up with two shots, one in Portrait and one in Landscape view. You can then choose which photograph you prefer and delete the one that you don’t like.
Tip Number 7: Shoot from different Heights and Angles.
Most people tend to shoot from head height. They bring the camera up to eye level and then take the shot. You can get a completely different perspective just by bending your knees. Also, since many cameras now have flip out screens, you can hold the camera quite low, or even above your head, to give different viewpoints. Photographs of children and pets are generally better when you shoot at their eye level.
Photography is an art, and we all have different opinions as to whether or not a photograph is any good. I love shooting people. I love seeing their expressions. I love seeing their emotions. Remember, personal holiday photographs don’t have to be technically excellent. They just have to evoke an emotional response in you. Hopefully a happy one x