At this time of year, we are all looking forward to a special event that is fast approaching: the holidays. Many of you will be enjoying a trip with your family or friends to a tourist town this summer, and needless to say, there should always be a photographer among you. If you are reading this, it will probably be your turn to take on the role. That’s why we’re going to give you a series of very useful basic tips on how to get great city holiday photos. Put them into practice and you’ll see a marked improvement in your shots. Let’s get started!
Choose a suitable bag to carry everything you need
“For my next holiday, I’m going to take my SLR camera, four lenses, two flashes, all the filters… Wait a minute, butterfly! If you don’t want your back to suffer further, remember to pack only the bare essentials, and just in case, have a whim or two for your holiday photos.
A bag suitable for this type of trip must meet certain requirements: it must be light, easy to carry and, above all, allow you to take out and store your camera quickly. A padded interior will help keep your equipment perfectly organised and protected, just as the handle should also be padded for more convenient carrying.
There are a variety of bags, from shoulder bags to sling bags, which you can carry over your shoulder. My advice: choose the one that best suits your needs, depending on the equipment you will be carrying, but above all, the one that will allow you to grab your camera quickly at the right moment.
Get a wide angle lens to capture everything in your holiday photos
The best way to capture the wide open spaces of the city is with a wide angle lens. With a wider angle of view that encompasses a large part of the scene, wide-angle lenses are essential for photographing monuments or panoramic views. And you can even include a whole group of friends in a single capture. Take off your blinders and enjoy superior cityscapes! Wide-angle lenses are an ideal solution for your SLR or compact interchangeable lens camera.
Get a wide angle conversion lens too
But if you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution, you can also opt for wide-angle conversion lenses, which give you a different viewpoint and enlarge the natural frame of your camera. The important thing is to enjoy your holiday photos and get the best out of them.
Make the most of your wide angle lens
There are many ways to exploit the performance of your wide-angle lens, but if you want your friends to be the star of the show, you’ll need to get close to them. You’ve probably already experienced the feeling that someone posing in the photo appears very small in relation to the monument and the rest of the scene. To avoid this, move closer to your group of friends without fear and position them so that they keep a certain distance from the elements in the background to integrate them into the scene as well. The big advantage of wide-angle lenses is that they keep the focus on the scene, so you can also recognise the monuments in the background, even if your subjects are in the foreground. Click here for more prime lenses.
Play with lines, exploit depth and distortion on the edges to push the boundaries of your photos. Encompass an entire square, immortalise an entire building and don’t hesitate to take vertical photos to do so. Often, the size of the buildings forces us to shoot vertically, although it is also possible to choose an incongruous angle by placing the camera diagonally in order to obtain different photos. Then try to get an object or person in the foreground, just over half a metre away from your lens, as you were told. This way you will be able to focus on your subject but also on the rest of the scene. In this way, you will create depth, while giving the necessary focus to the subjects.
The tripod or mini tripod, your new great ally
Indeed, the tripod is an ally of photography and therefore it is also yours, especially for your city holiday photos. It’s an ideal tool for stability, stability of your shots, and for creating perfect compositions for your images. The best frame is almost always due to your three-legged friend.
You need a support, that’s for sure. Especially for shots where your whole family is posing in front of a monument, but also for the monument itself and for yourself, should you appear in the shot. In these cases, a tripod is absolutely essential. It is also very useful in combination with the timer on your camera. From group shots (which you can also be a part of) to architectural photography to panoramic shots, the tripod has many uses and applications, so take one along for your holiday photos.
Of course, you won’t be able to carry a mega tripod with 13 bubble levels and a superfluous panoramic head. It’s best to make sure it’s small, basic and above all, light. This is important to remember, to preserve your back, especially considering that you’ll be crawling around for hours to get your shots in the city. In fact, a small to medium sized tripod is ideal, as you can always place them on a bench or ledge at the appropriate height.
Take them by surprise
From experience, I can confirm that surprise shots have the ability to capture authentic moments. The ability to do this depends on everyone, but the surprise factor has a very special element in photography: naturalness. The one that leads your “models” into unexpected and surprising poses. Capturing a spontaneous smile, a curious look, the complicity between your friends, etc. Even crying, arguments or anger are part of the journey, it comes from each participant and their experience. When these moments are reviewed, these images do not go unnoticed. Believe me, you will bring smiles and satisfaction. “When did you take this picture of me?” or “I look good in this one” are just a few of the things you will hear…
And if, in addition to capturing these moments, you do it in iconic locations, that’s the icing on the cake. You’ll receive a flurry of compliments and your holiday photos will become more important among your group of friends.
Don’t forget the most important thing: have fun too
As a final and perhaps most important tip: enjoy yourself! After all, you are a tourist too, so you are entitled to your moment of relaxation. Catch your breath, take all the pictures that attract you and make memories for yourself. Reinvent yourself with your photos but don’t forget to have fun. It may sound silly, but giving yourself some space on the trip can be interesting.