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13 Tips For Great Holiday Pictures

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Despite the fact that your smartphone may be boasting 20 or 30 megapixels, that little camera is severely limited due to its tiny little lens. With such a small lens, it’s hard for the camera to capture enough light. However, with a couple tricks you can still get amazing pictures out of it. If you’re the kind of traveler who likes to pack light and leave the big DSLR at home you’re going to want to keep these things in mind, and if you’ve got a nice camera read on anyway as most of these will apply to you too.

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  1. If all your shots have that blurry day dream look of a flashback from a 90s movie, your lens is dirty, give it a wipe.
  2. Don’t put your subject right in the center of the picture, it’s boring. Offset them (or it, if it’s a castle or something) slightly to one side, especially if there’s a cool backdrop. (note the above picture, the girl is off to the side. See, more interesting, no?)
  3. Can’t get a good sunset picture? That’s because the actual sunset is the worst time to take a such a shot. Try taking the picture half an hour before or after sunset to get dramatic colours.
  4. There’s actually a Wikipedia article dedicated to people who have died while using selfie sticks. You won’t get to share any pictures if you don’t make it home, so selfie with caution.
  5. Know the limitations of your flash or you risk looking like an idiot. You can’t light up a whole backyard, let alone a concert with one, and if you try to take a picture through glass with the flash on (like at the aquarium), you’re only going to get a picture of the flash on the glass.
  6. Adjust the brightness! On most phones, you can simply tap on the subject and then slide a little bar to do so. Keep in mind that if you are trying to brighten up a dark subject without the flash, you’re going to have a slower shutter speed; make sure you can keep your hand steady to avoid blurry pictures.
  7. When snipers take their shot, they exhale and squeeze the trigger at the moment their lungs are empty; it’s when they’re the most steady. Do the same thing with your camera to avoid blurry pictures
  8. This one is pretty basic: don’t take a picture with the sun (or light source) behind your subject, you’ll just see the dark shape of a person.
  9. Some of us love to take pictures of our food, that’s fine, but don’t snap each and every meal. Save it for the truly glorious ones. If you’ve taken more than 6 of these in a year, your standards are too low.
  10. Embrace the digital age and the fact that you won’t run out of film! When taking a picture, take half a dozen of them back to back in quick succession, and you’ll be more likely to get a picture where everyone looks great.
  11. Fast moving kids or animals are going to be blurry unless the shutter speed is fast, this will result in a dark picture unless there is a lot of light. So, if your subject is a running kid, make sure you have lots of light or turn on your flash.
  12. The silver lining to a cloudy day on vacation: great photography! Everything comes out evenly lighted. Those are the days to take portraits.
  13. Landscapes can be breathtaking in real life, but are often dull in pictures. Add some life and spice by anchoring it with a cool object (maybe an actual anchor?) that is about 10 feet away. Scroll back to the top to see the beach picture; the girl is about 10 feet away, giving some persepective and depth for the the ocean behind her.
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