We all treasure our favorite travel photos but sometimes we are disappointed with the quality or wish we had clicked another scene. Photography is a serious profession for many with expensive equipment while smart phones have the capacity for all to preserve quick shots and share with family, friends or the world. Perhaps you, like millions out there received a new digital camera or phone. If so, here are a few basic tips for enjoying the pics.

20151219_152404Be ready. Take it with you everywhere you go because you never know when that perfect opportunity will pop up. Have it ready with a simple click or swipe to take a photo. Practice aiming and firing speedily like a weapon. And make sure it is charged.

In the beginning use auto mode and for each photo consider the light and adjust your angle to the subject so that the picture looks bright and pretty. Best lighting outside is generally early morning or late afternoon. A window in the background if indoors makes a nice silhouette. If it looks dark on the screen and faces are blurred, so it will be. Sometimes angling it from a higher level down over the subject will brighten in low light conditions. Over time or right away at your own pace, play with the different settings for sunset, landscape, faces, etc so that you are comfortable changing settings and knowing on your own device, which works best.

Take a few shots of the subject. Review them to ensure a good one. This is the blessing of digital technology after all. Delete the unwanted ones on the way home so they don’t hog space.

Get as close to the subject as possible. Unless you have a nice telephoto lens, zoomed in photos end up a bit distorted for printed and framing. This bobcat was positioned 15 feet in front of where Alice’s ball landed at Troon North in Scottsdale and allowed Danny to walk in with the Samsung Android for the fun shot.


Troon Junior Club golfers #miniDunes

Continually explore more of your camera’s capabilities. Education is a click away by “googling” your interest like “how do I share my iphone or android photos on instagram?” Read or view the videos that pop up. If you don’t like the manner of the theme, click on the next expert’s advice. Good info is out there. Also ask and share with people in your travels. You might find new friends.

Know how to click a quick selfie or groupie but don’t forget to take photos of locals. These Troon Junior Club golfers were happy to pose after their lesson at #miniDunes at Southern Dunes in Arizona.

Practice the rule of thirds. This is counterintuitive at first but it really works to enhance some compositions. Rather than center the object in the photo, line it up to one side with interesting scenery trailing off as in this epic photo of Danny by Wayne Freedman. He uses great equipment and then manipulates filters and such with Lightroom software but that will be another topic down the road when we get RAW and talk about high resolutions. Meanwhile, consider capturing more photo moments for your New Year’s resolution. Happy 2016 and happy travels!