By Kathy M.
For the past 10 years, I have had the pleasure of looking through the photography submitted for Tauck’s Travel Photo Contest. We edit the best of the authentic photography gifted by our guests for use in our brochures and on our website.
Quite often I am asked what makes a winning photograph.
Below are some basic suggestions from my experience culling through thousands of travel photographs submitted by our guests on tour.
1. Know that you can take just as good a shot, with a point and shoot camera, as you can a DSLR. Granted resolution, and having a great eye for composition, is important to us, but what makes a great travel photo is capturing the joy of travel – and I have seen this done with various levels of equipment.
2. When you shoot something, click first and think later! Take that first shot before the moment passes, then take additional shots if you have the opportunity.
3. When composing the shot: Pay attention not only to the main subject, but also to the surrounding elements. If there is too much noise around subject, zoom in closer or crop noise out later.
4. Position yourself with the sun at your back, and be aware of where the shadows fall.
5. Take off those sunglasses – if possible. Yes, I know… when you’re on vacation, everyone wears sunglasses (including me). But from a photographic standpoint, your eyes can say so much about your experience. If you can bear to not squint for a second, give it a try, your travel photos will be that much better.
6. If your friends and family are the subject of your photo, encourage them to just be themselves. We love shots that do not look posed (even if they were).
7. We love people shots, but also love scenic shots. And don’t forget to turn off that date stamp! It seems always to find a way to get into the most inconvenient place on the photograph.
8. The last tip I would give you is to take the time to put down the camera! Take in all that is around you, with your mind’s eye. The colors, the people, the smells, the sounds. Things not on a memory card that you can bring back home, close your eyes sometime, and travel back to a journey well spent.