Postcard Perfect: Taking Vacation Photos That Inspire

Joel Addams of Joel Addams Fine Art Photography shares five tips that’ll make your next vacation pictures pop. Creative ways to get postcard perfect photos.

1) Good light is always right: The best, most colorful light comes at sunrise and sunset, so getting up before family and friends roll out of bed is important! The sunset is more difficult because people want to eat, but once people see the sunrise/sunset with you, they will often thank you.

2) Photograph people in action: Catch them doing what they do without posing. Running through a waterfall or hiking on a trail is much more interesting that the old standby photograph of everyone lining up in front of the waterfall just to say “we were here.”

3) Put the subject anywhere but the center/Put the horizontal anywhere but the middle: This is a simple rule of thirds lesson, where the main part of the picture is offset adding a dynamic component to the picture. Horizons at the bottom of the picture or at the top of the picture are more interesting because they emphasize the clouds or the foreground.

4) Change your perspective: It doesn’t take long to walk around a subject or a person and find a new, interesting perspective. Most shots are taken from eye level, and this can become quite boring. Search out a new location!

5) Blur water or people for interest: This is a more intermediate technique, but the slower the shutter speed, the more blurred moving objects become, especially fast-moving objects like waterfalls. The caveat is that a tripod is almost a necessity, though sometimes a bean bag or sturdy backpack will do the trick. If you are using a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex), shoot in Aperture Priority and change the f-stop(aperture) to f11 or f16 and watch the shutter speed naturally slow down to compensate. Make sure you’re not touching the camera, because it can blur quite easily. Check your results in the LCD screen and try a new set of numbers until you get the results you want.

To see more of Joel’s work go to

Meyer’s Gallery will be hosting an exhibit featuring photos taken by Joel Adams:

Meyer Gallery Opening Exhibit “Two Worlds”

June 12, 2009

6-8 p.m.

Invitation required, simply call the Meyer Gallery at (801) 363.0993

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