We tracked down some expert photographers to get their best tips on taking great vacation pictures. Here are some of their surprisingly simple suggestions to avoid reels of dull images (bonus: no new equipment necessary).
Andy Biggs. BBC’s 2008 wildlife photographer of the year; leader of African photographic safaris.
Jeff Kauck. Food photographer; James Beard Award nominee for The Spiaggia Cookbook.
Cary Wolinsky. Veteran photographer for National Geographic; runs photo-advice website PixBoomBa.com.
Always have a camera with you. The best picture is the one that gets taken. Pros are even impressed with what camera phones can take — so even if all you have is your cell, you can still nab a great shot.
Read the guidebook. Gaining inside knowledge on your location will help you plan prime photo ops. Research things like when certain animals are active or when the sun sets over a crater.
Shoot off-center. Placing your subject to the side of the frame, rather than in the middle, creates visual interest.
Use light creatively in food photography. Shooting up into a source of light lends an airy feel, while taking pictures across a ray of light will produce a look similar to a Dutch painting.
Aim to shoot during the “golden hours” (the first and last hours of each day). You’ll yield better results than snapping shots midday.
Wear neutral clothing when photographing your subject up close. Bright colors can reflect onto the subject and change its appearance.
Place the brightest spot in the frame on your subject. This is key because the eye naturally gravitates toward light areas.
Photos courtesy of Andy Biggs and Jeff Kauck