Photography Tips


If your looking for some digital photography tips and a crash courses on how to take the best road trip pictures than you came to the right place.  There have been many times where I have snapped a picture without properly setting up the shot and end up with my thumb in the picture as a result.  Sadly enough, I do wish that I could go back in time and take the picture all over again.

There is one rule that I live by in almost every aspect of my life-The K.I.S.S. Principle (Keep It Simple Stupid).  It's amazing how easy it is to over-complicate things and photography is no exception. 

Holding The Camera Properly

It's going to sound obvious but most of the problems come from an unsteady or unlevel hand.  Hold the camera solidly in your hand to prevent the camera from shaking or shifting too much when pressing button, and watch your spare fingers so that they don’t interfere with the lens.   The best way to see exactly how your picture will turn out is to use the viewfinder window (not the cool looking LCD screen).


Most cameras have a feature which allows you to press in the shutter button halfway so that it automatically focuses the image for you.  Generally there will be a blinking light that turns from red to green and lets you know when your ready to take your shot.  Consult your direction manual that came with your camera and follow their directions.


Preview & Keep the Good shots...Delete the bad ones

Digital photography allows you to delete the pictures that do not turn out as you had originally hoped.  Simply delete it directly from your camera and take another picture. 


Rule Of Thirds

This is a great photography tip that you should think about on every single picture:

Picture a number sign (above the Number 3 on your keyboard).  This number sign is divided into nine equal parts  (top, bottom, middle, left and right).  Your goal is to put the subject of your picture on one of the horizontal or vertical lines.  Your subject is either a person, building, landscape, etc.  This technique will allow you to capture some of the exciting things that are going on in the background and make them more interesting.


Leading Lines And Shapes

Applying basic and simple shapes (S-Curves, triangles, squares) to your picture can help to simplify complex scenes and add visual interest. Consider trying to capture an image of a person walking down a long, straight street. Instead of shooting straight down the line, move yourself five or ten feet to the side and shoot that road at an angle - having that line crossing through the intersecting lines of the imaginary number sign from the rule of thirds (see above) and create the illusion of movement as they lead the eye through the picture. S-curves are even more dynamic, while repetitive lines can also create movement of the eye through the picture, like repeating waves of sand on a beach or parallel row houses along the side of a road.


Vantage Point

This is an easy technique.  Simply raise or lower your level (rather than standing straight up).  Some photographers will take it to an extreme by laying on the ground or standing on a chair.  This is an excellent digital photography tip to apply to the welcome sign photography game.



Take pictures of like objects (people, buildings, trees, animals, etc). 

A good example of what NOT to do is: Take a picture of a celebrity next to a car accident with a swat team breaking down the door at the same time.  

Although this would be a great picture for your digital camera safari, nobody would notice the celebrity that you captured on film.


Odd Numbers

Generally odd numbers of subjects in your picture are more interesting than even numbers-don't ask me why.  This is a great tip to keep locked away in the back of your mind.



Use the surroundings to build a frame around your subject.  You can have them stand in between a few trees, next to the side of a neat looking building, or other objects that present themselves to you.  This technique will people's eyes to  your subject in your photograph and make it much more interesting.  If you check out our conspicuous tourist game then you can use other random people as your human picture frames.



When it isn't practical to add more light to an indoor or low-light scene, you can often rely on a flash to help add to the available light. A common mistake with a flash, however, is to misunderstand the reach of the resulting light. Most portable cameras can only light up a subject within an average of 10 to 15 feet – so, if the subject of the photo is further away than that, then either move closer, or look for an alternate light source or option.



Cropping is a powerful editing tool (after you return home from your road trip) that will allow you to alter the picture that you took on your trip in the comfort of your own home.  Cropping trims off unwanted parts of the photo leaving you with the parts you want to keep. This can have a significant effect on the photo, since you can change the balance, composition and drama of a photo, for example, in a photo where a subject was centered, you can crop off more on one side to align objects with the rule of thirds, or remove portions of the background, like a building, tree or stray person. You can also crop a photo to change it from landscape to portrait, leading to a more interesting picture than the one you originally took.


Have Fun

The entire purpose of your road trip is so that you can kick back and really enjoy yourself on a once in a lifetime trip.  The freedom that you feel on this trip will stick with you for the rest of your days and give you a greater appreciation for this world and the simple things things in life.  You should look into our digital camera safari, conspicuous tourist, welcome sign photography, and scavenger hunt road trip games games. 





After reading through our photography tips, you should be ready to dive right into our road trip games!