Smoky Mountains Hazy Travel Photography North Carolina Asheville Blog Article

Welcome to Part 2 of the series on “Tips For Capturing Fabulous Vacation Photos”. If you missed Part 1, you can find the article here. These article will cover how to add interest in your frames using interesting backgrounds. Also, changing the look of a shot by changing your perspective.

I also cover a few key pieces of gear that you need to have for quality images. Finally, which editing software and apps I use for finishing off a beautiful photo.

Let’s jump right in!

Look For Interesting Backgrounds

A photo’s background can add interest to the frame. Also, it can help tell the story of where you are. Some backgrounds can only be found in one place in the world. Use them to your advantage and tell the story.

Clarksville Mural North Carolina Portrait Travel Blog Article

A Different Perspective Can Dramatically Change The Photo

When most people take a photo, they shoot at the same level that they stand. Don’t be most people!

Whatever your first instinct is for pressing the shutter, rethink it. Everybody shoots this angle, maybe I can shoot up on it? Maybe down? Maybe frame it between the bushes or the trees. Think outside the proverbial box.

Photography Gear I Always Carry

Everything starts with the camera. A close second is a sturdy, easy to carry, lightweight ย tripod. Finally, a bag to carry any accessories or extra lenses you might want to play with.

DSLR Or Mirrorless

Tin Roof Life Antique Camera Travel Blog Photograph

The image quality is identical between the DSLR and Mirrorless cameras, so consider where you will be carrying it. DSLR’s are heavier and bulky while the mirrorless is lightweight. Both cameras have interchangeable lenses and can be mounted to a tripod.

When I started shooting, I learned on a Nikon DSLR. As a result, I invested a small fortune in lenses and accessories. If I had to do it again, I would invest in a mirrorless camera for the small profile. But the image quality is magnificent and I know the camera like the back of my hand. Today, I carry a Nikon D7100 because old habits die hard.


As I was writing this article, I have decided to trade out the Nikon 7100 for a Sony A6300 for the video capabilities and small size. I’ll let you know how this turns out in a future blog post but I’m very excited!

My Choice Of Tripod

Vanguard Alta Pro 283 CB 100 Tripod From B&H Photo

I currently use a Vanguard Alta Pro 283 CB 100 tripod for its versatile functionality. A good tripod is vital for shooting waterfalls and anything that has a shutter speed longer then 1/50th of a second. One thing to note when purchasing a tripod is that you get what you pay for. I bought 3 cheap tripods before I pulled the trigger on a good one.

Camera Bag To Fit Your Needs

Your camera bag is important for protecting the high dollar gear that you bought to make these photos. Think about where you will be during your excursions. The requirements of the bag may be different in the forest than in a city. We spend a lot of time outdoors on vacations, so my bag needs to protect my gear against the elements.

All Photos Deserve An Edit

If you take the time to compose a beautiful scene, make sure to edit the photograph. All photos deserve an edit! It easier to maintain a style if you have a consistent process for editing as well. Here are a few of the programs I use:

Lightroom Example

  • Lightroom – I perform most of my edits in this program alone. I shoot in RAW format and Lightroom gives me complete control of the colors, tones, and curves. I can reduce the digital noise, add film grain, vignettes, and small spot corrections. ย Adobe now offers Lightroom and Photoshop as an affordable plan, charging about $10 a month to use both as a photography subscription. If you use one, you might as well have the other.
  • Photoshop – I use Photoshop for removing unwanted objects from the frame that Lightroom doesn’t handle well. There will be instances that the spot removal tool in Lightroom just won’t look natural, and that’s where Photoshop comes in. ย I also use Photoshop for advanced color balance adjustments using luminosity masks. These types of masks are not possible with Lightroom.
  • VSCO Cam – If I shoot with my phone, the photos get an edit with the VSCO app. The VSCO app simulates the look of film on your digital image.

I hope these tips will hep you take your travel photography to the next level. Until next time, keep on clickin!


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