(NAPSI)—When it’s time for that long-planned vacation, whether you’re going big—say, the London Olympic Games—or keeping it a bit more modest—the cabin by the lake—or you plan to just stay at home and relax with your family, you’ll want to remember the times with great photos.
While today’s cameras and smartphones make taking photos a snap, there are many techniques you can use to be sure your photos not only look great, but are memorable and worth keeping and sharing.
There are plenty of sites online with tips from professionals that will help you take excellent pictures. The experts at Adobe, whose Photoshop Elements software is the leader for image editing, have compiled a list of tips and tricks that work well for them.
Observe the “Rule of Thirds”
This tip will help you create an eye-pleasing composition: Don’t center your subject. Imagine a 3x3 grid. Put the important elements along the lines and where they intersect, which brings more attention to the picture than centering would.
Watch the Light and Exposure
Avoid shooting into direct sunlight. Doing this is not only harsh, it creates unwanted dark shadows and may make subjects squint. Generally, it’s best to take your photos in the morning after sunrise and right before sunset. If you must take photos in direct sunlight, here are two simple-to-follow tips: (1) Try to set things up so your subjects don’t have to look into the sun and (2) turn on your flash. Yes, even in the daytime. It will fill in shadows and produce a better exposure.
Get Up Close and Personal
Panoramas are breathtaking. But sometimes the most memorable pictures are taken not of an entire subject but of a small area of the subject—an intricate pattern on a door frame, dew on a blade of grass, a child’s eyes. These can have more impact. You can use your camera’s flower mode for sharper close-ups.
When you have more than one subject in the photo, think about how to arrange them for greater interest. Try to target a clean background: Cluttered backgrounds distract from highlighting the subjects, while plain backgrounds help emphasize your subjects. Remember to take some vertical shots. The world isn’t only horizontal.
Add the Pro’s Touch
Once you’re home, you can turn your vacation photo portfolio into something a pro would be proud of. The beauty of imaging tools, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, is that you can focus on capturing the moment and let the software do the rest. Today’s consumer photo-editing software can help you fix flaws, adjust colors and transform photos to get the perfect shot.
For example, suppose you forgot the rule of thirds and your photo just looks out of kilter. Crop guides can help you apply the rule after the fact. Other features allow you to instantly unclutter or repair photos. It’s easy to remove unwanted elements such as objects or people.
You can also create the perfect shot, whether a portrait, group or vista, by combining the best from a series of shots. You can create an amazing panorama, for example, by stitching together a series of both vertical and horizontal shots. Also, you can produce a great group shot by taking the best from several images. Similarly, recompose your picture to any size without distorting people or buildings, or go from landscape to portrait or vice versa.
Cleaning up common flaws or enhancing images can be easy, too. You can make skies bluer, eliminate red-eye and adjust color, contrast and lighting with a few clicks.
Now that your photos look great, you’re going to want to share them. Before you do, you may want to enhance with effects, text or graphics—creating an entertaining viewing experience. Slide shows are one popular way to organize and show off your photos. You can even mix in a bit of video to take full advantage of the video capture feature of your camera. Other ways to showcase your shots include photobooks, scrapbooks, greeting cards and calendars. You can always print your photos at home and create a more traditional photo album.
Finally, the Internet gives you lots of options to share. Friends and family can view your vacation photos on YouTube, Facebook, any number of photo-sharing sites, even your personal Web page.
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