Vacation photos: Choose a unique point of view

It’s the height of vacation season, and DSLR owners are struggling to determine how many lenses they can take on trips without angering their spouses. The wide-angle lens is nice—especially for cities and vistas—but what if you want to zoom in close on an object? And how can you leave behind your current favorite lens, the 24-70mm f/2.8?! You know you’ll miss that speed.

When making such vital decisions, you need to think in advance about where you’ll be taking photos. If you’re going to New York City, by all means take the 12-24mm (even though it doesn’t come with a case—shame on you, @tokinalens). On the other hand, if you’re headed to Yellowstone to photograph wildlife, you’ll probably want to take your 400mm f/4. (Although if you own that lens, you may not have a spouse to anger, perhaps because of your purchase of that lens.) And if you’re going to be indoors in low-light situations, you should grab your Fast 50.

The situation isn’t always that clear, however. If you find yourself reaching for your “walking around lens” (not that there’s anything wrong with that), consider first the challenge of restricting yourself to one lens. With the limited range one of your better lenses offers, you may be forced to take photos that differ from those being taken by those around you. With a walking around lens, the tendency is to zoom in tight on a scene; this temptation is caused by the small size of the display on your camera. When you do that, though, you may be robbing the photo of perspective, which will appear more favorably when your photo is presented on a computer display or in print. Alternatively, zooming in on fine details in a scene where most others are shooting at 50mm may also result in a unique perspective.

Finally, if nothing else has helped you capture an out-of-the-ordinary photo, try going back at night (as in the photo above). You’ll need to use a tripod or an available stationary object, but the result could be a collection of photos that stand out from those of your fellow travelers.



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  • ChipJuly 18, 2011 - 22:11

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m often prowling around the websites belonging to the HCC member’s, which is what brought me here. I just wanted to say this was a great photo. And that you have a nice clean website. One of the better ones from my point of view.

  • kevinJuly 19, 2011 - 09:27

    Thank you, Chip, for your comments. I appreciate your stopping by.

    I was just looking at your photos on Beyond Second:

    I belong to Beyond Second, but haven’t contributed much lately. You have some great photos there!