Tip 1: Don’t be short of memory capacity
A portable photo storage & viewer with 20 or more GB is a worthwhile addition. If you take a lot of high-res/RAW pictures even an 8GB card won’t be enough!
Tip 2: Feature people.
People make a vacation – and you will want to remember them. Note down their names, home town, e-mail address etc and add it to the file record (and when you print the album put it in the title). Add them to your Christmas card list – which you will probably print yourself anyway with OPUS!
Tip 3: Have your own viewpoints.
Get the views that the guide books don’t have:
- That particular sunset that only you saw
- The local fête that you stumbled upon
- The sea/beach as it was
- The lines and reflections in the sand
- The meals you enjoyed
- Nature in action
- The unusual viewpoint/perspective
- You/your partner (or both) in the picture
- The wide view (use wide-angle)
- The detail (use telephoto or macro) – but remember that you can always crop later.
- The particular surroundings
- Pictures before you left
- Pictures when you were back home
Tip 4: Think before taking
Don’t make picture taking a burden – but ensure that:
- The flash settings are right
- There isn’t anything to distract (unwanted people, vehicles)
- You have something for the foreground (take a red bag or jersey with you)
- That you have something to rest on (especially if light is poor, or you are taking long distance.
Of course a lot can be changed later. Thank God for Photoshop! Cropping – deleting unwanted detail, changing the light etc – but a little thought will save a lot of work.
Tip 5: Be in the picture.
If somebody offers to take a picture of both of you – accept – but think “Does this person know how to take a photo”. If in doubt get close together otherwise the picture will be focussed on the background between the two of you.
Tip 6: Jot down the notes for a story.
You should have a story behind the album so whilst you are going along jot down the happenings – and the places (as well as the people – see above”. Otherwise you will be saying “Was that Mt Forbes or Mt Lyall?” afterwards.
Tip 7: Add other textural or graphic material
The airline tickets, menus, guide book and website pictures, historical or interesting facts (from the web), postcards etc. Some of the pictures will be those that you could not get (the landscape on a perfect day, when for you it was raining, inside a castle where photography was prohibited etc).Don’t forget to add a map or two – or the area using Google Earth.
Tip 8: Edit the photos carefully when you gethome.
The more adept with Photoshop etc the better of course, but you don’t need to be an expert.
Tip 9: Layout the album by subject
Make it flow – keep the material together – whilst chronology is important, the subject mater is more so, especially if you spent several days in the same place. Make sure that it is balanced – not too much on one aspect – but not too little either. Cover the whole vacation – from before you left till you were back home.
Use a good album layout program – We recommend Fotoslate 4 – it helps with layout. However if you are into scrapbooking a program like Nova Scrapbook Factory may be better. However don’t make the result messy. Embellish your album but don’t overdo it.
Tip 10: Write a good story.
Have a balance of textual and photographic material – and make the story interesting. Add facts, anecdotes etc. Not too much or you will never read the story. It might be a good idea to use the reverse side of the album page for the story and low quality pictures (e.g. from the web). Warning – not all reverse sides of photo paper are suitable. Finally – Enjoy yourself – don’t make heavy weather of the album. After all you are doing it for your own pleasure too!
About the author
OpusAlbums- Make your memories live!
See also: Photography Tips