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Take better travel photos with tips from Lindsay Silverman, senior product manager for pro DSLR, and accomplished photographer at Nikon.
Depending on the trip, what type of camera do I need?
A DSLR type camera is a great option and investment for any trip because of its amazing image quality and versatility. With different lenses it can capture any scenario from landscapes, to food, portraits, safari, and architecture. If you want a lighter more compact DSLR, look for a DX-format camera. For maximum image quality and low light ability, carry a full frame camera.
Tips for shooting scenery, animals or people?
It’s a good idea to explore your camera's autofocus options to see what modes are available. Additionally, scene modes make it easy to automatically set up the camera for any scene you might find yourself in. For animals, use a long telephoto lens to keep yourself at a safe distance. Shoot at fast shutter speeds (above 1/125) for sharpness, and always turn on VR image stabilization. A general tip is to always focus on the eyes, and to be patient and wait for the perfect image. The best shots of people are often candid, and are usually made with a short prime lens like the 50mm f/1.8 or 35mm f/1.8. Get close to your subject to immerse yourself in the culture and personality of what you are photographing. Set the camera to a wide (low number) aperture to bring emphasis to your subject. Use a wide-angle lens, and your camera's landscape mode to optimize the settings to create vivid shots with wide depth of field.
Tips for taking photos at night?
Night photography can be a challenge because there is less light and the camera wants to use slower shutter speeds, which can blur a photo. First, always hold the camera steady if you don’t plan to use a tripod to get sharp photos. Don’t be afraid to turn on your camera's flash to illuminate close subjects—just be aware of reflections. Your camera has a setting for ISO and Auto ISO. Explore these camera settings, and use higher ISOs when in challenging light to increase your camera's sensitivity.
Simple lighting rules?
Know the golden hours! Early in the morning and before dusk are when the best light is available, with a warm, soft glow that flatters your subjects. Every other time of the day, watch out for harsh shadows from sun. If your faces are full of shadows, use your built-in flash as a fill flash to eliminate them for a nice picture. Take a lot of photos. Keep exploring from different angles, different lenses, and come back at different times of day.
PACKING: SUN ESSENTIALS
Wherever, whenever—stay covered.