How to take great candid vacation photos

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A great vacation photo album should tell a story and bring the memories of the trip back to life. Posed group photos in front of historic monuments and landmarks won't do the trick. Professional photographer Nigel Barker shares great tips for how to capture the context and special moments of your vacation on film.

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  • Nigel Barker

    Nigel Barker Professional Photographer Nigel Barker has been taking the world of fashion by storm for the past twenty years. After stints in Milan, Paris and London, Barker opened his New York studio in 1996 and has never looked back. more about this expert »

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How to take great candid vacation photos A great vacation photo album should tell a story and bring the memories of the trip back to life. Professional photographer Nigel Barker shares great tips for how to capture the context and special moments of your vacation on film.
  • Purchase a lightweight, easy to use, high definition compact camera that has a DLSR-size sensor and interchangeable lenses.
  • You never know when a great shot might happen, so always have your camera with you.
  • Take photos of people in action or conversation that will add an element of energy to your image.
  • Snapping portraits of the locals can also be a fun way to get a real sense of the place and add variety to your album.
  • To draw attention to your subject, try defocusing the background by using the Depth of Field Control dial.
  • Capture video clips as well as breathtaking panoramas to diversify.
  • Change your perspective. Shoot at different angles to see things other than the way you normally would.
  • Capture things that feel special to you. That's what makes your own travel photos unique.
Transcript NIGEL BARKER: Hi, I'm Nigel Barker.

Vacations are filled with opportunities for photography.

And it's never been easier to create images like a pro and wow your friends and family.

Of course, choosing what type of camera to bring with you on vacation is still the first step.

There's such a variety out there.

Point and shoot cameras are great to throw in your bag when you're on the go.

And of course a traditional DLSR while it might take superb photos it could be a little bit too big for traveling.

But if you want the best of both worlds you can get the simplicity of a compact with the sophistication of a DLSR by choosing a camera like this.

It's lightweight and easy to use just like a typical point and shoot but with higher performance because it has a DLSR-size sensor and interchangeable lenses.

Now that we have an idea of what kind of camera you'll need let's move on to some of the tips.

You know, you never know when a great shot might happen.

So always have your camera with you.

The best vacation photos came at unexpected moments.

So you're gonna want to be ready.

Candid, real photos are much more engaging and timeless than set, posed shots.

So get photos of people in action or conversation that will add an element of energy to your image.

Personally, I love to shoot portraits of the locals to get a real sense of the place.

To really draw attention to your subject try defocusing the background by using the Depth of Field Control dial.

And capture video clips as well.

This camera makes it easy to shoot great video in full HD.

When you get back from vacation you'll want to remember all the locations you visited.

So make sure you take shots of more than just the landmarks.

You know how sometimes you're on vacation in a place that's so beautiful you want to get the whole scene?

Well, a camera like this one has a feature that can capture breathtaking panoramas in just a few seconds.

All you do is press the button and sweep.

The camera takes several shots and automatically stitches them together.

You can even shoot top to bottom to get vertical images and sound like a pro when you do it.

One last tip. Change your perspective.

Shoot at different angles to see things other than the way you normally would.

Try low angles. And high angles. It doesn't matter how tall or short you are you can now get the shot.

What you want to remember about your vacation will be different from everyone else.

So capture things that feel special to you.

That's what makes your own travel photos unique.

Bon voyage.

This is Nigel Barker with Sony for Howdini.

For more great tips visit sony.com/howdini.

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