National Geographic : 2013 Oct
PHOTOGRAPHY Advertisement YOUR BEST SHOT AT TRAVEL G reat photographs have the power to bring travel experiences into sharp focus long after the luggage has been unpacked. Insider tips from the pros help show you how to best capture what moves you most. But wherever you choose to point your camera, with Chase Sapphire Preferred® you earn 2X the points on travel and dining at restaurants. RUINS, MONUMENTS, AND ARCHITECTURAL WONDERS Photographing ancient Maya pyramids in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula? Get to the site at dawn, which means staying overnight at a hotel close by. You’ll have the advantages of fewer visitors and exquisite light. Every seasoned photographer will tell you that no matter how sophisticated the gear becomes, it is still all about light and composition. Avoid midday light; it creates all sorts of picture- compromising shadows. From landscapes to people, street scenes to wildlife, shoot when the light is coming from the side—early morning and late in the day. MOVING WATERS Do you want crisply delineated or softly blurred? Ocean waves, waterfalls large and small, and even fountains offer the chance to experiment with length of exposure and the resulting images. Because you likely are shooting during the day, with natural light, you can choose a fast shutter speed to capture the wave as it curls, the frothy water as it falls. For something softer and dreamier, opt for a longer exposure and set your camera on a tripod or any flat surface. APPETIZING PRESENTATIONS Your best bet for photographing a food still life is to make late-lunch restaurant reservations, requesting a table next to a window. Take a straightforward shot of the plate from above. To play with the image, shoot from the side, and have the food in focus, with the background gently out of focus. And think “composition”: Try having the dish somewhere other than the center of the frame, with the edge of a glass or maybe the silverware peeking into the edge of the composition. AUTHENTIC SMILES Hoping to take good pictures of the locals? Laughter and lighthearted conversation or, if language is a barrier, eye contact and smiles, will help your subjects relax and offer up truer aspects of themselves. It’s up to you to set the stage by being friendly and at ease. Profile and even three-quarter views add a welcome immediacy; try to have your subjects gaze away from your lens. RULE #1 FOR BUDDING PHOTOJOURNALISTS As every professional photographer knows, never, ever head out of your vacation lodgings without camera in hand. The best photo ops have a way of taking us by surprise. Be equipped and ready, and that includes having your Chase Sapphire Preferred® card handy, which gives you double the points on travel and dining at restaurants. Learn more at chasesapphire.com/preferred.