Three tips to get better vacation photos

I thought I would take a break with blogs about weddings, and give you some tips on your vacation photography (besides, it may come in quite handy for your honeymoon!)

Tip One: Rule of thirds.

This is when we split the image into thirds (both horizantally and vertically), and basically you want your horizon line to match the line of the top third, and any interesting focal points at an intersection of a third.


This image is more visually striking than the one on the right.
The sky fills the entire top third, and the dirt changes to grass around the top of the bottom third. The trees on the left finish at an intersection of thirds, and only fill one third.

This one, whilst pretty (that’s more to do with how stunning central otago is more than anything else), it isn’t as visually striking. The landscape takes up most of the image, making it a bit overwhelming to look at. The interesting focal points are dotted around, rather than being at a third.


This image breaks the rule of thirds slightly with having the most interesting object right in the middle; but it completely contained in the middle vertical third. The roof meets the top of the bottom third.

This image is a perfect example of the rule of thirds. The trees trawl across the bottom third, and don’t got beyond the top of the bottom third. The mountain meets the bottom of the top third. The snow, the pathway and the lake are almost all contained in the middle third.

Tip Two: Look the other way.

I think this is one of the most important things that my lecturer taught me. Look the other way, look for the interesting angle. I’ll link you the best example I’ve ever seen of this.

On the day, there were 1000s of images taken of the twin towers falling, but this image of the crowds reaction is rare, and captures the human element of the tragedy, and to me, says so much more than an image of the tragedy could.

Now on to how this translates to your vacation photos.


This image might be considered an unusual angle because it only shows one corner, not the whole ruins. But this way, you really capture the detail of the decay, you get a sense of previous structure, and you can see how it’s become overgrown.


This angle is non-traditional, but it really emphasises the epicness and height of the building, it makes the image and building feel more modern, and makes the viewer feel like they are standing before it looking straight up at it.

Tip Three: Tell a story


The story in this one is pretty self explanatory, but to add context, this was by a crumbling ruins of a school in an old mining villiage. (See above for ruins of the school)

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