Tips for your holiday pictures

We arrived at our destination…Stilbaai in Western Cape South Africa. Must say the weather is not all that nice for a day on the beach, but we are here, its overcast, but who cares if you are a kid right?

As it is holiday season and lots of you might be spending your time on the beach, I thought of posting some tips to help with your holiday photography, as well as a before and after pic and what I have done with a bit of Photoshop.

Here goes:

- Protecting your gear: You are dealing with a lot of sand and salt, so be sure to keep it safe. Good old zip lock bags, or a plastic shopping bag to keep your camera gear safe. Also, try and keep it in the shade as much as possible.

- Pick your lens – Don’t change lenses on the beach, and don’t change memory cards. The golden rule, don’t open your camera for anything, if you have to change lenses or memory cards, head for the closest restaurant or restroom. You don’t want the tiniest bit of sand or salt to enter your precious gear.

- Background distractions: So you have taken your perfect shot, but how frustrating when there is someone or something in the picture, that really is not adding any value or a special memory to your picture…Don’t be afraid to use a little Photoshop to crop them out. Below I have posted the after and before picture.

AFTER:

BEFORE:

So this is the typical beach image that you will get

- left bottom corner…my leg..hehe, yes I was on my back, that is what you do on holiday right.

- all of the left side…a family I dont know

- middle: Her sister, and some family playing in the lagoon

I still liked my daughters expression, so I decided to crop it. I did not have my zoom on and certaintly wont take the chance of changing lenses, so this was the closest I could get (I was shooting with one of my favourite lenses the Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS USM at 105mm f/13, 1/125sec and ISO100)

As you can see, its overcast, grey and dull, nothing interesting in the front or the back, but I kind of liked something in the picture. So..Photoshop time:

- Crop it to get rid of the background distractions.

- I did not like the colour, so black and white it will be. I used Nik software silver effects with high structure, reduced the structure on her face, and added some more structure to the dull foreground to give it a tiny bit of dimension to  get the AFTER pic above:)Wholla, as easy as that with a little bit of help from Photoshop.

admin - Thank you Alon, be sure to watch this space, I am just getting into the tutorial and sharing tips things, so good things to come :) Thanks so much for your comments and advice!

Alon Cohen - I liked this little tutorial very much :) I think it could have gone a bit further though! I would have liked to see what you’ve done with some of your other shots!

Nonetheless it was very intuitive and interesting, and nice work with the crop, you certainly are good at what you do!

Jeanette Verster - Very cool post! I’ve got sand into my camera body before, because I was so determined to get a good shot of the kite surfers

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