Non-Crappy Vacation Photos

Hi friends,

The family and I went on a little trip to Hershey, PA over the Labor Day weekend. And though I brought The Precious (my camera, for the uninitiated!), I didn’t want to get into too much photographer drama with good ol’ vacation snapshots. For goodness sake, I didn’t think I could run around Hershey Park staging shots with decent backgrounds or ask the roller coaster operator to slow the coaster down so that I could catch a decent photo of my kid on her first ride!

Instead I tried some new things that seemed to help me get many more keepers. Here’s my list:

  • spot metering (I got much better results in all the weird lighting that you can get in and out of rides)
  • prime lens (I returned to my nifty fifty prime lens over my zoom)
  • using dynamic area mode focusing rather than single area
  • back button focusing (that’s a topic for another post entirely!)
  • shooting in aperture priority rather than full manual (I worried about doing too much futzing in manual so I chose aperture priority and used exposure compensation when the exposure wasn’t where I wanted it to be)
  • cranking up the ISO for low light (Flash? Nah! And who worries about noise when there are so many good noise reduction programs out there?!)

Here are some of the goodies:

Focus isn’t nailed in this one but I really loved her expression the first time the ride dropped!

First taste of cotton candy!

What’s your greatest challenge with vacation shots? (besides keeping sand out of the camera!)

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