Simple Steps to Take Better Travel Photos

You can make your travel photos more interesting to your friends and family. Here are a few simple things to remember.

Compose your shots using the the rule of thirds. I remember this from elementary school art class. It may seem like a silly thing, but this easy to remember rule can be the difference between a beautiful shot, and something you throw away. If you don’t remember, here’s how it works. When photographing something, mentally break up your “canvas” into nine equal parts with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Align your subject along these lines, and center your key image on the intersections points.

For example, if you were photographing a desert with a single large cactus, you would want to place the horizon on one of the vertical lines, and line up the cactus with one of the horizontal lines, instead of centering the cactus. When photographing people, the rule is essentially the same. You want to try to keep the eye line on the top vertical line, and use the same focal points. One good thing about this is that most digital cameras have this as an option on their display, so you can actually use the lines as reference points.

Know the difference between optical and digital zoom. Your average point and shoot camera will say something like “4x optical- 20x digital zoom” on the lens. Optical means the lens is wide enough to create the zoom. Digital means the computer in the camera is expanding the image digitally. In most cases, you should avoid using digital zoom, because you would actually be better off zooming in a photo editor. Also, when you are zoomed in digitally, it’s nearly impossible to hold the camera still enough to get a good shot. Advanced cameras do not usually have this feature if that tells you anything.

Learn to use a simple photo editor. You don’t need an expensive program to make your photos more professional. There are many free photo editing programs that work great! All you really need to know are two basic functions: crop and rotate- you will find your photos are all of a sudden much more interesting.

Experiment with your camera. Before you leave, take the time to learn the basic functions of your digital camera. You may not want to use the auto function for every setting. Sometimes just knowing how to turn off the flash is the difference between a good photo, and a great photo. Here’s a hint: if you have a 12 megapixel camera, set it to take the photos at 6 megapixels. For most point and shoot cameras, it will not effect your final photo, and unless you’re planning on blowing up a photo for print, you won’t ever need a photo that large. You will also save a lot of space on your cameras memory card. If you’re just uploading your photos to the internet, many sites automatically compress your pictures anyway!

Bring extra memory. You can never have too much memory! Cards are pretty affordable, and it’s always better to have too much than not enough. Once you fill up a memory card, keep it with your luggage so you don’t lose it. If you can, upload your photos to the internet in an uncompressed format so you can edit them later. Since there are internet cafes all over Europe, this is usually easy to do.

Organize. Take your time and go through your photos before showing them to your friends and family. While it’s great to take a dozen photos of the same image for the sake of quality, you only really need to show off your best one. Sort your photos by the time they were taken to show them in a chronological order. Learn to take pride in your travel photos and you will find yourself getting more positive feedback!

By following these simple steps, you will be entertaining your audience, and feel better about your photo taking ability.

Photo Editing Software For Beginners

Choosing the right photo editing software

For beginners, try to select a photo editor that begins with a trial version. Of course the trial version should convey a good introduction to the full version of the software and try to select a photo editing software that can handle with a couple of click of mouse and add good characteristic to your photos you desired.

It is better also if your photo editing software is user friendly and carries all kind of photos like jpg, bmp, gif, and png and you should also consider that the software could easily locate the photos on your hard disk by dragging the photos into the main interface of a photo editing software and then add your own photos with your desired background or template then apply some effects like mask, adding some cartoons and clip-art, outline, borders, frames and text etc.

And the last things you should consider are, if your photo editor lets you rotate your images, resize it, brighten up them with cartoons, text effect and clip-arts, etc and lets you decorate your own images the way you want it and lets you save also your decorated photos as wallpaper, you need to consider also that the software has a lot of beautiful template you need to apply for your images.

The trial version of photo software comes with a 30 day evaluation period and its free to use but after 30 days you need to buy a license key to use the software as a full version without any limitation. It means you have enough time to evaluate and to learn on how to use the photo editing software and how beautiful it is when you decorated your own photos using the software.

Photo Software – Which Do I Need For My Photo Editing Tasks? – Help!

Photo editing software or photo software allows you to create and modify bitmap graphics and photographic images. Photo programs can be used for tasks such as painting and drawing, colour correction, enhancement of photos, creating special effects, conversion of images from one type to another, adding text to graphics etc. Some of the most popular software tools available today include Irfan View, Photoshop elements, Photoshops’ CS suites and Aperture for Apple Mac: as well as Gimp and Inkscape – open source alternatives.

IrfanView is a piece of photo software that lets you open and edit images. If offers an exhaustive list of advantages and features such as speed, a compact image viewer, being simple to use especially for beginners, support for many media formats including multimedia, multi-language support, thumbnail option, options for painting and very controllable slideshows. Moreover it is free for individual use and is very user-friendly in terms of the GUI it presents to the user.

The major disadvantage, is that it does not offer some of the very advanced imaging capabilities and also it is not available natively on the Mac. Among the photo programs, it is an excellent choice for people who need to work quickly, avoid a very steep learning curve and simply want to balance, crop and save an image for the next step in their work. It probably isn’t a good choice for a professional photographer, except as a very quick form of software photo editing.

Photoshop Elements is an adaptation of Adobe Photoshop and is available for as low a price as USD $99. Nevertheless, it has a strong set of software tools. The user interface is simpler than Photoshop while retaining the core photo editing functions. Thus Photoshop Elements is like a scaled down version of PhotoShop. It focuses on digital photography and on an RGB workflow. Some of the more complex photo editing features such as Curves, Channel Mixer, and Color Balance have been disabled, making the GUI more manageable, with a friendlier learning curve. The major advantages of Photoshop Elements include: an easy GUI structure to navigate and that it is cheaper than Photoshop. The only disadvantage is that some of the higher-end features are removed.

Adobe Photoshop CS is a set of software programs for image editing that is considered to be the industry standard for graphics professionals. Although meant for professionals, it is also available for students at a fraction of the original cost. The main features of Photoshop as a photo editor, are the flexibilities it offers for media creation, editing and authoring. The file format is compatible with any of the individual programs that are available in the suite. As the de facto king of the photo programs, it has many tools for advanced photo editing, including a bewildering array of special effects services. The disadvantages of this suite of photo editing programs include: features you will never use; highly expensive and it takes massive processing power from the computer system.

Aperture is Apple Mac photo editing software. The Mac enthusiasts claim its advantages are; that it includes an all in one Inspector to consolidate the projects, adjustment panes, quick image search, accelerated performance, advanced photo editing capabilities such as superb color fidelity, etc. The disadvantage of Aperture is that it can be used only on Mac operating systems. Among the photographers that I know personally, this photo software is growing in stature amongst popular photo editing programs.

The Open Source movement is also muscling in on the act with Gimp (which is gaining recognition amongst photo editing programs) and Inkscape; (a vector drawing program) which is very good indeed for developing plans, maps and other graphics that need to be drawn. I haven’t yet got to grips with Gimp as a photo editor, but I have used Inkscape regularly over the last year and it is a fully featured graphics software. I recommend that you give these new open source graphic softwares a good look before spending hundreds on Photoshop or Aperture photo software. In terms of value for money; like Irfan View, they are incomparable. Amonst the paid for photo editing programs, Photoshop Elements is going to be a more than adequate for anything that you need to do for the web unless you are going down the road of becoming career graphic designers. For these individuals and for professional photographers the photo programs of choice will almost certainly be Photoshop CS for PC based workers and Aperture if you are on the Mac platform.