travel photo mistake

Being unaware of
other key photo issues


Click blue links for all top 10 travel photo mistakes


in addition to the first nine

Minimizing camera shake



Keep both elbows against your body. Extending them outward significantly increases camera shake.

Keep your body still

Take a deep breath and hold it as you press the shutter button down.

Shutter button

Professionals don't click the shutter button. They slowly squeeze it.


Your photo will likely show the blurry effects of camera shake when you hand-hold a camera while shooting at a slow shutter speed – or using a telescopic or up-close lens. A tripod (whether a traditional 3-legged tripod or a monopod or pocketpod) can eliminate or at least minimize camera shake.

Don't have a tripod? Rest your camera on an elevated surface such as a large boulder or a fence top.

Or use a bean bag. Professional photographers use these soft, moldable childhood playthings as a support placed under their long telescopic lenses (which are difficult to keep steady when you hold the entire camera system in the air). Place the bean bag on a car top, tree trunk, you name it.


When photographing wildlife, be ready to press the shutter button. Try to anticipate where the animal will be and pre-set your camera. Take many shots to get a few good ones. Use a telephoto lens. Don't use flash - it scares wildlife. So do loud-clicking cameras. These guidelines apply equally to photographing lions in the Serengeti and robins in your backyard.

Don't stand when photographing your pet dog and cat. Get down as close as possible to pet's eye level. You will capture more of his personality and he will not appear disproportioned.


Unless your camera is weather resistant, don't let rain drops hit it. If they do, quickly wipe off the moisture. Otherwise, it could migrate inside the casing through seemingly tight seams, causing permanent damage to electronics and mechanical parts.


To capture a non-blurred image of, say, a speeding race horse or Grand Prix car, shoot it as it moves in your general direction. If you wait until it's passing you laterally, you could end up with a blur.

Night shots

Unless a nighttime scene is amply lit, you will need a tripod, a fast shutter speed, a low f-stop number, or a high ISO number - or a combination of them. Nearly all the new digital cameras has programmed nighttime modes, but most are only marginally effective.

Glass panes

If there is a window or mirror in the background and you're using flash, aim your camera off-angle from that object. Otherwise, a large flash-burst could appear in your photo.

When shooting an object in a glass case in a museum, reduce pane reflections by placing the lens against the glass (but first check the museum's photo policy).


When taking pictures through a plane's window, diminish reflections by getting your lens close to the pane, but do not touch it. It vibrates.

Don't be tempted to review your stored pictures during takeoffs and landings. Regulations prohibit the use of electronic devices during those periods - and that includes LCD monitors.

Ultra close-ups

Many objects make interesting close ups, including flowers and food. If you have a closeup lens or mode, be aware that the effect of camera shake is greatly magnified in close ups. So, you may have to use a tripod.

Also keep in mind that closeup lenses have a narrow depth of field. This means that only parts of your subject may be in sharp focus even though your lenses may be only inches away.

Should you buy a compact or
SLR camera for your trip?


If you are a
beginner or average

I recommend you buy a quality compact, not a SLR (single lens reflex) digital camera for your travel. Remember, today's high-end compact cameras have narrowed the gap between them and the SLR cameras. Some perform superbly.

The advantages of a compact are many. They are pocket sized, lighter, less expensive, and have gentler learning curves.


If you are (or wish
to be) an advanced

Purchase one of the new lightweight breeds of the SLR digital cameras.

But - this is important - I recommend that SLR owners also bring a quality compact digital camera. You will have it in your pocket when an unexpected photo opportunity confronts you when your SLR digital camera is back in your hotel room. It happens a lot.

Also learn to avoid these
top 10 travel photo mistakes

1 - Photographing people
2 - Composing your shots
3 - Using flash
4 - Taking landscape shots
5 - After your trip
6 - Memory
7 - Camera features
8 - Batteries
9 - Lens
10-Other situations


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