By SHARON HARVEY ROSENBERG AND MYSCHA THERIAULT
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
A Mexican man played a harp in front of a music store in Cozumel. He plucked notes, and posed for our camera. After several measures of music, broad smiles and lots of photos, we walked out of the music store with unique photo souvenirs of Mexico. To be considerate, we gave the shop owner several U.S. dollars for his time. It was a worthwhile investment. The music store – filled with guitars, violins and other instruments – provided lyrical memories of our trip to Cozumel.
Photographs offer timeless souvenirs of family vacations. The right light and savvy techniques are critical for developing lasting images.
Gear: A black dollar-store umbrella – held open in one hand – cuts down on reflections when shooting things inside large glass windows. Three-packs of specialty lens filters – available for $10 – deal with glare, florescent lighting and less than ideal outdoor lighting. Professional photographer John Milleker (www.johnmilleker.com) recommends sticking with either Nikon or Canon when it comes to making your first big camera purchase. Both products have proven themselves to the pros, and their attachments will get you by from camera to camera over the years, saving money and purchasing time.
He also recommends the manual as the best free source of training you can get your hands on. Spending time with your equipment and its features will help you know what to do when a “money shot” presents itself.
Details: Milleker’s top tip for framing your travel shots? Look for eyesores before you shoot and remove them. It will save you loads of Photoshop time later on. The most common problem, according to Milleker, is tree branches that look like they are sticking out of the subject’s head. Travel writer and nature photographer Carol Coffey, author of the book “Out of My Comfort Zone,” has her own way of dealing with the details. She doesn’t fight Mother Nature. Preferring the light of morning and early evening, Coffey says her favorite times to shoot are before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. She also doesn’t stress about clouds and fog, believing they add beauty and drama to her finished work, which is available at carolcoffeyphotography.com.
Smart phone photos: In a pinch, it’s possible to take interesting photos with a smart phone. But your cell phone camera can carry hidden charges if you’re not careful. Roaming charges, expensive text messages and incoming phone calls can inflate your phone bill during overseas trips. To avoid hefty international rates, manually disable your cell phone service before leaving a cruise ship or the airport in a foreign country. This strategy enables you to use the camera function without accumulating unwanted charges.
Rosenberg and Theriault are co-authors of the best-selling book “10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget,” and founders of PoshFrugalityNetwork.com. Theriault is founder of TrekHound.com, a travel website, and TheLessonMachine.com, a website for teachers. Rosenberg is the author of “The Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money.