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How To Take Better Tour Photos

At Miami Beach 411, we believe everyone has a creative side.
August 21, 2012 By Gus in Miami: Travel News  | 2 Comments

Welcome to Miami Beach 411’s first “How To” video tutorial. We’re going to kick it off by examining the fine art of taking tour photos. Although this may seem like a basic topic, we’ll cover some lesser known aspects of vacation photography that are sure to satisfy even our more seasoned travel photographers. Enjoy and don’t forget to leave your comments below!

Video Transcription

Hi, I’m Gus with Miami Beach 411 and Miami Tour Company. One of the best things about taking a tour with us is taking pictures. We know how important vacation photos are for you. That’s why we clean the bus and we clean the passenger windows, before every tour. That’s also why we installed forward facing cameras outside the bus and video monitors inside, so you don’t miss a shot.

This video is aimed at helping our guests take better pictures. The following tips offer advice on what to shoot and how to avoid some common mistakes. So, let’s get started.

Learn about the tour - Before your tour, do some research about the sites we’re going to visit. Make sure to read the tour description on our website. You may even want to make a shot list of pictures you want to get. Here’s a good tip: you can also search for the sites on Flickr. Then, on the Flickr search results page, click the “Interesting” option. This will show you the best photos taken in that area. And while having a shot list is helpful, take advantage of surprises - the airboat ride and wildlife show make great travel photos.

Find interesting camera angles - If you want to produce unique photos, it requires a little creativity and a willingness to try unconventional things. Be open for unexpected opportunities. Look at your surroundings and consider every possible angle. For instance, at the Biltmore Hotel and Venetian Pool, there are staircases you can climb that will give you a nice aerial shot. In Little Havana, you can get some creative photos inside the souvenir shop. For example, take a few close-ups of the interesting items for sale. At Domino Park, you can get some fun action shots of people playing dominoes.

Know when to turn the flash off and when to turn it on -  Most digital cameras have a menu with two flash options: Forced Flash and Auto Flash. Forced flash means that you are telling the camera to fire the flash no matter what the light reading is. The Auto flash option lets the camera decide if the flash is necessary. Now, if you’re shooting inside the bus, you’ll want to turn the flash off. Otherwise, the reflection on the window may obscure your photos. On the other hand, at the Biltmore, you’ll want to switch your camera to the “forced flash” setting, because some of the photo spots are indoors, or where the sun is in the background. An extra burst of light gives the image a bright, even tone. 

Shoot panoramas, people and landscapes - Panoramas require a steady hand, but you can create stunning photos. And while landscapes and celebrities homes are nice shots, even better is a shot of a person doing something that relates to the surroundings — a family sharing a private moment, a woman making coffee, even a person taking a picture. Vacations photos are about remembering moments. Sometimes a posed picture doesn’t tell the whole story. Shots of your companions in action will capture the fun of a trip. And don’t forget to include the locals. They reveal the character of a destination; shoot them while they’re interacting with a member of your group. It’s also good practice to avoid using your camera’s zoom and get as close to your subject as possible.

Use cloudy days to your advantage - Don’t be discouraged by bad weather. Taking a tour inside a cozy bus can be a great thing to do on a rainy day. Not to mention, rain brings clouds that soften the light. Clouds make it easy to take outdoor photos in the middle of the day without harsh shadows. Rainy days are also great a great opportunity to photograph people on the street. The soft light captures fine details.

At Miami Tour Company, we believe everyone has a creative side. There’s no big secret to taking good photos; it’s just about having fun and avoiding some of common mistakes.

Thanks for watching this video.

We’d love to see your photos - please share them with us on Facebook and Google Plus.

Have a great vacation!

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News,

Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.

See more articles by Gus.

See more articles by Gus

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2 Comments on

"How To Take Better Tour Photos"

Mirna says:

Great Tutorial!! Thank you for sharing all those great tips

Posted on 08/21/2012 at 10:18 AM

Daisy says:

Thanks, Gus. I’ve often wondered why my pictures don’t come out better!

Posted on 10/29/2012 at 8:22 PM

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