Longtime Plain Dealer photographer and frequent traveler Thomas Ondrey offers these tips on taking better travel photos:
1. Try to set aside some time each day just for your travel photography. Get up a little earlier or stay out a little later than your travel companions. The light probably will be better during the first two and last two hours of the day, and you won't have the distractions of family or friends if you are on foot by yourself.
2. Don't carry too much gear. Small cameras attract less attention and are lighter weight to boot.
3. By all means take photos of travel companions standing in front of significant sites. But remember to shoot the landmarks, monuments and scenic vistas for their own sake as well.
4. For more interesting compositions, keep your main subject off center in the frame. And don't always place the horizon line across the exact middle.
5. Remember to check your backgrounds. The camera lens sees everything without discrimination and will put that telephone pole that you didn't notice growing right out of the top of Aunt Irma's head.
6. Bring enough memory cards or have a place to download them when they are full.
7. Don't spend every single minute photographing. Remember to enjoy the place you are visiting for itself, not solely as a possible photograph.
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