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Tips for Capturing Great Shots on your Summer Vacation

Tips for capturing great photos on your summer vacation.

Going somewhere fun this summer? With a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’ll be prepared to capture great shots on your next vacation. Check out these helpful tips below.

Plan What You’re Going to Shoot

On my latest trip, I visited Hawaii. It’s a magnificently photogenic place, so I knew that finding good subject matter would be easy. Regardless, when I travel, I like to come up with a list of things and places to shoot.

Searching Google images, social media, and even tourism websites is a great way to identify locations and find some creative inspiration. This helps me address which of my photographic skills I’d like to work on, as well as help me figure out what I need to pack in my camera bag.

Gear Up

When preparing for my trip, I looked back at images from previous vacations and identified that most of my shots fell into one of two categories: 1) wide angle landscapes, or 2) zoomed in on subjects (70mm or more). With that in mind, I headed over to and rented my go-to choice for landscape photos, the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Zoom. I also splurged a little and rented the absolutely amazing Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II.

Now here’s where creating a list of things comes in handy. While coming up with my list, two common elements kept popping up…water and sun.

I knew I would be doing some snorkeling, and I wanted to get some photos underwater, so I headed over to Amazon and found a deal on a great waterproof point and shoot, the Nikon Coolpix AW100. (Tip: I paid half price by getting a refurbished unit).

For my DSLR, the water and sun issues became an opportunity to practice working with some filters. So I made sure to add a Circular Polarizer and a couple of Neutral Density filters to my bag.

Getting Great Shots

If you’ve packed the right gear and planned ahead, getting great shots is a breeze! Here are some of my favorites from a recent trip to Hawaii.

Tips for capturing great vacation photos
With the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Ultra-Wide Zoom, I was able to get all of the Byodo-In temple in frame without having to be 100’s of feet away. Shooting in the middle of the day is always a challenge. By adding a Circular Polarizing Filter, I was able to reduce the glare coming off the pond and bring out more color in the sky.

Tips for capturing great photos on your summer vacation.
The super-wide angle lens also allowed me to capture a really nice view of Waimānalo Bay.

Getting great shots on your summer vacation.
By bringing along the extremely high-quality Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II lens, I was also able to get some really amazing flora shots.

Tips for getting great shots on your summer vacation.
While there’s nothing technically interesting going on in this shot, it’s a great example of something totally unique and amazing you can capture when you have a “I want to shoot this” list, and you pack the right gear. Special thanks to the Nikon Coolpix AW100 underwater point and shoot.

Getting great shots on your summer vacation.
Despite all of my planning, some of my favorite shots from my trip were of moments that I just stumbled upon. Thankfully, most smart phones these days feature very capable cameras!

Putting it all together

The best part of having great shots from a vacation is sharing them with friends and family. A slideshow video is the perfect way to showcase a collection of your travel and vacation photos all at once, in a fun and dynamic way. Here’s my video made with ProShow. Make your own travel slideshow today.

Travel Slideshow Contest
Don’t forget to enter your best travel, landscape and nature slideshows into our ‘Ultimate Story‘ contest! Click here to learn more and watch recent entries.


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As a member of Photodex's events team, Dylan specializes in teaching pro photographers and slideshow hobbyists alike how to use ProShow in their business. He's an avid student of photography and enjoys Austin's eclectic mix of music, art and nature.