How To Take Photographs To Last You A Lifetime
Taking photos during your study abroad semester is a great way to keep your memories fresh forever. Once you return home, these photos will remind you of your fantastic time abroad. But, since we do not want to think about going home yet, here is some advice to make sure you get the right photos and memories:
BE CAMERA READY
Most of us carry phones and are always ready to take new snapshots. Yet, if you have a separate camera you might have doubts on whether you should bring it with you all the time. Cameras can be heavy and maybe there is just not enough space in your bag. But, I advise you now, to take it with you. Imagine not having your camera with you and there is a photo opportunity right in front of you. You will regret it later if you miss a chance. There are some awesome camera bags out there which can easily fit in all your gear!
STEP IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Taking snaps of your friends is fun, but make sure YOU are in pictures as well. It is your adventure as much as theirs and you will feel sad when, after a day of exploring a new city or area, you find you have great pictures of your friends but very few of yourself.
My advice on this is to ask you friends and fellow students. Just hand them your camera and let them take a few pics of you (and your friends) in front of that amazing view or that special piece of art you have always dreamt of seeing. It may feel weird in the beginning to ask others all the time, but it will be worth it. And it is a simple way of connecting to your fellow students in the early stages of your stay.
THE MORE THE MERRIER
The title says it all! Take heaps of photographs. Coming home after a long day with over a hundred photos is a day well spent. It is easier to select photos or delete photos from your laptop or tablet, once you get home. Deleting from your phone or tiny camera screen can easily lead to mistakes. Back at your accommodation, you can simply select the pics you want and cherish forever.
To avoid confusion and chaos on your phone or camera, make sure to stay organized by saving your photographs on your laptop, tablet, an online platform or on a separate hard drive. You could sort your photos for instance per event or per month. This way it is easier make that fabulous photo album after you have returned home.
It is sometimes also necessary to delete some pictures. Having over five thousand photos to choose from will drive you insane. Also, can you imagine how you would feel if your phone gets stolen or stops working and you lose all your pics because you did not upload them to your laptop?! Make a good back-up on a safe device!
EVERY DAY LIFE
This is a very important tip for you. Take pictures of every day stuff: things that you would normally not record at home. It can be as simple as taking a photo of the classroom where you had your favourite course, of the coffee place where you met up with friends, or of the bus stop where you waited so often to go downtown. These are memories that fade easily and therefore should definitely be photographed. Just follow my first tip and bring your camera along with you wherever you go!
PHONE VS. CAMERA
Even though most of us have cameras on our phones these days, they just cannot beat the real thing. A phone will never catch a panorama as good as an actual camera will. If you have never owned a camera before, a simple digital camera is a great starting point. They are also not as expensive as you might think and have simple options for sunsets and group photos.
Yet, if you are into photography or maybe want to explore your creativity more, try to look at (digital) single mirror reflex cameras. These cameras are expensive but have many many options. You can for example change your settings to capture landscapes and settings to form nice depth in close ups.
Photographs taken with cameras are also higher in quality and therefore great for large printing on canvas! Another great experiment could be to buy one of those ‘one time use’ disposable analogue cameras, which can take up to 24 or 36 photos. That will definitely challenge your photography skills and creativity!