Vacations bring out the photographer in people who rarely take pictures and prompt camera buffs to document their travels through an abundance of images. With all those images in hand, you want to share your journey with family and friends without overestimating their interest. Take advantage of technology's ability to capture all the details of every image so you can make careful choices on which and how many photos you display.
Document Your Images
Today's digital cameras and camera-equipped smartphones can store in-depth information about each shot, including the type of equipment, exposure length, use or lack of flash, and the location at which you took the picture, preserved in the form of latitude and longitude. All these details constitute metadata, which can give you valuable documentary information about each shot. If you upload your photos to social media in real time through your camera or smartphone, the location data can reveal not only where you're vacationing but the fact that you're not at home.
When fine art photographer Lynde Alvarez, who travels widely, goes on vacation, she treats metadata information carefully. "I enjoy keeping location on when in public and traveling internationally, and off when I am at home," she says. "This is for obvious reasons as you do not want the public to know where you or your family are sleeping at night. Public spaces are just that. However, tagging monuments or other spots are a great feature to have for yourself and also friends and family." She recommends using metadata to identify shots for your own records, however, taking care to "mark them with keywords, with dates and your daily activities when possible" so you can identify them later.
Share in Moderation
Edit what you share so your images retain their impact. When you bring multiple high-capacity memory cards with you on vacation, you take advantage of all that storage space, carrying your camera with you to every location you visit and photographing every scene from every angle. Alvarez reminds vacationers to spend time with their families, not just photograph them. "It is a fine balance to achieve. Sometimes we have to put the camera down and be present. Those are the best memories to create."
She also recommends sharing "no more than three to five at a time per day. Viewer atrophy is a real thing. Keep it classy. If you have more than one of the same photo, like a sunset, pick only the best one to show. We know it was awesome, but one is enough." Leave room on your memory cards for your children to take pictures, too, so you can share the trip from their perspective as well.
Keep Friends Interested
How you share and display your images can go a long way toward determining their impact. If you limit yourself to a large—and largely unedited—online display, friends may click away from your gallery without seeing photos they truly would enjoy. Be as selective about the photos you share after you get home as you are while you're on your trip. Combine pictures of the scenes you see with pictures of your family engaged in the sights of your trip, giving your friends a well-rounded sense of your adventures.
At the same time, Alvarez suggests creating your own at-home gallery as a way of engaging family interest in your images and giving friends a way to see your photos without them feeling forced to look at all of them. "Choose your favorite five with your spouse and children. Print some samples and hang them with tacks on the wall. If they look great, print them large and frame them. They deserve to be displayed proudly. You spent a lot of time and money on the trip and have a lot of great memories. It is a fun family project to do." Use your home computer and printer to start the process, and have large-scale versions printed of the images you like best.
To present your vacation in stylish fashion, create a bound volume that showcases your images. You can choose from a variety of website-based services that accept uploaded images and text, sending you a hardbacked book that represents your travels. Alvarez considers this technique "the best way not to bore people," adding that she creates the book with her 50 favorite photos so she can "pass it around after we have returned from our trip. Everyone asks how the trip was so we can go into detail at this point. Images are rarely printed these days and so this is incredibly important to me." As you plan your photo book, load your images on a tablet so you can flip through quickly and make decisions about which to showcase.
Photo Credits: Describe the Fauna/Demand Media
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