Shades Of The Departed

June 21

A Monthly - Weekend With Shades -

Taking photos during your vacation is a good way to capture memories. Creating scrapbook pages with those photos is an even greater way to preserve them. June is here and that means it's summer vacation time. Of course you know that you need to take your camera along with you on vacation. And if you've been following the articles in this column for the past few months you know you should remember to take some snapshots of memorabilia while you're off exploring new destinations (post cards, match books, menus, etc.). You'll be happy you did when it comes time to create a scrapbook page of your memories.

Here's another thing to consider when you're on a travel vacation. Think about "setting". Some of the best pictures you'll take will not have a defining background to remind you of where you were. Stick a photo in a frame and 2 years from now you'll probably be a little fuzzy on just what beach you were at or where you caught "the big one". Five years from now you'll have to resort to taking the picture out of the frame to look at the caption because you'll be more than a little fuzzy on where it was taken.

So what's the solution? Create a scrapbook page with a defining background, a setting for the picture(s). Add a quick narrative and you're all set. Here's what I mean. Here are three photos I took of some guys fishing in St Joseph, Michigan.

If I were showing you these pictures of my vacation and said, "Here are three photos I took of some guys fishing. They were on a pier that juts out into Lake Michigan", it would fall a little short of interesting.

But if I showed you this...

You'd get a sense of where on Lake Michigan the pictures were taken from the contextual map and you'd get the essence of the excitement from reading the short narrative. Doesn't this make for more interesting vacation photos?

Here's another example. This time I've used an overlay of another photo taken in the same area, this one showing the "pier that juts out into Lake Michigan". Once again you get more emotion from the "setting". The background sets a mood, defines the space. The narrative tells the complete story (details you'll likely forget in 5 years time).

As you're planning your vacation and making your packing list, make yourself a picture-taking list as well. Here are 10 tips to remember:

1. Remember the camera!

2. Remember to pack lens cleaning cloths, additional lenses and filters if you have them, additional memory cards (or extra film if you're still doing things that way ;-), a tripod, and the camera instruction manual!

3. Take pictures of menus, matchbooks, postcards, pens, etc. Stop by one of those "tacky" souvenir shops and take a few pictures of items that have the name of your destination on them.

4. Don't take all scenery pictures!!! Unless you're taking pictures for framing and hanging as art, put yourself and/or your loved ones in the pictures. You'll be happier to have those pictures 5 or 10 years down the line than you will just a picture of that mountain top.

5. Be sure to take some scenery pictures!!! Even if you don't plan to frame and hang your photography you'll be happy you took some scenery pictures to use as defining backgrounds.

6. Learn from your mistakes. Take a look back at photos you've taken on previous vacations and ask yourself which pictures you like and why, which pictures you don't like and why. Keep this in mind when you're taking this year's vacation photos.

7. Download the pictures from your camera first chance you get. Then upload them for storing or printing ASAP! You'll lessen the chance of accidentally deleting the images or losing them if your camera happens to get lost or stolen.

8. Take some candid photos. They're a bit tricky to get right but they look more natural than posed pictures.

9. Don't forget to pack extra batteries and/or your battery charger. It may be quite inconvenient to find a store that sells replacements.

10. Remember, every picture tells a story, but will it tell the true story on it's own if you don't remember the details that go along with it? Take notes, keep a diary! When you're back from your vacation, be sure to caption and date your photos before you forget.

Once you have that nice collection of vacation photos, put together some scrapbook pages of your memories. You'll be glad you did!

Happy vacationing! Happy digi-scrapping!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I really should try scrapbooking... I especially love the map background. When I do write up a "journal" to include with my photos, I try to include some maps that explain where the place is, so that one is great. Also, thanks for a great lead-in. I am planning on a vacation photo theme to my column next week, but of course I plan to focus on "the humor or it"!


June 21, 2009 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Tex said...

I've just been freed from coming home with all the "stuff" I collect for scrapbooking with your tip to take pictures of it. What a great idea! Thanks, Jasia.

June 21, 2009 at 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Jasia,

Recently, I've taken to strapping my point n' shoot camera to my belt. (looks like a cell phone deal rather than a 'fanny pak'). The big camera goes in the car trunk.

Now, thanks to you, I want to do 3-picture storytelling! Just in time for an upcoming family reunion.

June 21, 2009 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Jasia said...

Thanks, you guys, for your wonderful comments. I thought this would be a very timely topic. The thing about vacations is, once they're over, they're over. And then it's too late to go back and get the photos you missed, hence the tips. So here's hoping you won't miss a single great opportunity to capture those special moments and that you'll have lots of good stuff for scrapbooking later!

June 22, 2009 at 6:47 AM  
Blogger Apple said...

I love the tip to take pictures of things in the shops!

July 10, 2009 at 4:51 AM  

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