I need a vacation

Summer has pretty much come to an end and a school has started up again and. Our vacations are now just memories and all we have left are the photos we took on our travels. The subject of the next Readers Photo Challenge assignment is vacation/travel. This will be sort of the photographic version of those “what I did on my summer vacation” essays that you did when you were in school.

Vacation pictures are essentially travel photos. And good travel images capture not only the sights of your destination but its character as well.

Just because these are “only” vacation photos it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take any less care in shooting them. Always keep in mind the lessons of a clean and simple background, strong composition, good lighting and getting in close to your subject. Look for interesting angles from down low or up high. I know that travel itineraries can be tight and you can never get all that you want to see into a single trip, but try to build in time to shoot when the time and light is best for photos.

We’re looking for photos that go beyond just your typical vacation pictures. The best travel images do more than just show a place’s landmarks. They impart a sense of place and capture what’s special about it. One way is to get photos of the people who live there. Whether they’re in traditional dress or doing things that are typical of where they live, the faces and customs of a people can tell a lot about a place.

If you take photos of your family don’t just get stand them in front of a building or monument, instead get them doing something. From taking a stroll on a beach in Hawaii to riding the teacups at Disneyland getting your loved ones in “action” will make for better, more interesting pictures.

Don’t forget photos of traveling to your destination. Sometimes places like rest stops, side trips and other sights along the way can be just as interesting as is where you’re going.

Due to the nature of this challenge the time period for the assignment is broader than in the past. Rather than the normal 2 week interval, it extends retroactively back to Memorial Day (May 31) to the upcoming deadline of Friday, September 12. So look back through your pictures (or if you’re going to travel with the next two weeks, shoot some new ones) and find the best photos that show what you did (and where you went) on your summer vacation.


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Here are the rules:
1. Entries can be emailed to coto@recordnet.com. Type in “Vacation” in the subject line.

2. Photos have to be shot between May 26 and Sept. 12. The subject is up to you but they must be shot during your vacation.

3. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of camera/lens you used and where it was taken (eg: “John Doe, Stockton. Bourbon Street, in New Orleans. Canon EOS Rebel Ti with 18-55mm lens”)

4. If there is a recognizable person in the photo, please identify them (name, age, hometown) and where they are and what they are doing. (eg: “Jane Smith, 25, Tracy, walks down Broadway in New York City”)

5. Please feel free to include any interesting anecdotes or stories on how you took the picture.

6. The deadline for submission is Friday, September 12*. The top examples will be published in the record and my blog on Recordnet.com on Thursday, September 18 with an online gallery of all the photos on the same day.

(*Please note that the publication day for my column has changed to Thursdays and the deadline days have been moved up to the preceding Friday.)

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    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
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