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    How to Take the Perfect Photo on Your Next Vacation

    Vacations can be a number of things: fun, exciting, memorable, expensive. It only makes sense to be prepared to take the perfect photos during your next trip so that the memories you make can last a lifetime. Sharing these photos with friends and family is a great way to spread the joy of travel and if you're ready to take your travel photo skills up a notch, Auto Europe has you covered.

    Since the invention of the camera, travelers have been doing their best to take the perfect photo, but before you can take a photo that's worth framing it's a good idea to brush up on your photography skills and etiquette. Whether you're using a smartphone, trying to take a group photo, using a digital SLR, or you're into extreme selfies, vacations offer the perfect opportunity to capture memories that can (and should) last a lifetime.

    The Perfect Smartphone Photo

    Almost everyone has a smartphone and the advent of this handy hand-held technology has turned even the least artistic individual into a photographer. But before you wave your hands and bring a group of friends or family together there are a few tips you should learn which can help to set your smartphone photos apart: 

    Think Daylight - Don't try and take night or low light photos with a smartphone. The majority of smartphone cameras aren't capable of taking a good photo in those conditions. 

    Get Close - Keep the photos up close and personal if possible. Distance typically becomes a lack of definition with smartphone cameras. If you know you'll be shooting from a distance, plan ahead and bring a camera with a telephoto lens. Your smartphone is best used for 'social' photos (friends, family, group photos, selfies, etc.). 

    Think Big - Don't zoom - it's best to take the full photo and crop it later. 

    #NoFilter - Don't use filters. Many people love taking sepia photos or using other filters (especially when you take photos with Instagram). Unfortunately this limits your options later on and locks you into a specific style. If you take the photos naturally you can always edit the photos later ... it's a good idea not to remove a lot of the photo's definition right off the bat.
    Tips for Taking the Perfect Selfie on Vacation

    No Flash - Avoid using your flash if possible. Natural lighting is almost always better (and you don't risk the dreaded red-eye!). 

    Clean Shots - Don't use a blur effect - again, edit your travel photos later if you need to. Finally, there is something important to remember when you're taking photos with a smartphone. Sharing your photos may be as easy as pressing a button, but you should double check the shot before posting or tweeting your favorite photo to make sure everything is covered up and appropriate for social consumption. Once you've reviewed your smartphone photo - share it! Twitter, Google Plus, and Facebook (among others) are perfect places to upload photos to share with your friends and family. We also invite you to send Auto Europe photos of your trusty rental car and all of the exciting places you explore with it!

    Monumental Photos

    When on vacation, monuments are an obvious destination and world-renowned structures are some of the most visited sites by tourists and travelers around the globe. With everyone taking photos in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Colosseum in Rome, it becomes even more important that your photo offers a little something extra. Taking the perfect photo at famous monuments requires some mindfulness toward design and a firm grasp of the basics. Here are our tips to take the perfect photo:
    Leaning Tower of Pisa Photo

    Scale - A great photo of a monument is one which captures its scale, preserving the feeling of awe that came when you stood before it. You can also have fun with scale (as the young man to the right did) and create a unique photo that stands out. 

    Night photos - A lot of monuments look better at night when they are lit up. While most tourists will take photos in broad daylight, separate yourself from the crowd by returning to take a unique image in low light conditions. 

    Tripod - If you're traveling in a rental car with adequate trunk space it will be easy to bring along a tripod. The ideal distance to capture the scale of many monuments in your photo is easily achieved when you position your camera on a steady tripod where the slightest tremble of hands (or a pesky stray finger creeping in front of the lens) isn't a concern. 

    Framing - How you take a shot is often the difference between a great photograph and an average picture. Try to take a slightly artistic approach with your next monument travel photo. Shift the object you're photographing slightly off-center and try to capture a bit of the surrounding environment. Position yourself so that there is a tree branch or a bed of flowers in the foreground to add some color and interest while focusing on the monument you're capturing in the shot. There are endless possibilities and with a little extra time your next photo will be...monumental! While cell phones are convenient and portable, a high quality digital camera really comes in handy when you're capturing your visit to a large monument. Cell phone cameras often cannot take good night or low-light photos and they tend to lose definition when you take photos from a distance. When you're capturing monuments it's usually best to do so from a great distance and that's why we recommend investing in a full-size digital camera and packing a lightweight tripod in the trunk of your rental car to take the perfect travel photos. 

    Related:  Auto Europe's International Travel Checklist

    Group Photos 101

    Group photos are a great way to capture special memories during vacations and putting a fantastic photo on display in your home will remind you and your friends of all the good times you've had together. The best way to take a group photo? However it comes naturally - let the circumstances and situation dictate the type of photo you take together. If everyone is around the table eating dinner, why not snap a quick picture of the scene as it is unfolding?
    Group Photos on Vacation

    If you do stage a group photo, make sure that it's casual - these are people that you feel comfortable around and it's important that everyone looks comfortable in the photo. You want to capture the atmosphere and to make sure your next trip has some shots worth framing here are our tips for taking the perfect group photos:

    Preparation - Think ahead. Let everyone know that you'd like to get a photo to remember the trip so that people have time to prepare and be comfortable. 

    Multiple photos - Always take more than one photo. It's unlikely that every person in the group will have their eyes open and be looking the right way on the first attempt - snapping a few will allow you to have options and increase your chances of success. It will also save you the trouble of having to re-stage. 

    Smile - Obviously it's important that everyone smiles or that it's a consistent shot. If you're taking a silly photo tell everyone to make a funny face. Group photos are best when the look of everyone in the shot is consistent (we all have that one Uncle who makes a goofy face when everyone else is smiling). 

    Tripod - If you're in a situation where you have access to a tripod this is a great way to make sure that everyone is included in the photo. There's nothing worse than coming home and having photos of everyone enjoying their vacation except you. 

    Distance - For best results make sure that you are standing as close as possible while keeping everyone in the shot.

    Taking the Perfect Selfie

    Take a Selfie in Venice on a Gondola Ride

    The selfie has emerged as a modern-day art form. People take selfies while skydiving, while doing crazy stunts, and while driving (not recommended). Vacations are one of the best places to take selfies - sharing photos in seconds from your smartphone. Here at Auto Europe we believe that anything worth doing is worth doing right, and with that in mind here are our tips for taking perfect selfies: 

    Prepare - Check yourself out before you take the photo. It's important to make sure that your hair, makeup and clothing look good - you don't want any surprises! 

    Select - Pick a great background. Sometimes the entire point of snapping a selfie while traveling is to capture the background or the surrounding events and convey how excited you are to be where you are. 

    Focus - Don't move or blink while taking the photo. Did we really have to tell you this? Include friends. The more the merrier! Taking selfies with those you're closest to can be half the fun. The skills required to take the perfect selfie can be applied to this modern-day artform at home or abroad, but here at Auto Europe we believe that taking a little extra time to prepare before you hit the road is worth the effort and will guarantee that your friends and family back home are duly impressed.

    The next time you're on the road, remember that when you take the perfect photo during your vacation you're capturing the thrill of travel - a feeling you'll be able to take with you everywhere you go. Wherever you're headed, Auto Europe is here to help you get there, offering photogenic vehicles of every size and shape. Give us a call today at 1-888-223-5555 and our award-winning customer service agents will be happy to help you prepare for a trip worth capturing in beautiful photographs.

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