How to Take Awesome Travel Photos (a “Getting Out of Auto” Review)

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Getting Out of Auto BookDo you ever look at your travel photos and then look at someone else’s and think, “Wow, I am really behind in this photography thing!”

I still very much feel this way, but you should have seen my shots years ago – centered subjects, poor lighting, no framing and definitely no rule of thirds considered. I would say I’ve come a long way (when using the manual settings) because of one person – Bethany Salvon of Beers and Beans.

Over the years, Bethany has been someone I turn to for advice on life, travel and definitely photography. While I’m not someone who is passionate about the latter, her tips have been a huge help. Now, lucky for you, she’s put all of her knowledge into a beautiful ebook to learn from and use to get out of the auto camera settings that are holding you back from some truly amazing travel shots.

Disclaimer: I just want to put it out there that I may be a little bit biased when it comes to Bethany since we are Internet buds, but I truly believe in her ability to teach others about photography. For her, it is a passion that anyone can get a glimpse of by jumping over to the blog and clicking around. Go on. Take a look here or here or here.

The Ebook

Designed with the normal traveler and novice photographer in mind, Bethany covers pretty much every aspect of using manual controls on a camera in a way you can understand. There’s no “geek speak” here, so there’s no need to feel threatened.

The Layout

Can I just say that this is one of the most professional looking ebooks on the market? I would pick this up in a real book shop any day of the week just because of the cover alone! Each page is adorned with cute graphics of old-time cameras and of Paris vintage décor, and each text section comes with helpful and visually stimulating photos to help you along.

Getting Out of Auto Book

The Topics

There are four main sections to this ebook, each with a plethora of examples and explanations spilling off the pages. Section one talks about exposure (aperture, shutter speed and ISO), section two talks about getting the shot (composition and artistic techniques), section three talks about light (shooting in different types of light) and section four talks about extra shooting tips and more on composition.

My favorite section would be two where Bethany gives the low-down on all the composition and artistic techniques she uses to make some of those unforgettable images pasted on her blog. I think it is easy for people to take for granted the thought that goes into taking such spectacular pieces until we actually get out there and try taking some photos for ourselves. With this ebook, you can actually be armed with the knowledge of how someone would take a normal shot and turn it into art.

However, my love for section two is challenged by section three’s talk of light. This section covers the ins and outs of taking photos inside, outside, in sun or in rain. Not all travel days are going to be in perfect weather, so Beth gives you all the tricks on making the weather work for you. Travelers, you should definitely read the tips in section three and keep them close to your heart when on the road.

Oh, and let’s not forget section four. I just spent my entire train ride reading through the benefits of cropping, the tips for taking killer food photos (essential for travelers) and all about the world of HDR. I’m actually really craving a S’more right now because of it… to take a photo of, of course.

How It Rates for Beginners

Using manual settings on a camera can be a daunting task with a lot to learn. While this ebook doesn’t sugar coat the process completely (there’s just no real way to make it truly simple), it does provide some pretty comprehensive, down-to-earth examples to help it all come together… not to mention some compelling photos for why someone should take the time to learn. If you’re a casual photographer who gets confused thinking about apertures and shutter speeds, yet want to take more memorable travel photos, you should read this ebook.

There’s even a sneak preview to consider before making a purchase. Available for $9.99.

Happy photo-taking!



Check out my post where I put the ebook to the test!

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About Brooke

Brooke is a passionate traveler who has a love for any country that ends in -stan, languages she'll never be able to speak, and cannoli. She is the creator of Aroamas travel perfume sticks and the female travel focused Her Packing List website. Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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11 Responses to How to Take Awesome Travel Photos (a “Getting Out of Auto” Review)

  1. Amy August 3, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    Oh this looks great! :) I’ve been practicing some with my DSLR, but it’s been so long since I’ve taken a photography course – this just may be the refresher I need!

    • Brooke August 3, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Yeah I (re)learned a bit, too… easy to forget all that f/stop aperture number biz. And i liked seeing how exactly she was able to get some of those really awesome shots!

  2. Bethany August 3, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Wow Brooke! Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you liked the book. :)

    • Brooke August 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      No worries! You put so much effort into this book – you deserve it!

  3. Chris August 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    I’ll definitely go and take a look at this. My photography is an area of my blog that I’d really like to improve, and I’m certainly one of those people who has been guilty of relying on auto a little too much.

    • Brooke August 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

      For only $9.99, you really have nothing to lose. Go grab the book – don’t even click on my affiliate links, just head over to almostfearless.com who is hosting the book sale and buy. You will be met with numerous new things to think about when taking travel photos.

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