“How to Take Great Travel Photos with a Point and Shoot Camera” A Photography How-to Guide by Brendan Van Son

Posted by on Dec 1, 2010 in Sandbox Photography, Uncategorized | 8 comments

Here’s a brand new photography how-to guide from traveler and photographer Brendan Van Son. For those of you who don’t know Brendan you can check out his travel blog here

Now to the review…

My passion is photography, and when I’m not taking photos there’s a very good chance that I’m reading about how to take them; or I should say, how to take them better. I was thrilled when Brendan asked me to review his just published e-book “How to Take Great Travel Photos with a Point and Shoot Camera”. By the way, this book will even help those of us who shoot with something a bit fancier than a P and S. As Brendan points out …

“…you can get great pictures with any type of camera. This book was written in a way to show how you can take those great pictures with your simple point and shoot camera.”

The guide  is well laid out from beginning to end, and without a lot of technical jargon.

First, what brand of camera should you buy? Brandon discusses his choices on page 5, including the camera he used to take most of the awesome photos you’ll see throughout this how-to guide. Yes, all of  these shots were taken by Brendan with a point and shoot camera. I found it impossible to choose only one favorite. My “first” favorite is on page 33. Finally, in Chapter 1, you’ll learn what you need to know about megapixels, and why more is not always better.

Next, in Chapter 2, it’s getting to know your camera. Guess what? You really should read the manual.

“I know that these manuals are boring. Actually, they are beyond boring, and they are often mind-numbing. They even seem to be printed on the worst kind of paper to add to the pain you feel reading them. However, if you don’t pick up the manual and, at the very least, read up on the programs of your camera you will never be able to take great pictures.”

Brendan recommends that you help yourself along with a cheat sheet, but…

“Don’t forget to bring your cheat sheet with you. What good is it going to be sitting on your desk at your house, keep it tucked in your camera case at all times.”

Chapter 3 provides you with all the tips and tricks you need to shoot higher quality images. You should never take a blurry photo again after reading and putting into practice the simple “must do’s” in this chapter. On page 23 you’ll learn a simple technique to get rid of “click blur”. Also, how to check for image blur once you’ve taken the shot. Learn the best time of day to take certain shots. Exposure problems identified and how to solve them. Finally, there’s the practice of thinking before you take that shot.

“….let your creativity work its magic.”

Check out page 30 for another of my favorite shots.

Chapter 4 will get you shooting like a pro. You’ll learn how to shoot landscapes, including the most important element you need for shooting that perfect ‘scape (page 36). You’ll be able to avoid another boring sunset shot with the tips in this chapter. Also, learn how to take night shots; including cityscapes and building shots. I’m anxious to go out on a night shoot and try what I have read here. Urban photography, streets and plazas, markets, flowers, food and drink (one of my favorites), wildlife, and people round out the chapter. Check out the fantastic drink shot on page 47. Brendan also includes a must read section on this so important topic — the ethics of photographing people. He gives some excellent insight on how to capture the emotions, and the essence of those we do “shoot” through our lenses.

Finally, Chapter 5 provides you with the nitty gritty post production details you need to know to give your shots that final polish, but without getting too technical. You’ll learn about contrast and saturation, how to blur backgrounds, and easily remove unwanted “stuff” from your shots. I loved the tips on how to straighten buildings without an expensive Tilt shift lens.

Now, what to do with your photos, besides letting them gather “dust” on your hard drive. The guide recommends a number of online companies where you can offer your shots for sale (including links to the sites). If this book spurs you on to learning more about photography, you’ll also find recommendations for further reading.

Quite simply, I really like this book. Read the guide from cover to cover, study the excellent examples, then grab your camera and get shooting. If you follow the tips, tricks, and techniques in this guide, your photographic skills have nowhere to go but UP. Oh, and one last thing, since it’s an e-book you can take it wherever you travel to without adding any extra weight!

Let me know your favorite shots. You’ll find another favorite of mine on page 15.

Thank you Brendan for giving the travel community such an awesome all inclusive photography how-to guide, and thank you for inviting me to review the guide.

You can purchase your own copy of “How to Take Great Travel Photos with a Point and Click Camera” by clicking on the link below, or in the sidebar on the left. This will take you directly to the order page where you can purchase the guide for $11.99. If you do purchase through the links on this page, I will receive a small affiliate commission, and  I’ll be donating a portion of any commissions to charity.

< Click here to visit brendanvanson.


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  1. Ill need these tips as im going to be on vacation later next week.

  2. Great photo tips, i am looking forward to these tips

  3. Just what I needed to know. I’m a pointer and shooter and only too often cut of noses. I must get that book. Thanks for the comprehensive review.

    • Hi Inka!……………I think you’ll find it really useful. I was impressed.

  4. Thanks for the tips! I love photography too!

  5. I would love to purchase a hard copy of this book, but cannot find the link to do so.

    Can you help?



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