Photos from Around the World

Maddie Pronovost; The Dreaming Tree; Wanaka, New Zealand

Study Abroad Photo Contest

Want to share some of your own travel photos? Every fall, International Programs holds a study abroad photo contest for Middlebury students. Keep an eye out for an email in October!

Haven't gone abroad yet? Bring your cameras and phones and keep in mind the following guidelines:

Ten Tips for Taking Better Pictures with Your Phone

1. Hold the phone like you would a camera
Hold the “camera” in two hands and “click” the shutter as you would a regular camera. This
helps keep the camera in a more natural position and allows better control of any settings that
are available on the LCD while shooting.

2. Don’t zoom in with the zoom on the camera, zoom in with your feet
If you want to take something close up, actually walk up to it, get close, and click. Phones lose
heaps of quality even with a tiny bit of zooming, making the image really grainy and pixelated.

3. Shoot the same thing a few times and in different ways
The great thing about digital photography is it allows for a lot of attempts and a lot of mistakes.
Add the speed and ease of a camera phone, and you have the opportunity to take multiple
shots of the same thing and one of them will be vastly better than the others. And consider
framing your subject in different ways—using the rule of thirds, centered, far off to one side,
and more.

4. Light
Light with camera phones is important—the lower the light the more grainy and bad quality
it becomes. Unless you’re taking photos of the sun and the sea keep the light behind you and
your subject well lit. That said, consider having your subject (person, object, building, etc.)
directly in front of the sun, which will provide a nice rim light around your subject. Just be sure
to expose for your subject—not the bright light behind them. Also, don’t lose those dark and
nighttime opportunities, too. An hour before sunset is a great time to photograph as the light
is lower, warmer, and softer making for fantastic for both portrait and landscape shots. And if
possible, avoid the harsh overhead light of midday.

5. Image settings
Check out the resolution and picture quality settings, and set them on high. And when you
share the images with friends or load them to your computer, be sure to include the highest
resolution version, to ensure they can be printed clearly.

6. Stabilization
Keep the camera as still as you can because the jitters will make your picture blurred. To keep
it still look for something to lean your arm/hand/phone on—this makes a big difference. Keep your hand there for a second after you “click” too, just in case your phone has a big shutter lag.

7. Move around and get in different positions
The small size of phones allows you to get down low and dirty with it or you can point it up
and high really easily. You can move right on in to a shell or a flower and you can get it into
awkward places and positions than with a regular camera. So move it in lots of different angles
to see what you get.

8. Periodically clean the lens.

9. Keep it simple.
Don’t have too much going on in your photo. One of the reasons, in my humble little opinion,
some of my phone photos are still fairly good—even though they are pretty grainy and not even
in the same league in sharpness and quality as my DSLR camera shots—is that there is not too
much going on in the photos. This allows you to get away with a lot. Keeping one main subject
and a scene where you want all/most of it in focus are best.

10. Take a break from the selfie.
Ask a friend to take your photo or group photo. While selfies are perfectly fine when it’s just
you and your group, having someone else take your photo introduces an additional element of
observation by the photographer, allowing them to give your snapshot better context, as well
as their creativity and personal insight.