A fun "postcard" of a trip to send to friends - a week in Costa Rica with Austin-Lehman Adventures.

How to take pictures even your friends and family will like looking at once you’re home.


It happens to almost everyone. We’re having a great time with good people in a gorgeous place. We snap some shots to preserve the moment for ourselves, to jog our memories in months and years to come, and to share the experience with friends and relatives back home. But when we download the photos into our computers, what appears on our screen fails to match our memories.


Remember that warm and wonderful old face you saw over the bakery counter each morning in the French village? Now the expression is all wrong, and that feeling of being embraced by the face and the stacks of gold-brown bread isn’t there. What about the scene of hundreds of cyclists stretched out along a road through Iowa’s rolling, endless cornfields? You remember the sun, the heat, the kaleidoscope colors of bikes and bikers, and that sense and sound of constant motion as they passed. You remember those elements, but you aren’t seeing them in what you snapped. What happened?


The answer most often is not a new camera (though it’s a convenient excuse I’ve used more than once). Instead, it’s how to use better what most of us already have – a digital point-and-shoot or, if we’re lucky, a point-and-shoot with a zoom lens that goes from somewhat wide (24mm, so that our eye doesn’t feel cramped side-to-side) to somewhat long (105mm or so is now common). This is a very good portrait range and makes distant objects look considerably closer, a distinct advantage when shooting large animals and scary reptiles of any size.


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