Tips for taking photos of memorials on Memorial Day

Perhaps you’ve been one of the people jockeying for position to snap a photo of a memorial that other people are also trying to capture. Getting a photo that looks different than what the person standing next to you has taken can be a challenge. Plus, memorials are inanimate objects that might not look all that interesting in those vacation photos after all.

I came across these photo tips for taking photos of memorials from Rambling Traveler . Each are simple to follow and effective. The focus of her shots are memorials in Washington, D.C., but would work anywhere you happen to be.

One of the tips I particularly like is to take photos with people in them. Notice that these are natural shots. There are none of those types where family and friends are looking at the camera.

If you want shots of people reading quotes, don’t think it’s cheating to move someone reading a quote to get a better angle and tell them to stay still while you’re focusing. You’re creating a composition. Sometimes this is necessary to make sure a person isn’t hidden in a shadow, or that the quote is visible. Take more than one shot to make sure you get one that you like.

This photo by David Paul Ohmer on Flickr of the Vietnam War Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery the National Mall has the added detail of the wreath and the small flag. The white hat and the raised arm with the pen pointing at a name also add visual interest. If you look at the larger version, you’ll see reflections of other people. Well done!

Women Traveling Solo: An Online Conversation by the Best

I came across this travelers’ bounty on the Rambling Traveler. At World Hum this week there has been an on-line conversation between accomplished women travelers Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Liz Sinclair, Terry Ward and Catherine Watson. The four women are presenting their experiences about traveling alone as a female.

Each entry of the eleven is a mini-essay of sorts that turns on the subject broached in the essay or essays before it. The result is a wonderful blend of thought, musings and descriptions of traveling experiences with some how-tos mixed in. In the first entry Terry Ward describes her first solo bus ride when the man sitting next to her in Jordan propositioned her while the woman, increasingly agitated with the conversation, burst out “He’s my husband.” The next essay turns on the idea of playing or not playing the female card and the complexities of that one. The third essay Liz Sinclair elaborates even further on the idea of the feminine card and recounts using various techniques of flirting, crying or, in once, case breaking a cab driver’s jaw when he physically tried to get more money out of her. I found their conversations fascinating.

For women, whether you are a solo traveler or not, you’ll recognize situations in your every day life where you’ve perhaps felt a similar way or have been in a similar situation even if you’ve barely left your hometown. For men, these women’s conversation is a wonderfully rich glimpse in what it’s like being female–the good and the bad. I would say the good out weighs the bad since the four continue to ramble across the globe.