How to suck at travel photography

Well I don’t know about you but if I read another Pinterest article titled Twelve Tips for Taking Insanely Great Travel Photos: Number 5 Will Blow Your Mind!!! I’m going to barf all over my cheap-ass digital camera.

I have a more unique skill, one that doesn’t even require three exclamation points: I take terrible travel photos.

Here are some tips for sucking at travel photography—feel free to post to Pinterest:

hand

Zamość, Poland

  • Let’s start this lesson out easy: frame an attractive location with an interesting perspective and then go ahead and ruin your composition by sticking in a random appendage—your husband’s hand will do if no other limbs are available.
blurry

Train in Eastern Taiwan

  • If you’re fond of train travel and you’re the type of person who laughs at signs, why not take a series of pictures of signs from inside moving trains?  Nope, you’ll never, ever get a clear shot, but don’t let that stop you from trying.
DSCN7200

Tbilisi, Georgia

Okay, this next lesson is hard, because without an unrelenting juvenile sense of humor, you won’t have the stamina, but hey, I have faith in you.

  • While traveling, go out of your way to take pictures of things that look like boobs.
b

Tallinn, Estonia

You know; hills, domes, architectural details—just anything really.

icee

Chicago, USA

Channel your inner 12 year old boy……that’s right, you’ve got it now!

DSCN5273

Brasov, Romania

  • Here’s a lesson from my darling husband HOB: avail yourself of every possible opportunity to take stealth photographs of your wife’s bottom.  Bypass any scenic views that cost you lots of $$$ and many hours on an airplane to experience and instead fill the camera with images of a butt forever clad in the same pair of grey traveling pants.
boring

Urbino, Italy

  • Find yourself in a gorgeous city, one with a UNESCO World Heritage protected landmark?  Swivel your camera away from the lovely scene and find a traffic island with a boring public sculpture and click away.
DSCN1068-1

Prague, Czech Republic

  • Now let’s say your spouse is desperately afraid of heights and you’ve just climbed a steep tower to get a nice view.  I would not recommend pretending to take a photo of this nice view while secretly capturing a image of your spouse’s terrified expression because that’s just plain mean spirited.
DSCN7891

Mtskheta, Georgia

  • You know what’s also mean spirited?  Taking a photo of your wife trying really hard to ignore a decapitated pig head hanging next to her on a sidewalk.  I think we can all agree here that decapitated pig heads are a disturbing subject for travel photos.
egypt

Giza, Egypt

  • Propping up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, squishing the pyramids = classic bad travel photography.
DSCN7015_copy_copy

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • This final tip comes from the heart: take pictures of really bad art.  Yeah, HOB and I have traveled to see the world’s best art in person, but who needs another photo of a Michelangelo?  A true connoisseur can locate a hidden painting of a whale blowing snot rockets onto a robed figure making jazz hands.  And if that painting is inside a church with a strict “no photography” policy?  No worries—she will quickly snap a blurry photo while giggling uncontrollably because she is a bad travel photography genius.
pisa

Pisa, Italy

You can suck it, Pinterest.

34 comments

  1. Great tips.
    Yes, as someone who uses their iPhone for photos I have some classic “How did I stuff that up so badly” photos.
    At least with digital photography you can see it immediately and often rectify the situation rather than getting home and having the photos developed at not insignifact cost only to find you photographed your thumb etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was looking at my sister-in-law’s iPhone pics the other day—they are super cool! Do you have the kind that captures a second of movement? If you can believe it, I still use a flip phone. It costs $25 every three months so anyway the price is right, if not the photography potential.

      All of your photos I’ve seen have been great, though I imagine you edit out the ones of your thumb….

      When we first started traveling we used disposable cameras—talk about getting home and being disappointed!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it does have movement option.

        Our kids had disposable cameras on our first big family holiday and took about 2 rolls each of a Disney Parade. There is apparently no limit to the number of photos a child can take of Snow White!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, but your humour and superb writing skills more than make up for your not-National-Geographic style photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. True story: my grandfather–Robert Harrington–was a wildlife photographer for National Geographic in Kenya and Tanzania. He never was a fan of my photography.

      Like

  3. World expert at photograhs of own thumb…I was before my time when it comes to selfies…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Those are now known as “thumbsies”.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I love them, mainly because I would never be brave enough to show mine, they go straight i the trash. But mine are not as interesting as yours, look at the size of that pigs head and the wonderful capture of poor old HOB face, priceless. Anyway you get to go to all the good places and we are happy for any photos of those amazing places 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Something tells me you never take a bad photo blosslyn. Though maybe, come to think of it, you have a secret blog of more juvenile shots called “Phallic Towers of The Fens”….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha how did you know !!!!!! 🙂 its the only thing we have in a flat landscape 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Still laughing. Wonderful tips. Especially the moving train snaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are you also guilty of attempting the impossible moving vehicle snaps?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, I have lots of shots from trains with window reflections and fuzzy edges. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have taken these tips to heart and will include them when I go travelling. Now all I need to do is book a trip somewhere…

    And I thought irony was what only Brits did well! Excellent 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a good pupil you are! And why wait for a trip—surely you can practice most of these points at home?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m justly reprimanded; I shall start now.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I found another rule: rub your fingers over the lens. It does wonders.

    And what a cute pig’s head. Really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I’ll have to try that rule in the immediate future.

      My inner voice was saying “Not seeing that oh no I don’t even see the pig’s head that is not there no no no” while I was walking underneath it……

      Like

  8. You might not take the most Pinterest-worthy travel photos, but you can sure make people laugh out loud while reading your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Maybe I should start a new series on everything I suck at. Like I could do a post where I don’t use spellcheck and you all can get your LOLs at my horrendous spelling.

      Like

  9. Thank you very much for the tickling tips. The appendage pointing at the unsuspecting ladies/canine is my top pick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh where do you come from, weird floating appendage?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Very funny! Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Admit it, you took a few sneaky photos of Al’s butt.

      Like

      1. I am off to check our travel photos now!!! You are hilarious, as usual!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Charlie Tranen · · Reply

    Travelling for work to the Netherlands for the first time. Anybody have tips on how to take bad photos specifically relevant to Amsterdam?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmmmm…..maybe point your camera at packs of moving bikes. That should make for blurry photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Having just got back from a trip and taken MANY bad photos (OMG), this was particularly relevant… And quite funny. And so very true. FYI, my husband took stealth pictures of my bottom for years, but since he’s had to use a wheelchair (with me pushing) or a mobility scooter (two hands on the handles for steering) there aren’t any more AGMA derriere snaps anymore. I kinda miss those…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe you could help your husband out by suggesting “You just wait here honey, I’m just going to leeeeeeeaaaaaan out this window to check out the view” and make sure the camera is within arm’s length?

      Hope you didn’t take any stealth photos of the poor roommate with the exploding colon…..

      Like

      1. You almost made me spit out what I was chewing when I read the “exploding colon” comment! That actually is an incident I’d rather not have recorded for posterity… And good idea about the leeeeeeeeeeaaaaan!

        Like

  13. […] with a nod to my travel friend The Wife of Bath at Picnic at the Cathedral’s latest post about bad travel photography that made me laugh out loud, I present to you AGMA’s photo journal […]

    Like

  14. Hahaha, this really hurt! Not only the pictures are classic, but I like the humor of how you write about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch! Classic terrible photography—I’m a pro!

      Like

  15. Reblogged this on Andrea Gerak Photography and commented:
    This is really funny – and one can learn a lot from it.

    Like

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