Five Tips for Photographing Historic Williamsburg

Traveling to historic Williamsburg, Virginia is a one-of-a-kind vacation. There’s plenty for the whole family to do, including Busch Gardens and multiple museums, like Ripley’s Believe It or Not! However, it’s not these attractions that make it such a unique place to visit—it’s the history. From the first settlement at Jamestown to the Governor’s Palace and historic Williamsburg buildings, there are plenty of memorable sites to explore.

One of the best ways to enjoy the historic aspects of Williamsburg for many years to come is to take plenty of pictures. Unfortunately, many travelers return home and are underwhelmed by the images they take.

Whether you travel with a professional camera or you plan on using your cell phone, these tips will ensure you take pictures of Williamsburg in all its glory.

Take a Different Perspective

The easiest way to get a shot is simply to stand in front of the subject and snap away. You can get some good photos that way, but some better still images can be had if you take a different perspective. There are many creative camera angles you can try out while you’re on vacation including:

· bird’s eye view
· High angle looking down
· Low angle looking up
· Bug’s eye view from the ground

For example, a low angle shot of the Governor’s Palace can make it appear as grand and regal in photos as it does in person.

Take Pictures in Different Conditions

What are the best conditions for taking photographs? Most amateurs would say bright sunshine, while experienced photographers know an overcast day is the best.

The truth is, any condition can be the perfect condition. Don’t shy away from taking photos in the rain, getting out early as the sun is coming up, or photographing the night lights. For example, photographing downtown Williamsburg at night can show its modern side, while photographing the Jamestown Settlement as the sun is coming up can capture an image that remains stuck in time.

Focus on the Details

Many travelers want to get as much as they can into every shot. After all, it’s the best way to preserve all the sights you experienced during your trip. Unfortunately, a lot can be lost in wide angle shots, especially if that’s all you take. Instead, try focusing on the details when you take photographs. That might mean getting a close-up of the weathered siding on one of the historic buildings, or it could mean taking a picture of a single flower in one of the historic gardens.

Showing items in action is a great way to breathe life into close-up shots. For example, you can take a closeup of a historic reenactor’s hands as she prepares to serve traditional bread to your tour group, or you can get a closeup of a potter as he works his magic on the wheel.

Always Take More Than One Shot
Good photographers take bad photos all the time. That’s because bad shots can’t be helped. Whether the lens didn’t have a chance to focus or you’re simply too far away from your subject, if something can go wrong, it will.

The reason why photographers don’t get discouraged is because they take tons of shots of the same subject. You should do the same thing! Chances are, most of your shots won’t be very good, but by taking so many, you can increase your chances of leaving with at least a few good pictures!

Don’t Forget About Your Travel Companions There are a lot of things we don’t think about photographing, especially when we’re on vacation, but they can add to the story of our trip. For example, a picture of a Williamsburg cemetery can put into perspective just how many people have lived and died in this historic area.

However, one of the biggest things people forget to photograph at historic sites is their travel companions! Instead of spending all of your time taking pictures of buildings, make sure you ask your friends and family members to step into at least a few of your shots. Not only do will it provide you with great photos to frame when you return home, it will ensure you like at least some of your pictures, even if some of your other shots don’t turn out very good!

Capturing the true essence of Williamsburg with a camera isn’t easy, but it can be done. You just have to follow these tips and you will have pictures to show your friends and family that you can be proud of.

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