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The information in this column is intended to assist digital camera users, and attempts to look at those items that are common on all digital camera’s such as point-and-shoot, DSLR’s, mirror- less, and yes, even your cell phone.

You are on vacation. You want to capture your vacation and share them. What are your options?

Well, there are a few things to consider and pre-planning goes a long way. First, what are you going to use to take those pictures, and second, how do you want to share them?

Let’s take a look at your camera first. Is your cell phone good enough? Maybe. It certainly is convenient, and the newer cell phones have some remarkable cameras on them. Your apps can enhance your images and process them right on the camera and even upload to the cloud automatically. But what about that once in a lifetime picture of you and your partner and a beautiful sunset in Hawaii? Did you take it as a selfie? With your arm in the picture? It may look great on Facebook and Instagram but what if you want to blow it up and frame it?

Do you know how to get the most out of your cell phone camera? The controls for most of them are not all that easy to get to, and you will typically take all your pictures in an automatic mode. Your cell phone usually does not do a great job in low light situations, like sunrise and sunset.

Most of us will bring a point and shoot camera on vacation. They are small enough to fit in a pocket or purse, and many of them have features like GPS to record exactly where you took that picture. The picture quality is also superior to a cell phone if you want to have prints made.

If you use this kind of camera for a trip, make sure you review your manual before you go. Try out some of the different settings like landscape to get the best those mountains or sport to capture surfers on a big wave. Consider bringing extra memory cards and don’t forget the charger and/or extra batteries. Additional items that you may want to include is a small tripod to take those selfies and to use in low light scenes.

Finally, for the photography buff like me, plan on an extra suitcase just for the gear. On a recent trip to California I carried 2 camera bodies, 5 different lenses, filters, a mono-pod with feet, 4 extra batteries and charger, flash, and an assortment of other gadgets, including a full size laptop. But that’s me. This trip was about my photography.

Oh, and by the way, I also used my iPhone extensively.

So, bottom line, take a little time before you go to inventory your equipment, decide on what you need, get comfortable with the device, and most of all have fun.

As a side note, air travel in the US has become painful; long lines, delayed/cancelled flights, crowded planes, and the list goes on. I found one way to reduce some of the pain at the TSA check. Take a look at getting a TSA precheck certification. I did not have to wait in any lines for the TSA with this certification, well worth it. $85.00 for a five year certification. []

If anybody has any questions they would to see discussed, please contact me through our FaceBook page @LakeCountryEcho or my page at @MrEPhotographer.

This article and all previous columns can be seen on my web site: I also have multiple galleries of Finger Lakes Region images available on the web site

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