Capturing Your Vacation

How do you capture your vacation? How do you like to take pictures? As I went through the pictures from our trip, I found some common threads/techniques which I’ll share below.

Don’t think of me as some fantastic photographer when you look at these. We like to take the shotgun approach. I am not a professional.

By the time we got home, we had taken 7 gigs of pictures. That’s 7 gigabytes of pictures.

Here are just a few.

The Sights

A.K.A. the “of course” pictures or “the good stuff.” These pictures are self-explanatory.

Khafre’s Pyramid and the Sphinx.

The Rammesseum.

Hatshepsut’s Temple.

Watching balloons go up at sunrise over the Valley of the Kings.

From our balloon – the Valley of the Kings is on the other side of these mountains.

View from our hot air balloon.

The Treasury at Petra

The Monastery at Petra.

Wadi Mujib Canyon, Jordan.

Site where Jesus was baptized.


Sometimes you should do the opposite of taking a step back. Take a step forward and stop trying to capture the entire scene and just get one thing.

Traces of paint on a carving of Horus.

Lighting candles for friends and their loved ones.

Salt flaking off the rocks at the Dead Sea.


I’ll remember what we ate, but it’s fun to show people. I don’t take pictures of every meal, just a few here and there.

Mixed grill brought to our table.

Koshary – Cairo dish of rice, macaroni, lentils, chickpeas and crunchy onions with a tomato sauce mixed in.



You may be at a site wishing you could get a picture without all of the people in it. It may actually be better to get someone in the picture to show perspective. It’s hard to explain to people just how gigantic some of the sites really were.

Using ourselves to show the enormity of the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

Me in the Great Hypostle Hall of the Karnak Temple.

Broken colossus of Ramses. I’m standing by his head and shoulder.

Every Day Things, Life

Sometimes random, these are every day things that you might not normally take a picture of. Looking back, they make the photo collection interesting (I might be the only one who doesn’t get tired of looking at ancient Egyptian temples).

Egyptian 1 pound coins.

Store just outside the Pyramids at Giza.

I couldn’t get enough pictures of camels. This one smiled mid-bite!

As it Happens

I took quite a few pictures while we were waiting around for something. It’s fun to show what we were watching.

Watching jewelry maker polish the bracelet they custom made for me.

Watching our hot air balloon get blown up.

Watching our balloon get deflated and folded up after our flight.


Much like getting perspective, it’s fun to juxtapose two things in the picture. I find it makes the subject much more interesting.

Flowers at the Temple of Philae.

Citadel with Roman ruins on the hill in Amman, Jordan.

Where We Stayed

I’ll remember our hotels, but I’m sure people would rather see pictures than me trying to describe it to them.

Our hotel in Cairo was originally built as a palace.

View of the Nile from our hotel along with Cairo traffic.

View from our cabin on our Nile Cruise.

View from our hotel in Petra.

The Dead Sea beach at our last hotel.

Points of Reference

I take pictures of signs all the time. I think it breaks up the string of scenery pictures when I show them to people and helps convey what we were seeing.

The Dead Sea – the lowest place on Earth!

Entrance to Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land.

The picture above helps define this picture: the Promised Land from where Moses saw it.


If it’s acceptable to take pictures in markets and stores, I go for it. It’s such a fun way to show the buzz of how an area works.

Let’s not talk about what I did in the beaded necklace store.

Buying spices.

We Were There!

After a couple of trips, I realized I wasn’t getting enough pictures of ourselves! I never hesitate now to take a tripod or ask someone to take our picture.

Us floating in the Dead Sea. You can get a camera dry bag at REI or other outdoor stores.

My absolute favorite picture of the entire trip.

Thanks for giving me an excuse to share my pictures!


10 thoughts on “Capturing Your Vacation

  1. Wow, Nat, what an incredible, incredible trip. The photos are wonderful- thank you so much for sharing them!

  2. Wow, wow, wow! What an amazing trip. Your photos are fantastic. Great tips too! I was very lucky to go to Europe last year – I took almost 1,000 photos but looking back, I wish I had more! No trips for me in the near future but these are tips that can be incorporated into every day photo taking as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks! It was a trick to balance capturing everything with just stopping to take it in. I love the pictures that you’ve posted of your trip last year! I’m pretty new to vacation pages, so I’d love to get ideas.

  3. Oh Wow! Your vacation photos are absolutely amazing! Each photo I said to myself “oh, I like that one”, but you are right the last one is the best 🙂 Thank you for your comments on my blog, I just read the article about the Buena Vista… that would be a tragedy… !

    • Thanks! I loved your pictures as well! We’ll be near Fisherman’s Wharf next weekend and we are going to have to stop by the Buena Vista.

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