As Travel editor, I see thousands of vacation photographs each year, my own and those of readers. Sometimes I groan and wish that the shooter-- me included -- would have made sure the Eiffel Tower, for instance, wasn't sprouting from someone's head or that the angle was more interesting than simply straight-on. Sometimes I sigh contentedly and marvel at the color, the composition, the moment in time. And always, I'm grateful for a new vision of the world.

In my hope that there will be fewer groans and more happy sighs in 2010, here are my tips for successful snapping:

Know your equipment: Reading the owner's manual is a great start to getting the most out of your camera.

Embrace digital: Take lots of photos and delete the duds.

Take your time: Go slow, wait for the moment -- when the clouds are just right, or that stylish woman crosses the street -- and magic can happen.

Change your angle: Experiment getting low or high for an eye-popping perspective.

Watch the background: When zeroing in on your subject, be mindful of the background. Eliminate distractions (including those odd buildings crowning people's heads).