7 quick travel photography tips to make your travel photos shine – from understanding the time of day to what equipment to use, here are our secrets!
Whether you are planning a quiet weekend in Lake Garda to taking a two-week trip to Bali or other exotic locations, taking a better picture will help you remember your adventures. Although you can get a good shot using a phone, having a dedicated camera for this purpose is better and gives you far more rewarding shot.
If you want to capture the essence of a place and to show it to friends and family, this post will help you get that perfect picture, both if you’re skiing in Italy or enjoying a beer in a restaurant. Let’s see how to make your travel photography better!
7 Quick Travel Photography Tips
1) Get a Decent Camera
To get better pictures you need a decent camera and some basic equipment. There are plenty of decent guides to get you started, and you can get a good camera to suit all budgets.
If you’re serious about taking good pictures, you’ll need other equipment too such as tripods. Although this seems like a lot of effort, the equipment is by design portable, and folds down so it fits into backpacks and the like.
Lightweight travel tripods will be invaluable.
2) Time of Day
To get the best pictures often involves getting up early or staying out late. Light dictates how good your pictures are going to be.
The early morning light creates a warm, soft effect on your pictures, and you will often find pro travel photographers up at the crack of dawn to get the best shots. It also has the added advantage that there will be fewer people to get in the way.
Similarly, sunset also provides an ideal light. In the world of travel photography, the ‘Golden Hour’ is an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. The ‘Blue Hour’ is an hour after sunset, where the sky is blue rather than dark.
Try shooting at different times of day to get the best shot.
3) Take Pics With Locals – But Ask First!
Often, to give a sense of place, it is a good idea to ask a local to be in a picture. This can be tricky, especially if there is a language barrier.
Pro photographers tend to start a conversation before asking if they can take a picture. This can involve buying a souvenir or asking for directions. It is worth asking if you can take a picture in the local language. People appreciate the effort.
Depending on where you are, taking a picture of a local person can really provide clarity as to the nature of life that part of the world.
4) Use Excellent Photo Apps
There are some excellent photo editing apps on the market for both IOS and Android platforms. If you don’t have time or it is a bit inconvenient to set up your equipment for the perfect shot, you can whip out your phone, take a few pictures and touch them up later.
Like all things photography related, it is a good idea to experiment with apps to identify the ones that work for you.
With a good editing app, you can turn average photos into remarkable ones.
5) Understand the Rule of Thirds
If you imagine a three by three grid on your viewfinder, you have gone some way in understanding the rule of thirds. This will help you frame your shot and position key objects in the right place.
So, if you put a person on the left grid line rather than in the centre, you can highlight the background, conveying more of a scene. Or keep the horizon in the bottom third to give a more ‘complete’ shot.
The better cameras and some phones facilitate putting this grid over the view so you can line up your shot using the rule of thirds.
6) Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Some of the best pictures you’ve ever seen have been one of a series of shots where the photographer has experimented with composition. They have probably taken shots standing, laying down, climbing on something nearby, shot at different distances, and so on and so forth. This is something for you to try. You won’t be disappointed with the results.
One aspect which can really bring your pictures alive is to have interesting objects in the fore and mid-ground. So if you’re shooting the view from a hotel room, try and compose the picture to show something interesting in the foreground to give your picture a three-dimensional feel. It also helps to convey scale. Done right, it will give your pictures the wow factor.
7) People Give your Pictures an Emotional Connection
When you take a picture with a person in the shot, you can give a great sense of scale, and more importantly put an emotional connection in your pictures. You can also tell a story with your photos if you do it right. This can take practice, but it will be worth it when you see the quality of pictures you produce.
Like all things getting better at something takes practice. With a little bit of experimentation, you will have at the very least a better Instagram feed.