So many of us take hundreds of photos while we travel. Many even travel with the sole intention of taking photos. How can we ensure that we’re taking the best pictures possible? Whether you’re using a stand-alone camera or a smart phone, there are a few tips that can help you bring your photography to the next level.
Lighting is Key
The first way that you can enhance ALL of your travel photos is by considering and using lighting to your advantage. There are two very important times of day that will lend superior lighting for your photos; dusk and dawn. The sunlight, at these times of day, produces a soft and warm environment for awesome images. You may often hear these times as golden hours. When exactly are they? Aim for the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. You may even have the advantage of less populated areas if you wake up early to takes some photos at your travel destination.
Research Photo Spots
We do a lot of research on the places we’re going to visit. We consider the history of the location, foods that we may want to try, activities and more. You should also research photo locations that may be popular, or hidden, wherever you’ll be traveling. You may find advice on great angles or times of day that you should visit these areas to capture the best photos. Start by using the internet, friends that have been to these spots, travel guides, and blogs. There are sure to be many sources that can help you with this type of research.
Rule of Thirds
What is the rule of thirds? This is a way to refer to the composition of your photos. Mentally divide your image into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. Now that you have this imaginary grid in your mind, try placing the subject of your photos along these lines. This rule is said to make photos more visually appealing. Of course, photography is a very personal and subjective hobby. But, if something seems off about your photos, try to make this adjustment and see if it helps!
Angles Aren’t Equal
Angles are just as important to the composition of your photo as subject placement is. Angles will be different for different subject matter, as well as for the effect that you’re trying to achieve in your photo. Photographing people versus landscapes requires that you change the way you hold our camera or position yourself. This may be the hardest skill to learn when attempting to enhance your photography skills. The best way to go about learning is trial and error. Take a photo of the same subject from many different angles and compare them against one another to see which angle works the best. Always be aware that angles aren’t equal and are up to you and your photographic mood.
PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE
Something most of us are familiar with in the age of social media, is experiencing life through other people’s posts. We see new restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, and more from our friend’s stories. The same is true about travel photos. These posts might even inspire us to visit these places and experience them for ourselves. Why? Because we want to be the person in the photo enjoying that experience. When you’re taking photos while YOU travel, pose and capture things in a way that would make you want to experience the same thing if you were looking at it through social media. The easiest way to accomplish this is to photograph people – including you.
Patience is a Virtue
Getting the perfect photos require patience. You have to wait for the right lighting the right location, the crowds to disperse, and for nature to show you something great. A great way to enhance your travel photography skills is to slow down. Enjoy the time you have in the area that you’re trying to capture. You may have the opportunity to learn so much more by taking in your surroundings and being present than you would by aimlessly snapping photos here and there.
Don’t be Scared to Edit
Social media, and associated editing apps, are great ways to enhance your photos. There are countless presets that essentially do all the heavy lifting of edits for you. But, it may be worth it to go back to basics and learn how to edit your photos from start to finish. This will ensure that you create a photo exactly to your liking. Play with saturation, brightness, tones and much more. Most importantly, don’t be scared to edit. It doesn’t mean the photo wasn’t good enough or that you did a bad job. Editing can enhance the beautiful masterpiece you’ve already captured, or even help you tell a different type of story.
Try these tips next time you’re trying to capture a spectacular scene or subject. In the end, photography is all about trial an error. Enjoy the learning process, it’ll make your travel experience even better. Slowing down to learn and observe will force you to be present in your new destination. Remember to travel protected each time you venture out. Talk to your travel advisor today, or visit our website to learn more about how travel protection can help you should the unexpected occur.