How to take spectacular travel photos every time:
We’ve all done it. We’ve gone on the greatest vacation ever and snapped what we thought were hundreds of awesome travel photos, capturing those memories perfectly.
That is, until we got home and downloaded all of the images to find out that they were too dark, they were too light, they were unfocused, the background was terrible or the composition was just “off”.
Improve your photography skills before you take the next great trip.
1. Choose the right camera.
Choose a camera that you will be excited to use. Research the difference between, for instance, a DSLR, a simple point-and-shoot, or the latest iphone. See CHOOSING THE RIGHT CAMERA for tips.
Consider this: Are you purchasing a camera because you will want to take more and more photos and your goal is to improve as a photographer or do you simply want a lightweight, easy-to-use camera for a few upcoming trips?
Understanding your individual needs will help you to make the decision of what to buy as well as the amount of money you want to spend.
2. Get familiar with your new purchase.
After you choose a specific camera or iphone, spend time learning how to operate it. Are you wondering what all those buttons and settings are for?
There are several ways to become familiar with your camera:
Study the camera or phone’s instruction book. Learn all about those buttons and settings.
Experiment. Change the settings. Record in a notebook which settings result in the best images.
Having a quick reference to what you learned by experimenting will help you know what to do the next time to recreate those desired results.
3. Keep studying!
Spend time learning more about photography before you go on your trip! You can read about photography and teach yourself the basics of good photography or take a photography course.
Tips for creating beautiful images for your social media can also help with improving your travel photography.
4. Take your camera with you everywhere! How else are you going to take great photos?
Get accustomed to taking your camera with you wherever you go and experimenting with taking photos at different places at different times throughout the day. This will result in better travel photos when the time comes.
Picture-taking is just like anything else…the more you practice, the better you’ll be at taking great shots.
5. Travel light.
When you travel, take only the equipment you will need and no more. It’s too hard to move around and get the right shots when dragging all those accessories around.
Decide before you go which accessories are mandatory and take only those with you.
Be a “Carry-on Photographer” sort of like being a CARRY ON TRAVELER!
6. Keep your camera battery fully charged for taking great travel photos.
When traveling, you need to have a fully charged battery at all times. It might pay to have an extra charged battery in your camera case for those times when charging is impossible.
Nothing is worse than wanting to get a great shot and realizing that the only camera battery that you have is dead and there is no place to recharge or no time to recharge. Be prepared!
7. Learn to photograph when the light is best.
Taking photographs in the bright noonday sun will not usually give you the desired results that you want. Find a shady spot or better yet, wait until what is called the “golden hour”.
These are the times early in the morning or late in the day before the sun sets when the light truly is yellowish or golden. You can get beautiful results in your photography at this time of day.
8. Use your flash, if necessary.
Using a flash at night or in low-light situations is a given, but sometimes you may need to use a flash during the day.
That extra pop of light onto your subject can sometimes be the difference between an “okay” shot and a great one.
9. Pay attention to composition in your travel photos.
Notice the types of photos that other photographers take and pay close attention to the results. Look at them and pinpoint what it is about each photo that you like, then try to duplicate the composition in your own photos.
Keeping your compositions uncluttered makes a more interesting photo than one that has too many objects for the viewer to focus on.
10. Consider the background as well as the foreground.
Both background and foreground contribute to the final product. If the background or foreground is not working for the shot and you need to move to get a better angle, go ahead and move to another place to make the shot better.
11. Learn to capture the details!
The details make a photo special. Something that you may think is trivial and not worth photographing just might make the best photo of all!
12. Pay attention to your distance from the subject.
If your photos are not turning out as well as you’d like them to, consider your distance from the subject. Maybe you are simply too far away. Get closer and try again. This could make a huge difference in your result.
13. Take LOTS of vacation photos.
In this digital era, you’re not wasting film…you can simply delete the ones that don’t turn out well. So snap away and edit later!
14. Make your travel photos personal.
Make them YOU. Aspire to take the kind of travel photos that friends and family would actually like to see.
Capture the details. Try to look at your subject with fresh eyes. Experiment. Pay attention to what makes each photo special and recreate the results.
Finally, the most important recommendation of all….PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Learn as much as you can and take photo after photo after photo. Notice the difference in your photos when you change your methods.
Remember that like everything else in our lives, the more you practice, the better you’ll be!