A travel passport and a camera are inseparable since you can’t imagine being in an awesome place and not bringing some awesome photos home to imprint experience deeply in your memory. In the age of smartphones and Instagram, travel photos are no longer a prerogative of talented photographers, but great travel photos are! However, even professional photographers often get stuck in cliché and ordinariness. If you want to bring home a memory card full of beautifully captured moments worth National Geographic publication, be ready for some learning, experimenting, and finding personal takes.
Your efforts will pay off when you come back home proud of the photos that are worth more than just showing your family. Instead of showcasing them on Facebook or other social networks, consider giving them a better exposure by creating your own “photo-travel” website which is easy to build using photography website templates.
Here are some tips and tricks that will help you improve the quality of your travel photos.
Get to know your camera
To take some really good photos, you’ll need to take your camera from its auto mode. So read the manual and familiarize yourself with the functions and controls your camera offers. Lindsay Silverman, a Senior Product Manager at Nikon Inc. and professional photographer recommends researching the camera’s abilities before you leave similar to how you research a location and plan your trip. This is especially important if you’ve just bought a new camera since it can have settings and features you don’t know about, which can lead to issues with focus, white balance, and exposure.
Research the location beforehand
Actually, your photo travel starts from Google where you look for locations you are going to see through your camera lens soon. Look at how other photographers featured the place and develop your own original take. Get inspired by postcards, photo and travel blogs, pics from your travel guide, etc.
Opt for a hotel with an epic view
If your budget allows you, consider staying in a hotel suite that offers a great view of a famous landmark. Just imagine the privilege to document the attraction from a considerable height wrapped in a gorgeous rosy haze of dawn light! The photo is really worth the cost.
Don’t leave the place until you exhaust the options
The popular mistake most travel photographers make is taking just one or two photos of a place and leaving. Catching the sense of the place sometimes takes hours of wandering around, trying alternative modes, experimenting with color, light, and unusual angles.
Be there in the golden hour
Best hours for taking keen photos are those at sunrise and sunset. The light is soft and tender then plus the place is usually empty so you can work with a perfectly lightened landscape without being constantly distracted. Try to catch the moment when natural crepuscular light meets artificial lights on buildings for capturing some really unique views.
Clichés mean subjects or attractions photographed in similar uncreative ways by many photographers before you. If you want to really stand out with your work, your task is to study the “precedent” and find the outside-the-box approach. It can be difficult with over-photographed attractions, so why not shift over to remote, less crowded areas and hunt for fresh, “real-life” views?
Use a tripod
Tripod is a must-have not only for getting everyone on the photo but also for taking long-exposure photos like flowing water or wandering lights. Your sunrise/sunset photos and portraits will also be better if you use a tripod for uncompromised camera stability.
Tell a story
Every place has a vivid story that can be told without words. When you are on the site, capture it as a whole from a wide angle, add people in motion, and then look around to document unique details that make this place special such as street stalls, goods showcased for sale, food, elements of interior, etc.
Capture living creatures
While you don’t need permission to take a photo of a bird or a cat, we recommend that you ask permission before you photograph a person from a close range. Smile, start a conversation and politely ask if you can take a photo of them. No means no. Shopkeepers are easy to please if you buy something from their goods. We advise you to research the local mentality and customs before your trip begins in order to be ready for the local ambiance.