Five Tips For Better Travel Photography

Want to take better pictures when abroad and travelling. These tips are here to help you do just that and help you avoid cutting off the top of the Eiffel Tower again.

  1. Never Purchase a Big Camera Simply For The Sake of It

For anyone interested in taking stepping up their level of photography, this could be the biggest mistake. Yes it is true; the results produced by a DSLR are incredible. However before you invest your life savings into a large camera, take some time to consider the kind of camera that will actually be the most beneficial to you as you travel.

What I take on my travels is an SLR and four lenses, although this works for me, carrying it around is quite a massive hassle. If you know that lugging a large heavy camera around is not something you are going to do than do not bring it along. As you travel, you can never really know when an incredible photo opportunity could present itself. What this means is that your camera should be on you at all times.

Every time I end up missing an incredible due to being lazy and leaving my camera behind, i end up really being bothered at myself. If what you want are better photos of your travels, there are times in which a camera phone simply will not do. There are actually many quality hybrid cameras these days that you can easily find options on that market that will provide you similar, arguably even better photos than your traditional Nikon/Canon DSLR, however there will also be more compact and lighter — this makes it easier to keep it in your day pack. For great camera alternatives, check out the Olympus OMD or the NEX range.

  1. Do Not Follow the Crowds

If what you are looking for is a cliché shot of the Eiffel Tower, spare yourself the hassle, you can simply find that on Pinterest. I am not saying do not take one, bit them move on and use some creativity with the shots you take of your travels. There are two methods to improve your photos and avoid having countless common tourist shots.

For starters, never make a beeline to the popular vantage points. Not only are there endless shots of these locations, they are also probably going to be overcrowded and to be able to get a good shot, you will have to push your way through. For unique photos, look for the viewpoints that are less known and will not provide you with the photo bombing of tourists in each shot.

The second method is to look for at least one difference or point of interest in every shot taken. Whether you wait for a moment when a bird soars across the horizon, having something in the foreground, jumping in the shot yourself, I always look for ways in which I can make my photo unique. If this is done, your photo will drastically be improved and as your images will be more personal, you will probably treasure them much more.

  1. Never Shoot In the Middle of the Day

All the difference is made depending on the time of day you take your photos. If you decide to take your photos right in the middle of the day, what you will end up with is photos that have high contrast and harsh shadows. If you are taking shot of people or want yourself in the photos, this is not particularly ideal as this light is not flattering.

If you are looking to improve your travel photos, you should decide to head out at sunrise if you are into early mornings or at sunset, you will literally see the world in a completely different light. Generally referred to as the golden hour, as the sun set low in the sky illuminating the entire world with its beautiful golden glow, there is no place that will not be a million times more magical.

I guarantee that your photos will start looking a million times better. At these times of day, being as there is a lot less light, you should consider purchasing a flexible, small tripod such as the Joby Gorillapod. By using a tripod as well as having your camera speed on long shutter, even in very low light conditions, you will be able to get sharp images that are properly exposed.

  1. Never Underestimate the Power of Editing

A very powerful tool that everyone has access to nowadays is photo editing. It is not necessary to invest hundreds of dollars on elaborate programs such as Lightroom or Photoshop, although if you are really serious, investing in this software could be quite beneficial, even the photo editing apps that phones offer nowadays can be very impressive.

If you really want the photos you take on your travels to stand out, take note! Snapseed is by far my favorite app for editing — it is a free app that will really make your photos stand out. To really bring out the colors in your photos, try the ambience too, and to bring out the textures/clarity, use the structure tool, this will make your photos look very sharp.

Afterlight and VSCOcam are the other two apps that I use regularly. They both offer a wide range of filters that are really nice and can be applied to your photos. It is my recommendation that you always tweak the filters setting and opacity as you apply them to your photos — not every filter will go well with every photo and at times all you need is to tone them down a bit so that they will word. I also tend to buy Instagram views to posts before I add a photo to make them seem popular. You can instantly say hello to higher quality travel photos by downloading any of these apps.

  1. Never Stop Snapping

As with anything, taking great photos requires practice. The smartest thing to do is to continue snapping. If you are not pleased with the outcome of your photos, look into some basic techniques on manually using the camera. Do not stop practicing, and in time you will see that it comes more naturally to take a great photo. You are on the right path towards improving your travel photos and in no time, the photos you are taking will be better.

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