Did you ever feel like your photos from globetrotting sprees are not as half as impressive as the scenes you saw first-hand? If you are chronically plagued by the looks of images you thought would be first-rate camera masterpieces, odds are you either lack quality equipment or the pro photography know-how. Though the choice of gear will depend primarily on your budget, there are a few tips which can help you create awe-inspiring renditions of faces, places and details you encountered during your trips. Here are top six travel photography tricks that can bring your camera-wielding experiments up a notch and help you preserve fond trip memories in their best light forever.
Pick Best Times of Day
Many photographs are ruined by intense light, which is why selecting your shooting hour before the actual photo session is so important. The best time to snap a picture that will closely capture the subject matter’s colors and texture are early morning and late afternoon, because lighting conditions outdoors are soft and the heat rising from the ground will not interfere with the tonal harmony of your set.
Ditch Zoom and Get Closer
The fact that you have a telephoto zoom lens simply cannot compensate for the distance between the lens and your filming target. If possible, try to get as close to your subject matter as you can and use a wide-angle or a regular 50mm lens. Remember: no focal length, however high, can capture images without impacting picture quality, so if you want sheer eye-candy up close, step up and start shooting!
Experiment with Levels
Eye-level pictures are okay, but okay will not get you far in travel photography. Be creative: experiment with angles and levels, and if necessary, get down on all fours to shoot your subject matter from an innovative point of view using a wide angle lens. Renting a drone may be a good idea if you want to capture an air-borne selfie during a safari or film stunning landscapes from a bird’s eye perspective, but if you want to minimize total photo shoot costs, find vantage points in the area and start climbing!
Do not Neglect Post-production
Even if PhotoShop and Lightroom are not exactly your favorite photography assistants, you should still have a basic knowledge of photo editing tools. Post-editing your pictures will allow you to crop out crowds or accidental passers-by, and it may also help enhance contrasts, mid-tones and color saturation. In addition to that, it is always advisable to look for inspiration on photographer’s communities such as EyeEm. Find your personal editing style and experiment with different filters and special effects. Practicing can take your visual art a long way even if you are new to the camera craft.
Portraits Caught Off Guard
When shooting people, you should always ask your photographee for permission – but there is no denying that spontaneous pictures often convey deeper messages and more emotion than carefully thought-out poses. If you can, sneak away a pic captured off-hand, or ask your subject for permission, start a conversation and shoot them when engaged in a long monologue. (The former is better, of course, but you still need to be polite as some people object to having their pictures taken by complete strangers.)
Pick Your Focus Wisely
“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Do not always pick your subject matter as the focal point of the photograph: in some cases, your target does not have to be the front and center of the image, it can be slightly blurred or to the side of the frame. In fact, some photos look cooler when out of focus, so add this technique to your stack of travel photography tricks.
There, you are all set and ready for your next photo session on the go. Bon voyage, and be sure to bring back the fruit of your hard photography labor!