How can you take unbelievable travel photos?
In a world where Instagram is the number one place to share travel photos, it’s almost too easy throw an #instarock and hit a thousand other people who have already been to your destination and captured all of the amazing “must have” shots.
The question you should be asking is “How can I shoot unbelievably unique photos and allow myself to visit the same locations with a personal and fresh perspective?“
All Travelers want to take out-of-this-world amazing Photography. I guarantee each of us have spent way too long trying to get that perfect shot, usually while crouched or contorted into the most uncomfortable and unusual positions. But, the quality and outcome of that final shot is well worth the cost of a few strange looks in our direction and the potential backache tomorrow.
Although, I definitely believe that Photography is a honed skill, I also believe that it comes from the heart.
Ask yourself this question, out of all the places in the World, what made you decide on this particular location? When you can answer this question for yourself, you will uncover purpose and intention. Once you put intention into the act, the soul of any person, place or culture and your personal creativity can shine through.
Think of your photos as a visual story! Capturing the best moments of your trip! It can be anything from where you are, what you’re doing and all of the highlights that make your destination unique! Remember, you’re not only capturing your story, but also the history and people that will undoubtedly fall into your settings!
Here you will learn how to take great photos of your destinations and how to capture moments that are often missed by Tourists!
WHAT IS THE BEST CAMERA? The one you have with you!
This is the number one question most Travel Photographers are asked. They will all tell you the same thing, the best camera is the one you have with you!
This is great news for you! You don’t need tons of elaborate and expensive equipment to take an amazing photo!
You are going to get the best shots, not because of your camera, but because you know what you’re doing.
The mark of a good Photographer is less editing. You can definitely save yourself some time with the editing process later on by spending a little bit more time and care in the moment.
You may not be a pro over night, but you’ll be surprised what a few basic tips will do to the outcome of your photos.
BASIC PHOTO TIPS & HOW TO USE THEM
Capturing the perfect shot can be broken down into three simple categories: Lighting, Focus, and Placement.
PAINTING WITH LIGHT
Photographers often say that photography is “painting with light“. It sounds beautiful and dreamy. But, the one thing you should really know when you’re just starting out is keep the light in front of your subject! Unless your point of interest in an awkwardly looming shadow, you don’t want to have your lighting behind them/it. This little gem can genuinely make or break a good photo!
WAITING FOR THE PERFECT MOMENT
Hold your shot for the perfect moment! As Travelers, we are always in a hurry to be sure we get to each must-see destination. This means that we often snap quick photos just for the purpose of moving on. But, for the shots that are most important to you, allow yourself to slow things down. Be patient and hold you camera steady for that one great shot that no one could ever possibly recreate! This could include anything from holding for the perfect lighting to waiting for a busy street to clear, so you can capture a landscape view of that mime performing across the street. For videos this can mean shooting for at least 5-10 seconds. For photos, it really is all about patience. If you’re patient great photos will come!
CAPTURING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
Avoid trying to get everything into one shot! We’ve all seen those tourists that wave their cameras around trying to capture everything into one video or standing back as far as they can to get an impossibly massive landscape fit into a single photo. Usually, the outcome is an over-cluttered, unfocused mess. Rather than getting everything into a single shot, hone in on the details or rather the point of interest that you want to stand out in your photo! Practice taking photos and videos from different angles and focus in a little bit more. You can always make a compilation when you get home and that will show off everything you’ve captured and look great at the same time!
GETTING THE RIGHT SHOT (don’t torture your family)
Vary your shots! A thousand different photos with all the same shots will be nearly unbearable for your friends and family to sit through when you get home. But, they love you, so they probably won’t say anything. To tell the best story you’ll need tight shots, medium shots and wide shots! This basic tip will completely change the way you take photos/videos! If you’re concerned about storage space, read on for a few basic tools that will come in really handy!
THE RULE OF THIRDS
This is a basic practice that any decent Photographer should know! We’ve probably all seen that weird grid on the viewer of our cameras. Beginners tend to put the subject of their photo right in the center square. Do not do this! Instead place your subject or point of interest into one of the four intersections (Top or Bottom Right/Top or Bottom Left). This will allow you to capture a visually interesting photo! Combine this with Tips 1-4 and you will have a camera roll to be proud of!
Now you know the essentials of taking interesting and unique photos! That said, a basic on-the-road kit can definitely help you along!
Here are some BASIC TOOLS that you will definitely find useful!
I don’t often carry my tripod around with me when I’m traveling. It can easily feel like just one more thing I have to carry. But, it can also provide great stabilization and help with a few shots or videos that would have been difficult to capture otherwise. Remember, tripods aren’t only for those big, expensive DLSR cameras! You can easily pick up a tripod for your iPhone too!
If you are using a DSLR, you’ll definitely want an extra battery or two! If you’re using an iPhone, get a portable power case that will give you another 100% battery life or more! No one wants to keep running back to their Hotel for a charge!!
If you plan on taking A LOT of photos or are going on a reasonably long trip, you will want a couple extra SD cards for your DSLR. If you plan on storing all of these awesome shots in your iPhone, spend some time before your trip cleaning up old and unwanted photos or removing other things that are taking up space. Chances are you won’t need 10GB of music while you’re traveling. If you’d rather not remove information from your phone or are looking for a last minute solution, pick up a portable hard drive for iPhone. This little life-saver will hold all of your photos and allow you to continue taking great photos with less down-time.