10 Quick Tips For Taking Better Travel Photos

without comments

Author: Pek W

Whether you are have a point and shoot or a DSLR camera, you'd want to take some 'wow' photos home from a trip. You'd also want the photos to remind you of how glad you went where you went in the first place. In the past, I had my moments when I thought, "…why didn't I see and cut out that awful lamp post at the side?" And so I grew a little wiser as I took more photos. Here are 10 tips for grabbing your shots on the road:

  1. For photography newbies, learn to ditch ‘auto' or ‘P' mode on your camera, and use selected aperture and shutter speed settings for more control if you can.

  2. Clear out the clutter and focus on a main subject. You don't need to include everything in the frame. Do you want that tree or post-box in the frame? What are you trying to tell with your picture?

    Rainbow Pendula - colorful travel photo
    Rainbow Pendula by Pieterjan Vandaele on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

  3. Step up and shoot closer whenever you're able to. A lot of people tend to stay too far back when taking vacation shots.

  4. Use a self-timer to trip the shutter to minimise blur and camera shake in low light conditions or when using a slow shutter speed (say, of 1/15 and below) when handholding camera. Most times, your tripod may not be with you, you'll need to improvise.

  5. Vary your camera angle, level and framing on your shots. Shoot low, from high up, from the ground up, up the dog's nose. Take filled frames but also frame with background detail for scale and setting on some shots.

    A low angle view of an ongoing truck in bangalore - salem highway
    Earth and Sky by BoyGoku on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

  6. Use a pre-focus - choose an aperture around F8. That way, if you grab the camera and point at an object, say, 5 feet away, you'd get sharpness on things lying within 3 feet to 10 feet in the frame. You can focus on a spot where you anticipate the action will happen using this method. This helps the camera locks focus faster and works great for quick, candid shots, particularly when you don't want to tip your subjects off that they are being photographed.

  7. Shoot multiple shots on a subject you like. Take one shot, move two steps forward, take another. Don't forget to take a vertical shot too. Most people tend to frame shots horizontally, but a vertical shot often allows you to fill a frame, looks different and uses space more effectively.

  8. Take landmarks, interesting signage, neon lights, colourful things, etc. Observe light direction, and shadow or texture of objects, buildings and landscape. They all add character to your photo.

    The Eiffel Tower at night
    The Eiffel Tower by http2007 on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

  9. Take care of your camera, and keep it free of dirt and dust when travelling. Buy a good camera bag, a blower brush and soft, microfiber cloth, and memory cards. Take a backup camera with you if have one.

  10. Be sensitive to cultural differences. Ask permission to take a shot of that nice native for example, or the farmer. Don't try to take photos of things when it is illegal or impolite to do so.

    Rapaza Masai / Masai Chick
    Rapaza Masai / Masai Chick by N. Feans on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

The last word is, remember, you're on holiday, so make sure you don't see everything only through your lens. You don't need to photograph everything. If you want to capture everything, you want to strap a videocam to your head, not use a camera. Relax and enjoy the trip.

About the Author

Pek W is a business analyst and part-time blogger bent on seeing the world in her little suitcase at http://escapetripster.blogspot.com

Written by Guest

August 12th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Leave a Reply