We all get a sense of pride when we take a picture that beautifully captures the scenery.
When on vacation, it’s difficult to not capture your favourite moments and attractions on camera. We’re sharing our best travel photography tips to inspire amateur photographers and improve your skills.
Travel Photography Tips To Capture the Moment
You don’t need an expensive camera to shoot an image of your choice. It’s how you perceive the image and create angles and lighting to best represent that. We've compiled some of the best travel photography tips to help you achieve the perfect shot.
1. Show The Honest Side of Your Location
Of the best travel photography tips, this is the most valid. We feel so much pressure to produce pictures that people will love. However, they can often be misleading and take away the honesty from your location. The best photography in the world doesn’t just show the good side to things, but captures the raw nature of a place or item in a beautiful lighting.
For example, let’s say you see tired workers on a market. Photographing them in action represents your location honestly, whilst capturing the culture. Do consider the facial expressions and distractions in the shot too. Having an eye for something you want to photograph is one strength, but ensure that the background complements the emotion you’re capturing.
For example, does the weather’s mood reflect how the people are feeling? Perhaps there’s a nearby colourful wall which would work well to capture the mood you’re trying to express. Don’t be afraid to move things around. These small details amplify the mood and tone of the image you are capturing whilst remaining honest to the shot's nature.
2. Be an Early Riser
Hitting the tourist spots before other people arrive will make it easier and more comfortable to take photographs. With less crowds and distractions around, you can move around peacefully and have more space available to investigate your area. Not to mention, being an early riser adds more time to your day for more opportunities. You get the chance to set up your equipment before any action starts, so you’re less likely to miss anything.
Morning skies are mesmerizing. You can capture dramatic clouds and fiery colours which look so much more enticing on photographs than dull clouds. Depending on where you are in the world, it’s less bright in the morning which is beneficial for your photographs. It’s a misconception that a bright day aids photography, as it actually creates shadows and makes positioning more difficult.
3. Set Your Camera in Burst Mode
Another of our favourite travel photography tips is to set your camera to bust mode. This means that you can take several shots just with a single click on your camera. This is helpful for action shots, such as people or animals moving quickly. Alternatively, it’s a great trick for nature shots so you don’t miss anything. This mode is also a perfect idea if you ask a stranger to take your photo. Rather than being left with one blurred photograph, you have a selection to choose from.
As a result, editing and choosing becomes a lot easier. We recommend reading your camera’s instructions before your vacation so you’re ready to change modes when you need it. Most cameras recognize images quicker than the naked eye, so they can capture someone photo-bombing in the background, which is why it’s great to have multiple shots to look through.
4. Take a Tripod on Your Travels
Lightweight and portable, this is an ideal choice for most camera models. It’s also the perfect companion for smart phones. A tripod might seem like an annoying piece of equipment to take around with you. However, there are plenty of mini tripods which are practical to capture epic landscapes. If you want a picture of yourself but no-body’s around, set your camera on the tripod and get into position.
Tripod shots also stay stable and enable you to consider the background and landscape more. These products also allow you to capture stable photographs as the camera doesn’t rely on the photographer to remain still. Most cameras have an anti-vibration feature, but this isn’t always as reliable as using a tripod. Freeze a moment. Take photographs of a city at night by using a tripod and long exposure. This is how the best travel photographers capture the movement and lights of a city along with passing cars.
5. Ensure You Shoot With The Right Lens
A lens can make a huge difference to your finalized photography. For sports, nature and wildlife shots, telephoto lenses are a great choice when you have to keep your distance. There are different speeds of telephoto lenses depending on the activity. For example, a fast shutter speed is more suited for a quick action shot without blurring, but a slow shutter speed creates a blurred effect.
Wide angle lenses are an excellent choice to shoot landscapes. Let’s say you’re on a beach and want to capture nearly everything you can see with your eyes. A wide-angle lens gives a wide expansive view and tend to range from 14mm to 24mm. For zoom shots, opt for lenses from around 35mm to 85mm. Anything in this range will typically cover wide angles too, whereas a standard camera lens covers a shorter spectrum. Telephoto zooms are a great asset to improve the quality of your pictures, as you generally need to step farther away, not closer, to improve the quality.
6. Always Shoot In The Correct Mode
To create the mood and attitude you’re aspiring for, your camera mode will help you with this. Photographers generally have preferred modes to shoot in. If you’re looking for the best quality photographs, the most common setting is Aperture Priority. This provides a wide depth of field and creates a well-balanced exposure compared to a slow shutter. This mode gives you more control over technique, enables you to focus on a wide range, and gives you an advantage of shooting speed.
Manual mode doesn’t give you as much control over exposure, camera technique, aperture settings and shutter speed. Consequently, your shot can be delayed and you’ll miss your picture. However, the Aperture setting combines all of these elements whilst bringing the focus on one thing and slightly blurring the background. This setting also creates higher quality images.
7. Research Your Surroundings
Don’t just take photographs like everyone else. Instead, you want to capture a different setting and mood. Research your surroundings before visiting them to find the best time to visit. Perhaps there are morning events which you’d like to capture? It’s also great to find out when religious ceremonies and public events are on to arrive at the best time for the shot you want.
Think outside of the box too, so you’re not taking cliché shots of infamous attractions. Observe your surroundings at all times, including from different angles to expand your creativity. The best photographs are original and capture something that everyone else misses. Feel the mood and atmosphere of your surroundings too so as to honestly capture it on camera. What inspires you? Add this level of personality and emotion to your photographs to incorporate elements of you as well as beautiful buildings in your album.
8. Play Around With Angles
The last of our travel photography tips is to play around with angles in your shots. Unique angles tell a different story and show an alternative perspective of something. Always focus on what’s important in the picture and what initially caught your eye. You can achieve this through different angles, editing, or with the mode and lens you choose to shoot with.
Always push yourself to look further than the obvious angles. Discover a new location or building. Don’t be afraid to climb a building, get on the floor, or point your camera up to show a different perspective. In the process, put your safety first and never put yourself or others in danger for photography. Keep your mind and eyes open and take shots of multiple angles to compare which one does the scenery the most justice.
What Are Your Best Travel Photography Tips?
We hope you enjoyed reading our travel photography tips for beginners. Improving the quality of your photography begins with you. Don’t rely on the camera to exude an emotion when you don’t know what your message is. Ask yourself: why do I want to capture this scenery? What lighting, angle and setting can I apply to do this?
We’d love to hear your travel photography tips. Share them in the comments to keep this conversation going.
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