With the help of social media, we have learned to make the world feel like a smaller and more accessible place for many people around the globe. Viewing people, cultures, destinations, and tourist attractions around the world has become incredibly common via apps like Instagram. The world and its wonders have become accessible to many people and the power of a photograph can help educate and inspire hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Whether you have an interest in photography, want to help others discover the world, love sharing your photos on social media, or simply want picture perfect memories of your travels, use the following 7 tips to take travel photos like a pro.
1. Focus on Framing and Composition
When taking your photo, stop for a moment and take in your surroundings before snapping your shot to decide what could be useful when framing your subject. Use natural or existing objects to help frame your photo like trees, walls, and doorways. Play around with the overall composition of the photo and try moving your subject to different corners or places in and around the frame of the photo. Don’t be afraid to snap 10 photos that only have slight differences between them. Use a tripod to keep your photos still if you notice they are often blurry or sometimes out of focus. Using a tripod can also help you to make slight alterations to the framing or composition of your photo.
2. Use Leading Lines
To create a captivating photo, use leading lines like roads, bridges, railway tracks, or paths to help viewers focus on the subject of the photo. Using natural leading lines like roads or bridges allow viewers to follow the path or natural line inside the photo and straight to the main subject or focal point. Leading lines can help to tell a story and evoke more emotion from those looking at the photograph. While using leading lines can greatly improve a photograph, it is often best to use only one person or nobody in the shot. Rise early and arrive to your destination before the crowds in order to capture the perfect photo.
3. Play with lighting
Lighting is often one of the most important elements to consider when taking a professional looking photo. Photos can truthfully be of excellent quality at any time of the day, even nighttime, if you have a decent camera. However, taking photos just after sunrise or just before sunset often yield the best results. Lighting is greatly affected by the weather, so use the local climates to your advantage. Even on rainy days, puddles in the ground can make for a unique perspective in a photo or cloudy skies can help set the mood for the person looking at the photo.
4. Get creative with perspective
With travel photography, many people travel to the same popular destinations and tourist attractions and take the exact same shot. To take a unique photo, get creative with your own perspective of how you see the person, place, or event. Play around with different angles and take many photos to test out your unique perspective of the place. Experiment with height and distance and use objects around you to make the photo interesting and unique. For example, enter a nearby building to get a unique, birds eye perspective of a popular tourist attraction or place a relevant object or person into your photo to differentiate it from other peoples photos. If you are taking photos of buildings or natural landscapes near water, use reflections to create your own completely unique photo.
5. Include people to tell a story
One of the best ways to create a captivating photo is to include people in your shot. Using people in your photograph will allow you to tell a story. People can be used in photos in a variety of different ways. Tell stories of locals by capturing them doing their everyday jobs and tasks, but be sure to ask them before snapping away! Include a single person in your photos to help viewers imagine that it was them who was in the shot. This can be achieved by taking a photo of someone facing away from the camera. Photos with people in them allow people to understand the context of a photo easier - and wish they were there!
6. Follow the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds has been around in the world of photography for a very long time. When taking a photo, use your subject or main focal point to understand your entire image. The rule of thirds breaks a photo into 9 different squares, hypothetically, and demands that you place your subject into a portion of the photo while your horizon takes up one third, or 3 squares. Your subject should meet at 4 squares in a cross section to allow flow. Position the focal point where these 4 points meet. Using the rule of thirds gives your photo incredible balance and composition.
7. Do Some Editing…But Don’t Over Edit
Editing is an almost essential part of photography in this day and age. Just one scroll through Instagram and it can oftentimes become obvious as to which photographs have been edited, because unfortunately they have been over-edited. The line between editing and over-editing can be quite fine, so be careful when you use filters and begin to edit lighting, contrast, and colours. While filters on Instagram often look nice, they can sometimes take away from the quality of the photo. Use an app like Lightroom to play around with your photo to add depth, structure, and some colour. Oftentimes with editing, less is more, so keep that in mind when manipulating your photo. When presenting your photos on Instagram or social media, try to keep the style of your editing consistent throughout your photos. This can help the overall look of your photos when viewed at once.
These 7 tips will allow you to improve your photography and begin taking professional looking travel photos all of the time. While these tips will vastly improve your photo taking skills, remember to allow your creativity to flourish above all else. What tips have you found useful when trying to take the perfect travel photo?