Photographs from your trips don’t always manage to convey the atmosphere of the cities you visited: for instance, in this picture our trip does not look so exciting. These 10 tips will help you significantly improve yours photos.
1. What camera should I choose?
Traveling light is much more comfortable, so there is no need to burden yourself with a lot of photography equipment. An ordinary compact camera has its advantage: it is always at hand and doesn’t take up too much space. Meanwhile, a DSLR camera surely provides more opportunities to express your creativity and imagination, and the picture quality is much better. The best option is to choose a small reflex camera. There is no use carrying too many lenses if you are not a professional photographer on a business trip. One or two is more than enough. For example, all your needs can be satisfied with a 80-200 mm lens (80-200 mm focal length): it is suitable for wide-angle shooting, and for the approximation of the objects you want to shoot close up. If you have not yet decided what camera brand you need, you can choose one with the help of the EISA website http://www.eisa.eu/awards/photography.html#awards. Just pick up the camera of the year that best suits your criteria.
2. Additional equipment
Because during the trip you will be doing a lot of shots, make sure that you have spare memory cards, otherwise instead of catching interesting shots and camera angles, you will spend time deleting bad pictures. It is also important to make sure that the camera’s battery is always charged. An indispensable thing for a trip is a compact tripod: using it, you will be able to take clear photographs even in low light.
Turn the GPS function in your camera on if it is available. Looking through the photos at home, you can view exact geographical coordinates of the shooting location, for example, in Lightroom application.
3.Keep the camera ready
Setup the camera to appropriate shooting mode to take a good picture at any moment. For example, you can use the program mode: the camera will itself set appropriate exposure and aperture, and automatically enabled flash will not bother you. It is also convenient to use the Aperture Priority Mode, which makes it possible to control the focusing depth. Keep in mind that the more the aperture is (the smaller is the f value), the shallower the focusing depth will be. This means that for smaller values of f, only the main object will be sharp in the picture, and the background will be blurred. Conversely, for large values of f, you get a photo with all objects of foreground and remote objects in the background clearly visible.
4.How do I shoot attractions?
Famous attractions that are considered to be “trademarks” of cities or countries have been many times photographed before you, so it is not easy to take a genuine photograph of such objects. You may add individuality to your pictures if you shoot them in an unusual way. For example, you can shoot in unusual weather conditions: during a snowfall or storm, or during a beautiful sunset.
Look for unusual angles. Climb higher: get on the top floor of a skyscraper, spire or a high hill, and you’ll get an unusual panorama. Also, try to photo reflections: reflection of the attraction in a passerby’ s glasses, in a shop window or in a glass of wine.
It is not only the attractions, but also the people that create the atmosphere of a city or a country. Photos without people often look dull and lifeless. Make your photo contain children, a loving couple, old men with deep wrinkles, and your photos will become much more interesting.
You will certainly get colorful pictures if you photograph street vendors. Buy any trifle at the local market, and the seller will be happy to pose for you, because now you are a customer for him, and not just a casual passerby! Do not photograph a crowd – a faceless collection of people can ruin even the most interesting photos.
6.Pay attention to details
The spirit and atmosphere of another country can be conveyed by paying attention to seemingly insignificant details. Photograph picturesque tree branches, unusual architectural details and home decorations, flowers or urban graffiti. Even a photograph of road sign can be an interesting decoration of your home photos collections.
National cuisine can tell a lot about the character and mentality of the people in the country, can’t it? Photograph national dishes that you will certainly enjoy during the journey: such pictures are very interesting to look at.
To make the dish look appetizing, choose a restaurant table close to the window – this will endure enough light. Photograph food by choosing the minimum aperture value: let only the front part of the meal be sharp, and leave the background blurred.
8.Work with lighting
The best time for outdoors shooting is sunset and the dawn: at this time, the lighting is suitable for shooting in the best way. Bright daylight makes colors in the photo too faded, and the shadows – too sharp and deep. Bright midday sun is also not suited for portrait photography: shadows will become too dark, besides, your model will certainly be squinting from the sunlight. You should either take your model into the shade, or shoot in cloudy weather, when the sunlight is soft and diffused.
9.Experiment with exposure time
You can create interesting cityscapes at night, using slow shutter speed. For example, set a slow shutter speed and photograph lights of a night city. Try shooting water at slow shutter speed: fountains, waterfalls, and tides. The water will look silky and mysterious. Bear in mind that when using slow shutter speeds, you have to set your camera on a tripod, otherwise you will get a blurry photo.
10.Process your photos creatively.
Experiment with white balance in your camera. Colors in the picture may become juicier and more realistic, or vice versa, you can make your photo more interesting using unnatural colors. You can also significantly improve the quality of your photographs in a graphic editor.
Try to increase or decrease contrast, increase image sharpness, or play around with color balance. You may want to make some photos monochrome: a black-and-white photo creates a unique atmosphere of antiquity.