Your travel photos work like a time machine that freezes unforgettable memories from your previous journey that you’ll treasure for years. But, for some people, taking travel photos help them find new inspiration.
If you’re planning to travel again, it’s wise to learn how to take attractive travel photos. You don’t have to be an expert to do this. Regardless of your photography skills, taking beautiful travel photos is never a challenge. All you need to do is to improve your skills and consider enrolling in an online travel photo class. Aside from that, you can take note of the following tips when taking your travel photos:
1. Pick The Right Lenses
Travel usually opens up a vast scope of genres for avid photographers to explore, but not choosing the right lens to use might hinder you from improving your skills in photography. If you have the budget for a single lens, choose a fast zoom like 18-200mm and 28-300m. If you have an extra budget for lenses, get a wide-angle lens, a telephoto, and a portrait prime lens.
2. Think Outside the Box
No matter where your chosen destination is, you can take attractive travel photos by thinking outside the box. Although it’s a bit tricky if you’re surrounded with timeless views and landmarks, it allows you to be creative in your shots. If you’re not used to this, you may take several shots focusing on a certain technique and composition.
For example, you can use a fish-eye or wide-angle lens when shooting from the floor. To capture a landmark under beautiful lighting conditions while also capturing the movements of other tourists, you can use a trip and slow shutter speed.
3. Understand Rule Of Thirds
When it comes to photography, one of the first tips you should know is to understand the Rule of Thirds, which allows you to create a more balanced composition. Once you’ve master this, you’ll be able to get an image split into multiple sections.
When it comes to the Rule of Thirds, the primary goal is to place important objects of the image into such sections and frame the image in a pleasing way. For instance, place an object along the left side of the grid line instead of putting the person in the middle. For the horizon, you may keep it on the bottom third instead of splitting the photo in half. Just keep in mind that the horizon should be straight.
Composing with the use of Rule of Thirds is easy. You only have to turn on the grid feature of your camera, which shows the grid directly on your screen.
4. Use The Right Picture Format When Taking Photos
When taking photos, make sure to check your camera settings for the right picture format. Taking photos in JPEG and RAW will provide you with greater flexibility, but it may also mean that you have to travel with high capacity memory cards. If you don’t have some, you may just transfer the images to your photo storage device or laptop when your day ends to free up your memory card for your next itinerary.
5. Don’t Mind The View And Think About The Light
The human eye is more clever and adaptable than the lens of your camera. What you see when you’re standing in front of a subject may not be what your camera reproduces. When staring into the sun directly, you might make out colors, but your camera will generate mostly shadows. So, it helps to know where the sun is and take note of the light.
The simplest way to flatter your subject is to put it in the best light. If you want the faces of your subject to shine, turn them towards the sun so it will shine on their faces. If you like your photo to look like brochures, take a photo on the area’s sunny side.
6. Emphasize The Person When Taking Portraits
When taking photos of your friends or family, it’s easy to prop them up in front of something interesting and take a picture. However, if you want to take beautiful photos of your travel companions, frame them first and don’t forget about the background.
7. Consider Location Scouting Before Your Trip
If you’re sure about your destination, read some travel guidebooks. Use the internet to read blog posts and articles to give you some clues for photos. If your friends have been there, talk to them and reach out to some photographers. By being more knowledgeable about which images can capture the place’s essence, you’ll be able to get attractive travel photos successfully.
Some tools you can use when searching about travel photography include Google Image Search and Instagram. You can use these to know where iconic locations are. Looking at postcard racks are also a good tool to help create a list of shots.
If you have free time, you can also wander around the area first. This will save you more time on choosing which part of the area is best for your shots. Plus, it’ll help you enjoy the moment and maximize your time.
8. Get A Lightweight Tripod
If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s necessary to get a lightweight tripod for your travel. This gear will let you set your camera position perfectly. With your camera fixed, you may take your time arranging the right composition for your photos. You may also adjust the exposure settings, spend time paying attention to the images you like to create, and determine your focus points. You may also use advanced techniques such as panoramas, focus stacking, and HDR.
Tripods may also help you shoot waterfalls and stars with slow shutter speeds sans the need to worry about your shaky hands. You may also keep your ISO low so there’s less sensor noise. To focus on the image, you may use small apertures.
Using a tripod can also help you control more of your camera’s manual settings. But this doesn’t mean that you need to lug your tripod around with you anywhere. However, for sharp landscapes, self-portraits, low-light photography, sunsets or sunrises, and flowing water shots, having a tripod can make a huge difference.
9. Shoot Using Your Camera’s Manual Mode
Most people might think that the latest cameras are already smart and good enough to capture beautiful photos on their own by using auto mode. Although they may do their job well, you must learn how to take advantage of your camera’s manual mode if you aim to take attractive travel photos.
If you’re a newbie in the world of photography, you probably think that camera settings such as shutter speed, ISO, and aperture don’t require some adjustments to take wonderful photos. However, if you want to get the best possible images, you should know the importance of those elements and how to adjust them by yourself.
To access your camera’s manual mode, just switch your camera’s dial and look for it. As mentioned, manual mode provides you with more control of your image’s appearance in various situations. Once you adjust your camera’s aperture, you’ll need control over your image’s depth of field.
10. Try Experimenting With Composition
You may come up with a good photo composition after experimentation. It may take your first shots laying on the ground for low-angle shots or climbing up to shoot from higher angles.
Other than various angles, you must also try shooting from different distances. You may start with a wide shot, mid-range shot, and up-close shot. To achieve stunning images, don’t be satisfied with your first idea.
If possible, try to include midground, foreground, and background elements. If your subject is a mountain, look for a river, flower or any interesting element for the foreground. It provides your images a 3D feel and helps you convey scale, drawing the viewer’s eye to the other parts of your photo.
Another good travel photography tip when it comes to composition is focal compression. It’s when the photographer uses the zoom lens to trick one’s eye into thinking that the objects are closer than they are.
11. Improve Your Post-Processing
Some people think that editing photos using tools or software is a form of cheating. But what you should know is that the majority of professional photographers these days are actually using editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom to edit their images. Others do it more than some people, but everybody does it.
If you want to take attractive travel photos, post-processing plays an important role to get the best results. So, knowing the steps to process your digital images after capturing them is more essential than what cameras you use.
Through post-processing, you’ll be knowledgeable about how to sharpen photo elements, improve contrast, reduce sensor noise, tweak exposure levels, boost shadows, and reduce highlights using your preferred software. With your knowledge about post-processing, taking attractive travel photos will be a breeze.
12. Don’t Stop Learning
Thinking that it’s impossible for you to take travel photos beautifully doesn’t mean that it’s unattainable. Just make sure not to stop learning. If possible, consider taking photography tutorials and never stop practicing. It’s how you’ll get better and not by having the newest gear or using filters. With this in mind, you’ll be a more resourceful and skilled travel photographer in no time.
Taking attractive and exceptional travel photos may be a challenge at first. But once you apply the tips above, you’ll find it much easier and more enjoyable. With the right camera settings and equipment, you can be assured that you’ll improve your travel photography skills in no time. Just don’t stop learning new skills and techniques to get the best travel photos that you can show off to your family and friends.