One of the greatest pleasures of taking a trip is capturing your favorite moments on film. However, there are many out there who come back from an amazing experiences abroad and only have lackluster photos to share. Many people aren’t bad photographers, they just have not been trained in the basics. Before you head on your next trip, here are some guidelines to follow to help you capture the incredible people, places and wildlife of your next trip. These tips have come from a good friend of mine who is a Yorkshire wedding photographer:
- Research the location you’ll be visiting: A prepared eye will help you frame the story that you’ll be creating. You can do a brief Google image search of the area in order to see what photos other people have taken to find some inspiration.
- A matter of focus: Digital SLR cameras are great because they have range for depth of field shots. These are images where a certain object or area is in clear focus, while the rest of the photo remains a bit blurry. You can use this for portraits of local people, street signs, interesting items, or action shots.
- Simplify the story and get closer: Too often travel photos are shot from the hip. When traveling abroad, you feel that rush of excitement and one’s gut instinct is to snap right away. A common error that beginning photographers make is that there is too much clutter in their images. They may have a great shot hidden within the noise of the background. Step in closer! If you’re in a bustling colorful market in India, it can be a feast for the eyes. Instead of
trying to take in the entire scene, find the colors and images that stand out to you most.
- Be mindful of the horizon: For wide shots of entire scenes (cityscapes, landscapes, ruins, and temples) you want to be mindful of where you place your horizon line in the image. Photos where the horizon is low emphasise objects or structures in the distance, whereas photos with a horizon high in the image emphasise objects in the foreground. It
may seem like common sense, but once you start applying this method you will see drastic results.
- The right equipment: If you really want to take memorable photos, you should consider investing in a DSLR camera. Many all-in-one kits are available from major companies like Canon, Nikon, and Sony. They include the body, kit, small size card, and battery. Consider buying last year’s models to save money. These kits usually come with a standard 75mm objective lens, which will let you perform the techniques I’ve described. You may also want to purchase a wide angle lens for wide sweeping and vista shots.
Remember, less is more. You want to capture the sense of excitement you felt on your trip in your photos. It’s one thing to have a bland photo where you need to explain the story behind it. It’s quite another to have a great photo that tells a story by itself. Remember, your trip is a set of moments captured in time–your individual and special memories. If you’re more
mindful of the composition and the timing of your photos, each photo will have a much greater impact for its viewers.
What are your best travel photography tips?