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While traveling, we sometimes wish we could capture a landscape, sunset, or city view perfectly so that we can look back fondly at the photos. But oftentimes, photos don’t accurately capture what we are seeing in person. Here are some photography tips to keep in mind on your next travel adventure.
Before you leave home, make sure you have packed all of the essentials you’ll need such as battery chargers, memory cards, lens cleaner, tripod, travel adaptor, and any back up tools that you’ll need. After you’ve made sure you have all your supplies, do as much research as you can on your destination which will include itineraries, hotels, and more. Take your research one step further by learning about the culture and basic language tips (such as “may I take a photograph of you?”) Finally, take a basic photography course or teach yourself how to best use your camera and all tools associated with it. Dedicate a day at home prior to your trip to do some test runs.
At your destination, beat the tourist rush by getting up very early to take advantage of the excellent morning light. You’ll also benefit from this as large amounts of people haven’t arrived at the tourist attraction yet. Other great times with regard to lighting are late afternoon until just after sunset. Sometimes, though, the weather doesn’t cooperate so in overcast or rainy conditions, take pictures of gardens, close-ups of nature, waterfalls, or head indoors. Finally, cities come alive at night so allow time for some amazing pictures. At night, take pictures of objects that are well illuminated.
Now that you have the basics down, let’s discuss capturing the perfect image. Sometimes, you want to catch a candid moment, one that isn’t posed. One technique is to use a telephoto lens to capture natural portraits of locals which will blur distracting backgrounds. For bright and sunny conditions, use a fill-flash to fill in the shadows and show brighter colors. Finally, when taking a candid photo, make sure the person is recognizable – sometimes we take pictures too far away and the person appears too small in the image frame.
When photographing living subjects such as people or wildlife, try a focal length around 200mm and wide aperture such as f/4 to allow subjects to stand out in their surroundings. Angle is another subject to consider. We recommend using a tripod to achieve different angles (instead of everything being shot at eye-level). Also, to add scale to something like a waterfall, consider adding a person into the photo to show the waterfalls’ true size. Building on this concept, try to capture something in the foreground, midground, and background. For example, when taking a picture of a mountain, try to get a lake or road in front of or leading up to the mountain and try to find a statue or interesting rock in the foreground. Further, when capturing an image, think of it as divided into thirds. For example, when capturing a sunset picture, two-thirds of the image should be sky/sunset and one/third should be land/sea.
We hope that these tips are helpful and allow you to capture amazing images on your next trip! If you have been taking breathtaking travel photos throughout your journeys, please share your tips in the comments section below.