If you’re currently grounded due to COVID-19, take the time now before your next trip to get better at travel photography. Here are five tips for stellar travel photos that you can practice around your neighborhood and implement on your next vacation:
Vary Your Subject
If you’ve been finding your previous vacation albums a little lackluster, it may be because you’ve been taking pictures of all the same kinds of things. A lot of people just snap the major tourist attractions of the places they visit and call it a day. But think about all the other unique things you see on vacation that you can capture:
· Signage and Advertisements
· Wildlife and Flowers
· Shopfronts and Streetscapes
· Cars, Boats, and Trains
Just remember, if you want to include locals in your photos to get their permission first.
Play with Your Composition
Don’t get caught in the trap of taking all your photos with the subject straight on and in the center. That’s boring! Spice it up by playing with angles, putting your subject off-center, or having a contrasting foreground and background. To get started, practice using the rule of thirds when you develop your composition.
Learn Some Basic Camera Settings
Point-and-shoot mode is great for casual photos of friends and family get-togethers, but if you want to take your travel photos to the next level, consider spending some time learning more about your camera. You’ll want to spend some time researching:
· Shutter Speed
Even most phone cameras have different settings you can play with, too!
Pay Attention to Light
Have you heard of “the golden hour”? This magical time of day just after dawn and just before dusk is the best time for catching beautifully lit photos. Plus, getting up a little earlier will guarantee you to have top tourist destinations almost to yourself!
For all the photos you take in the middle of the day, pay attention to where the sun is when lining up your shot. You don’t want it directly behind your subject because that will create a silhouette, but you also don’t want to have human subjects directly opposite the sun because they’ll squint!
Have Fun with Selfies
If you’re planning to show photos to friends and family when you return, they’ll be more interested in seeing you having fun on vacation than they will be in all the destinations you checked off your bucket list. So, make sure to get plenty of photos of you and your travel companions enjoying the trip.
To add variety, play around with lots of different poses. Getting some candid shots will also give your viewers a sense of what the trip was really like!
Anyone can make massive strides in improving their photography quickly and easily by practicing these tips. If you’re dedicated to taking your travel photos to the next level, though, consider taking an online course.
The Great Courses Plus has a great one taught by a National Geographic photographer that you can start on a free trial, and the New York Institute of Photography is currently running a deal through November 17th on their travel photography course.