How to Take Amazing Travel Photography (Pt.1)
It’s something everyone wants to do, but also something that falls to the end of the to-do list when travelling. Travel photography has gone from being a rare skill, to the most accessible form of communication, expression, and reminiscing. The more we travel, the more we want to capture the breath-taking sights in front of us.
However, there is always a catch: taking amazing travel photos isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. In fact, it can be downright frustra-pointing (frustrated and disappointing…let’s see if this takes off). So here are a couple of tips to help you along your photogenic journey:
Follow the Light
Light is a fickle thing, but it is also the thing that makes us able to see the world…so let’s cut it some slack. You’re not always going to be blessed with a sunny day, but making most of the light you have is key. Make sure you can see the faces of the people in your pictures (unless you’re super artsy, then do the exact opposite of everything I say), and that you at least have a balance of light and dark. During the day, don’t point the camera at the sun, and at night,
Sunrise and sunset periods are the best time to take pictures, as the light is warm, soft, and generally makes you fall in love with the location you’re in.
It’s always hard to properly frame a shot when you’re sitting on a bus, zooming past all of the best landmarks. Don’t those driver know that you have a photographic talent that requires subtle movements, complete silence, and maybe a slice of cheesecake?
All we can do is our best in these situations. One solution is to imagine your screen as having four lines on it:
This helps create a visually appealing and ultimately pleasing photograph. Line up you skylines or major focuses of each picture along these lines. This will also help you center the picture, and make sure that you are level.
One more thing to remember is to frame as close your subjects’ heads as possible. There will be times where a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower will make this impossible, but we all have to make sacrifices. You don’t want to have a picture from the neck down (unless you are Taylor Swift), but you also don’t want a picture with a subject having to be on their tippy-toes just to get their nose in it. Imagine an inch of air above their head, and put the top of the frame there. And leave it there. And take beautiful, beautiful pictures.
If you are spending all trip stressing out about how your pictures are going to turn out, you’re not travelling right. Don’t lose track of why you are on a trip: to spend time with your family, to spend time away from your family, or to eat as many delicious things as possible. Making people have a mini-photo shoot every ten minutes will not make you any friends, and then you’ll just end up with fantastic pictures of people who don’t want to hang out with you.
Photography has some rules to make great things happen, but that doesn’t mean the only good pictures are taken that way. Bend the rules! Roll on the ground getting the weirdest angle of La Sagrada Familia possible. That will make for more memorable photos than spending an hour setting up your tripod and friends (C’mon Ryan, get your hair under control).
Your goal should be to capture the fun and the feelings that you had and felt while on the trip. As long as you do that, I guarantee you’ll have at least one absolutely stunning picture to frame above the fireplace and/or your son’s graduation photo.