Travel photography encompasses quite a bit, and while there are hundreds, if not thousands, of travel photographers around the world, a person does not need to be a professional to take quality travel pictures. Anyone that travels frequently usually finds themselves taking pictures, simply because they want to remember their time away from home. All travel photography pictures include landscapes, the history of an area, the people, the culture, and the customs, because people are trying to capture the beauty of the area that they are traveling in.
Any true travel photography will also capture the essence of any area or the people that are within the picture itself. While it is possible to specialize in one specific area of travel photography, most people will not limit themselves entirely, because they never know where they will find that perfect shot.
Amazing Tips Everyone Can Use to Improve Their Travel Photography
Start Taking Photos Early in the Morning or Venture Out Later in the Day
An hour after the sun rises and the hour prior to the sun setting is the best time to capture photos of certain subjects in many areas around the world. People will be surprised at how the look of their photos change if they get up earlier in the day or stay out a little later. Every photographer should venture out one morning to test this theory by taking pictures just after the sun rises and then of the same subject a couple of hours later. They can then compare their pictures and see which time provides the most breathtaking photos.
Use Others for Inspiration
Everyone should view the work of other photographers, as it will give them the inspiration that they need to either improve their work or find new ideas. Great ways to do this include visiting art galleries, talking with photographers, attending photography lectures, and even reading a good book or two.
Travel with the Basics
A person may have seven different camera lenses at home, but when they are traveling, they should take only the basics with them. A regular lens and a zoom lens will work for almost all travel photography, and no one will miss their perfect shot of the day because they are switching lenses all the time. Instead, they can work with the lenses that they have and click away at the beauty before them.
Know How to Work the Equipment
Two days prior to a trip to faraway destinations is not the time to purchase a new camera to take on the journey. Everyone will want to know all the idiosyncrasies of their camera, so they can relax and focus on the subject that they are trying to capture. Therefore, everyone should take plenty of time learning how to use the camera they plan to take with them, so that they can focus on whatever is in front of their lens.
Befriend the Locals
The locals always know the secret spots of the area or region, so by befriending them, a person can get the inside scoop of where they can capture a photo that not many others will get. People can start by starting small conversations with a smile and seeing where it goes from there. Of course, this also works with finding the best places to eat, the best attractions to see, and where everyone hangs out for a great time long after the sun sets in the sky.
Understand that There is No Perfect Shot
While people are always talking about capturing the perfect shot, realistically, there isn’t one. Everyone should plan on leaving perfection out of their photo shoots and simply relax and have fun. Once they do this, they will find that their shots do become more “perfect” and they will love them even more.
Find the Beauty in Local Areas
No one needs to travel great distances to capture phenomenal travel photographs. Instead, that old country store that they have passed a million times since they were a child could become the background for a picture as the sun is rising in the distance. Opportunities for photos are everywhere a person looks, they just need to open their mind and their eyes.
Some of the best travel photographs are achieved when a person plans their trip weeks, months, even years in advance. Travelers should search the internet and read everything that they can find about the areas of the world that they want to visit, and then they can head over to Instagram and Google Image to see what pictures have been taken and where. Finding potential locations is key to all successful travel photography shoots and the more research a person does, the better off they will be when finding the perfect place. Some questions everyone should ask when they have found where they want to go include what time of day isthe lighting the best in that location, when will this area be most crowded, what the weather will be like during that time of the year, how difficult the location is to reach, and are there only certain hours when they can go there.
Use a Tripod
Most people will not bother lugging their tripod with them as they are trekking around the world, but it can come in handy most of the time. After all, a tripod will allow the photographer to keep their camera position steady instead of worrying if their arms and hands are getting tired and letting the camera shake during shots. The tripod makes it much easier to focus on the image itself as well as the settings and any other advanced techniques.
Plan Time into the Day
As people are traveling around the world, they are always in such a rush to see as much as they possibly can. Well, when taking travel photographs, everyone needs time. Quick shots here and there will create boring and normal photos, while well-planned shots that may take an hour to create will turn into amazing images that no one else has.
Patience is Necessary
Travel photography is all about patience and taking the time to find, create, and shoot the perfect picture. People will not only need to see what is in front of them, but also feel and hear what they see. Knowing the surroundings explicitly and knowing exactly when to snap the shutter is what makes some people better at travel photography than others. Patience takes a long time to learn, but when a person manages to figure it out, they will be happy to see the difference in their photos.
Plan to Get Lost
No one ever knows when they might stumble upon an area that is just begging to be photographed, but the only way to find those locations sometimes is by purposely getting lost. While no one should ever hike ten miles out of their way into a jungle filled with scary and dangerous wildlife, there is nothing wrong with going a little bit off the beaten path to see what lurks in the distance. That small alley you noticed at the last minute could hold a beautiful family sitting out in a garden or a feature from medieval times, while the top of a mountain near your home, that you’ve never known about, can reveal a view you never knew existed so close by.
Everyone Should Expand Their Knowledge
Every photographer needs to continue learning about their craft, as it is the only way they will learn how to improve in many areas. There is a plethora of online photography tutorials that people can take, or they can enroll in a travel photography workshop. Every class that a person takes will lead them to new discoveries, about themselves and about the pictures that they take.
Wonderful Techniques Everyone Can Use to Improve Their Travel Photography
Adjust the Angle or Timing of Shots
The camera and the lens that a person uses will not automatically create the most picturesque photo in the world. In fact, neither will the light! The photographer will need to adjust their angle or their timing to capture the same view with their camera that they see with their own eyes. This can take lots of practice, but after some time, it will come naturally to almost everyone. Another option that people can consider is trying to shoot from different distances. After all, no one knows whether a wide-shot, mid-range shot, or an up-close shot will provide the best results until they have done it firsthand and can compare the results.
Determine the Best Exposure
Every camera has a light meter that automatically senses what it thinks is the best brightness for the view that a person is capturing. However, everyone needs to consider adjusting that brightness and using a slightly darker exposure to avoid a white field over the item that is being photographed.
Understand the Available Luminance
The luminance within a photo is the intensity of the light that is emitted from the surface and this feature is used to enhance the intensity of the light in certain photographs, especially those of the sky. After all, photographers prefer to see bright blue skies in their pictures instead of a sky that is blue with a white haze over it.
Clean Up Images
Photographers never know when something will pop up unexpectantly in their pictures. It could be a bird flying by, a mark on a wall, a person’s elbow, or even a speck of dust on the camera lens. No one should ever be afraid to make a slight adjustment to their pictures by cleaning these unexpected items out, because the true essence of the photo will shine through instead of the distracting object that wasn’t supposed to be there.
The Rule of Thirds
Framing a picture seems quite easy, but it can be more challenging than people think. A good rule is to break the image in the camera lens into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, and place the important pieces into those thirds. There is an easy way to do this, and all everyone needs to do is turn on the grid option on their camera. The grid will be displayed directly on the LCD screen to allow people to learn how to line everything up for the best possible shot.
Apps that Everyone Can Use to Improve Their Travel Photography
Out of all the photo editing apps available, Snapseed is the most powerful and easiest to use. A person can simply open one of their images within the app and then change the contrast, brightness, structure, sharpness, ambiance, and more. There are three presets that everyone will love as well. The Face filter allows control of the skin tone and eye clarity, while the Retrolux setting will give every photo an old-school vibe. The HDR-scape might be everyone’s favorite though, as it can boost the clarity, color, and sharpness of the image.
A ColorStory is a photo editing app that has fabulous filters that offer clear and bright backgrounds. The Airy filter pack is perfect for bringing out the brightness in the background without ruining the rest of the colors within the picture.
Photobox is a fantastic app that allows people to store all their photos in one place until they are ready to print them. Pictures can be stored within albums, to make it easier to find one or two specific pictures from a certain vacation. When a person is ready, they can have whichever ones they want printed into photobooks, photo blocks, posters, or large framed prints right from this app.
One of the worst things that can happen to a person is losing all the pictures that they have taken. Google Photos backs up these pictures online, so even if a camera or smartphone is lost, the pictures will still be around when a person returns home.
Lightroom for Mobile
Lightroom has been around for desktops for years, but they now have a mobile version that takes editing colors to a whole new level. Whites, blacks, and individual colors can be adjusted right on a mobile device when using this app, so no one will need to wait until they return home to turn their favorite pictures into masterpieces.
Really Good Photo Spot
This app was created after they spent two years finding the best spots around the world for taking photos. Since then, they have also asked others to submit their favorite photo locations, so the list that is available is massive. However, anyone who uses this app can easily search for photo locations near where they are or search for spots anywhere that they dream of visiting in the future.
Steller allows the user to tell a story with the pictures that they upload without using anything other than their smartphone. This app has numerous design themes and text can easily be added. Once a story has been created, it can be shared on the app privately or publicly, as well as shared via email, text, and social media outlets.
The most important thing that anyone who is taking pictures while traveling the world should remember is that they should be having fun as they are doing it. Travel photography should never be boring, mundane, or feel like a chore. Instead, everyone should enjoy seeing a landscape, person, building, or another subject in a new way and finding out how to capture that look on film. They should be excited to go out in the morning to find their perfect location for the day and enjoy every minute of their time there, even if their best shot takes sixteen hours to capture or they never manage to get the shot of their dreams.
Everyone should also keep excellent notes for each one of their photos, including where they were, what time of day it was, and what the weather was like. If there are people in the photos, then the note should include their names as well. These notes will help a person when they return home and need to document each photo individually. After all, when a person takes so many pictures, it can be difficult to remember all the details later on.
Taking pictures does not come easily to everyone, but in reality, everyone can do travel photography! Snapping picture after picture in extraordinary destinations around the world can help anyone become an amazing photographer. The above tips, techniques, and apps will also help everyone learn how to become better at this little hobby. A person doesn’t need to turn pro with their travel photography, but they can continue to hone their craft, so that they can take phenomenal pictures of where they have been. These pictures will allow them to feel exactly as they did when they were in that area of the world, even though they are now just reliving their memories through their photographs.