By far the most common question I get asked is ‘what camera do you use?’ Here are some super simple tips to make an image a little bit more gram worthy.
First Pick Your Photography Goals
The first thing you will need to do is decide what your goals are with your travel photography. Do you just want to get some snaps to look back at now and then and maybe upload them to social media? Are you going to try and document as much of your trip as possible? Keen on video? Thinking about getting serious and taking your photography to the next level?
It’s totally up to you. But one thing i will say is that once you start capturing some great photos and learning about the basics of travel photography, it gets very addictive. Trust me it’s addictive. . .
Remember, if you think that perhaps one day you will really get into photography it can sometimes be better to get a camera that is better so you can grow into it. Rather than buying a new camera every trip, save money in the long run by spending a bit more of your budget upfront.
Resolution easily could be the top factor in your buying decision. After all, it’s the quality of the photos that matters most. But before you shop, ask yourself how you plan on using your travel photos. If the majority will be online, any camera on the list will do just fine. If you plan on enlarging or printing your photographs or using them more seriously, the size of the image sensor, megapixel count, and your lens choices all play an important role in the quality of the photos. Some of my best photos have been taken with Iphone, but these are factors to consider.
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or professional, or even if you know nothing at all, I’ll help you make the right choice.
A top-of-the-range DSLR or mirrorless camera is capable of taking great photos, but if you don’t know how to use it, you’ll probably get better results from a smartphone.
On the other hand, there’s no point buying the best camera for travel photography if you’re never going to use it to its full potential. Only you will know whether it is something you are going to want to pursue later down the track.
Most of the images on this post were taken on either a point and shoot or mobile, no need to use a DSLR always to start photographing a little differently.
1.Use foreground objects to complete the image
One of easiest ways to make a photo more engaging and to add extra levels to your images is to add a foreground aspect to the frame. Play around with different objects that are closer to you to add more depth.
2.Make the most of the reflections
#PuddleGram might have caught on, but making the most of flat waters or recent rainfall is the best way to give your photos a unique perspective. The object may still be the same, but the weather and water will change.
Try experimenting with different angles, pointing the lens slightly further up or down to create a focus on one part, it doesn’t need to be a perfectly balanced reflection as cropping can draw the eye more towards where you think is most interesting.
3.Frame the main focus with some action
Movement can really make a photo come alive, especially in an Urban environment. If you have a DSLR and a tripod then long exposures can be a great way to nail images.
If you are reliant on the phone in your pocket then finding action in your surroundings is just as good. Whether its fountains, fairgrounds, birds, trains or anything else which moves – adding the extra texture and animation to the shot can be an ideal frame to an otherwise seen before photo.
4.Nail the rule of thirds
It’s one of the basics of photography and although I’m a firm believer many photos lend them selves to a center framing, this simple technique can easily transport a bland photo to one which is far more eye catching. Most cameras now already have the grid visible so just line up key parts of the frame with the crossed lines on the grid and you will instantly see a difference.
5.Use people to tell the story
More and more with travel photography, those looking at the image want to feel a sense of place and like they are there. Adding a human element to any photos in the right way will usually make the story and setting of the photo much stronger. So, instead of waiting forever for people to get out of your photo next time, try to include them within the story of the shot instead.
6.Experiment with different angles and levels
Look up in any city and you will likely discover hundreds of new photo opportunities you are missing.
Some architecture lends its self to looking directly at the sky, sometimes it’s a good idea to get higher so you can have a straight on image. Double decker buses might not be your thing but the extra height can act as a great new way to see and photograph a city. My rule is to go up anything I can as the new perspective is not just great for photography, but also gives you a better understanding of any destination.
7.Learn how to use light to make a photo more interesting
One of the key components of photography is lighting and natural light gives us so many beautiful hues to play with. An average road or setting can be completely transformed during the golden hour which is why so many people love photographing during sunrise or sunset.
Make the most of the hours before and after though and you’ll find simple settings transformed by dramatic shadows and new details that you just won’t see with the mid-day sun. Try to mix in larger objects such as trees and buildings which can create more dramatic shadows with smaller, more detailed focus areas to make a simple photo seem like it has much more going on.