10 Quick Tips to Improve your Travel Photography
I’m sure we’ve all drifted away while looking at a dreamy travel photo at least once or twice before. Travel photography is a beautiful thing, but it can sometimes be intimidating for anyone who isn’t a pro photographer. Photography is one of my passions, but one thing I’ve learned over the past few years is you don’t need a ton of expensive gear or a photography degree to take great travel photos!
So here are a few of the rules I like to follow for my travel photos. Follow these guidelines and you’ll have an Instagram feed full of awesome photos in no time!
1. Tell A Story
You know that old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words…” Well, ask yourself, what is it you want your picture to say? The most memorable pictures spark imagination!
2. Keep It Simple
As Humans our eyes are naturally drawn to things that stand out as interesting when we look at a scene. The camera however, does not discriminate. Make sure your picture has a clear focal point so you can avoid a cluttered or confusing image.
3. Find The Light
Good Lighting can literally make or break a photo. So make sure that you pay attention to the lighting around you. The best pictures aren’t too dark or too bright; they use the light to highlight the most important part of the photo. And don’t be afraid to play with shadows, sometimes they make really cool photographs.
4. Leading Lines
Lines exist everywhere! A line can be a wall, a row of light posts or buildings, or even a sidewalk. A cool way to highlight the focal point in a photograph is to use those lines to lead your viewer there. Taking advantage of leading lines can take you on a journey around the frame and give a strong perspective!
5. Fill That Frame
Always pay attention to how big your subject is in the frame. It’s very easy to get lost in a photo that has too much going on or too much empty space. So zooming in or getting closer can make for a stronger picture. And if it won’t compromise the quality of the photo, don’t be afraid to CROP!
6. Avoid The Middle
One of the easiest ways to avoid boring photos is to use the Rule of Thirds. (split the image up into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, and try to place your subject on one of these imaginary lines or intersections.)
Although it may be tempting to snap that building or flower right in the middle of the frame it doesn’t always make for the most interesting picture. Try moving your subject away from the center of the frame and balancing it in an interesting way with everything else in the frame.
7. Filters Are Your Friend
By no means am I saying to go out and put all 10 of your favorite filters on each photo. Haha. But don’t be afraid to get creative and use photo-editing apps to enhance the look or make the colors really pop in a photograph. One of my favorite apps to use is VSCO. They have a filter for just about every feeling you can image!
8. Pay Attention to the Background
Sometimes the most exciting part of the picture is what’s going on in the background. It can work to your advantage to allow the background to tell the story.
9. Remember the Golden Hour!
Try shooting during the golden hour. (This is the period shortly before sunset or right before sunrise when the colors in the sky are especially vibrant and softer). It’s a photographer’s favorite time of day! *whispers* "I shot this one with an iPhone 6. Proof that fancy equipment isn't necessary."
10. Step Outside of the Box
Don’t go for the obvious shot. Try to look at things from a different perspective. Forget all the rules and do things your way! Some of the greatest photos have come from someone who decided to try something new.
Hopefully with these tips you'll be well on your way to creating the travel pics of your dreams. And don't worry, these tips work whether you're shooting with your iPhone or a brand new DSLR!
P.S. If you like to take trips by yourself and still want dope photos, a tripod and a self-timer can go a long way! (Thank Me Later) *Wink*