Photo credit: CanvasPrintersOnline
Memories of your travels will last for a lifetime, but photos are easier to share with family and friends. However, taking these great photos requires some preparations.
Having the right equipment is essential-taking some extra batteries could save a lot of frustrations in the wild. A few early starts may be critical if you are to snap the very best photos. Here are 10 tips on how to get the best travel photos.
1.Choose a photo-friendly destination
We’re not suggesting that you plan your whole trip around taking photos, just that some places are more photogenic than others and factoring that into your decision-making process can be a good idea. It is therefore important that you browse through the internet for pictures of your intended destination. Google images can provide with amazing photos of your destination.
Once you get to your destination, ask locals for favourite photo spots. They will be in a position to show you amazing spots you could never have located on your own.
2. Be prepared
Learn about your camera and how to use it BEFORE you set off on your journey. Ensure you carry the camera with you at all times, and have it as ready as you can without impeding your enjoyment. You never know when that once in a lifetime photo opportunity will appear, but you also don’t want to miss out on the fun just because you’re waiting for that shot. Do not forget to carry some extra batteries and a memory card with plenty of free space. Also be aware of what you will be planning to shoot, for instance, if you’re going snowboarding you’ll have different equipment requirements compared to a tour of New York. Also, know what you want out of the photos. If you’re planning on blowing one up and printing it to hang on a wall, the photo quality will need to be much higher than if you are just going to share them on Facebook.
3. Time it light
Light levels vary greatly depending on the weather and the time of day, and this will have an impact on how and what you capture. Light can make or break an image. Be wary of midday light as it can cause unpleasant, contrasting images. The late afternoon during twilight is often the best time to take travel pictures.
4. Take your time
Give yourself plenty of time to find a perfect position for taking photos. You might have to climb a hill or walk around a famous tourist attraction site to find a perfect vantage point.
5. Add some sense of local flavour
Including residents of a foreign country in your photos can be a great way of adding local flavour. Ensure you first talk with the person you want to have a photo with. You may have to pay people to take photos with them.
6. Have a backup plan
Sometimes the unexpected happens-your gear may get stolen, lost or damaged, therefore ensure you have a perfect cloud platform for storing your photos. Alternatively, having an extra hard disk kept in a separate, safe place may be a good option.
Ensure you have an extra memory card, batteries and if possible, an extra camera.
7. Think clearly before engaging your camera
Ask yourself why you want to take the picture. What aspects do you want to communicate? After answering such questions, think about how you can maximally emphasize on the features you are interested in. You may need to change your current position, get higher, closer or lower.
The more you practice, the better you become. However, never get disappointed when you make a mistake and your photo doesn’t come out as you may want. When shooting, you may not have the time to check whether your composition is perfect and some of your shots may end up out of focus. Never panic as most modern cameras come with post-production features that help straighten images.
Also, bear in mind this wonderful little message about art and your progression within it:
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years, you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
9. Pay attention to all details
Nothing tells your story more than the fine details. Take a great shot but take details of lines, texture and the unique qualities of the place.
10. Have fun and be playful
Do the project for yourself and have fun and be playful in the process. This may involve taking photos of every step along the way, taking photos of the entrance of each hotel and taking photos of yourself and your friends in the hotel mirror.
**Post contributed by Sam Chalmers, a travel photography wiz and global nomad**