Life is busy and stressful, and it’s easy to get swept away in the day-to-day drudgery of things. You have work to think about, as well as chores and family responsibilities. This doesn’t leave much room for enrichment or improving yourself, or even any time to relax and take a load off your mind.
This is where traveling comes into things. Traveling is more than simply a way to get away and take a break, although it does help you do that and those things are vital. But traveling is important. It’s a way to enrich yourself and learn more about the world around you.
Those experiences and memories can stay with you forever, even when the trip itself is well and truly over. The best way to help these memories to stick around is to take excellent photographs of your adventures, capturing them in an album for you to look back on.
Here are some tips to improve your photography skills so that you can take even better pictures to capture your memories. You can also use these skills to help you earn money, especially if you work as a blogger or photographer.
10 Tips for Taking the Best Traveling Photos
Phone or Camera?
The first thing you need to decide on is whether you want to invest in a dedicated camera or simply use your phone camera to take your photos. There are pros and cons to both options.
A dedicated camera has more options and can be used to create some truly unique pictures. They’re also more powerful and, depending on the camera, you can use different lenses. This means that you can get crystal clear pictures. However, even beginner cameras are harder to use than your phone camera, and you have to carry the thing around with you.
Your phone is capable of taking fantastic pictures and it’s easy to use. At its simplest, you can just point and shoot. You still have the option of fiddling with the settings to create more unique and interesting pictures. It’s also portable. However, if you want to get serious with photography, a camera is your best bet.
Taking Simple Shots
One major mistake some people make when taking photos is that the shot is overly complicated and unfocused. Ideally, you should have one main point of interest. If you’re taking a picture of a person or an animal, then that’s easy.
Otherwise, you need to pick a focal point. If you’re taking a landscape photo, then pick a landmark and base the shot around that. This immediately produces more interesting and professional-looking pictures.
The Rule of Thirds
While it’s tempting to always put the focal point in the center of the shot, it’s usually better to follow the rule of thirds and place the important parts of the picture off-center instead.
Divide your shot into 9 equal squares, then position the subject (or subjects) along the lines, rather than in the squares. This puts them slightly off-center but still produces a balanced shot. It also adds more movement and makes everything look less like a mugshot.
Perspective Is Your Friend
When taking a picture, the scale can sometimes get lost. A huge castle looks far more impressive when someone is dwarfed by it. So, include a comparison in your shot. However, there are other ways to use perspective to make things more interesting.
Use leading lines, like roads, fences, streams, or anything else that creates a line in your photo and draws the eye. Use foreground and background objects to create a sense of perspective and depth. You can even alter the scale of some things, making a flower loom over a building.
Framing Your Shot
When taking a picture, find a natural frame for your composition so that it looks more interesting. This can be a doorway, trees, a natural hole in a wall, or something else. The frame acts as a foreground layer and forces the eye toward the subject and gets rid of any potentially distracting empty space. With this in mind, make sure that the camera focuses on your subject, not the frame itself.
While it’s easy to take every picture straight on, angles can create a far more interesting and dynamic picture. As you try to use perspective and framing, you will naturally take photos from different angles. Don’t be afraid to move around, get to your knees for a low angle, or stand on something for a high angle. Tilt the camera to create a sense of movement and have fun with it.
Unless you’re a professional model, posed photos rarely look better than candid shots. If you’re trying to preserve memories, then pictures of people in motion or expressing genuine emotion will be far more effective than pictures of them standing still, smiling awkwardly.
True, things might be slightly blurry or less than perfect, but the feeling of the moment comes across far better and the picture will be more interesting and natural to look at.
Lighting is an essential part of taking good pictures. Make sure that you have enough light to capture the details properly, and figure out how to use shadows and bright spots to enhance your pictures.
The perfect amount of light depends on the subject and what you’re trying to achieve. Thankfully, most cameras and phones let you adjust the lighting, so you can play around with it.
Take Plenty of Pictures
The best way to improve your photography is to practice. You can also take multiple photos of one subject, then sort through them and pick out the best one. Here are some more thoughts about dealing with duplicate photos.
The Next Step
Once you’ve taken all the photos and come back from your trip, it’s time to sort through them all and create an album of your memories. Select your favorite shots. These might range from the most beautiful pictures to the ones that just make you smile the most.
You can then edit the photos to enhance them further, or simply arrange them into an album that you can call on to remember or share your experiences.