6 Tips to Improve Your Travel Photography
Photographs, now more than ever, are how we share our travel experiences with friends and family. Simultaneously, they act as a window into a location’s energy and pulse, as well as our memory’s backbone upon returning home.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled 6 tips that will make sure your memories stand out (and maybe even earn you some bragging rights back home).
1.) TELL A STORY
Your trip starts the moment you leave the house. Capturing transitional moments add to the sense of journey. If you have a window seat and a clear day, try capturing a rare aerial shot of your destination or photographing the street scene as you travel from the airport to your hotel.
Pro Tip: To add visual interest, try using the window as a frame rather than putting the lens right up to the glass. [Also, some of the greatest sunsets happen at 30,000 feet. Try to capture one!]
A view of New Zealand
2.) RISE EARLY
Sunrise and sunset provide the best lighting for photography. Morning; however, gives you the rare opportunity for photos before a city or popular tourist destination really wakes up.
At Classic Journeys, we know this is especially true at Stonehenge where it’s difficult to take a photo without others stepping in front of you. In our case, we take a private tour at sunrise. With no crowds or ropes to hold us back we get to feel the sun stream across our faces at the same moment it starts to warm the night-cooled sandstone. It is a simple, awesome, hold-your-breath moment—and one that absolutely must be captured.
Pro Tip: Position yourself so you see the sun directly between two pillars for the perfect sun-flare effect.
Sunrise at Stonehenge
Morning street scene in Havana
3.) CAPTURE SCALE
Native American’s called Zion “Straight Up Land.” And when you explore the Narrows on our Bryce, Grand Canyon & Zion tour, you will come to see what they mean. The walls on either side are over a thousand feet tall.
To fully capture their towering height, you will want to photograph a subject from a low angle—kneeling or squatting down and tilting your iPhone or lens back to take in as much of the surrounding walls as possible. The goal is to show how small your subject is in comparison to their surroundings.
Pro Tip: Slot canyons provide an excellent opportunity to play with light. Find an area with sunbeams to make your subject pop!
The Narrows, Zion National Park
Gljfrabui waterfall in Iceland
4.) GET A NEW PERSPECTIVE
Perspective adds visual interest to your photos immediately. Since we see everything at eye level, photos taken straight ahead while standing are less compelling. If your hotel room has a balcony or you cross a bridge, take a moment to look down at the action below.
Pro Tip: Try capturing a place from three unique angles, starting farther out and getting closer.
Detail shots add context and curiosity to a destination. Snap photos of the colorful tiles in India or get a close up of spices in Morocco.
Pro Tip: Use a simple backdrop when photographing details. The idea is to highlight your subject rather than it’s surroundings.
Clothes hanging in Venice
Hands in India
Hanging birds in Vietnam
6.) NIGHT MAGIC
There’s a sort of magic in photos taken at night. The same scene captured during the day undergoes a remarkable transformation when the sun is down. Night markets are a great opportunity for photography when you are traveling to places like Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia.
Pro Tip: To get the shot without blur or grain, you will need to find the best lit area possible. Try to keep the camera steady by leaning against something to give you a sturdy base. If your photos still have a little too much grain, you can simply turn the photo black and white using the edit function on your smartphone.
Night market in Vietnam