Nowadays, everyone take travel pictures to bring back memories of an extraordinary moment that you want to remember forever. But sometimes, we look at our photos and we find ourselves disappointed in front of photos that don’t represent reality. I know it because I have feel it so many times. So I learned, read a lot, watch tutorials, listened to podcasts to improve my photography skills. Today, I want to share with you the 6 tips to take amazing travel pictures that work the best for me.
6 Tips to take amazing Travel Pictures
Think about your photo in advance
If you want to avoid the traditional photo with loads of tourists around you, the sun shining directly on your face and half of your body cut, you will have to think ahead. Personally, I usually pick the places I want to take pictures on Instagram or Pinterest . This allows me to arrive at the spot with a precise idea of what I want.
Here is a small list of questions to ask yourself:
- At what time of day I want to take the picture ?
When the sun is high in the sky in the middle of the day, it is harder to take a nice picture because of the brightness and the presence of many other people. If you want a photo of you alone in front of a waterfall, a rice field in Bali, in front of a castle or on a stunning beach, it will be necessary to shoot the morning and / or during the week.
- How should I prepare myself
Of course, I do not want to talk here about the perfect long dress for the perfect Instagram feed. I just want to say that it would be a shame to go to a place that makes you dream and not be able to use any photos because you do not like your hair or outfit that day. Similarly, wearing a jogging on the beach or a party dress at the top of a mountain, is weird. Think about the colors too: a pop-colored dress will make you stand out from a photo (yes I say that, even if I’m dressed 90% of the time in black).
- How to take the picture
Ok, you have found your photo spot and you are ready to go shoot. Try to think for a few minutes before taking your picture. Try to find the right angle and think about what you want to put forward: is it the whole landscape, an element of the landscape, an animal, you …?
Material and Settings
So, no, you do not need the latest camera at over $ 5,000 to take beautiful travel photos . Moreover, your smartphone can very well do the job at first. I say first because you will quickly want to move to something more powerful to take your travel picture.
With a smartphone, do not forget to check your settings to get the best possible quality and always think about adjusting the brightness and focus.
With a camera, I let you read my article on how to get out of automatic mode in a super simple way.
Whether it’s a smartphone or a camera, I can only advise you to buy a tripod. This allows you to do your travel pictures alone and always look after your composition.
The Golden and Blue hours
The lighting is one of the most important part of photography and it can make your photo looks exceptional … or exceptionally shit. Hence the importance of the famous Golden and Blue hours.
Blue hour : in the morning, before the sun rises, the light produced is blue. It’s the same in the evening, just after the sun has set.
Golden hour : when the sun comes up and goes down, the light produced is orange because the sun is striking at an angle.
This period around the sunrise and sunset is a special moment for photography because the light is diffused and offers a magical atmosphere.
Below, you can see an example of a picture taken during the day under a strong sun and a picture taken at sunset. The first is totally unusable, while the second has a perfect diffuse light.
Composition and rule of thirds
Before taking your picture, think about the result you expect and the basic rule of composition. For example, if the main object of your photo is yourself, do not put yourself in a corner of the photo or cut your feet / arms. Even if it sounds stupid, I promise you it’s important to keep that in a corner of your head.
To help you, keep in mind the rule of thirds. Whether you take the photo from your smartphone or a camera, always display the grid that cuts the image in three. Then you just have to put your main subject on one of the intersections.
Obviously, this is not a universal rule that must absolutely be followed but I swear that it will help you at the beginning.
Play with the depths of fields
Here is a term a bit complicated to refer to something actually quite simple. I’m talking about the blur that you want to put on your photo or not. Let’s take two examples:
In this photo, the goal was to put the person forward by blurring the rest.
In this other photo, the goal was to get a perfectly sharp picture of the whole landscape.
You can see that the result is totally different.
From a smartphone, portrait mode can help you achieve this effect, but it’s pretty limited. On your camera, it will be necessary to leave the automatic mode of course. It’s the Aperture priority mode which will allow you to obtain this effect: Av or A according to the brand of your camera.
- For a blurred effect, it will require a large aperture such as f/1.8 or f/2.8
- For a sharp effect, it will take a small aperture such as f/16 or f/32
We’re going to assume that you already know that every photo you see has been processed in post-production. If some people think that it’s cheating, for me, this is a way to give my style and vision to a photo before sharing it.
If you want to progress in photography, I can only advise you to download Lightroom . It is the most powerful software on the market with infinite possibilities. But, some free mobile apps can absolutely make the job. I ‘ve listed my favorites in this article .
My number 1 tip will be to shoot in RAW instead of JPEG. The RAW file contains all the raw data of your photography and that will give you a lot more freedom when you edit yout photo. Simply enter your camera’s settings to switch from JPEG to RAW.
My number 2 tip is to take your picture with low exposure . Even if your photo looks far too dark on your camera screen, you can bring out all the details in post-production. If your photo is much too bright (subject too white or light too strong), you will be extremely limited thereafter.
Of course, photography is an art and there is no guide to becoming a perfect photographer. The best is to practice to the maximum, to leave home and to try to take the maximum of photos to improve.