Tips For Taking Print-Worthy Photos On Your Travels
Written by Jaillan Yehia
The concepts of travel and photography are more intertwined than ever before. We travel therefore we photograph. Or is it more that we photograph and therefore we travel?
We all now see the world through our camera lenses to an almost frightening degree, especially our smartphones, and let’s face it we all bask in the glory of the likes we get on social media for the shots we take.
So when returning from a trip we now have a new problem. Gone are the days when we would wait for a handful of photos to come back from a printing service – we now have to wade through hundreds, often thousands of pictures when we get home and pick out the ones which deserve the limelight.
Seeing your holiday destination through a digital photographer’s considered gaze rather than a tourist’s passing glance can help us learn something a little deeper about the places we visit, and the resulting pictures give us an indispensable aide-mémoire for the amazing things we see on our travels that we otherwise may forget as the years pass.
But at the same time we run the risk that we take more photos but don’t end up looking at any of them later, apart from when we are scrolling through our phone’s photo library looking for something specific.
So here are a few tips for bringing better and even fewer photographs home from all types of holidays – from a day at the seaside in England to an exotic long haul holiday.
Keep these in mind to create shots that go beyond the obvious, and are worthy of sending off to print online, either as stills or canvases, to be hung on your wall with pride where we will always see them.
1. Use people
As mean as that may sound, hear me out. We often wait all day for people to get out of our pictures but we don’t always have to. There are techniques for visiting famous monuments that you can try: getting there early in the morning, or after the tourists have gone home for the day. But it’s not always possible so don’t be afraid to use people in your shot; they add life, scale and context to your holiday images and can make a picture of a familiar landmark far more unique.
Lesson 2. Rule of thirds
This rule of thumb is a great one for creating interesting images. You want to make sure that the ‘action’ is taking place in one of the thirds of your photograph, when divided either horizontally or vertically. This gives you drama in your image rather than having the horizon or your subject directly in the middle of the picture which comes across as obvious and feels static.
Lesson 3. Isolate interesting details
Think about what you leave out of the shot as much as what you put in it. We want an overall picture of monuments and landscapes but the things that really make a story great are the small details, so take time to notice them and get some interesting shots.
Lesson 4. Remember your lines
The eye is naturally drawn along visual lines, use these lines, whether actual or merely suggested, to draw your viewer to what you want them to see.
Lesson 5. Look for shadows, shapes and reflections
They are everywhere, in lakes, puddles, sunglasses, windows and buildings – and they can be used to bring another dimension to your pictures.
Lesson 6. Photograph other photographers
If you are shooting in a highly populated tourist area, try turning the camera around and capturing your fellow tourists as they take photos – there are beautiful moments going on that are normally missed because we are all focussed on the same subject. In today’s smartphone obsessed world it’s easy to get a great picture of someone else taking a photo.
Lesson 7. Perspective
When photographing a well-known building or monument or a familiar scene don’t feel that you have to get the whole thing in the frame, an image at a different angle can work better.
Lesson 8. Think Before You Snap
Remember when we used film cameras and every click of the button had to count? We worked harder to get the exact picture we wanted rather than taking hundreds just in case. Try giving yourself a limit to the number of pictures you’ll take on a holiday or a day and think about what you want the picture to ‘say’. Seek out a scene which encapsulates the spirit of the trip at a glance.
Trackback from your site.