Photography is one of the most challenging skills to master but you can improve your travel photos by applying some easy steps.
Whether you are backpacking around the world, enjoying a weekend getaway or taking in a romantic luxury holiday, taking photos is a great way to document your travels and allows you to tell stories through your pictures.
Whether you are trying to photograph food, landscapes, or people – you will always be at the mercy of these elements. Taking great travel pictures is not always easy, and you have to work hard to capture the shot that you want.
1. Capture RAW images
If you want to edit photos precisely how you want them, then you have to change your camera settings so that the images that you capture are in RAW files.
JPEG, also known as your camera’s default setting, is already partially processed, giving you fewer data to work with once you work in a photo editing program.
On the other hand, a RAW file isn’t processed, providing you with the flexibility with working on your image as you see fit.
2. Know the focal points
Your image’s focal point will provide you with a clear and concise creative direction.
There are several rules that you can use when framing an image. The most common is the “Rule of Thirds” and the “Lay Line Approach.”
The Rule of Thirds means precisely what it says. Think about how you can split the view of the image into three equal parts. If you want to take a picture of the landscape of the beach, line it up with the sea, beach, and sky so that you can take a shot in equal amounts.
The Lay Line Approach, on the other hand, provides you with an opportunity to define a focal point clearly.
For instance, if there are lines of the roofs in buildings, concrete steps, or tree branches that would lead the eye directly to the subject, use it to steer the eyes of the viewer to the subject.
3. Improve your travel photos using the best light conditions
Light is one of the most essential elements in photography and definitely a great way to improve your travel photos. That’s because it can help you set the mood and tell a story.
It’s always best to research what is the best light when in a specific location. Will you need a natural light source or an artificial one? What direction will be the light coming from? How will the light affect your subject? All of this will influence what the final photo will look like.
Creating an angle is one of the best ways to create a unique photo.
While crouching low, or climbing a wall might seem a little crazy for some, you might end up walking away with a great angle no one else has shot!
5. Add the human element
Adding human elements to your photos adds greater emotion to the image because it’s as if the viewers are also there.
But how do you accomplish this? By placing the subject in a way that they become anonymous – by not showing their face.
It also provides you with a better sense of scale. When you place the subject on a distance, you’ll have a better idea of how vast the landscape is or how big the mountains are.
6. Invest in the right lenses
Travel opens up several themes for an avid photographer to explore. But your lenses can either hinder or help you.
If you have a limited budget to pick one lens, go for a quick zoom like an 18-200mm or a 28-300mm.
There are also times where you’ll find the focal point a bit for off the distance, and you might need telephoto lenses to start with. If you want to take captivating landscape photos, then wide-angle lenses are more ideal.
7. Leading lines
Leading lines are also known as the use of natural geography or any other feature that leads the viewer’s eyes to the subject.
Roads, for instance, could serve as excellent leading lines, especially in vast landscape shots.
8. Golden and blue hours
Waking up early in the morning or staying long enough just to capture the sunset over the horizon makes sure that you get the best light in your photos.
The golden hour is the time when the sun is low, throwing a captivating, magical glow across the scene. Meanwhile, the blue hour is when the sun is already below the horizon, giving the sky a gorgeous blue hue.
To improve your travel photos another way, when taking attractions, landscapes or city shots, shooting images during these hours can make a beautiful effect.
Just like anything, taking great pictures takes time and a lot of practice. The only way you can improve in your craft is by being out there, taking as many photos as you can, and knowing what you like and do not like about your output. Hopefully, you found our beginner’s guide for travel photography helpful. Good luck!