Is there anything better than coming home from your trip and showing the pictures from your adventure to family and friends?
And do you know the feeling of pulling the pictures up on the screen, only to discover that they don’t come close to conveying an iota of the adventure, you just had on your trip?
I do, so I decided to learn!
I am not yet the world champion in photography, but I am well on my way to learning the trade. I’ve started figuring out how my camera works, so I can take amazing travel pictures next time we go on a trip.
So, what’s so important when you stand in the amazing adventure and want to memorialise your experience visually?
There are a whole lot of things that come into play when you want to take amazing travel photos. Motive, light, composition, engagement, creativity, planning and a fair amount of luck and chance.
Here, I have picked 10 of the most important tips that make sense for me when I take pictures, so I figured you might be able to use them as well?
Here they are:
10 Tips for Amazing Travel Photos
- Get to know your camera! I used to have a DSLR camera, but I must admit that I rarely used it, and I was often a little disappointed in my pictures. I used all the standard settings, and the pictures were often fuzzy, shaky, and a little dim altogether. I’ve learned my lesson, and all my misguided shots in “manual mode” give me one kick after the next, because I have found out that even I can take amazing photos because I’m taking my time getting to know my camera.
- The golden hour. I can’t count the times I have stood across from the most fantastic nature and shot the most dreary pictures! Well, I might as well say it like it is. But I simply wasn’t focused on the light! A lot of my pictures were expressionless, dim, and overexposed because I took them when the sun was high in the sky.Especially when travelling in the south, and especially when I was near the Equator. The images need depth, shadows, and the soft warm light you get the hour after sunup and before sunset. Get up early, feel the life and the atmosphere, and take the most beautiful pictures – or wait until the sun reaches the horizon at sunset.
- Foreground, middle, and background. Have you tried taking a picture at a beautiful beach or another fascinating horizon? And have you experienced how regardless how beautiful it was, the picture gave you nothing but empty lines with faded color? Perhaps this is because the picture needs a focal point! It’s interesting looking at nature shots, if there is some perspective in form of either foreground, middle, and background. It could even be something as simple as a rock for the eye to focus on, and which gives the picture depth, perspective, and atmosphere.
- Rule of thirds. This is a principle I have really used a lot. It is a matter of setting up the composition of your picture on the basis of dividing the image into 3 horizontal lines and 3 vertical lines, creating a total of 9 equal parts. The idea of the principle is to set up the composition of your picture in a way that is balanced, and it often is when using these line points as a guide.Try to place your elements in the pictures, so they are seen where the lines intersect. Or have the elements follow the lines. For instance, you might want to place eyes according to the rule of thirds.
- Move around. Even if there is zoom on the camera, it makes sense to use your body to move around the motive you are photographing.Take the pictures from different angles and try out various compositions. You may be surprised to discover how things look from vantage points you normally don’t use.
- Focus on the eye. Yep. Simple tip, but pictures of humans and animals are just so much more expressive when you can see the eyes clearly and easily. Which means that you don’t focus on the paws, ears or nose – but the eyes!
- Take your time. That’s not always possible, I know. Vi have our own 7-year-old boy with ants in his pants and very little patience. But time is what helps you notice details you otherwise wouldn’t see, and even more importantly – gives you the opportunity to be there when the exact right moment appears.
- Shoot in RAW. It may be that the image files will take up a whole lot of room on your memory card, but that is the format that gives you the most to work with when you want to edit the images later. I have personally discovered the difference recently, and I don’t think I’ll go back to compromising that option again.
- Find the big in the small. Short and sweet. Some things look boring when they are seen next to something else. But when they are enlarged and you get very close, they develop a new sense of adventure.
- Go for it – and fail all over the place. There is no point in being stingy with pictures. Once in a while, it’s the picture you shot the wrong way that puts its best foot forward. Forget all about making everything perfect from jump, fail and fail over and over. Learn from your mistakes. Correct and adjust – experiment. If you do, I’m sure you’ll take both adventure-filled and amazing travel photos.