Are You a Travel Photo Bore? If you have to think about it, you probably are
Whether you are planning on visiting the countryside of China, the remote locations of North America, or even the Amazon jungles, most of your friends are only going to experience your trip through the photos you bring home. Unless they’re travelling with you and then they’ve got exactly the same problem as you. Far too often are people forced to sit through image after image, often just seen through the screen of a phone, of boring landscapes and photos of food. You’ve been bored by your friends travel photos before, but are you doing exactly the same thing to them?
Taking good photos is more than just point and click. Those photographers who seem to manage to truly capture the essence of a place or experience don’t do it by accident. It takes work, practice and a lot of trial and error. If you want to get a little bit closer to the pros and bring your travel photography up a notch, read on as we’ve outlined 10 tips on how you can avoid being a travel photo bore:
1. Do Some Research On the Location
Preparation is a critical aspect when it comes to travel photography. So, spend some time online doing some research about the location you intend to visit and photograph. Find out what equipment you will need as well as the available restaurants and hotels.
If you’re visiting Australia, you know you’ll be taking a photo of the Harbour Bridge. As does everyone else. With a little bit of planning and research, you might be able to frame and time your shot and come up with something like the above, courtesy of The Canvas Factory. The framing and timing really make this a standout shot.
2. Be Prepared
To take good pictures, make sure your camera is always with you. Your camera should always be ready to capture shots. That includes fitting a high speed memory card that has lots of free space. Pack some extra batteries as well. Usually, it is the unplanned, unexpected and spontaneous moments that provide the best and most superb shots, the sort of shots you can print, frame and display with pride.
Sometimes the difference between getting a shot and nothing is milliseconds. Being practised with your equipment can mean the difference between a great action shot and nothing at all. Image used with permission from http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
3. Provide Your Viewers with A Different Perspective/Tell A Different Story
Almost everyone knows that cigar smoking is synonymous with Cuba while Thailand is the home of Monks. So, choose a different perspective and tell your viewers a new story. You can achieve this by providing a different view point of a place. Share a different story with your photos.
4. Lighting makes all the difference
Most locations tend to look superb early in the morning and also in predawn light. Midday light on the other hand must be avoided as it can cause unpleasant photos. Remember, you may need to compromise and wake up early on some days just to get that great shot.
The afternoon light in this shot takes a typical tourist shot to another level.
5. Think Before You Start Taking Pictures
This is an important tip that should never be ignored. Before you begin clicking away your camera, take some time and think about what you would like to communicate in your photos. What compels you to grab your camera and take shots? Once you have answered this question, emphasize on the particular feature that attracts you. You could move closer, higher, or lower. There are also instances where you may need to slow down or increase the shutter speed to get the desired effect.
6. Do not try to capture everything at once
Understand all places you visit during your journey. When you slow down, your photos will certainly get better.
7. Do not carry the camera at all times
Avoid spending the whole trip looking through your camera lens. Enjoy the scenery and have a good time as you travel.
8. Stay Away From Bright Sunlight
When photographing your subjects outdoors, avoid direct sunlight. Choose an open shade instead and make good use of the flash to brighten lighting conditions and fill shadows that may appear.
9. Engage Your Subjects
Know your subjects first before capturing them in photography. You can walk up to people and ask them if it is alright to take their photos. While at it, be friendly and consider their needs as well. Respect cultural matters and spend time with your subjects before taking their photos. You will be pleased to discover that most people are happy to have their images captured in photography.
10. Keep Traveling
The majority of renowned travel photographers work hard to keep their portfolio alive. So, keep travelling to different places and capture scenes and moments in photography. Even so, you do not necessarily need to visit exotic and far away locations. You can tour your local town as well.