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Recommendations on Tips on how to Take Higher Journey Photographs

Recommendations on Tips on how to Take Higher Journey Photographs

I use Pixels for my travel photos

Ideas from an newbie journey photographer on the best way to take higher journey photographs.

I’m solely an newbie photographer, however over the previous 5 years as I’ve traveled the world as a digital nomad, I’ve obtained quite a lot of good compliments about my photograph’s, each on social media and in our publication. I’ve even had some requests for recommendation on the best way to take higher journey photographs.

So I figured it was time to share a few of what I’ve realized about journey pictures.

Associated learn: Road Images Gear (Together with Greatest Road Images Digicam)

Personally, I’m an enormous of fan of Pixels for the standard of their cameras.

Tips on how to take higher journey photographs

Don’t fear: this isn’t a super-geeky information about fancy cameras or the best way to use apertures or f-stops. As a result of, frankly, I don’t know what an f-stop is, and I take pics with a Pixel 4a.

Which brings me to our first matter.

Digicam vs Telephone

The extra severe I grew about my journey pictures, the extra I agonized over whether or not I must be utilizing a correct digital camera somewhat than my Pixel telephone. I did an excessive amount of analysis and got here away with these conclusions:

Digicam telephones have made large strides through the years when it comes to high quality. Frankly, what most digital camera telephones can do at present is extraordinary.

However! They’ll’t do every little thing. Even at present, zooming with a telephone digital camera doesn’t produce the very best quality. So should you’re hoping to be an expert photographer or take completely professional-looking footage, you’ll in all probability wish to spend money on a correct digital digital camera.

However! These telephones might be very costly. And complex to make use of. On high of that, you’ll virtually definitely find yourself needing completely different lenses, tripods, and different gear. This could all be a bit overwhelming.

What’s the take-away? Get a digital camera if you’d like, however there’s completely no disgrace in merely utilizing your telephone both. The best way I see it, one of the best digital camera is the one you’ve got with you if you actually wish to take an image. And your telephone might be at all times going to be with you. Simply sayin’.

I would get a correct digital camera considered one of as of late. However I’m not planning on it any time quickly.


The “composition” of a photograph is the best way during which you organize and body the objects within the photograph.

Severe photographers say one of the essential facets of composition entails one thing referred to as “the rule of the thirds.” That’s if you divide your image into 9 equal sectors utilizing two horizontal strains and two vertical strains. These imaginary strains may help you body your objects.

You may also consider the outdated Brady Bunch opening credit, besides with out the Bradys.

How to take better travel photos using composition
Me, left, The Bradys, proper.

You would possibly assume that placing the central object within the middle of the photograph is finest, proper the place Alice is. And it may be! However that can be a bit static or boring.

So take into account placing your object within the left or proper column, particularly aligning it on the intersection of the imaginary strains — proper between Jan and Alice, and even Carol and Greg.

By placing your topic at one of many intersection factors, you permit room for the viewer’s eyes to maneuver across the picture and discover the image, somewhat than merely trying on the topic and shifting on.

Additionally essential to composition are “main strains” and “symmetry.” Keep in mind after I stated you shouldn’t middle the objects in your photograph?

Typically it is best to, particularly should you can make the most of some component that focuses the photograph. Main strains, just like the stone path and partitions within the photograph on the left, under, draw the attention to a selected level. In the meantime, symmetry is when completely different components in a photograph match or mirror one another.

How to take better travel photos using symmetry
Main strains and symmetry!

In relation to composition, all these components can come into play directly: the Brady Bunch rule, symmetry, and main strains.

Greater than something, although, your photograph is dictated by what you’re taking an image of. What would make the photograph as attention-grabbing as attainable?

As an illustration, an image of the Acropolis surrounded by the “symmetry” of some timber is likely to be fairly cool. However what about if there’s an outdated Greek man standing in entrance of it? He turns into a “main line” on to the Acropolis, however he’s additionally positioned off to at least one aspect, between Cindy and Mike Brady, to make the composition extra attention-grabbing.

A travel photo of a man standing and looking at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
After taking dozens of photographs of the Acropolis, I noticed this older man and knew an image of him trying on the Acropolis was THE image.

Additionally, at all times take into account the angle you shoot issues from. My knees HATE me for it, however I’m continually crouching down so I can shoot up at one thing. Heck, I’ll typically lie flat on my again with the intention to get the image I need.

That is normally the purpose the place my husband Brent pretends he doesn’t know me.

And getting all the way down to your topic’s degree can actually assist seize a greater sense of who or what they’re, whether or not they be youngsters, canines, or flowers.

Sitting in shorts in scorpion-infested Texas scrub in order to take this picture…may not have been my most brilliant idea.
Sitting in shorts in scorpion-infested Texas scrub with the intention to take this image…could not have been my most good concept.

Lighting/The Golden Hour

In relation to lighting, right here’s a rule that’s fairly agency: the sunshine is normally finest at dawn or sundown. Mid-day means the solar will probably be straight overhead, and that gentle might be harsh. It might probably make objects look flat and fewer engaging.

The time shortly earlier than and after dawn and sundown is known as “the golden hour,” as a result of it’s, effectively, golden. The sunshine is softer because it has to journey by means of extra ambiance. That causes it to be extra diffuse and hotter with a lot of reds and golds. Golden hour gentle can be kinder to pores and skin tones, and it creates quite a lot of attention-grabbing shadows.

Alas, the golden hour isn’t a complete hour lengthy. All of it depends upon the time of yr due to planetary orbits and ellipses and different scientific-y issues that make my head damage.

Typically, I’ll rise up earlier than daybreak to get these ten treasured minutes of excellent lighting. That is one other time when Brent would possibly fake to not know me, besides he’s normally again in our condo, sleeping.

Then once more, if nice photographs had been straightforward, everybody would take them.

Take photos during golden hour for the best light
This lighting is extra treasured than precise gold…

One more reason I go for the morning golden hour for images? As a result of even at in style vacationer points of interest, I typically have locations virtually fully to myself. I get higher footage and I get a greater expertise with out having to battle the crowds.

So right here’s one other essential newbie photographers’ tip: when you’ve taken your photographs, put aside time to easily savor the expertise.

My favourite morning golden hour moments up to now?

  • The highest of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the place, after taking my photographs, I simply stood and took in that superior view of Rome.
  • On the Charles Bridge in Prague the place I froze my butt off to seize the mist rising off the river.

One different word concerning the golden hour, both at dawn or sundown: clouds might be both your finest good friend or your worst enemy.

Clouds sitting proper on the horizon can block the rising or setting solar, ruining every little thing. Or if they’re the appropriate peak they will catch the rays, turning spectacular reds and golds and even purple should you’re fortunate, all whereas reflecting the sunshine again to the bottom and doubling their affect.

The light of the setting sun reflecting off of the bottom of clouds in Split, Croatia
The sunshine of the setting solar reflecting off of the underside of clouds in Break up, Croatia.

Folks matter

Landscapes are lovely, however you already know what are at all times my hottest photographs on social media?

Photos of me and my husband.

Which is sensible. Folks actually are attention-grabbing — and Brent a minimum of could be very good-looking. And should you’re an newbie journey photographer, you’re in all probability most curious about taking footage of you and your mates anyway.

That stated, the period of selfies is kinda over. So take into account all of the above strategies when taking footage of individuals too.

Travel photos with people
The writer on the left, his husband on the appropriate.

Oh, and right here’s a tip on the best way to get essentially the most pure smile out of your topic: inform them not to consider intercourse. That nearly at all times will get amusing.

Do I Should Edit? Plus, What’s JPEG vs RAW?

You don’t wish to must “edit” your pics, proper? I didn’t both. I admit at first I used to be a bit frightened of the expertise.

However don’t be. If I used to be capable of grasp what I’m about to inform you, you’ll be able to too.

If you go into the superior settings of your telephone’s digital camera, there’s a place the place you’ll be able to select whether or not you need your digital camera to avoid wasting your pics as both JPEG or RAW recordsdata.

These are settings that decide how a lot info the file created by the digital camera’s picture sensor retains of every photograph.

If you happen to select JPEG, your digital camera will routinely do some very primary processing and permit you to do some additional primary enhancing to make your photographs look a bit nicer.

Simply not that a lot nicer.

See Also

However if you shoot in RAW, you need to use enhancing software program to take all of that further info captured by your digital camera to edit your photograph.

I’m certain greater than as soon as, you’ve taken an image, checked out it, and thought, “Huh, that isn’t actually pretty much as good as I believed it regarded.”

Which is since you’re virtually definitely taking pictures in JPEG.

Check out these two photographs.

Tips for editing your travel photos
About thirty seconds value of enhancing helped give this image much more life.

The highest pic is type of blah and doesn’t actually pop. In the meantime, the colour and readability of the second photograph is means higher. The picture is far crisper.

That’s as a result of if in case you have the RAW file — which I did — then you need to use enhancing software program to regulate the publicity, distinction, coloration saturation, and fairly a number of different issues.

And, no, you aren’t “dishonest.” All you’re doing is what skilled photographers have at all times achieved. (However you are able to do it badly, making photographs look over-saturated or over-contrasted. A part of what makes a photograph “good” is that it captures actuality. That ought to at all times be the aim.)

You are able to do some enhancing in your telephone, or in Google Photograph. There are additionally free enhancing apps like Snapseed. Personally, I take advantage of Adobe Lightroom, which prices me $10 USD a month, as a result of I like the extra choices, and since it’s really easy to make use of and comes with nice tutorials.

However truthfully, even slightly enhancing could make a world of distinction.

Amount can imply extra high quality

Questioning the best way to take higher journey photographs? Take a lot of them. The extra you’re taking, the extra you’ll have to select from. And the higher a photographer you’ll turn into.

Guess what number of footage I presently have in my Adobe Lightroom folder proper now?


And that is solely the variety of edited photographs. The overall variety of pics I’ve taken is…effectively, I don’t wish to say, as a result of Brent will learn this text in some unspecified time in the future, and I wish to keep believable deniability.

You completely don’t must take this many photographs. I’m type of a nut.

However as with all talent, the extra you apply, the higher you’ll turn into.

Extra suggestions for taking higher journey photographs

Listed here are a number of extra issues I’ve realized on the best way to take higher journey photographs:

  • Transfer round as you’re taking your photographs. Greater than as soon as, I’ve thought I’d taken all one of the best photographs — or thought the topic was too boring to make a great image — solely to maneuver up or down, or sideways, to find a brisker angle.
  • Analysis a location forward of time. I admit that I’ll go to Instagram and get your hands on pics of various areas I is likely to be curious about. Or I’ll Google “finest place to take footage in Amsterdam.” There’s nothing mistaken with benefiting from the work of others. Even should you go to the identical spot to take a photograph, all kinds of issues will probably be completely different: the sunshine, the climate, and so forth. It’s straightforward to discover a solution to make the photograph your individual.
  • Simply stroll. When Brent and I arrive in a brand new location, we try the “well-known” spots pretty shortly. However then we discover. And that’s normally the place I get the good things.
  • Even should you don’t do a lot (or any) enhancing, a minimum of take into account cropping your footage. Cropping helps you to repair some errors, transfer your topic to a kind of intersection factors, and produce components out in your photograph that you simply won’t have even identified had been there.
  • Develop your “photographer’s eyes” and at all times hold them open. Actually, I believe pictures has helped me take a look at my environment far more carefully. And now I at all times discover sudden alternatives for excellent photographs all over the place.
  • Take the shot when you’ve got it! Greater than as soon as, I’ve been out strolling about, seen one thing I wished to take an image of and thought, “Oh, I’ll get that later.” Besides after I return, the sunshine is mistaken. Or I can’t keep in mind the place I used to be within the first place. (This occurs extra if you rise up earlier than daybreak quite a bit!)

A very powerful tip of all

Take the photographs you need for the explanations you need.

You’re in all probability not studying this text to turn into an expert photographer. As amateurs, we take journey photographs as a result of we take pleasure in it, and to seize our reminiscences of the locations we’ve visited and the folks we all know.

Certain, you’ll in all probability share your photographs on social media, however nobody will respect them the best way you do. They’re your reminiscences, in any case.

Keep in mind that. Do that for you.

As for remainder of my recommendation, use no matter sounds helpful and ignore the remainder.

Michael Jensen is an writer, editor, and one half of Brent and Michael Are Going Locations, a few touring homosexual digital nomads. Subscribe to their free journey publication right here.

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