5 Photography Tips for You and Your Travel Partner
No trip is ever complete without some excellent photos, isn't it? Whether or not you're into photography, you certainly know how to snap some great shots while traveling.
However, there's always something new to learn in photography. There are so many ways you can capture various subjects, including buildings, landmarks, and your travel buddy. Do you know how to make the most of every photo opportunity?
Here are some of the essential photography tips that will help you and your travel partner create remarkable photos.
Always Bring a Tripod
If you carry only the essentials on your travels, packing a tripod may stand in the way of your convenience. Also, setting it up every time you want to take a photo may be overwhelming. We get that.
However, there's an abundance of small and lightweight tripods that wouldn't take much of your space. And they can make a huge difference in your travel photography.
Tripods were designed to keep a camera steady so that photos don't end up shaky and blurry. They can help you be in full control of the composition and angle too.
Also, without a tripod, you and your travel partner might have a lot of trouble taking a photo together. One of you would almost always need to be behind the camera. So, you can see why bringing a tripod is a must.
Of course, you can take great photos with your smartphone too. Smartphone cameras are quite sophisticated these days.
So, yes, you can take selfies together. But you literally can't compare selfies to photos taken with a tripod.
When you take a selfie, you can't capture much of what's behind you. So, it's not always a good idea when you want to snap a shot next to an imposing structure.
If you plan on shooting photos using a smartphone, you'll be happy to know there are smartphone tripods too. Sure, there are selfie sticks, but they don't prevent shaky shots. A tripod can be truly golden.
Have in mind that many indoor venues don't allow tripods (or selfie sticks), and they may even confiscate them. So, be sure to check before heading out to your daily adventures.
Master the Composition
The composition can make or break your photos. Taking a moment to find the right composition before snapping a shot will significantly improve your travel photography.
What does it mean to compose a photograph? It means arranging the elements in a way that will correctly represent your idea for a photo. It means choosing a focal point (a person or an object) and keeping the attention only on that primary focus.
For instance, if you want to capture a building, make sure there are no distractions that take focus away from it. Find a unique angle and focus on highlighting only that one structure.
Keeping the composition as clean as possible is the best way to compose fantastic photos.
Using foreground elements can also result in compelling photographs. Those can be flowers, rocks, grass, or anything else between you and your distant subject.
Apply the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds plays a considerable part when composing photos. It's one of the essential rules for impeccable photography.
Imagine drawing two horizontal and two vertical lines over the frame, so that you break it into thirds. It would look like it consists of nine parts.
Actually, you don't need to imagine. Every camera (including on smartphones) has a grid line option that you can enable. That way, you'll see the actual gridlines.
What's the deal with the grid lines?
They can help you apply the rule of thirds. According to the rule, you shouldn't position your subjects in the middle of the frame. They should either float along the grid lines or on the intersections.
For instance, if there's a horizon line, you should align it with the bottom horizontal intersection. Anything else that's vertical should float along the left or right vertical intersections.
That way, you'll have a well-balanced photo with nothing that may distract from the subject.
Use Depth of Field
Depth of field (DoF) in photography represents the distance between the objects that are nearest and farthest from the camera lens.
When you use a shallow depth of field, you can sharpen your subject, putting it in full focus. The rest of the image, that is, the background is then blurred.
When you use a deeper depth of field, your entire photo is in focus.
To get the hang of depth of field, play around with the Aperture mode in your camera settings. Smartphones also have it.
If you want to use a shallow depth of field, you need a wider aperture, which corresponds to lower f/numbers. Conversely, deeper depth of field requires a narrower aperture, that is, higher f/numbers.
It may sound confusing now, but you'll understand it as soon as you check the settings and snap a few photos.
Take Full Advantage of Natural Light
This may be a bit obvious, but lots of people actually forget about proper lighting while taking travel photos. There are simply too many things to see that quick shots seem to be the best way to go.
But if you know how to make the most of natural light, you would need only seconds to make an outstanding photo.
Make sure the sun is always behind the camera - unless you're making your travel buddy's portrait. You don't want them to look straight at the sun and squint. However, with a nice pair of sunglasses, they can look fabulous.
If you want to create well-exposed photos, keeping the sun at your back is almost always a good idea. Just make sure your shadow doesn't appear in the image.
The "golden hour" might be the best time of day for breathtaking photos. That's immediately after sunset and just before the sunrise. The sun is at its lowest, so the light is very soft and warm.
Use ISO for the Best Lighting
To maximize the light, you work with; you should learn more about ISO settings. ISO is your camera's sensitivity to light.
The more available light there is, the lower ISO you need so that there's no noise. The less light you have, the higher ISO you need, but there's more noise in the photo.
So, whenever you can, shoot photos using a lower ISO. Only when it's really dark should you increase the ISO.
A higher ISO also means a faster shutter speed, so it can be perfect for freezing a moving object. For instance, you can capture animals running, birds flying, fast cars, and other purposes in motion.
All of these photography tips may seem a bit basic, but they're crucial for high-quality and powerful travel photography. So, make sure both you and your travel partner practice them before your next trip.
Capturing all the candid moments and the beauties you encounter while traveling will certainly result in beautiful mementos. But remember actually to live in the moment too. Snap a few photos and then take your eyes off the camera to soak up every moment.
Author Bio: Isabella Foreman has been an avid blogger for 5 years, with particular interests in Photography - lifestyle activities like Travel, Weddings, etc. Today she is an expert on the subject and over the years she has consistently contributed articles to top photography and lifestyle publications. Presently, she is associated with Smart Photo Editors - a photo editing service company.