Do you never separate from the camera during your trips but you can not get the investment out? You have reached the right article. Keep reading because today I’m going to tell you some tricks to improve your travel photography. Those little things that nobody explains and that are basic to return from your escapades with unforgettable memories. Or why not? to show off on Instagram 😉.
Who does not like to take pictures during their trips ?. I know a few people the truth. But even if we return with thousands of photographs on memory cards, the results can be frustrating. Here goes the first advice, you have to shoot less and do it with intention. Know in advance what result you want to achieve. Let’s see how.
Tips to improve your travel photography
Yes. It is the most basic. The natural light with which you photograph influences 100% in the final result. Especially, if what you like most is to capture landscapes or make very special portraits. And at what time of day do we have the best light ?. Here there is no doubt: the dawn and the sunset are the kings. Soft shades, strong and bright colors, and an ideal atmosphere to get the most out of your camera. From my point of view, the best time is the sunrise because we will be practically alone anywhere. To get up early has been said !. Yes, it also costs me 😉.
In addition to the golden hours, we have what is usually known as the blue hour. It is about that blue sky so dark and attractive that it appears just after sunset. You have to be very alive because this light lasts a short time and is perfect for making incredible photographs of cities illuminated with long exposures. Also of landscapes, of course.
We already know what are the best times of the day to shoot and we also know that we have limited time. So, what you have to do is look up the locations in advance. In this way, you will know where to go and you can take advantage of the golden and blue hours until the last second. Light is one of the important things for travel photography.
They say that you have a photographic eye or you do not have it. I am also of that opinion but I think that we also have to educate him. There are many rules to achieve correct framing, that the picture hooks us from the beginning and there is no leakage of attention. What comes to be a balanced composition. Let’s review the most important ones:
- Rule of the thirds. It consists of dividing the frame into equal three thirds as wide as it is long. The elements that we want to emphasize must be placed in one of the 4 points of intersection of the lines. When your eye has become accustomed it will come out without thinking. In addition, most cameras allow you to visualize these lines and intersections before shooting.
- Right and proportioned horizons. It may seem very obvious but a slightly tilted horizon is capable of ruining an image. In addition, you have to decide the proportion of the sky that will be included in the frame. A very high horizon will give greater relevance to everything that is below and vice versa. What is very important is not to place the horizon in the center of the composition. Remember the lines of the thirds because they will be very useful.
- Game of lines. This is one of my favorites. It consists of using the lines we obtain in the image to emphasize the point of interest, be it a person, a building or whatever. That is, we must guide the viewer’s gaze to where we want to go.
- Rule of the look. This is one of the simplest of all. However, I do not stop to see photographs that violate it and convert it, which could be a great picture, into an uncomfortable image. It is about respecting the direction where the subject is looking. If you do it to the right, we will have to place it to the left of the composition. Very simple and very effective. Otherwise, it will appear that something is missing in the image. What is the model seeing?
This is just a small summary. Therefore, I leave this article on photographic composition where you can see graphics and practical examples. It is very complete and will help you understand what can or can not be done. Still, I recommend that you be creative and that you turn around the rules. This will get more original and striking photos of archi photographed places. But to skip the rules first you have to know and master them.
This is already very personal advice and there will be many photographers who do not agree with me, but there it goes. You can buy the best equipment in the market, spend a million in a very large camera and topmost objectives. That is very good, but it is not everything, far from it. In fact, whenever I am asked about equipment for travel photography my answer is: less is more.
Less money, less size, less weight, less noise … That would be the summary. If you are a restless ass like me and you are all day moving in search of fascinating places, you will be grateful to carry less weight in your backpack. In addition, the fact of taking small cameras helps you to go unnoticed in many places and make fast and silent photographs that otherwise you could not get (the compact and mirrorless cameras do not make noise when shooting). What is called hunting the moment?
I have reflex, mirrorless, and compact cameras, and time has taught me to value comfort. And the camera does not make the photographer. Some of my best photographs are made with compact cameras or, even, with the mobile itself.
To show an example. Here I leave the mirrorless camera with which I am working late in case you want to take a look (besides the iPhone 8 plus that is great).
This is a tip that you will not find in almost any article about travel photography but, in my point of view, it is one of the most important factors. The best way to improve is to see many photos, thousands and thousands of photos. It may seem silly, but when you get used to consuming books, websites or Instagram accounts of good photographers, your photographic eye improves. You will recognize which are the best frames, what works or what does not and, above all, they will give you good ideas. In travel photography, everything is already invented. Do not be afraid to try, copy what you like and then give your personal touch.
A good edition is as important as shooting a good photo. You can give it the final touch to make your images go to another level or they can damage them completely. The color treatment is vital to find your style. That personal brand that differentiates you from others. And for this, the star programs of the edition are Photoshop and Lightroom. The latter is much easier for amateurs and quite intuitive. Does not it sound like the famous presets ?. However, I am more in favor of Photoshop.
All the tricks to improve the travel photography that you have read so far are focused on progressing self-taught way. Observe, practice, fail and learn. The classic essay/error. You will never learn or improve if you do not do it every day. However, and I say this from experience, there is nothing better than attending a classroom course to get a good foundation.
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