Everybody loves traveling and discovering new places. The only difference is the extent of our travels – some go to exotic places far away from home whereas others prefer a quiet drive to a nice place that’s not too far away from home. No matter what type of traveler you are, I’m sure we all have one thing in common. We love taking travel photos. Now, it doesn’t really matter whether you use your iPhone camera or carry a dSLR with you. In this article I’ll give you three simple tips that will help you turn snapshots into beautiful photos that deserve to be printed.
1. Try to Capture Your Feelings and the Spirit of the Place
Go on, have a look at the photos from your last trip. You’ll see that most of them are snapshots of something insignificant and meaningless. I’m sure you’re staring at some thinking: “Why did I take this photo?”. Photos like this usually happen when you are frantically pressing the shutter release button just to capture the place and to tell your friends that you’ve been there. These photos have no emotion – they don’t express your feelings and neither do they capture the spirit of the place.
When you are taking a photo of something, don’t do it in a hurry. Look at the subject and try to understand what sort of emotions it triggers. Try to look at it from different angles and try to find just the right spot that allows you to see your subject in a unique way. Your subject doesn’t always have to be something spectacular. Often a simple rock on a beach makes a memorable photo.
2. Don’t Let Your Stuff Drag You Down
Fumbling for your camera, balancing your bag on your arm when trying to take a photo with your phone, carrying lots of heavy equipment… The list goes on, but I’m sure all this sounds familiar. Carrying too much stuff with you doesn’t help you take great photos. So try to cut it to the minimum or at least use a bag that doesn’t get in the way (a lightweight backpack usually does the trick). If you are a dSLR user, try to cut your equipment to this minimum:
- Your dSLR
- Your main lens + a wide-angle lens for landscape photography (if you use one)
- A polarizing filter
- A cloth to clean the lens
- A lightweight, yet sturdy tripod
- A backup battery
- An extra memory card
- A waterproof backpack to carry all that
Don’t bring stuff that you won’t use just because it’s already in your bag. Take it out and enjoy more freedom.
3. Look for Unique Places and Subjects
When you travel to popular locations, you need to keep in mind that thousands of others visit them too. For your photography, this means that the scene will often be crowded and that lots of people will take very similar photos. But the world is filled with places I call “hidden gems”. Don’t miss them on your travels and you’ll return with lots of beautiful and unique photos.