Just about everyone takes photographs while they are traveling, not just photo enthusiasts. We’ve put down a few travel photography tips you can use as a checklist or reference, if you want to get better at recording your travel memories.
1. Composition – Composition is one of the most important aspects of any kind of photography. When shooting travel images, you may want to differentiate clearly between portraits and landscapes. People often make the mistake of posing in front of huge buildings and wanting to capture it all – usually this doesn’t result in a good image, with the person looking like a little dot in front of a vast building or landscape!
2. The Rule of Thirds – This is one of the most important rules of composition. Imagine splitting up your viewfinder into squares – three across and three vertical – making nine squares. Now, psychologically speaking the human eye tends to focus on the intersecting points away from the center – this is approximately where your subject should be placed.
3. Outdoor Lighting – Do try and do most of your outdoor photography either in the early morning or late afternoon. This is a time when the sun is not too high up in the sky, and gives out pleasing shadows and a nice warm-tone light. On the contrary, the shadows are unpleasant at noon, when the sun is right above.
4. Cropping Out People – If you are not shooting a full length image of a person, try and not cut them out at the elbow or knee joints. This gives an awkward and unappealing feel to the photographs.
5. Us the Flash Sparingly – The light from a flash kills out all ambient feel. If you are looking to capture the nice soft evening light, using a flash would kill all of that on your subject. Only use flash when the ambient light simply isn’t enough to make an exposure.
6. Shoot to Make Memories – Seemingly mundane subjects such as plates of food at a restaurant, the insides of a taxi or the curtains in a hotel room can all make good memories for you later. After all that is what personal travel photography is about, isn’t it?
7. Use Camera Support – People usually don’t like carrying a tripod on vacation. So, if you are shooting in low light with a slow shutter speed, try and use edges of walls and tables to support the hand that in turn supports the camera. That’s the best you can do given the situation.
8. Symmetry – When shooting landscapes or large buildings, look out for ponds and lakes that could give you a reflection of the main subject. The artificial pond in front of the Taj Mahal in India is a classic example of how water bodies can be used to add a touch of symmetry to your photographs.
9. Use Caution when Shooting Strangers – There really is no rule of thumb here – some people enjoy being photographed while others do not! It may be a good idea to stand afar and shoot with a good zoom lens, than to barge right in front of someone’s face and start shooting. At the end of the day, people skills really do matter the most in this case.
10. Look for Perspective – Be it the edge of a building or a bridge, or a street scene photographed looking down the road- try and have an interesting subject towards where the lines of perspective seem to be heading.