You don’t need to be a pro or to have the latest camera to take better photos. Here are a few tips that will help you to create unique, captivating images with a wow factor, no matter which camera or smartphone you use.
How YOU can take better travel pictures
1. Look for different anglesStanding at the foot of … (fill in whatever place you are visiting at the moment) you suddenly realize everyone around you is holding cameras and smartphones, taking exact same pictures… Sounds familiar?
Do you want your pictures to be different? It’s easier than you think!
Use your legs. Sit down, kneel down, even lie down if necessery. Or try to climb somewhat higher. Get closer to your subject or move further away. Go left, go right, go behind… You get the picture. Litteraly – you get a better, unique picture.
To get this picture of Mont Saint-Michel I walked in the wet sand of the bay at low tide, looked for some standing water for reflections, got my tripod and my shoes muddy,… while all other people just took pictures standing on the road and looked at me as if I was nuts…
2. Include people or objectsLook around for something or someone you can include in your picture to give it a different feeling or perspective. Think of people (locals, kids, really old people – don’t forget to ask for permission), animals, flowers, tree branches, road signs… For more personal perspective, try including your arms or legs, mabe a bicycle handlebar, etc.
3. Avoid the center
Or the famous rule of thirds you may have heard of. Bring your picture to life by simply moving your subject away from the middle. Divide your picture in 3 imaginatory lines and 3 columns and place the subject (in this case the eye of a sleeping koala) on the intersection of these lines. Shooting landscapes? Put your horizon at either top or bottom third of the photo. Try to also place your subject in such a way that they are ‘looking’ towards your picture and not away from it, and you have a picture that tells a better story.
4. It’s all in the detailsGet close, real close to a subject. Look for interesting details. Very often, details will tell a stronger story than the whole.
5. Look for colorsWhen traveling, always keep an eye out for bold, vivid colors. Think of colorful buildings (focus on details like walls, doors), cars, busses, scooters, shops, markets, traditional clothing.
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