Winter is finally over so it’s time to start planning your next adventure. Whether that’s a weekend away in your favourite city, a holiday to somewhere exotic or some time exploring your hometown it’s the perfect excuse to flex your photography skills and take some photos.
When you’re away, taking amazing photos can be as simple as just applying some easy tips and tricks which we’ve listed for you below. You’ll come back with a camera roll full of fantastic shots.
Tip 1: Choose the time of day carefully
The time of day you’re taking photos is fundamental. We love the early morning and late afternoon because there’s a rich golden light, with the sun hitting horizontally which creates a less harsh shadow. The time before dawn and after sunset are also great, especially for long exposure photography and capturing the sky at it’s most beautiful.
Shooting during the golden hour and blue hour will be sure to produce great photos but don’t disregard the bright light of midday as it can be perfect for delivering strong, contrasting, black and white images.
Tip 2: Chase or wait
Both in nature and in an urban environment you have two options, you can chase your photos or wait for them. Depending on the situation both strategies can be a great choice and both should be used to give variety to the vibe of your photos.
Are you at a busy street market full of stuff happening? Chase.
Did you find a beautiful doorway against a brick wall? Wait for some interesting looking person to walk by, and add some movement to an otherwise dull photo.
Tip 3: Shoot vertically
Vertical shots don’t work for everything, but when they work they are great. Get used to getting a few vertical shots of your subjects, it will save you the pain of realising how good that photo would have been if only you had remembered to turn the camera.
Tip 4: Adjust your settings
While settings can be a matter of personal choice, and some cameras might have limited options, there are some simple guidelines that can help you get what you are looking for.
- Slow shutter speeds can help make water and clouds silky soft, provided you are using a tripod. You will also be letting more light into the camera, meaning you can use a higher f stop, giving you a broader depth of field. This is desirable for landscapes, as it means more elements will be in focus.
- While out and about on a city stroll, you might not want to keep changing settings but spend time enjoying yourself, so find a good balanced setting that is fast enough to capture movement, but also ensures your photos will be well exposed.
- There are many different opinions regarding the best settings for street photography, but as a general rule keep your aperture somewhere between f5.6 and f8, don’t go under 1/100th when it comes to shutter speed, and set your ISO to auto without going over 1600.
Remember these are just indications and each camera, situation or photographic style will require some tweaks and changes, so play around and experiment with your settings, and once you are happy with your results, you will be able to spend more time looking for the perfect shot rather than the perfect setting.
Tip 5: Make your subject relevant
Try to add a relevant subject to your photo. You are telling a story so consider what is the main element of what you want to communicate. Try and have elements both in the foreground and background of your shots. This will help make them feel more real and deep. Sometimes a rock or a cup of coffee can be enough.
Tip 6: Learn about composition
Learn the basics of composition. Be familiar with the rule of thirds. By consciously focusing on composition your images will instantly look more balanced and professional.
Tip 7: Experiment with angles
This tip is tightly related to the one above. Once you learn the rules of composition… feel free to break them. Photography isn’t about following a winning recipe, but about knowing what you are doing and then getting creative.
Once you know how to compose a good image, start changing things up, look for unusual angles and framing. It might require some contortionism, but it will be worth the effort.
Tip 8: Research your location
Do your homework. Look at photos you like from the places you will visit, and try to plan what shots you absolutely want to get, and at which time of day. Read travel blogs and websites, the info you will find will let you know when a given place is well lit, when it’s crowded, when the artificial lights turn on… depending on the shot you want, this information might be vital.
Get in touch with local photographers, if you can and ask for advice or tips. You might even be able to have someone show you around the best places. The better you prepare before leaving, the better your photos will look.
Tip 9: Editing
Don’t underestimate editing. Professionals edit their photos, and have been doing so ever since photography was invented, for a good reason. Some good editing will make your photo look amazing. This doesn’t mean you need to become a photoshop wizard or sacrifice the realism of your images. Just remember that some tweaking of exposure, contrast, white balance and saturation can go a long way in turning an average snapshot into a memory you will cherish forever.
Read about the best photo editing apps for more inspiration.
We hope that all these tips will help you to take your best travel photos ever. It can be easier than you think to get amazing results when you know what to do, and be sure to share your photos with us on social media using the #bonusprint hashtag.