One of the most essential and popular items to pack when going on a vacation is a camera. A camera is basically a memory-making device, an apparatus that captures snapshots of your adventures and experiences. Everyone loves looking at their travel photos after their trip has come to an end and things are back to normal at home. It’s a way to escape back to that time of plenty of fun and no stress on one of those boring workdays.
Many people also love showing off their travel photos to their friends and family, to whom—let’s be honest—those pictures are only interesting when they’re actually good.
Which is why it is important to be aware of the basics of travel photography. The following five simple travel photography tips will without a shadow of doubt improve your travel photos a great deal. Read on and start impressing your friends and family with your spectacular shots!
5 Simple Travel Photography Tips to Improve Your Travel Photos
Rule number of one of travel photography is framing. Many people carry around fancy, expensive cameras, which they use as if they were just point-and-shoot cameras.
It is critical to a good photo to take the time and actually look at what you’re photographing. Seriously, take a minute and find the best frame for what you’re trying to capture. Make sure that everyone’s feet are in the picture or that the church’s spire is entirely visible. Simply put; ensure that there are no half-people or semi-buildings in your photo.
2. The Histogram
The histogram is that funny graph that shows up on your camera’s screen or in the viewfinder (it can generally be turned on and off; make sure it’s on). This detailed graph shows the distribution of light and colors in your image—completely black is on the far left, while totally white is one the far right.
When photographing, you want to make sure that no part of your photo is entirely black or white—underexposed or overexposed. This is the case when a portion of the histogram is seen respectively on the left or on the right. This indicates that a certain area of your photo is missing details because of so-called “shadow clipping” or “highlight clipping.” It is kind of technical, but the point is that you want to keep your entire histogram from touching either edge of the graph.
3. Rule of Thirds
The third of these travel photography tips is the rule of thirds. This one is quite simple. It is essentially no more than, when framing a photo, dividing your image into nine equal rectangles by imagining two vertical and two horizontal lines (many cameras actually have a setting that allows you to see those lines on your screen or through your viewfinder).
The general rule is that you should try to put your subject—a person, animal, building or anything else—in one of the four places where those lines intersect. When photographing landscapes, try to have the horizon or any other distinct line overlap with those (imaginary) lines.
4. Blue and Golden Hour
Blue and golden hour are the popular terms for respectively the hour before and the hour after sunrise—or the hour after and the hour before sunset—named, of course, for the blue and golden hues that characterize those times of the day.
Because the light is softest and the shadows more pronounced, blue and golden hour are widely considered to be the absolute best times to take photos. This is when you want to be out and about with your camera.
When you’ve arrived back home, it is time to review the photos you took and start editing them. Post-processing is an essential part of the photography process—digital processing is as important to modern photography as the dark room is to film photography. This is when a good photo becomes a great photo.
There are several programs you can use to post-process your travel photos. Lightroom is arguably the best one, but is rather expensive. A nice alternative for the amateur travel photographer is Google’s fantastic Nik Collection, which is totally free. A recommended tutorial about post-processing is found on The Planet D.
Hopefully these five travel photography tips will help you improve your travel photos—I’m sure they will!