Guest Post: 5 Travel Photography Tips by Sebastian Jacobitz

Do You wonder why the travel pictures of Your friends or professional photographers look so much better than Yours? Of course, we all want to present our vacation in the best light. Creating better travel photographs isn’t difficult. Often it only needs a few improvements and tricks to turn the average boring photo into an interesting one.

Here are 5 Travel Photography Tips to create pictures that will impress Your friends and show Your vacation in the best possible way.

Apply The Rule of Thirds

Sulfur Miner - Mt Ijen LQ

Composition in Photography can be complex and takes a lot of time to learn. There are countless rules You can follow and are taught in university. Luckily, You don’t need to learn them all. Most of them aren’t very prominent in photographs anyway.

The rule of thirds, on the other hand, is a very easy to use rule, that will improve the aesthetics of Your photographs very easily.

When we take a portrait picture or are in front of a landmark, we tend to put the subject in the middle of the picture. This is how we think a photograph has to look like and the most important detail of the photograph has to be in the middle.

While the landmark should be visible, putting it a little to the side of the middle makes it more pleasing to the viewer’s eye.

If You have a camera, You might be able to display a grid in Your viewfinder to help You understand where to place the subject.

Search for New Perspectives

Railtrack Cat - LQOften, we tend to be lazy and only photograph with the camera in our hand and in front of our eyes. We don’t put some more effort in the picture and are photographing from the eye-level.

Of course, it is easier to take pictures like that, but photographing from the ground or high up can make a big difference.

Boring pictures will improve automatically when they are taken from an unusual perspective. A perspective, that we don’t see often is more interesting to us, than having to look at the same level in every photograph.

A lot of cameras have tiltable screens nowadays that You can use to create photographs from the ground. Don’t be afraid to put Your camera on the ground and then tilt the screen, so that You can still compose a great photograph.

The opposite would be to look for elevations and photograph from the top down. Maybe there are some towers that offer a great view over the city? Share those unique perspectives with Your friends.

A Compact Camera

Ever since mobile phones have become increasingly more popular and better in terms of camera quality, a lot of people think, that they don’t need a “real” camera anymore.

While it is true, that You don’t need a super expensive DSLR or even mirrorless camera, having a camera where You can set the aperture and shutter speed manually still makes a huge difference.

If You want to take better pictures and portraits with a slight blur in the background, a mobile phone won’t be sufficient.

A good compact camera doesn’t need to be expensive as well. If You believe that You need to invest hundreds of Dollar, then that is already over the top. Good compact cameras sell for less than $200 and that money is very well invested.

You can take the compact camera in Your pockets and still have the option to take pictures that are near professional quality.

Especially when You like to photograph some sunsets, a mobile phone will be very limited.

With a simple compact camera, You can improve the quality of Your photographs tremendously.

Photograph in The Evening

Beer in Saigon LQPhotography is often described as the “painting with light”. The light is one of the most important factors that can make or break a picture. Although it is not directly visible, most of the photographs that we see on social media that look great, are not shot during the bright day, but at the evening, or in the morning sun.

During the day, the sun rises to a high angle, which casts “hard” shadows. If You want to take a portrait of Your friend, there will be shadows in the face that can be hard to handle.

People look a lot older and the light is not pleasant in general.

Another disadvantage is the color of the light.

During the day, the sun is very bright and doesn’t have a very warm “temperature”.

The temperature in terms of photography describes the tone. At noon, the light is very “cold”, meaning the blue portion is very prominent in the light.

When we think about beautiful travel photographs, we associate them with red tones. They symbolize warmth and a great day at the beach.

Therefore Your photographs will look better if You avoid the harsh light during noon and rather photograph in the morning or evening hours. Even if the color doesn’t change much, the shadows will look a lot smoother and less harsh.

Go Your Own Paths

Elephant Tire LQ 2While traveling, tourists tend to always take the same pictures and follow each other’s paths. If one person seems to have found an interesting spot, soon other photographers will gather around the same spot and take very similar pictures.

When looking at pictures of famous landmarks, You will notice that they are often taken from the same point of view and spots. There is nothing wrong with it, there are probably good reasons that certain perspectives are so popular.

But they are also very familiar and be boring to look at.

When You see the Leaning Tower of Pisa from the same angle in every travel photograph, then it is time for some change.

Instead of standing and photographing at the same places, where You can also find other tourists, search for some new interesting spots, no other photographer is at. You can also take pictures from behind the landmark and add them to Your Portfolio.

I don’t advise You to not take the “famous” shots at all, but You could add some creativity into Your photographs and later on decide which ones are better and You like to keep.

Therefore, add some variety in Your photographs and make it more interesting for everyone.

While searching for new places to take pictures, You also explore the area more thoroughly and might even discover some new details that no other has photographed before.

But remember, in the end, it is all about the memories and fun that are the reason You take the travel pictures. Don’t pressure Yourself too much to create good photographs. Rather enjoy the moment and keep the memories.

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