Photographer Howard Ignatius captures another killer sunset on Morro Strand State Beach

Travel photography tips


A picture might say a thousand words, but what exactly are your photographs saying? Travel Photography doesn’t have to be a daunting skill for professionals who own DSLR cameras, but can be enjoyed by owners of a point and shoot camera. Every so often do we quickly take photographs and disregard the quality and content of our photographs. These pictures are our memories of precious time abroad and should reflect positively on our experience. Simple tips on improving your travel photography are easier than one would think.

Turn of your flash (Sometimes): The best way to take a photograph if you’re not familiar with camera’s is to use the auto feature. Take this a step further by paying attention to the flash setting on your camera. In some places, it is not necessary to take a photograph using flash. In some instances, such as in a museum or private place, turning of your flash is necessary. Also, in a well lit area or just as the sun is setting, a flash will only disrupt the color balance of the photograph. Most point and shoot cameras have a feature with automatic settings but the ability to shut off the flash.

Get lost and follow the locals: Sometimes, getting a good photograph isn’t only about how we take our picture, but what we are taking pictures of. It’s great to see a bunch of photographs of The Eiffel Tower in Paris, but what else will you remember about the French capital? Follow the locals and observe their behavior; don’t be scared to take photographs of people in their daily lives. If you’re getting up close and personal however; make sure to ask permission. Some examples are taking photographs of local advertisements, school kids playing in the fields or simply of your favorite random street that might tell a personal story behind it.

Don’t cut things off: Especially if you’re rushing through your travels (Which you shouldn’t!), it’s easily possible to disorient photographs. You might get a picture of a large statue, but you might cut off some angles. You might not have wide angle lenses to capture the piece in its entirety, but be aware of what is in your viewfinder. Use your space carefully for what can be an edgy picture, instead of a rushed photograph.

Don’t be scared to take solo photographs: If you’re traveling alone, it may be difficult to get photographs of yourself. It may seem daunting to ask a stranger to take your photograph, especially if you’re particular of how it may come out, or just might be shy to ask. There is nothing worse than looking back at your photographs and barely seeing yourself in it. You might want to invest in a tri-pod to time your photographs so you can throw yourself into a photograph. Or, simply man-up and speak to a friendly stranger and ask for your photo to be taken! Pay attention to other tourists taking photographs if you’re worried about talking to strangers.

Stick with the Rule of Thirds: If there is one photography professional piece of advice everyone should take it would be to master the rule of thirds. The basic principle says to break an image into thirds; horizontally and vertically. Imagine the photograph is broke into 9 parts; a feature on many cameras that is possible on your viewfinder. If not, imagine a tic-tac-toe board and place your interest in the intersections of these lines.  By doing this, it makes the photograph more balanced and attracts people more naturally when viewing your photographs.


Flickr: mikebaird

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CheapOair Staff