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Top Photography Tips for Travellers

written by Webjet Australia December 4, 2016
top photography tips for travellers

Want to spend your holiday taking gorgeous shots of beautiful sunsets, local wildlife and iconic sights? There are many ways you can use your camera and plan your time wisely to elevate your photographs from simple holiday snaps to an awe-inspiring images.

Check out some of out top photography tips for travellers and start planning your best picture yet!

Plan Your Locations

To get the best images, it’s important to research where you want to shoot beforehand. Doing a quick location scout will reduce the time you spend wandering around looking for a good place to take photos. Check the weather and ask the important questions, such as, ‘What time does it open?’, ‘When is the busiest/quietest time?’ and ‘What time is sunrise and sunset?’.

Although there is a place for wandering, heading to your location with more knowledge and a touch of planning will shine through in your images.

Shoot in Manual Mode

Learn your craft. Shoot your images in manual mode to get the best out of your camera, as auto mode can only do so much. There are three main features that you’ll get control of when you use your camera manually: shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

Changing the shutter speed with give you more control of the motion in your image, giving you the option to create blur or to snap and capture a split second of time in your shot. Adjusting the aperture of your camera will give you control over the depth of field in your shot and affect the focus of the image, while changing the ISO will affect the lighting in your shots. Some lighting situations are just too hard for your camera to auto-correct, but playing with the ISO setting will give or take away extra light, helping to create a great image.

Use Your Equipment Well

Firstly, decide which camera you are going to use and study it. Know what features to use and work out the best way to achieve the results you want. One of the biggest worries for photographers is battery life. Make sure your batteries are charged and ready when you are, and pack an extra battery just in case.

Another piece of equipment to consider is a fold-away tripod. A tripod can help you to get a better handle on your subject and reach a number of different angles whilst keeping your camera steady.

camera on tripod

Challenge the Map

The best photographs can be found where you least expect them, so don’t expect to just go to the main tourist attractions and get amazing pictures. Going off the beaten track will lead you to unknown places and give you more time to play around with your new surroundings.

Change Up Your Composition

Composition is an important part of photography. Getting the composition right will take your photo from a boring holiday shot to a creative work of art. Use the rule of thirds to get a great shot. The rule of thirds is all about positioning the subjects in your photo to produce a balanced image. Imagine there is a grid divided into nine parts over what you’re shooting. The main elements of your scene should be sitting along the gridlines, or placed where the lines meet, to create a stunning, interesting photograph.

Commit and Commit Again

In order to get the best shot, you have to commit to your craft, and, sometimes, that means that you have to sacrifice sleep. Light is integral to a good photograph and playing with the lighting can change an image completely. Get up early and catch the sunrise to get an amazing image or stay up late to capture some beautiful nighttime images. Make sure you set aside time for your photography and don’t leave it until tomorrow – you never know what the conditions will be like.

There are two great times of day to catch some brilliant light – the ‘blue hour’ and the ‘golden hour’. The ‘blue hour’ is a short period of time before sunrise and after sunset when the sun is below the horizon and the sky is at its most blue, whereas the ‘golden hour’ occurs just after sunrise or just before sunset when the sun is higher in the sky and the daylight appears redder and softer.

smart phone camera at sunset

Spend Time People Watching

Humans can add another layer of interest to your photograph. It can be hard to chat to strangers, but find time to talk to people while you’re on your travels and get their permission for a photograph. Most people are happy to oblige and you’ll get the shot you want! Be sure to treat them with respect and try, where possible, to send them a copy of the final photograph.

Edit, Then Undo Your Edits

When it comes to post-production there are a number of great editing programs you can use to get more from your photos. Adjusting the light, warmth, saturation and sharpness of your photo can transform your shot into an amazing image. A good tip to try out is to make some edits to your photo, then remove half of the edits you made. Editing can help breathe life into a photo, but it can also easily ruin it too!

Always Keep a Camera On You, but Remember to Pack Light

You never know what you’re going to find on your adventure, so it’s imperative to keep a camera on you at all times – but don’t bother taking all of your equipment everywhere you go. Some of the best shots can come out of any camera, be it disposable, digital or even your phone. Heaving around lots of pieces of tech will just weigh you down and take away from the fun of photography.

It’s also important that you pack your camera well. If you’re flying to your destination, avoid putting your camera and equipment in checked luggage unless you have a good, sturdy hard-case. Some airlines allow a camera bag as well as your carry-on luggage, and keeping it on your person certainly alleviates any worries about breakage during transit.

smart phone camera in city

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