Traveling allows you to visit incredible places. You will want to remember a thousand times the day you were on that beach or when you saw those impressive archaeological ruins. You take out the camera, focus, shoot and realize that the result is not what you expected. Does it sound familiar to you?
Photography is an exciting art, and it takes time to master all its technical aspects, but thanks to the following tips and tricks, which are very easy to apply, you will make your travel photos look much better.
- Use the reflections of the water in your composition
Symmetry causes a delightful sensation to the human eye, so why not take advantage of the natural mirrors that water causes in lakes and puddles? Examine the area to be photographed to identify the point from which the reflection in the water is best seen, or try from various positions to obtain different results. It is a simple trick that will make your photos more attractive.
- Take advantage of the golden hour
The most crucial element in travel photography is light. So, it would help if you chose the times of the day when it is most attractive. Generally, the golden hour is the one that produces the most pleasant light. It occurs in the minutes before the sun rises and just after the sun sets over the horizon. In that period, the sun no longer illuminates the elements directly and produces a soft, warm, and stunning light.
Take the test and get up early one day to try to capture the light before sunrise. You will see that it will have been worth sacrificing a few hours of sleep.
- Use guidelines
The lines in a photograph guide the viewer’s gaze, allowing them to go through the frame and appreciate the composition. Train your eye to identify these lines and add them to your photos. You will see that the sensation produced by, for example, the vertical line of a train track that moves towards the bottom of the frame, or the curved line of a road that winds through a mountain, is very different.
- The importance of the human perspective
Imagine that you travel to a natural wonder of gigantic proportions, such as the Iguazu Falls or the Grand Canyon. You are impressed by its magnitude, you feel like an ant, and you want to take a photo that reflects that feeling; But when you see the result, you think, “well, it doesn’t seem as impressive as in reality.” What is familiar to you?
The explanation is simple: In your photo, there is no comparative element that makes you see the immensity of the portrayed landscape. Introduce a recognizable subject in the composition. This can be a person, tree, or animal. You will be including a reference element that will make it possible to appreciate the enormous size of the landscape while comparing it with something that we recognize.
- Create natural frames
Photographs from your travels can go a long way by “enclosing” the central element in a makeshift frame. This includes the edge of a door, a gap between the branches of the trees, etc. Again, you have to play with perspective. If you train your photographic eye, you will see that, little by little. It will cost you less to find these natural elements. The limit is with your imagination. With this, you will go from taking a dull photograph to an original photo that will immediately attract attention.
- Break the ice before taking a portrait
Do you like that someone puts a camera in front of you without a word and starts shooting? We are sure not. But unfortunately, many travelers, when they are in an exotic place, take photos like crazy at anyone who catches their attention.
We already know that when you are traveling, everything seems new to you. But if you act like that, what you will achieve is to portray people with scared faces. They may even get upset and get you into trouble. Thus, we propose a different approach:
- Leave the camera in its case.
- Bring out your best smile.
- Say hello to the subject you want to portray.
- Take an interest in their life and start a brief conversation.
In most cases, they will happily accept when you ask for their permission to take a picture, and they will also come out with a smiling and relaxed expression that will make it worth the time invested.
- Impregnate your photos with dynamism
Travel photography is much more than capturing landscapes, people, and customs. It is about making the viewer feel that he is also there while provoking different sensory sensations.
An excellent way to surprise the human eye is to try to capture the movement of an item. To actualize this, you will have to resort to the so-called “panning” effect, which is nothing more than the technique of moving the camera at the same speed as the subject to be photographed. As a result, you’ll get a well-focused subject with a blurred background, creating that sense of speed.