They say a picture paints a thousand words, but it also holds thoughts, feelings and memories. Travel photos allow us to look back on our adventures, reminisce and share experiences with loved ones. However, photography is not easy. Like any form of art, this skill takes time, effort and practice to master.
How much time and hard work you devote to your photography depends on what you intend to get out of it. Maybe you want to learn some professional skills so you can make money from your craft, or perhaps you want to capture your experiences in the best way possible. Either way, here are some top tips to help you take better travel photos.
Follow the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a composition trick that every photographer should know. This rule encourages you to split an image into three equal parts, either vertically, horizontally or both. For example, if you’re shooting a landscape, composing the shot with a two-thirds sky and one-third land or sea will look better than a half-and-half picture. This is because the brain is primed to respond to these kinds of images the way it responds to the human face, which is also split into thirds.
Choose a Focal Point
One way to draw the eye to a particular element of an image, a person, animal or monument, is to shoot that point in sharp focus and have the rest blurry. This is an effective way to show what the photo is about if it’s shot in a crowd or scene with lots of other things going on. You should be able to achieve this with a “portrait” or “people” mode on your digital camera, or by selecting the “tilt-shift” function on Instagram.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Although there are general rules to follow when it comes to good photography, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Experiment with different angles, shots, filters and even photography equipment. You can gain much insight by researching and looking at what has changed in the last 100 years in terms of photography. That way you can learn how to combine new and old practices for the best results. For instance, you might decide to use a vintage Polaroid camera to make your travel pictures stand out, before putting them into a scrapbook or uploading them to social media. You can even find new modern, instant versions so you can print your photos there and then.
Understand How Colours Work Together
If you can develop an understanding of how colours work together, your photos will go from good to great. Think of a colour wheel, and try to take pictures based on that idea that colours at opposite ends of the wheel tend to complement each other best. Think red and green, blue and yellow or black and white. Keep an eye out for contrasting colours when you’re on your travels, and experiment with editing your photos to soften or deepen certain shades.