Ten tips for better travel pictures
Top travel photographer Tom Mackie has a few tips to get you thinking more about your travel photography techniques…
Going to any destination out of season will make your photographic experience more fulfilling. Trying to get a classic beach photograph is far better without crowds of people laid out on it, interfering with your photographic vision.
Use a tripod
Go for a small, lightweight tripod for mobility; carbon fibre tripods are ideal. A tripod ensures image sharpness with slow shutter speeds and frees your hands, so you’ll see exactly what’s in the viewfinder.
Design your image
A well-balanced composition creates a great photograph. A common mistake is placing the subject directly in the centre of the frame. Divide your frame into equal thirds, horizontally and vertically, and place your subject at any of the intersections.
Come in close and don’t be afraid of filling the frame with the subject. Decide what attracts you to pick up the camera. It may be patterns, bold colours or a face full of character. Eliminate everything else in the frame that detracts from the subject.
Pay attention to details
Photographing details can tell as much about a place as the big picture. Elements that are indicative of a location such as local fruits, spices, colourful hats, handmade blankets, shells or other natural elements can make striking images.
Anticipate the light
Lighting is incredibly important. Become familiar with your subject under different lighting conditions throughout the day, to decide when would be the best time to photograph it. Try side lighting, as it brings out contours and defines shapes.
Sunrise and sunset
The peak colour for sunrises and sunsets only lasts a few minutes. Allow plenty of time to set up and compose your subject, then wait for the light show. If you see a fantastic sunset and don’t have your camera at hand, then chances are it’s too late. Just enjoy the moment.
Try polarising filter effects
A polarising filter is useful because it reduces atmospheric haze and unwanted reflections and glare from glass or water. It also increases saturation of blue skies. To get maximum polarisation, position your subject at 90 degrees to the sun. Graduated neutral density filters are great for contrast control and add drama and atmosphere to skies.
Change your angle
Instead of shooting everything from eye level, try moving the camera higher or lower, to give an insect or bird’s eye view. Include interesting foreground subjects, such as plants or rocks, to add depth.
Frame your subject
Try using different elements to frame your subject, such as an overhanging tree, window, arches, doors and so on. This is especially useful when there’s an empty sky with no interesting clouds. Framing helps to keep the eye from straying and makes viewers concentrate on the subject.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 11:28 am and is filed under Photography Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.