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Tips about Easy methods to Take Higher Journey Pictures

Suggestions from an newbie journey photographer on take higher journey photographs.

I’m solely an newbie photographer, however over the previous 5 years as I’ve traveled the world as a digital nomad, I’ve obtained a variety of good compliments about my photograph’s, each on social media and in our e-newsletter. I’ve even had some requests for recommendation on take higher journey photographs.

So I figured it was time to share a few of what I’ve discovered about journey images.

Associated learn: Avenue Images Gear (Together with Greatest Avenue Images Digital camera)

I use Pixels for my travel photos
Personally, I’m an enormous of fan of Pixels for the standard of their cameras.

Easy methods to take higher journey photographs

Don’t fear: this isn’t a super-geeky information about fancy cameras or use apertures or f-stops. As a result of, frankly, I don’t know what an f-stop is, and I take pics with a Pixel 4a.

Which brings me to our first matter.

Digital camera vs Cellphone

The extra severe I grew about my journey images, the extra I agonized over whether or not I must be utilizing a correct digital camera moderately than my Pixel cellphone. I did an excessive amount of analysis and got here away with these conclusions:

Digital camera telephones have made large strides through the years when it comes to high quality. Frankly, what most digital camera telephones can do in the present day is extraordinary.

However! They’ll’t do all the things. Even in the present day, zooming with a cellphone digital camera doesn’t produce the very best quality. So in the event you’re hoping to be an expert photographer or take completely professional-looking photos, you’ll most likely need to spend money on a correct digital digital camera.

However! These telephones might be very costly. And sophisticated to make use of. On high of that, you’ll virtually definitely find yourself needing completely different lenses, tripods, and different tools. This may all be a bit overwhelming.

What’s the take-away? Get a digital camera if you would like, however there’s completely no disgrace in merely utilizing your cellphone both. The best way I see it, one of the best digital camera is the one you might have with you once you actually need to take an image. And your cellphone might be all the time going to be with you. Simply sayin’.

I’d get a correct digital camera one among nowadays. However I’m not planning on it any time quickly.


The “composition” of a photograph is the best way during which you organize and body the objects within the photograph.

Critical photographers say some of the essential features of composition entails one thing known as “the rule of the thirds.” That’s once you divide your image into 9 equal sectors utilizing two horizontal traces and two vertical traces. These imaginary traces can assist you body your objects.

You may also consider the previous Brady Bunch opening credit, besides with out the Bradys.

How to take better travel photos using composition
Me, left, The Bradys, proper.

You may assume that placing the central object within the heart of the photograph is finest, proper the place Alice is. And it may be! However that will also be a bit static or boring.

So take into account placing your object within the left or proper column, particularly aligning it on the intersection of the imaginary traces — proper between Jan and Alice, and even Carol and Greg.

By placing your topic at one of many intersection factors, you allow room for the viewer’s eyes to maneuver across the picture and discover the image, moderately than merely trying on the topic and shifting on.

Additionally essential to composition are “main traces” and “symmetry.” Bear in mind after I mentioned you shouldn’t heart the objects in your photograph?

Generally you need to, particularly in the event you can benefit from some component that focuses the photograph. Main traces, just like the stone path and partitions within the photograph on the left, beneath, draw the attention to a particular level. In the meantime, symmetry is when completely different components in a photograph match or mirror one another.

How to take better travel photos using symmetry
Main traces and symmetry!

Relating to composition, all these components can come into play without delay: the Brady Bunch rule, symmetry, and main traces.

Greater than something, although, your photograph is dictated by what you’re taking an image of. What would make the photograph as fascinating as doable?

As an illustration, an image of the Acropolis surrounded by the “symmetry” of some timber could be fairly cool. However what about if there’s an previous Greek man standing in entrance of it? He turns into a “main line” on to the Acropolis, however he’s additionally positioned off to at least one aspect, between Cindy and Mike Brady, to make the composition extra fascinating.

A travel photo of a man standing and looking at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
After taking dozens of photographs of the Acropolis, I noticed this older man and knew an image of him trying on the Acropolis was THE image.

Additionally, all the time take into account the angle you shoot issues from. My knees HATE me for it, however I’m continuously crouching down so I can shoot up at one thing. Heck, I’ll typically lie flat on my again with a view to get the image I need.

That is often the purpose the place my husband Brent pretends he doesn’t know me.

And getting right down to your topic’s stage can actually assist seize a greater sense of who or what they’re, whether or not they be kids, canine, or flowers.

Sitting in shorts in scorpion-infested Texas scrub in order to take this picture…may not have been my most brilliant idea.
Sitting in shorts in scorpion-infested Texas scrub with a view to take this image…might not have been my most sensible concept.

Lighting/The Golden Hour

Relating to lighting, right here’s a rule that’s fairly agency: the sunshine is often finest at dawn or sundown. Mid-day means the solar can be straight overhead, and that gentle might be harsh. It will probably make objects look flat and fewer engaging.

The time shortly earlier than and after dawn and sundown is known as “the golden hour,” as a result of it’s, effectively, golden. The sunshine is softer because it has to journey by extra environment. That causes it to be extra diffuse and hotter with a lot of reds and golds. Golden hour gentle can also be kinder to pores and skin tones, and it creates a variety of fascinating shadows.

Alas, the golden hour isn’t a complete hour lengthy. All of it is determined by the time of 12 months due to planetary orbits and ellipses and different scientific-y issues that make my head damage.

Typically, I’ll stand up earlier than daybreak to get these ten treasured minutes of excellent lighting. That is one other time when Brent may fake to not know me, besides he’s often again in our residence, sleeping.

Then once more, if nice photographs had been straightforward, everybody would take them.

Take photos during golden hour for the best light
This lighting is extra treasured than precise gold…

Another excuse I go for the morning golden hour for images? As a result of even at common vacationer points of interest, I typically have locations virtually solely to myself. I get higher photos and I get a greater expertise with out having to combat the crowds.

So right here’s one other essential newbie photographers’ tip: when you’ve taken your photographs, put aside time to easily savor the expertise.

My favourite morning golden hour moments so far?

  • The highest of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the place, after taking my photographs, I simply stood and took in that superior view of Rome.
  • On the Charles Bridge in Prague the place I froze my butt off to seize the mist rising off the river.

One different word concerning the golden hour, both at dawn or sundown: clouds might be both your finest buddy or your worst enemy.

Clouds sitting proper on the horizon can block the rising or setting solar, ruining all the things. Or if they’re the suitable peak they’ll catch the rays, turning spectacular reds and golds and even purple in the event you’re fortunate, all whereas reflecting the sunshine again to the bottom and doubling their influence.

The light of the setting sun reflecting off of the bottom of clouds in Split, Croatia
The sunshine of the setting solar reflecting off of the underside of clouds in Cut up, Croatia.

Folks matter

Landscapes are lovely, however you realize what are all the time my hottest photographs on social media?

Footage of me and my husband.

Which is smart. Folks actually are fascinating — and Brent at the very least may be very good-looking. And in the event you’re an newbie journey photographer, you’re most likely most occupied with taking photos of you and your mates anyway.

That mentioned, the period of selfies is kinda over. So take into account all of the above methods when taking photos of individuals too.

Travel photos with people
The writer on the left, his husband on the suitable.

Oh, and right here’s a tip on get probably the most pure smile out of your topic: inform them not to consider intercourse. That just about all the time will get amusing.

Do I Need to Edit? Plus, What’s JPEG vs RAW?

You don’t need to should “edit” your pics, proper? I didn’t both. I admit at first I used to be a bit frightened of the expertise.

However don’t be. If I used to be capable of grasp what I’m about to inform you, you’ll be able to too.

Once you go into the superior settings of your cellphone’s digital camera, there’s a place the place you’ll be able to select whether or not you need your digital camera to avoid wasting your pics as both JPEG or RAW recordsdata.

These are settings that decide how a lot data the file created by the digital camera’s picture sensor retains of every photograph.

For those who select JPEG, your digital camera will robotically do some very primary processing and mean you can do some additional primary enhancing to make your photographs look a bit nicer.

Simply not that a lot nicer.

However once you shoot in RAW, you should utilize enhancing software program to take all of that additional data captured by your digital camera to edit your photograph.

I’m certain greater than as soon as, you’ve taken an image, checked out it, and thought, “Huh, that isn’t actually pretty much as good as I assumed it appeared.”

Which is since you’re virtually definitely taking pictures in JPEG.

Check out these two photographs.

Tips for editing your travel photos
About thirty seconds price of enhancing helped give this image much more life.

The highest pic is sort of blah and doesn’t actually pop. In the meantime, the colour and readability of the second photograph is means higher. The picture is way crisper.

That’s as a result of you probably have the RAW file — which I did — then you should utilize enhancing software program to regulate the publicity, distinction, colour saturation, and fairly a number of different issues.

And, no, you aren’t “dishonest.” All you’re doing is what skilled photographers have all the time executed. (However you are able to do it badly, making photographs look over-saturated or over-contrasted. A part of what makes a photograph “good” is that it captures actuality. That ought to all the time be the objective.)

You are able to do some enhancing in your cellphone, or in Google Picture. There are additionally free enhancing apps like Snapseed. Personally, I take advantage of Adobe Lightroom, which prices me $10 USD a month, as a result of I like the extra choices, and since it’s really easy to make use of and comes with nice tutorials.

However actually, even just a little enhancing could make a world of distinction.

Amount can imply extra high quality

Questioning take higher journey photographs? Take a lot of them. The extra you’re taking, the extra you’ll have to select from. And the higher a photographer you’ll grow to be.

Guess what number of photos I presently have in my Adobe Lightroom folder proper now?


And that is solely the variety of edited photographs. The whole variety of pics I’ve taken is…effectively, I don’t need to say, as a result of Brent will learn this text sooner or later, and I need to preserve believable deniability.

You completely don’t have to take this many photographs. I’m sort of a nut.

However as with all ability, the extra you observe, the higher you’ll grow to be.

Extra suggestions for taking higher journey photographs

Listed here are a number of extra issues I’ve discovered on take higher journey photographs:

  • Transfer round as you’re taking your photographs. Greater than as soon as, I’ve thought I’d taken all one of the best pictures — or thought the topic was too boring to make a very good image — solely to maneuver up or down, or sideways, to find a more energizing angle.
  • Analysis a location forward of time. I admit that I’ll go to Instagram and get hold of pics of various areas I could be occupied with. Or I’ll Google “finest place to take photos in Amsterdam.” There’s nothing fallacious with benefiting from the work of others. Even in the event you go to the identical spot to take a photograph, all kinds of issues can be completely different: the sunshine, the climate, and so forth. It’s straightforward to discover a approach to make the photograph your individual.
  • Simply stroll. When Brent and I arrive in a brand new location, we take a look at the “well-known” spots pretty rapidly. However then we discover. And that’s often the place I get the good things.
  • Even in the event you don’t do a lot (or any) enhancing, at the very least take into account cropping your photos. Cropping helps you to repair some errors, transfer your topic to a type of intersection factors, and produce components out in your photograph that you simply won’t have even identified had been there.
  • Develop your “photographer’s eyes” and all the time maintain them open. Truthfully, I feel images has helped me take a look at my environment way more carefully. And now I all the time discover surprising alternatives for nice photographs all over the place.
  • Take the shot when you might have it! Greater than as soon as, I’ve been out strolling about, seen one thing I needed to take an image of and thought, “Oh, I’ll get that later.” Besides after I return, the sunshine is fallacious. Or I can’t keep in mind the place I used to be within the first place. (This occurs extra once you stand up earlier than daybreak so much!)

An important tip of all

Take the photographs you need for the explanations you need.

You’re most likely not studying this text to grow to be an expert photographer. As amateurs, we take journey photographs as a result of we get pleasure from it, and to seize our reminiscences of the locations we’ve visited and the individuals we all know.

Certain, you’ll most likely share your photographs on social media, however nobody will recognize them the best way you do. They’re your reminiscences, in spite of everything.

Keep in mind that. Do that for you.

As for remainder of my recommendation, use no matter sounds helpful and ignore the remainder.

Michael Jensen is an writer, editor, and one half of Brent and Michael Are Going Locations, a few touring homosexual digital nomads. Subscribe to their free journey e-newsletter right here.



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