How to Take Great Travel Photos

If you have ever had to sit through a seemingly never ending showing of someone else's boring vacation photos, you realize the importance of taking great travel pictures. How is this accomplished? Here are some tips to get you started.

  • When you are posing subjects for a photo, look especially for signs or historic markers that will give the photo a frame of reference when others see it. Try to keep the photo simple and uncluttered. Only photograph essential people and items that add to the overall picture.
  • Be careful to avoid multiple shots of plain scenery without people in your photos. This can easily grow uninteresting.
  • Use a few very close range photos to exhibit the beauty of a flower or the rich color of a textile. Try to make these photos something that can represent part of the feel of your trip.
  • Stand close to those you are photographing. A good rule of thumb is to be within six feet for most photographs. This will allow their faces and expressions to be captured on film and prevent multiple photos of a gigantic historic site or landscape with tiny figures in the distance.
  • Try to avoid too many photos with a center focus. After a while, this can cause all of your vacation pictures to look the same and grow boring. Instead, sometimes place subjects about a third of the way from one side or the other.
  • Double-check your background before shooting! Be certain that nothing is going to appear strange when you are reviewing the photo. For example, telephone poles and trees could easily appear as if they were sticking out of someone's head.
  • Think about what you would like to remember from your travels. When telling your friends and relatives about your adventures, what would you say? Allow your photos to reflect these ideas.
  • Take many shots from a few separate angles. Also, try some photos from both close up and far away. This will help you capture different details in the setting.
  • Always try to hold your hand extremely still to avoid blurriness caused by movement. Additionally, try to avoid speaking when you press the shutter button.
  • Carrying a journal or notebook can help you keep track of the photos you have taken, and remember details when you return home. Some cameras have a voice memo feature for this same purpose.
  • When you are taking a person's picture, the ideal spot for the sun is behind you at a 45-degree angle. Don't shoot photos facing the sun.
  • Try to take numerous photos at different points of the day. Dusk and dawn photos can be especially beautiful and dramatic, and they are not complicated like nighttime photos can be.
  • When taking photos from an airplane, attempt to get as close to the window as possible without actually touching it. The movement of the airplane causes pictures to blur if the camera lens actually touches the window.
  • Underwater pictures can add to the fun of vacation photography. If you do not wish to invest in underwater photo equipment, disposable underwater cameras are cheap and readily available in most places.
  • Don't forget to ask strangers to shoot a photo or two so you can get everybody in some of your pictures. Also, you can use your camera's timer feature to accomplish this job.
  • Be prepared. Always bring more film, batteries, and memory cards than you think you will need. You never know when the inspiration for a great photo will strike, and if you are caught unprepared, you will likely become frustrated.

Great photos are an ongoing project. The more you practice, the better you will become! Continuing to find information online as well as in books and magazines will give you added tips for success as you continue to improve your photography skills.

author: Jill Moore

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