The human mind is a wonderful thing. Our capacity for remembering facts, figures, and above all images can be absolutely remarkable. Studies have shown that people can recognize thousands of visual objects down to some quite specific details, even after only seeing them for a few seconds! Briefly flashed scenes and visual memories can stay with you for years, even decades.
However, when it comes to traveling, there is nothing quite like photography to help store your memories and let you go back over the great adventures and amazing explorations you have had.
But travel photography isn’t just a matter of just bringing along a camera, snapping away, and hoping for the best! Getting great photos (and even better memories) means putting in the effort, getting the right kit, and most of all, knowing the tricks of the trade.
So next time you are on a trip of a lifetime, deep in the jungles of Borneo, or admiring the LA views from a cruise, here are a few tips to get the best out of your pixels, and to make the best and longest-lasting memories.
Wake up early, stay out late
This is great advice when you are traveling anyway, as it will help you get the most from your adventure. But for photography, it is a must. Light is the most important ingredient in your travel photos, and the best light can be found early in the morning and late in the afternoon/evening. You also won’t have to deal with crowds of other tourists getting in the way of your perfect shot!
Ask for local knowledge…
…and local permission! The people who live in your vacation destinations are incredibly important. Firstly, you should always ask permission to take photos of people, or of places that aren’t absolutely 100% public. Secondly, they know where the best shots can be taken, where the most interesting sights are, and where the things no one else knows about can be found!
The rule of thirds
One of the key rules of photography, and incredibly important for nailing your travel snaps. The rule of thirds breaks down every image with three horizontal and three vertical lines, creating a grid, then places points of interest, focus, and framing within this grid. It helps with good composition and makes your photos more pleasing to the eye!
A lightweight travel tripod
A lightweight travel tripod is one of the most vital bits of kit for a travel photographer. It opens your photographs up to a far wider world of possibility, by giving you stability. A tripod lets you set your camera position and keep it there, meaning you can compose your shot more easily and fix settings, focus etc without having to worry about movement. It also means that you can use techniques that require longer shutter speeds without worrying about your hand shaking as you hold the shot in place.
Experiment with composition…
…or to put it another way, don’t be satisfied with your first shot! Sure, you might think you’ve nailed it from the word go, but travel photos can almost always be improved by experimenting with your composition. By changing your angle, focus point, background, and even distances, you can upgrade your shots, or create entirely new ones, all using the same elements. You might even notice something about the scene you are shooting that you’d completely missed the first time around!
Travel photography is a hugely rewarding pastime and creates amazing memories. With these tips you’ll be able to make your travel experiences last longer and go further, and make memories that last a lifetime.