A decent set of holiday photos are the best souvenir you can bring back from your travels. If you’ve been disappointed with the snaps you’ve taken in the past, we have a few tips that will improve your travel photography skills in next to no time. You don’t even need an expensive camera. Here’s how to take better holiday photos.
Consider the rule of thirds
Keep in mind something called the rule of thirds. Imagine placing a grid of nine squares over what you see on your screen or in your viewfinder. The trick is to try to avoid placing your subject in the middle squares and, especially, the one right in the centre. By keeping the person, animal or landmark towards the left or right, bottom or top, you’ll improve your composition. Give the subject room too – if a vehicle or person is moving, allow space for them to “move” into. Another trick is to include a strong line, perhaps a diagonal, within your composition.
Portrait or landscape?
What you’re photographing might steer you to a portrait or landscape orientation. Tall buildings, for example, lend themselves to portrait snaps, while of course a countryside panorama is far better suited to a landscape view. But there might be other considerations. If you plan to upload images to a personal website or blog, landscape often works best as you’re less likely to find yourself with dead space on the page. If you’re not sure which works best, take both and compare later.
Every photo tells a story
A good photo should represent a narrative of an aspect of your trip, so think about what you are trying to record. Cut out the unnecessary details to make your subject the focus of your attention. For instance, if you’re taking a photo where it’s the scale of something that’s caught your attention, go wide so you can include something to provide a sense of scale. If it’s the detail that matters, zoom in. By cutting out some of the clutter, you’ll create a better end result – you can always take more photos to record the other details that catch your eye.
It’s all about the eyes
It can be tempting to take candid shots of people without their knowledge, but consider how you might feel if it was you that the camera was pointing at. It’s far better to ask permission before you take someone’s picture. You might find that it’s an icebreaker to start a conversation. That person will most likely know the area much better than you do and who knows, that might even lead to some interesting recommendations for things to do or places to eat. Don’t forget to remind them to look down the lens. You’ll get a much stronger image if you have eye contact – the same’s true when photographing animals.
Be prepared to do a quick edit
You can achieve a lot with the bare minimum of editing, whether it’s on your phone or on your laptop back at the hotel. Crop the edges to cut out stray tree branches or someone walking into view. Straighten up your shot – nothing ruins a great ocean sunset like a wonky horizon. You can also alter light and shade to bring out details and sharpen up the image. Finally, match what you’ve taken to what you saw: boost the colour a little to deepen the blue of the sky or to make a sunset more vivid.
Follow these simple tips and the photos you take during your next trip will bring a smile to your face. Now all you need to do is decide where that trip might be – so why not get in touch with the Mundana team to discuss making your travel dreams a reality?