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Tips about Easy methods to Take Higher Journey Images

Suggestions from an newbie journey photographer on methods to take higher journey pictures.

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 plenty of good compliments about my picture’s, each on social media and in our publication. I’ve even had some requests for recommendation on methods to take higher journey pictures.

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

Associated learn: Road Pictures Gear (Together with Greatest Road Pictures Digicam)

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 pictures

Don’t fear: this isn’t a super-geeky information about fancy cameras or methods to 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 subject.

Digicam vs Telephone

The extra severe I grew about my journey pictures, the extra I agonized over whether or not I ought to be utilizing a correct digicam reasonably than my Pixel telephone. I did an excessive amount of analysis and got here away with these conclusions:

Digicam telephones have made enormous strides through the years when it comes to high quality. Frankly, what most digicam telephones can do as we speak is extraordinary.

However! They’ll’t do all the pieces. Even as we speak, zooming with a telephone digicam doesn’t produce the highest quality. So if you happen to’re hoping to be knowledgeable photographer or take completely professional-looking photos, you’ll in all probability need to spend money on a correct digital digicam.

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

What’s the take-away? Get a digicam if you need, however there’s completely no disgrace in merely utilizing your telephone both. The way in which I see it, one of the best digicam is the one you will have with you whenever you actually need to take an image. And your telephone might be at all times going to be with you. Simply sayin’.

I would get a correct digicam one among as of late. However I’m not planning on it any time quickly.


The “composition” of a photograph is the way in which wherein you organize and body the objects within the picture.

Severe photographers say one of the essential points of composition entails one thing referred to as “the rule of the thirds.” That’s whenever 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.

It’s also possible to 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 would possibly suppose that placing the central object within the heart of the picture is greatest, proper the place Alice is. And it may be! However that can be a bit static or boring.

So think about 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, reasonably than merely wanting 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 picture?

Typically it is best to, particularly if you happen to can benefit from some factor that focuses the picture. Main traces, just like the stone path and partitions within the picture on the left, beneath, draw the attention to a particular level. In the meantime, symmetry is when totally different components in a photograph match or mirror one another.

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

With regards to composition, all these components can come into play directly: the Brady Bunch rule, symmetry, and main traces.

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

As an example, an image of the Acropolis surrounded by the “symmetry” of some timber is likely to 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 pictures of the Acropolis, I noticed this older man and knew an image of him wanting on the Acropolis was THE image.

Additionally, at all times think about the angle you shoot issues from. My knees HATE me for it, however I’m consistently crouching down so I can shoot up at one thing. Heck, I’ll usually lie flat on my again to be able 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, canines, 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 to be able to take this image…could not have been my most sensible concept.

Lighting/The Golden Hour

With regards to lighting, right here’s a rule that’s fairly agency: the sunshine is often greatest at dawn or sundown. Mid-day means the solar will probably be immediately overhead, and that mild might be harsh. It might 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, properly, golden. The sunshine is softer because it has to journey by way of extra environment. That causes it to be extra diffuse and hotter with numerous reds and golds. Golden hour mild can also be kinder to pores and skin tones, and it creates plenty of fascinating shadows.

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

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

Then once more, if nice pictures have been simple, everybody would take them.

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

Another excuse I go for the morning golden hour for pictures? As a result of even at fashionable vacationer sights, I usually have locations nearly totally to myself. I get higher photos and I get a greater expertise with out having to struggle the crowds.

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

My favourite morning golden hour moments to this point?

  • The highest of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the place, after taking my pictures, 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 observe in regards to the golden hour, both at dawn or sundown: clouds might be both your greatest good friend or your worst enemy.

Clouds sitting proper on the horizon can block the rising or setting solar, ruining all the pieces. Or if they’re the suitable peak they’ll catch the rays, turning spectacular reds and golds and even purple if you happen to’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 Break up, Croatia.

Folks matter

Landscapes are lovely, however you already know what are at all times my hottest pictures on social media?

Footage of me and my husband.

Which is sensible. Folks actually are fascinating — and Brent no less than could be very good-looking. And if you happen to’re an newbie journey photographer, you’re in all probability most involved in taking photos of you and your pals anyway.

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

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

Oh, and right here’s a tip on methods to get essentially the most pure smile out of your topic: inform them not to consider intercourse. That nearly at all times will get fun.

Do I Must 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 know-how.

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

If you go into the superior settings of your telephone’s digicam, there’s a place the place you possibly can select whether or not you need your digicam to save lots of your pics as both JPEG or RAW recordsdata.

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

If you happen to select JPEG, your digicam will robotically do some very fundamental processing and assist you to do some additional fundamental modifying to make your pictures look a bit nicer.

Simply not that a lot nicer.

However whenever you shoot in RAW, you should utilize modifying software program to take all of that additional data captured by your digicam to edit your picture.

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

Which is since you’re nearly actually taking pictures in JPEG.

Check out these two pictures.

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

The highest pic is form of blah and doesn’t actually pop. In the meantime, the colour and readability of the second picture is method 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 modifying software program to regulate the publicity, distinction, shade saturation, and fairly just a few different issues.

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

You are able to do some modifying in your telephone, or in Google Picture. There are additionally free modifying apps like Snapseed. Personally, I exploit 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 a bit of modifying could make a world of distinction.

Amount can imply extra high quality

Questioning methods to take higher journey pictures? 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 change into.

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


And that is solely the variety of edited pictures. The entire variety of pics I’ve taken is…properly, I don’t need to say, as a result of Brent will learn this text in some unspecified time in the future, and I need to preserve believable deniability.

You completely don’t must take this many pictures. I’m form of a nut.

However as with every ability, the extra you observe, the higher you’ll change into.

Extra ideas for taking higher journey pictures

Listed below are just a few extra issues I’ve discovered on methods to take higher journey pictures:

  • Transfer round as you’re taking your pictures. 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 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 places I is likely to be involved in. Or I’ll Google “greatest place to take photos in Amsterdam.” There’s nothing improper with benefiting from the work of others. Even if you happen to go to the identical spot to take a photograph, all kinds of issues will probably be totally different: the sunshine, the climate, and so forth. It’s simple to discover a technique to make the picture your personal.
  • Simply stroll. When Brent and I arrive in a brand new location, we try the “well-known” spots pretty shortly. However then we discover. And that’s often the place I get the good things.
  • Even if you happen to don’t do a lot (or any) modifying, no less than think about cropping your photos. Cropping permits you to repair some errors, transfer your topic to a kind of intersection factors, and produce components out in your picture that you just may not have even recognized have been there.
  • Develop your “photographer’s eyes” and at all times hold them open. Truthfully, I believe pictures has helped me have a look at my environment rather more carefully. And now I at all times discover sudden alternatives for nice pictures in all places.
  • Take the shot when you will have it! Greater than as soon as, I’ve been out strolling about, seen one thing I wished to take an image of and thought, “Oh, I’ll get that later.” Besides after I return, the sunshine is improper. Or I can’t bear in mind the place I used to be within the first place. (This occurs extra whenever you stand up earlier than daybreak loads!)

An important tip of all

Take the photographs you need for the explanations you need.

You’re in all probability not studying this text to change into knowledgeable photographer. As amateurs, we take journey pictures as a result of we take pleasure in it, and to seize our recollections of the locations we’ve visited and the individuals we all know.

Positive, you’ll in all probability share your pictures on social media, however nobody will admire them the way in which you do. They’re your recollections, in any case.

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 creator, editor, and one half of Brent and Michael Are Going Locations, a few touring homosexual digital nomads. Subscribe to their free journey publication right here.

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