Change is the only constant in life. In photography, every photographer must embrace those changes for them to grow and their skills to improve. If you’re up for it, here are 8 useful tips to improve your photos.
8 Useful Travel Photography Tips for Improving Your Photos
1. Pre-trip Location Scouting
Always be prepared. It may be a Boy Scout motto, but in travel photography, it is one important key to have a successful trip. Do this is by familiarizing yourself to the place you’re about to explore. This will help you know which areas are good for daylight and night photography.
You can research through books to learn their history and important landmarks, or through social media like Instagram. Look for people who recently visited that destination and read their reviews. This will give you an idea of what to expect and bring when you get there.
Also, look at the weather forecast to your destination to ensure that you’ll not get stuck in a bad weather during your stay. While heavy rain may be a deterrent, don’t let overcast days stop you from shooting. Having dynamic storm clouds in your photos can actually make your images more interesting and add more dimension!
2. Use a Tripod
Not all are fond of bringing a tripod on their trips because it’s just an added weight to their bag. But for some type of photography (e.g. panoramic landscape, waterfalls), a tripod is a must-have!
A tripod let the user set the camera to a fixed position which is beneficial if you’re shooting at a slower shutter speed (slower shutter speed means a higher risk of unnecessary camera shake).
3. Patience Is Everything
A picture-perfect moment doesn’t always happen instantly, so patience is an essential trait to have for travel photographers.
Take all the time you needed to plan your strategy and wait for it to happen. If you’re not satisfied with the result, paint another picture in your mind or wait for an unexpected subject to pass by on your canvass that can make it more interesting.
4. Make Photography a Priority
Aside from patience, another major key to succeed as a travel photographer is dedication. You need to allot so much of your time, per destination, to ensure you’ll get the images you wanted.
This is challenging to achieve if you book your travel with a tour package; because everything has a time limit per destination. But it’s still possible by waking up early and does a little exploration yourself.
5. Shoot in Manual Mode
There are different modes in the main setting of your camera: auto and manual mode.
Auto mode is the commonly used by most hobbyists. But if you’re a serious photographer, you have to learn shooting in manual mode. Why? It’s because it allows you to manually control the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.
This is a good opportunity for you to be more creative and experimental with different exposure.
6. Feel the Place
As a photographer, your task is not limited to taking pictures. For you to enjoy the whole experience, you must learn everything about the destination you’re visiting. Know its history, try their delicious food and interact with the locals.
From this, you’ll able to understand the real story behind that beautiful place and use that knowledge as an inspiration.
7. Rule of Thirds
Rule of Thirds is a gridline that divides an image into 9 equal parts. This is a common technique for photographers to find the balance of an image and give their subject emphasis.
If you’re new to the concept, you can start learning it by asking yourself questions like “What’s the subject I want to focus in on this shot?”
8. Keep It Natural
Photography is about capturing the natural beauty of your subject. From the word “natural”, you must learn how to use the natural light to your advantage. Though flash has its advantage, try to limit it to situations that in real need of it.