You don’t need to be wielding the latest DSLR to be able to take amazing photos, you just need to know how to spot a shot and capture what you see on whatever photography device you have. Here are our top tips…
1. Have your camera ready.
Not such an issue if you are using your smartphone, but if you like the old-school touch of a film camera, or indeed carry a more modern digital camera about, make sure it isn’t at the bottom of your bag, without a film, missing a battery or attached to the wrong lens.
2. Look for colour.
Neon lights, colourful market stalls, flowers in full bloom, the bright hues of fabrics, or simply a big blue sky. A strong splash of colour can add a dramatic feel to an otherwise ordinary snap.
3. Look for contrast.
You don’t need to be working in Black and White to make the most of light and dark. Seek shadows and silhouettes for a dramatic effect even with the most saturated film or filter. Especially good at sunset!
4. Find the story.
Whether you are at an event or festival or you are wandering the streets, seek a narrative every time you look through the viewfinder. Traditional festivals are a great place to find a story, but so are portrait opportunities with every person you meet!
5. Turn off auto.
Take time to experiment with your equipment, playing around with long exposures of city lights or the night sky, super-fast shutter speeds for action shots, and changing depth of field to draw the viewer’s eye to the subject.
6. Don’t forget to document.
Chances are you’ll forget how great that al fresco fish dinner tasted on the Aegean coast unless you capture on camera. Your travel photos aren’t just for sharing with friends and family, they are for keeping memories too.
7. Go for Golden Hour.
The light just after sunrise and just before sunset is softer and slightly redder than the rest of the day, the perfect light for beautiful photography! Make sure you don’t miss this “golden” photo opportunity, use the Golden Hour Calculator to check out times at your destination.
8. Find your frame.
Get down low, get up high, look up, look down, zoom in, crop, add space, centre your subject… there are a kerzillion ways to frame a shot, and the best way to find out what works is to experiment! Don’t be afraid to break the rules – use your viewfinder until you hit the aesthetic sweet-spot.
9. Don’t forget the details.
Macro photography is an art in itself, with super-close-ups requiring specialist equipment to get National Geographic quality shots. Most phone cameras and mid-range digital cameras have quite a good digital zoom function that can capture excellent textures and fine details – as long as you have an eye to find them!
Use social media to share your best shots with other travellers and to inspire other adventurers. If you are on a longstay adventure, you could create an online journal using the 365Project, a place where you can share your photos with the community and document your adventures, all for free!