Do you love taking photos, but just can’t seem to get your pictures to match that vision you had for it or the true essence of what your trying to capture? I had the same problem, I love taking photos, but every time I would be showing friends pictures of my travels, I found my self-saying, “This photo doesn’t really show it, but trust me it was amazing.” Wouldn’t it be great to change those bland family trip post card photos to the, “WOW! That’s an incredible photo.”
On a recent trip through Southeast Asia something changed for me and my photos transformed from the bland boring photos to the WOW photos that really capture what my trip was about and the emotions I experienced. Granted Southeast Asia is beautiful on its own so it did most of the work for me, but I really learned to let my creativity soar in my photography with the help of beautiful Southeast Asia.
Here are five tips I learned to enhance my photo taking ability and truly capture my travel experiences.
Tip #1: Lighting
While travelling I really learned how to use the lighting and shadows to enhance my photos. My favorite time to take photos was during what the experts call the ‘golden hour’; this is during that magic hour at dawn and dusk when the sun brings a special glow to the world around you, and makes your pictures more rich with color and contrast. Another thing to remember is, don’t always use your flash. I learned that I could take much richer pictures just by using the natural light and shadows.
Tip #2: Angles
One mistake people like to make, is always taking photos from the same standing position. Try shooting from a bunch of different angles, snap shots from different heights (hold the camera above your head or below your waist), lay on the ground, just get creative with how you take your shots. Some final thoughts for you is to experiment with close ups, far distances, different points of view, and adding contrasting elements.
Tip #3: People
A lot of people get nervous when wanting to take a picture of the local people. Well I’m telling you now don’t be. Take pictures of the people, talk with them, and take pictures with them. You will amplify your cultural understanding and capture a better picture of your travel destinations with the people who live in these amazing places.
Tip #4: Tell A Story
You don’t just have to take one ‘post card’ like picture of a location. Try capturing the entire environment of a situation, the colors, the food, the sounds, the people, etc. You can make a collage of pictures starting from a wide angle and slowly taking closer and closer shots from different angles of what you’re experiencing, and then when you put it all together you have captured the experience and not just the place.
Tip #5: Experiment
Lastly, the best way to truly become a better photographer is just by experimenting as much as you can. No matter what kind of camera you have it’s sure to have a handful of functions and settings that you can mess around with. Just have fun and mess around as much as you can, and you will quickly find what works and what doesn’t. Some examples to try: black and white, sepia, white balance, different exposures, macro mode, aperture, shutter speeds, etc.
Enjoy your travels and your new knowledge of how to capture amazing travel photos.
About The Author: Zach Smith is an experienced travel writer and photographer living in Beijing. He dedicates his writing to help travelers experience the most out of their travels. He works with different companies in the travel sector including CoverMore Australia and New Zealand.
Photo Credit: Zach Smith