The best trips leave memories that remain long after the trip has ended. One of the best ways to share our travel memories, or relive them, is through photos. Thankfully, it doesn’t take an expensive or complicated camera to capture moments that will last forever. All you need is a smartphone and you’re on your way to sharing pictures that will fill your friends and family with serious wanderlust.
If you talk to a professional photographer, they are going to mention the importance of good lighting. While you may look forward to sleeping in on vacation, the best time for an outdoor photo-shoot is in the early morning or evening (sunrise/sunset). You will want to take photos when the light is soft, so avoid mid-day when the sun is at its brightest. Use natural light as often as possible, even when taking indoor photos, to achieve the best possible quality.
Besides optimal lighting, another benefit to waking up early is avoiding crowds. While there are apps designed to “erase” people or things from a photo (such as other tourists taking a selfie in the background), nothing compares to the peace and quiet of reaching a destination before other tourists arrive. Your photos will be clear of unwanted people, you will have the space to capture photos exactly the way you want. And, without hordes of people around, you will be able to fully take in, and truly enjoy, the moment
Before going out for the day, be aware of your phone storage space and battery life. We all know the dreaded feeling of being ready for a perfect picture only to have your phone read, “Memory is full” or “Low battery”. Avoid this frustration by deleting unnecessary things from your phone prior to starting your day, and fully charge your phone the night before. It may also be beneficial to invest in a portable phone charger so you can power up while waiting in line or eating a meal.
There is a reason fashion models spend several hours in a photo shoot. Landing the winning cover shot may mean shooting hundreds and hundreds of images, just to find that perfect one. While no one wants to see one hundred photos of the same building, taking multiple photos can give you options. There might be a “photo-bomber”, or maybe someone closed their eyes. Maybe you caught someone mid-sneeze, or something is out of focus. Avoid the disappointment of finding these mishaps by taking lots of photos and deleting the sub-par options later.
Along with taking a lot of photos, test out many angles. Horizontal, vertical, close up, far away, or angled downward will each capture the same image but in a different way. As the photographer, don’t be afraid to move around to test how things look from another angle or direction. Photography is an art, so get creative.
Editing is another way that photographers set their photos apart from the rest. Most smartphones have built-in photo editing options. Test the editing options before the trip and apply what you’ve learned to make your travel photos look even better. There are also many online resources available that can teach you about photo editing.
Understandably, it can be hard to put the camera down when exploring new and beautiful places. With these tips, you will be able to capture quality pictures and relive your travels for years to come. Photos are great but remember: put the phone down from time to time, nothing beats the real experience.