Fundamentals are important, but sometimes you have to hit the ground running. You may want to learn photography when you find the time, but what if you’re suddenly embarking on a trip and don’t have time to learn let alone practice? It doesn’t matter so much if you get a bad photo of the local market or a nearby city, but if it takes a 10 hour flight and hefty budget, then you’re going to want to get some good photos the first time around. So here are some tricks that I’ve picked up that might prove useful to you, if you’re not an experienced photographer but will be traveling very soon!
- Take the same photo more than once. Have you ever gotten that perfect shot, only to find to your dismay that it was slightly blurry zoomed up on the computer? I try to snap a couple more shots as “insurance” to increase odds of getting a sharp shot. Some people are going to be horrified that I’m telling you just to take a lot of shots rather than trying to explain proper form, but I found that if you’re in a crowded area like a tourist hot spot, there’s bound to be people running into you and jostling your camera so it’s a good idea to take more than one shot anyway.
- Try out different exposures, especially if you shoot using the screen. Never trust the screen 100%. I swear there have been so many times where I thought the brightness of the photo looked just right, only to come home and find that the photo was too bright and had areas that were blown out. Photoshop can’t really fix something that is pitch black or blown out white, so take a photo when the exposure meter is centered and when it’s a few notches below and a few notches above.
- If you cranked up the ISO while taking photos inside a dark cathedral, don’t forget to bring it back down when you step outside. Otherwise you might find that the resolution of your outdoor photos may be a bit on the grainy side.
- Take the iconic shots with your phone too. This will make it easier to show your friends and family, either on your phone or through a message. This will also make it easy to throw up some photos on Facebook or Instagram and give you time to edit your camera photos without feeling pressured. You might also want to take an extra snap in square mode if you’re into Instagram as the ratio for the regular format won’t always look nice after cropping.
- Get the cover shot. There is nothing creative or special about the cover shot that features the building or statue straight on, but it’s nice to have. Whether you decide to make a scrapbook or write a blog post, it’s nice to have a cover shot to open with before you start showing the pretty details. There have been times where I forgot to take a shot of the front door or the front facade of a building and found myself wishing I had. I personally find it awkward to start a post with a close up of a lamp on the side of a building unless it’s a post that deliberately focuses on the lamps.
- Learn to use the video function, even if you’re not a fan of videos. I personally find video editing to be a nightmare, so I don’t really take many videos. Still, there were some clutch moments though when I knew that I just had to capture the moment on video. Like when the Big Ben struck noon when I was standing directly beneath it, or when the bells of Notre Dame rang while I was up on the tower.
- Be wary of clowns and street performers. Keep in mind that some street performers may get upset if you don’t pay them after taking a photo or video. I was also harassed by a clown that blocked my view of the London Eye, telling me he’d move out of the way if I took a photo of him and demanded money.
Your turn ♥ What are some tips that you found helpful for travel photography?