Tips and resources to improve your travel photography
I love travel – which I guess is stating the obvious! What I don’t love is coming home with ho-hum, mediocre, boring photos. You’ve gone all that way, found all those amazing sights and landscapes, met interesting people and had a myriad of cultural experiences and yet your photos just don’t reflect what your eyes saw and your heart felt. Below are my best tips for making photos that pop and are ones you will be proud and happy to show to others.
1. It’s not the gear, it’s the photographer – don’t get caught into the trap of thinking the better the gear, the better the photos. You will be very disappointed. I have seen people who have spent thousands on the latest, high-tech camera equipment and their photos are, basically, crap. Uninteresting, dull and why? Because there is no heart in them. There is nothing of the photographer. You don’t need to spend a lot of money.
2. Which brings me to my second point: the best camera you have is the one you have with you. Use what ever is at hand if there is a great shot to be had. Point-and-shoot, iPhone, fancy SLR – doesn’t matter. Get the Shot.
3. Practice, practice, practice. No-one took decent photos the first time they picked up a camera. Get out there and practice.
4. Shallower what??? Depth of field. Those shots everyone loves where there is a very blurry background with just the object in focus. This is created by changing the size of the aperture. It’s not hard at all – once you know what you’re doing. So my point number 4 – if you have a DSLR I highly recommend learning how to use it on manual setting or at the very least, aperture priority.
5. Learn about composition – how elements are placed in a photograph so it has balance and draws the eye to where you want it to go. This is too huge a subject for this forum but there are many resources out there that can help you. The internet is full of free information and downloads on photography which can be easily accessed. See below for some ideas for resources you can access for free.
6. Study other photographers. Instagram is good for that – millions of images uploaded everyday. Check them out. Better yet find a few professional photographers work you like and buy or borrow some books. Some of my favourites include: Elliott Erwitt, Annie Liebovitz, Saul Leiter, Henri Cartier-Bresson.
One of my favourite travel photographers at the moment is David du Chemin. He is a Canadian photographer and writer who is very skilled at both and very generous with his expertise. He runs a business called Craft & Vision that offer a number of downloads on various topics of photography, some for free others priced extremely low. Have a look – there is sure to be something there to help you: www.craftandvision.com
Got any questions???? Ask away – will help when and wherever I can!
Safe travels and happy snapping.
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