Whether you’re traveling all over the world or enjoying adventures closer to home, you’ll undoubtedly want to show off your exploration escapades to family and friends on your return, in the best possible way.
How you light your photographs can make a big difference in the quality of the image that you later present in your travel-themed photo books.
Improving the quality of your travel photography is easy when you follow our tips…
1. Plan A Pre-Trip Location Recce
If you’re serious about photography, it’s a good idea to plan a pre-trip location scout to get familiar with your surroundings. Obviously, this won’t be possible to you’re travelling a fair distance from home, or venturing overseas. When taking a trip to a destination in your own country, you’ll already have some idea of the best time of day when the perfect light for your tour photos is likely to be available.
Checking the information about the potential weather, and how long you need to reach specific locations, can also be helpful in determining the best natural light to show off your photography skills.
2. Make Precise Plans
It pays to do your research and to carefully plan where you want to go, and the sites you want to visit before you set out on an adventure. Making precise plans means that you don’t waste time wandering around aimlessly and wasting good tour photo light.
By maximizing your time, you can produce more photos that are higher in light quality.
3. Capture The Morning Glory
Wherever you are in the world, be sure to set your alarm so that you can enjoy the breathtaking sight of day breaking. The soft morning light can create photos that are truly awe-inspiring and amazing.
Don’t be in a rush to snap and go, as the hour after sunrise – which is commonly known as the ‘golden hour’ – is perfectly lit with warm tones that create pleasing shadows.
4. Avoid The Midday Sun
Shooting photos in the bright and harsh sunshine of midday is not recommended if you want to fill your photo book with stunning images. Stay out of the midday sun, and reserve your energy for capturing outstanding shots after your afternoon nap.
5. Search For A Stunning Sunset
Sunsets are one of the most spectacular images that you can capture for your travel photo albums. Wherever you are in the world, there is a stunning sunset waiting to feature in the pages of your travel theme tour photos.
Do your best to resist the urge to snap away. Be patient, and wait for the best moment to take advantage of the perfect light.
As with the ‘golden hour’ of the sunrise, sunsets too have a unique ethereal quality to the light that they produce. The sunset’s ‘blue hour’ is ideal for creating atmospheric and romantic photos.
6. Create Balanced Compositions
While it may be tempting to point your camera and shoot, taking care and time to create balanced compositions will result in photographs that look professional. Photographers often apply the Rule of Thirds, when capturing images that the want to display and show off.
Breaking down the picture, that you view through the lens, into thirds that are horizontal and vertical helps you to frame the overall image, so that you can create visually pleasing photographs for your photo albums. This principle applies whether you’re focused on a scenic vista or a portrait of a person.
If your camera has a grid feature, turning it on will show lines on the LCD screen that you can use to compose perfectly lit pictures. Before framing up each shot, it’s a good idea to identify the key points of interest of the place, attraction or view that you want to snap. To improve the look of your photographs, adjust the grid so that it encompasses the perfect focal feature.
Even if you’re solely focused on photographing landscapes and scenery, introducing a human element into some of your photos, can help to add emotion, and to create a better sense of scale.
7. Play Around With Different Angles
To avoid filling up your tour photo albums with images that are too uniform, play around with different angles, when planning your compositions.
It’s fun to experiment with a camera in your hand. Lying on the ground allows you to capture low angle images and a perspective that most people miss. Aerial shots also add another unique dimension to the photo collection you present in your travel photo albums.
8. Experiment With A Range Of Distances
To make the viewer of your travel theme photo books feel part of your experience, take a selection of images from a range of different distances. Take a wide shot, mid-range, and up-close and personal snaps to bring the image to life. When you experiment with distances you produce more shots of a particular scene or image, which allows you to have a greater number of options to choose from, when filling up your photo books.
You can use objects in the foreground to create a soft-focus 3D effect for the overall image. Adjusting your distance perspective also enables you to maximize the light that’s available. Before taking the shot, make sure that the composition is balanced, and that you have a mix of foreground, midground, and background elements on show too.