There are few better ways to savour the memories of a wonderful holiday than with the help of some good photos. Not without good reason do people nearly always say photos are the one thing they’d save if their house ever caught fire. Photos are a wonderful reminder of times gone by – it’s incredible how a photo can conjure up things you’d long forgotten about.
But it’s equally true that many of us return from our travels a bit disappointed with our travel photos. Many people will be familiar with the feeling that our photographic skills definitely have ‘room for improvement’. But taking good travel photos isn’t difficult – applying a bit of knowledge can really pay dividends. So what are the best ways to improve your travel photos? Here are two useful suggestions:
There’s probably no other factor which can make or break a photo like lighting. Lots of travel photos are spoiled by the lighting either being insufficient or far too strong. This has the effect of producing an image which is either underexposed or overexposed. As a general rule, try to take your photos with the sun behind you, so that your subject is backlit. Sometimes it is worth having the sun slightly to the left or right of directly behind you, especially if the sun is shining into your subject’s eyes. The same rule applies to landscapes and scenic shots. Your goal when it comes to lighting should always be to compensate for strong or weak light by adjusting the shutter speed accordingly (if your camera allows you to do so).
Framing is another area where applying a bit of knowledge can really take your travel photos to a whole new level. Try and resist the obvious choice when framing a picture, which is to place the subject directly in the centre, and take the picture. Very few good photos are framed in this way. Shift your subject left or right, or up or down, and make use of the surrounding space. A useful rule of thumb is the ‘rule of thirds’ – try and place your subject around a third (or two-thirds) of way across the frame. You can do this horizontally or vertically, depending on the subject matter and the setting.
Picture by TOK56 – Fotolia