Anyone can point and click at a view, and if the scenery is wonderful, you get a good photo. But what if you want great photos? Fantastic travel photos that will make Instagrammers drool for the places you’ve been and the things you’ve seen? Here’s how to take your travel photos from ordinary to extraordinary.
The first trick for how to take better travel photos is to get up early, when streets are empty, dogs are busy chasing postmen and the air is still crisp and clean. One hour before sunrise and one hour before sunset the light is simply magical - and at that time tourists tend to be in their hotel beds or heading for Happy Hour, so you can take a clean shot of whatever image you're trying to capture without someone getting in the way.
There's no need to be shy about taking photos of people you meet while traveling, but be sure to ask for permission; their own image and their car's number plate, for example, are protected by copyright. The worst the person with those perfect cheekbones can say is, "No." And it's simply rude not to ask.
Your mobile phone is a communication device, not a camera. Yes, it takes pictures, but it wasn't designed to capture moving targets in all their glorious Technicolor. Use your SLR camera instead, then upload your perfect travel pictures to Instagram.
It's easy to wreck a travel photo on Instagram with multiple filters. Instead, use photo-editing apps that will allow you to enhance the sharpness, contrast and brightness of your pictures. Afterlight and Snapsee are easy to use. Once you have found your very own editing style, stick to it.
While snapping away is great fun, photography is an art form that needs to be learned through practicing and watching experts at work. Enroll in workshops, join local photography groups, watch how-to videos on YouTube, read books about photography at your local library and attend photography exhibitions.
Get out of the urban jungle and find interesting subjects to snap in nature. Go hiking, pony-trekking, mountain climbing, kitesurfing and dolphin-watching. Nature still provides the most fascinating and stunning travel photos you could possibly upload on Instagram. Say cheese, Mr. Koala!
Look out for lots of color and texture when you choose the background for a travel picture. A camel standing in front of a white-washed wall isn't half as eye-catching as a camel dozing in front of a colorful market stall.
Instagram images appear in squares, so shooting travel situations in a square frame to start off with helps enormously to create a perfect package for Instagram upload.
Sounds like something from a Conan Doyle murder mystery involving Sherlock Holmes, doesn't it! No, the secret of how to take better travel photos lies in observing the rule of three, which in professional photography terms means you divide the image you see into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. That way you'll create more interest. The eye of the beholder will travel along those lines, forcing them to stay longer on your Instagram image to take in all the details.
And don’t forget to have fun! You’re on hols so don’t get so engrossed in your search for the perfect photo that you forget to enjoy what you’re seeing and doing. With the tips above your photos will get better straight away and over time. Do you take care with your travel photos or are you happy to point and click?
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