Traveling has always been something photographers like to do. Whether it ’s short or long, they often find interesting subjects in unfamiliar environments. How can you make travel photography easier? Take a look at the following “travel shooting” skills!
(1) Planning Your Trip
To take good travel photos, a collection of information and travel plans is necessary, because you first must know what you want to shoot. Some special events are held on certain days if you don’t have a plan, you will miss some wonderful moments!
However, one of the interesting aspects of travel photography is its “adventure” element, spend some time to look around with your camera, you may find some surprises.
(2) Bring the Right Amount of Equipment
Your equipment can be a headache when traveling. It can be a problem to take not enough. But too much is too much weight. After shooting many travels, I will arrange a list of equipment to bring:
- [Required] One body, backup battery, cleaning supplies
- [Required] Wide-angle and telephoto lenses
- [Required] Travel tripod
- [Recommended] Fisheye lens
- [Recommended] Large aperture fixed focus lens
- [Recommended] Light reduction filter, gradient gray filter, CPL
- [Optional] External flash
I usually start with a camera, 3 lenses, filters, and a tripod, which is enough for most of the shooting!
(3) Self-Driving Tour Makes Shooting Easier
In places that require long trips such as Australia, United States, and Europe, self-driving tours can make your trip easier-not only you can set your schedule, you can also put spare equipment in your car to increase your mobility.
(4) Basic Composition Skills
For beginners, here are some basic shooting tips that can be applied to help your shooting:
Use a shallow depth of field: Shallow depth of field can be described as a very easy to use composition method, not only it can make the subject more prominent but also blur out difficult to avoid the background. To shoot a shallow depth of field, you can zoom in on the aperture, increase the focal length, and look for a background far from the subject, so normal equipment can shoot beautiful shallow depth of field effects.
Frame Composition: If you find something similar to a “photo frame”, you might as well use it! The “frame” doesn’t have to be anything. Some virtual lines, even trees!
Triangle Composition: Triangle composition can make the picture stable, suitable for shooting small bridges, and buildings.
Contrast Composition: Most commonly used contrasts are size contrast, color contrast, and distance. It’s up to your “photographic eyes” to capture!
The use of guide-lines: Find a guide-line, which can make the reader’s eyes naturally be taken to the main body of the photo. The guideline can also become a “foreground” and should be used more.
(5) Finding Interesting Angles
Many students will lift and shoot immediately when they reach a scenic spot. Usually, the shooting angle is not the best. Enjoy the scenic spot, examine what it is, what are their characteristics, will it make a meaningful story-telling photo be taken from one angle?
(6) Pay Attention to The Direction of the Light
As a beginner, you may be new to light. The easiest way is to see the subject you want to shoot is “front light”, “sidelight” or “backlight”.
“Front light” can shoot bright scenes, but it will be a bit dull;
“Sidelight” makes the scenes have shadows to express the outline;
“Backlight” can shoot silhouettes, or deliberately take over-exposed photos;
When traveling, you may not be able to shoot at the best time and light. You must use the characteristics of the above types of light to compose the picture! It’s also a good idea to walk around and change the angle if you can.
(7) Adding Depth
Adding a foreground to a photo can make your composition rich and choosing a background carefully can make your subject more prominent. It can express more of the environment.
(8) Make Good Use of Slow Shutter
If you have a tripod, you can try to shoot flowing water to take a dynamic photo with a slow shutter!
(9) Shooting the Starry Sky
In the big cities where you live, the light damage is serious, it is difficult to take beautiful starry sky photos. In some remote places with low light damage, such as Australia and New Zealand, you may wish to take more starry sky photos! The basic shooting settings; large aperture and exposure should not exceed 25 seconds (otherwise it becomes star trails), ISO can be 800 or1600. Adding a foreground to a starry sky photo is important to make the photo more attractive!
(10) Use Post-Production to Enhance the Effect
Make some appropriate modifications in Photoshop or other post-production software to make the photos more attractive. The basic modifications are to adjust the Shadow/Highlight, Contrast, and Saturation. If necessary, also You can use the Crop tool for secondary composition. Small tip: for some photos that failed to expose, you can try to turn them into black and white photos, there will be surprises try it!
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Author: Alex Tam