Recommendations on Tips on how to Take Higher Journey Images

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Ideas from an newbie journey photographer on how you can take higher journey pictures.

I’m solely an newbie photographer, however over the previous 5 years as I’ve traveled the world as a digital nomad, I’ve acquired plenty of good compliments about my photograph’s, each on social media and in our newsletter. I’ve even had some requests for recommendation on how you can take higher journey pictures.

So I figured it was time to share a few of what I’ve discovered about journey images.

Associated learn: Road Images Gear (Together with Greatest Road Images Digital camera)

I use Pixels for my travel photos
Personally, I’m an enormous of fan of Pixels for the standard of their cameras.

Tips on how to take higher journey pictures

Don’t fear: this isn’t a super-geeky information about fancy cameras or how you can use apertures or f-stops. As a result of, frankly, I don’t know what an f-stop is, and I take pics with a Pixel 4a.

Which brings me to our first subject.

Digital camera vs Telephone

The extra severe I grew about my journey images, the extra I agonized over whether or not I needs to be utilizing a correct digicam moderately than my Pixel telephone. I did an excessive amount of analysis and got here away with these conclusions:

Digital camera telephones have made enormous strides through the years by way of high quality. Frankly, what most digicam telephones can do right this moment is extraordinary.

However! They will’t do every thing. Even right this moment, zooming with a telephone digicam doesn’t produce the highest quality. So when you’re hoping to be an expert photographer or take completely professional-looking photos, you’ll most likely wish to put money into a correct digital digicam.

However! These telephones may be very costly. And sophisticated to make use of. On prime of that, you’ll virtually definitely find yourself needing completely different lenses, tripods, and different gear. This will all be a bit overwhelming.

What’s the take-away? Get a digicam if you’d like, however there’s completely no disgrace in merely utilizing your telephone both. The best way I see it, the very best digicam is the one you might have with you whenever you actually wish to take an image. And your telephone might be all the time going to be with you. Simply sayin’.

I would get a correct digicam one in every of nowadays. However I’m not planning on it any time quickly.


The “composition” of a photograph is the way in which during which you organize and body the objects within the photograph.

Critical photographers say some of the necessary facets of composition includes one thing referred to as “the rule of the thirds.” That’s whenever you divide your image into 9 equal sectors utilizing two horizontal traces and two vertical traces. These imaginary traces may help you body your objects.

It’s also possible to consider the previous Brady Bunch opening credit, besides with out the Bradys.

How to take better travel photos using composition
Me, left, The Bradys, proper.

You may suppose that placing the central object within the heart of the photograph is finest, proper the place Alice is. And it may be! However that may also be a bit static or boring.

So contemplate placing your object within the left or proper column, particularly aligning it on the intersection of the imaginary traces — proper between Jan and Alice, and even Carol and Greg.

By placing your topic at one of many intersection factors, you permit room for the viewer’s eyes to maneuver across the picture and discover the image, moderately than merely wanting on the topic and shifting on.

Additionally necessary to composition are “main traces” and “symmetry.” Keep in mind once I stated you shouldn’t heart the objects in your photograph?

Generally it’s best to, particularly when you can benefit from some component that focuses the photograph. Main traces, just like the stone path and partitions within the photograph on the left, beneath, draw the attention to a particular level. In the meantime, symmetry is when completely different parts in a photograph match or mirror one another.

How to take better travel photos using symmetry
Main traces and symmetry!

In terms of composition, all these parts can come into play directly: the Brady Bunch rule, symmetry, and main traces.

Greater than something, although, your photograph is dictated by what you’re taking an image of. What would make the photograph as fascinating as potential?

As an example, an image of the Acropolis surrounded by the “symmetry” of some timber could be fairly cool. However what about if there’s an previous Greek man standing in entrance of it? He turns into a “main line” on to the Acropolis, however he’s additionally positioned off to at least one aspect, between Cindy and Mike Brady, to make the composition extra fascinating.

A travel photo of a man standing and looking at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
After taking dozens of pictures of the Acropolis, I noticed this older man and knew an image of him wanting on the Acropolis was THE image.

Additionally, all the time contemplate the angle you shoot issues from. My knees HATE me for it, however I’m continually crouching down so I can shoot up at one thing. Heck, I’ll usually lie flat on my again as a way to get the image I would like.

That is normally the purpose the place my husband Brent pretends he doesn’t know me.

And getting all the way down to your topic’s degree can actually assist seize a greater sense of who or what they’re, whether or not they be youngsters, canines, or flowers.

Sitting in shorts in scorpion-infested Texas scrub in order to take this picture…may not have been my most brilliant idea.
Sitting in shorts in scorpion-infested Texas scrub as a way to take this image…might not have been my most sensible concept.

Lighting/The Golden Hour

In terms of lighting, right here’s a rule that’s fairly agency: the sunshine is normally finest at dawn or sundown. Mid-day means the solar can be instantly overhead, and that gentle may be harsh. It might make objects look flat and fewer enticing.

The time shortly earlier than and after dawn and sundown is known as “the golden hour,” as a result of it’s, nicely, golden. The sunshine is softer because it has to journey by means of extra environment. That causes it to be extra diffuse and hotter with numerous reds and golds. Golden hour gentle can also be kinder to pores and skin tones, and it creates plenty of fascinating shadows.

Alas, the golden hour is never a complete hour lengthy. All of it is dependent upon the time of 12 months due to planetary orbits and ellipses and different scientific-y issues that make my head harm.

Typically, I’ll rise up earlier than daybreak to get these ten valuable minutes of excellent lighting. That is one other time when Brent may faux to not know me, besides he’s normally again in our condominium, sleeping.

Then once more, if nice pictures have been simple, everybody would take them.

Take photos during golden hour for the best light
This lighting is extra valuable than precise gold…

One more reason I go for the morning golden hour for images? As a result of even at fashionable vacationer points of interest, I usually have locations virtually solely to myself. I get higher photos and I get a greater expertise with out having to combat the crowds.

So right here’s one other essential newbie photographers’ tip: when you’ve taken your pictures, put aside time to easily savor the expertise.

My favourite morning golden hour moments thus far?

  • The highest of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the place, after taking my pictures, I simply stood and took in that superior view of Rome.
  • On the Charles Bridge in Prague the place I froze my butt off to seize the mist rising off the river.

One different word in regards to the golden hour, both at dawn or sundown: clouds may be both your finest pal or your worst enemy.

Clouds sitting proper on the horizon can block the rising or setting solar, ruining every thing. Or if they’re the fitting peak they will catch the rays, turning spectacular reds and golds and even purple when you’re fortunate, all whereas reflecting the sunshine again to the bottom and doubling their affect.

The light of the setting sun reflecting off of the bottom of clouds in Split, Croatia
The sunshine of the setting solar reflecting off of the underside of clouds in Cut up, Croatia.

Individuals matter

Landscapes are lovely, however you realize what are all the time my hottest pictures on social media?

Photos of me and my husband.

Which is sensible. Individuals actually are fascinating — and Brent not less than may be very good-looking. And when you’re an newbie journey photographer, you’re most likely most serious about taking photos of you and your folks anyway.

That stated, the period of selfies is kinda over. So contemplate all of the above strategies when taking photos of individuals too.

Travel photos with people
The writer on the left, his husband on the fitting.

Oh, and right here’s a tip on how you can get probably the most pure smile out of your topic: inform them not to consider intercourse. That nearly all the time will get fun.

Do I Need to Edit? Plus, What’s JPEG vs RAW?

You don’t wish to must “edit” your pics, proper? I didn’t both. I admit at first I used to be a bit frightened of the know-how.

However don’t be. If I used to be capable of grasp what I’m about to let you know, you possibly can too.

Whenever you go into the superior settings of your telephone’s digicam, there’s a place the place you possibly can select whether or not you need your digicam to save lots of your pics as both JPEG or RAW recordsdata.

These are settings that decide how a lot data the file created by the digicam’s picture sensor retains of every photograph.

In the event you select JPEG, your digicam will mechanically do some very fundamental processing and assist you to do some additional fundamental enhancing to make your pictures look a bit nicer.

Simply not that a lot nicer.

However whenever you shoot in RAW, you should use enhancing software program to take all of that further data captured by your digicam to edit your photograph.

I’m certain greater than as soon as, you’ve taken an image, checked out it, and thought, “Huh, that isn’t actually nearly as good as I assumed it seemed.”

Which is since you’re virtually definitely capturing in JPEG.

Check out these two pictures.

Tips for editing your travel photos
About thirty seconds price of enhancing helped give this image much more life.

The highest pic is type of blah and doesn’t actually pop. In the meantime, the colour and readability of the second photograph is manner higher. The picture is way crisper.

That’s as a result of you probably have the RAW file — which I did — then you should use enhancing software program to regulate the publicity, distinction, coloration saturation, and fairly a number of different issues.

And, no, you aren’t “dishonest.” All you’re doing is what skilled photographers have all the time finished. (However you are able to do it badly, making pictures look over-saturated or over-contrasted. A part of what makes a photograph “good” is that it captures actuality. That ought to all the time be the purpose.)

You are able to do some enhancing in your telephone, or in Google Photograph. There are additionally free enhancing apps like Snapseed. Personally, I exploit Adobe Lightroom, which prices me $10 USD a month, as a result of I like the extra choices, and since it’s really easy to make use of and comes with nice tutorials.

However truthfully, even a bit enhancing could make a world of distinction.

Amount can imply extra high quality

Questioning how you can take higher journey pictures? Take a lot of them. The extra you’re taking, the extra you’ll have to select from. And the higher a photographer you’ll turn into.

Guess what number of photos I at present have in my Adobe Lightroom folder proper now?


And that is solely the variety of edited pictures. The overall variety of pics I’ve taken is…nicely, I don’t wish to say, as a result of Brent will learn this text in some unspecified time in the future, and I wish to keep believable deniability.

You completely don’t must take this many pictures. I’m type of a nut.

However as with all talent, the extra you apply, the higher you’ll turn into.

Extra suggestions for taking higher journey pictures

Listed here are a number of extra issues I’ve discovered on how you can take higher journey pictures:

  • Transfer round as you’re taking your pictures. Greater than as soon as, I’ve thought I’d taken all the very best photographs — or thought the topic was too boring to make an excellent image — solely to maneuver up or down, or sideways, to find a more energizing angle.
  • Analysis a location forward of time. I admit that I’ll go to Instagram and get hold of pics of various places I could be serious about. Or I’ll Google “finest place to take photos in Amsterdam.” There’s nothing flawed with benefiting from the work of others. Even when you go to the identical spot to take a photograph, all types of issues can be completely different: the sunshine, the climate, and so forth. It’s simple to discover a solution to make the photograph your individual.
  • Simply stroll. When Brent and I arrive in a brand new location, we take a look at the “well-known” spots pretty rapidly. However then we discover. And that’s normally the place I get the great things.
  • Even when you don’t do a lot (or any) enhancing, not less than contemplate cropping your photos. Cropping allows you to repair some errors, transfer your topic to a type of intersection factors, and produce parts out in your photograph that you simply won’t have even recognized have been there.
  • Develop your “photographer’s eyes” and all the time maintain them open. Truthfully, I feel images has helped me take a look at my environment far more carefully. And now I all the time discover surprising alternatives for nice pictures in every single place.
  • Take the shot when you might have it! Greater than as soon as, I’ve been out strolling about, seen one thing I needed to take an image of and thought, “Oh, I’ll get that later.” Besides once I return, the sunshine is flawed. Or I can’t keep in mind the place I used to be within the first place. (This occurs extra whenever you rise up earlier than daybreak loads!)

Crucial tip of all

Take the photographs you need for the explanations you need.

You’re most likely not studying this text to turn into an expert photographer. As amateurs, we take journey pictures as a result of we take pleasure in it, and to seize our reminiscences of the locations we’ve visited and the individuals we all know.

Positive, you’ll most likely share your pictures on social media, however nobody will recognize them the way in which you do. They’re your reminiscences, in any case.

Do not forget that. Do that for you.

As for remainder of my recommendation, use no matter sounds helpful and ignore the remainder.

Michael Jensen is an writer, editor, and one half of Brent and Michael Are Going Locations, a few touring homosexual digital nomads. Subscribe to their free travel newsletter here.

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