There is nothing new about the fact that the overall ease of use of today’s shooting devices and the abundance of options of today’s editing software usually leaves us with two kinds of photos. Those that were not given enough care in the shooting process, and the others are an over-processed and over-edited bunch that tries to make up for the mistakes of the previous group. If you are traveling and have only one chance to take a shot, mistakes that lead to such photos may as well leave you without anything salvageable. Let us see what we can do about that.
- Find Some Focal Point
No matter how beautiful the background may look, if there is nothing to draw attention to, the photo will end up flat. For example, if you stumble across a beautiful wall, wait for a pedestrian or bike rider to come into the frame. Or, if you want to take a photo of a beautiful landscape, ask a friend to serve as a focal point for your photo. So, to sum it all up, anything that will draw attention (even if it is some small detail) will do your photo a favor.
- Put the Subject of the Photo in the Focus
Since any device ranging from the expensive DSLRs to low mid-range smartphone entries has at least a decent focus capability, keeping the subject of the photo out of focus should be considered as one of the common photography mistakes. Now, especially if you are on the go, you should keep the background sharp by making sure the subject is far enough from the camera. If you are taking a portrait photo, forget about the background and keep the subject in focus.
- Ditch the Eye-Perspective and Subject-Centric Photos
Eye perspective may seem like the most natural out of the bunch, but it is not always the most suitable. Some photos (smaller subjects like pets and kids) will require that you go down on your knees, or shoot the subject from above to get more creative results (in that case, make sure that the ground looks good enough). Also, keep the subject out of the center of the frame. Following the rule of thirds may seem counterintuitive at first, but it produces much better photos.
- Get the Most out of Your Camera
If you are a smartphone shooter, you will know that no matter how good your camera may be, digital zooming does not hold up very well. Do your photos a favor and get as close to the subject as you can before shooting. If your flash is not capable enough, crank up the ISO and find some support for your camera, in order to reduce the shaking, and thus the noise. Also, if your photos are ending up too bright and lacking in detail, try underexposing the image to get better results.
- Make use of your Tripod and ND filter
Using a tripod and ND filter can greatly enhance the quality of family pictures and contribute to memorable moments captured. A tripod provides stability, eliminating camera shake and ensuring sharp, well-composed images. It allows for longer exposures, perfect for capturing group shots with everyone in focus. On the other hand, an ND filter helps control light, enabling creative control over exposure settings. It allows for wider apertures, resulting in beautiful bokeh and blurred backgrounds. Additionally, an ND filter helps achieve balanced exposures in bright conditions, avoiding overexposed highlights. Together, a tripod and ND filter (more about it here) act as professional-grade tools to elevate family photography, resulting in cherished and visually stunning images.
- Stop Over-Editing
Various textures, filters, HDRs, and selective color effects had their heyday a couple of years ago, but humanity nowadays is starting to move away from this. So, if you are on the road, do your best to capture the beautiful sights that are actually there, instead of wasting your time creating some outlandish high-fantasy shots that can exist only on your Instagram profile. Well-shot pictures will always be more appreciated than well-edited ones.
So, these were our top tips for taking the best possible travel photos. Yes, the route we are talking about is maybe the more difficult one, but nevertheless, it is the route you should take. Take your time to practice in your neighborhood in your spare time, and everything will be ok once you pack your bags and hit the road.