When traveling, documenting through photography can help preserve your memories and allow you to share them with others. Follow these simple tips to take the best travel photos on your next trip.
Know your end goal
How will you use your photos after the trip? Are you looking for family photos that you can share online to document your trip, or will you create an album that showcases the details of the destination? Knowing your end goal early is important and should guide the types of photos you take, the size of the image and the style of the shot.
Pick a subject or a theme
Often a destination lends itself to photographic themes that will follow you through your trip. The subject is completely up to you. It could be colored doors, cats in their natural setting, spectacular city views, food or sunsets. No matter what your theme is, it will give you an opportunity to tell a unique story about your travels.
Frame your photos
Look for opportunities to frame a scene with texture or a stationary item nearby. This could be foliage, a stationary object or a textured wall. Experiment using different items that are close and far away, that can work in unison together. Varied approaches to framing your photo in a unique way creates more interesting images.
Find interesting angles
When photographing people, find an interesting angle to vary from the traditional front-and-center smiling shot. Try a few with an interesting background and the individual off-center. When photographing a scene, consider capturing a reflection in a window, off of water or another reflective surface. Both approaches create a photo with more depth.
Don’t shoot into the sun
The subjects of the photo should have the light facing them, with the sun to the back of the photographer. This ensures the light is more consistent across the subject and doesn’t glare. Watch for shadows on faces, these can sneak in and ruin a group photo.
Use natural light, not flash
Give it a try with and without the flash. Natural light can often provide a better photo than with a flash, even in a dimly lit scene. Try it with both to be sure you get the best shot. You can also use low-lit scenes to capture movement of a subject.
Shoot with your phone
An iPhone or Android can take excellent photos and is more portable than a camera with a larger lens. Experiment with different filters such as black and white, tonal or chrome. You can also take time-lapse photos or panoramic shots to capture a wide scene. Play around with it when you have time and try the same shot with different filters or treatments to see what you like best.
Don’t dismiss the apps
Apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic give you many more options to play with filters, frames and treatments. They can capture a scene like none other, making you feel like professional photography is in your near future. You can also save these photos in your Photo Library to use in your album post-trip.
Most of all, take a lot of photos, experiment with different approaches and don’t forget your camera, the best shot will come when you least expect it.
Start planning your next journey so you can document your vacation with these photography tips. Stop by the AAA Store, in Charleston, or call one of the AAA travel professionals — Janice Adkins, Lia Ireland, Amy Sisson, Becky Wallace and Barbara Wing at 304-925-1136.