Travelling allows you to explore the world. And what better way to have tangible memories of your travel adventures than having excellent photographs of the places that you visit, the people you meet and the things you do? Here are a few tips for learning photography for beginners that will help you take better travel photographs.
Don’t Be Afraid To Get Closer
Famous American-Hungarian photographer Robert Capa said that if your pictures aren’t good enough, it means you’re not close enough. Such is true, both literally and metaphorically.
When taken literally, it means that the closer you are to your subject, the better you will be able to capture much more detail and interest. Metaphorically, it means being close to the essence of your photograph.
To take a good picture, you must be a part of what’s going on in the photo rather than being a distant spectator. In other words, you shouldn’t be afraid to get intimately involved with what you are capturing.
Remember the Rule of Thirds
One of the basic rules of photography is the rule of thirds, which states that a good image is broken into three equal parts, both horizontally and vertically. The subject should then be placed at the intersection or along one of the lines. By placing the key compositional elements into these thirds, you’ll achieve a more interesting and compelling picture.
Foreground, Midground, Background
Often, you may find that a photo you have taken of a great view doesn’t quite seem to capture the magnificence and grandeur of what it looks like in real life. The reason for this is the fact that a photograph is a two-dimensional image, and it doesn’t have a sense of scale, thus failing to capture the beauty that a real-life three-dimensional image carries, unless you know the tricks of the trade.
The key to capturing an image that can convey real-life beauty is composition. A properly composed shot draws the eye to the intended subject. Keep in mind the different elements that are in the foreground, midground, and background of the shot. This process requires some creativity and practise, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Framing and Use of Focal Points
Framing refers to using elements of a scene to surround your subject as in a frame, capturing it in the context of its surroundings. For example, branches with leaves of a nearby tree provides a natural frame to the steeple of a cathedral, giving one a window to shoot through.
Arches or doorways can be used as frames too. Photographing subjects from indoors or a darker area draws the eyes to the brightest part of the photo, making the picture more interesting.
Proper framing ensures that viewers are not confused about what the subject of the shot is, regardless of how the photograph has been framed. Don’t hesitate to fill the frame while taking pictures during your travels. A good tip is to fill the frame such that the edges of the subject image include as little background or other elements as possible. Once you get the hang of it, you can experiment with your framing.
Remove distracting backgrounds. While framing is incorporating the other elements of the scene to represent the environment, blurring can make your subject pop out by removing the distracting background. Some subjects will have more impact if it is sharply foucused, like a colourful flower with its pistil and stamens.
Make Use of Colours….or Not
In photography, colour plays an important role. To get a visually appealing shot, all you need is a basic understanding of what colours go well together. The colour wheel can help you with this. Or even better, take a cue from nature. A bright blue sky heightens the greenery of landscape. A field of purple wildflowers is breathtaking against a backdrop of green landscpae and blue/grey sky.
On the other hand, a monochromatic shot can add a more emotional touch to an image. This can be captured both in a natural environment, or produced through technical image applications.
Photos with “People, Places, Things” – Tell a Story
When you travel, you are overwhelmed with lots of new and exciting people, places, and things. Put this newness to use by including these three as elements in your photos. What better way to capture a travel photo than to have it complete with these three compositional elements?
A picture of the Eiffel Tower positioned in the center may get you a decent picture. But if you want to take it a step further, then you can include people in the frame, with the Eiffel Tower standing tall and mighty behind them, and sun or moonlight completing the story.
A good photograph does more than capture an image, but it also tells a tale. To showcase a story with your pictures, you have to take all the elements, such as framing, colour, lighting, angle, and more, into consideration. Before taking the shot, decide what’s the story you want to convey, and figure out the best way to tell it.
Wake Up Early, Stay Out Late
If you wish to take beautiful, breathtaking images naturally, then either waking up early or staying out late will help you. Lighting is the most critical element of any photograph, and you will be surprised at how beautiful your images can turn out when captured under the soft glow of the warm morning light.
Sunset is also a great time to catch some natural lighting. The golden hour is perfect for capturing some excellent images with natural illumination.
Use a Good Camera and a Lightweight Tripod
We usually ask ourselves whether we need to bring our camera and a tripod during our travels, considering that we also carry smartphones with excellent camera features.
There are situations when smartphones will be appropriate. However, there are tons of reasons to consider bringing a camera. It does not have to be a sophisticated, top-of-the-line camera. For starters, a mirrorless camera perhaps is all you need to get a quality recording of your travel stories.
We also suggest bringing a lightweight tripod because it allows you to fix your camera in one position and helps you in stabilizing your shot. You also have the time and space to arrange a perfect composition for your shot.
Travelling allows you to explore the world and have great memories of your experience, which may be once-in-a-lifetime. Beautifully captured photos will enable you to remember such experience. We hope these tips will help you do that.
If you have questions on the topic or would like to share any experience you may already have with this network, please feel free to leave your comments below.