How to Make Your Travel Photos Look Professional
Who doesn’t want to take great pictures when they travel? The majority of people think that they need an expensive camera and professional photo-editing software to get fantastic shots, but that simply isn’t the case. Here are 10 tips to help you take better travel photos without buying a new camera.
1. Shoot Wide – Add more border around a shot than you think you need – you can always crop it later. There may be a detail in the background that you didn’t notice while shooting like a tree limb or street sign.
2. Take Two – Take two shots in a row by holding down the shutter button for a little longer. Usually the second shot will be sharper because you finger isn’t moving.
3. Add Contrast – Most photo editors that come with a computer’s basic software will have a setting for you to adjust the contrast slightly. This will add depth to your photos by accentuating the shadows and edges in a photo. But be careful, because if you go overboard with the contrast you pictures will look like abstract art.
4. More Exposure – Increasing the exposure time on your camera will increase brightness. You may want to consider using this in a darker area or on a cloudy day. You can also do some interesting things with moving lights and objects with longer exposure.
5. Be Daring – Take photos in untraditional ways, even if you don’t think they’ll come out. Try shooting when your camera is just hanging around your neck, hold it down low or up high, or even on a moving car or bus. You never know what you might get, and you can always delete the bad ones later.
6. Try Effects – Some of the basic effect on your computer’s photo editing software. You never know which photos might look great in black and white, sepia, or with color saturation. Another great tool is Picnick, which is a photo-editing website that’s free to use.
7. Get Up Early – Known among photographers as the “Golden Hour,” the first hour of sunlight during the day when the light is golden is the perfect time to take pictures. This is also a great time to shoot while you’re traveling, because most of the tourists will still be asleep in their hotels.
8. Take Lots of Photos – The more photos you take, the more you’ll have to choose from when you get to the editing stage. Even if you go somewhere you don’t think you’ll take pictures, take your camera along anyway because you never know when the perfect shot will come into your view.
9. Rule of Thirds – A basic composition rule that photographers often use is called the “Rule of Thirds.” Imagine dividing a picture into thirds horizontally and vertically, then try to place the important parts of the picture on the lines or at the intersections. This will make your photo much more interesting than if the subject of your photo was perfectly centered.
10. Back Up Your Photos – The fantastic photos you take on your trip will be no good if your camera gets stolen or you break it on the last day of the trip. If you don’t have enough room on your computer or you don’t want to bring it with you, there are plenty of free online options like Dropbox, Mozy, or Crashplan.
Andrea Erins has been a college professor for 13 years and likes to write about various topics related to education. She is the owner of the site Masters in Education Site.