Last updated on September 9th, 2016
Although we all have the memories of a trip locked away inside our minds, over time those memories inevitably begin to fade. That’s what makes the use of photographs, souvenirs, and other items picked up during a journey so special! They help us to remember the wonderful times that we had with family, with friends, or even if we took the trip by ourselves.
When it comes to photographs, it is very true that any person can take a professional quality image with today’s digital cameras and have them stored, printed, mounted, or even placed on canvas as a wonderful reminder of a journey well taken. Here are 5 tips to help you take stunning travel images with every click of your camera!
5 Tips To Take Your Own Stunning Travel Images:
On a recent trip to San Francisco, we fought with the crowds to go down Lombard Street. We fought with the crowds to go see the sea lions by the piers. We even had to fight with the crowds to get a decent image of Alcatraz, deciding to eat lunch with a window view to get it because the crowd level was nine deep! Iconic images can represent a journey, but what creates wonderful memories is a sense of adventure. Dare to explore places where other tourists may not consider going!
Whether you like getting dirty from an adventurous hike or you’ve discovered a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that no one else even knows about because it isn’t on Yelp yet, your sense of adventure will lend itself to automatic opportunities for stunning travel images. Find a place where the road is less travelled, see what you might find in that journey, and your worst case scenario is that you’ll have images that remind you of a quiet, peaceful time spent exploring on your own or with a loved one.
Tip #2: Take a Tripod With You
With our family of 6, taking a photograph together has always been difficult. It usually entailed getting 5 people into the image with the sixth person [me]taking the photograph. That’s when I decided that investing into a cheap tripod that I could take with me anywhere was a good idea. With the automatic settings in place, I could simply set the camera to a 10 second delay and we could all be in a photograph together!
Seems like common sense, right? Except when was the last time you took a tripod with you to capture images at the beach? Or to capture memories as you adventure forth into the unknown? The average person puts their camera around their neck, maybe utilizes the stabilization feature on the camera if they have one, and then call it good. You can certainly get decent photographs that way, but stunning travel photos come with a tripod because you have more flexibility to utilize the manual settings on your camera. That allows you to bring movement, prolonged light exposure, and other nuances to an image that you normally wouldn’t get.
With just a flick of a menu button, the images on my camera can transform from chromatic color to black and white. Some of our greatest moments are captured in this photography medium that is unfortunately falling by the wayside. The contrast and depth of color can still be seen in these images with stunning detail, with shadows and contrasts emphasized more than they would be otherwise.
The trick to capturing a good black & white image is to have great lighting that can emphasize something specific within the photo. This creates the contrast that you need naturally so you don’t have to spend tons of time trying to photoshop the image to make it look good!
Tip #4: Be Patient
One of the most difficult aspects of taking a stunning image is that you’ve often got to wait for it. Whether it is a sunrise, a sunset, or you just want to make that waterfall that is right in front of you look like cotton candy, it is quite rare for the perfect image to be taken the first time around. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the area where you want to take pictures, keep an eye out for something special to happen, and undoubtedly something special will happen!
So often we hurry to each place on our itinerary and just snap a few photos as we go. That can help us remembered a hurried trip and sometimes a stunning image can come from that, but to consistently take stunning, memorable images of your travel adventures, an increase in patience must be had. It is for this reason our family often packs a picnic lunch, a change of clothes for the toddlers, and plenty of juice packs and extra drinks. With just a little extra time, that great image always comes on by!
Over time, I’ve just developed the habit of using the flash on my camera on a consistent basis, no matter how sunny or cloudy the day might be. Why? Because it adds a level of fill light into the image and this helps to decrease cumbersome shadows that might appear. Now obviously if there is plenty of light and no real shadows being cast, disabling the flash function or detaching the flash [if you’re still old school]is obviously going to create a better stunning photo. Don’t underestimate the power of what the flash can do, however, even when the sun is shining down on you!
How do you try to take stunning travel images on your travel journeys? What tips have helped you become a better photographer and capture the memories of a trip in a unique way? Share them below!