Today I would like to share some tips about making good photos during your travels without being a professional photographer. You can even use these tips if you are just shooting with your smartphone! In two weeks I’m in Italy again and of course I’ll capture my adventures with my Olympus PEN and iPhone for Instagram and this blog. As a fashion photographer I love travel photography as well, but I don’t take it to seriously. I prefer the more natural shots but I definitely know what I’m doing while walking around with my camera. I prefer the combination of photos of the nature and city in combination with photos of people.
How to make the best pictures during your travels without being a professional photographer?
People can help to create a sense of scale.
Imagine you want to show how huge the palmtrees are, but in the photo they look not big at all. Wait till somebody walks in your frame and you’re done! The person helps to create a sense of scale for the viewers. Or as the photo below; the surfer shows how big the ocean is.
Be invisible, blend in, and don’t act like a professional photographer.
If you want to capture the locals as they are, don’t act to much like a tourist or a professional photographer. Probably the people will turn their faces away from you or they will take a pose.
Bad weather means great photo weather.
I remember a very cloudy and stormy day in Rome. The weather was bad, but my photos of that day where much better (and more interesting) than all the photos that I’ve made during the sunny days. Dark skies give the photos some drama, and the streets are probably empty, so no disturbing tourist in your frame. Oh and don’t forget to protect your camera during the rain!
Take note of the small things.
While walking around in Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas I noticed this small cacti in between the mountains. It will give more depth in your photo. Also keep your eyes open for small details in building, cute flowers or decorations of shops etc.
Pointing your camera up.
Another thing that I do during my travels is pointing my camera up above the people. So you only see the buildings, or the high palmtrees.
Look for color.
In Los Angeles I was searching for some color and typical American details, and Venice Beach seems the best location for this theme! Also in other countries it’s quite easy to find colorful houses, buildings or other details. Try to capture the local culture with all their colors.
Go early or go late.
The well known golden hour is your best friend if you prefer to shoot with a golden and soft light! This will be during sunset or sunrise. During my stay in Los Angeles I loved shooting during these times of the day with my models. They where finally able to open their eyes without frowning like what they do because of the harsh sunlight during the day. Also shooting after sunset will be nice, try to capture the city lights.
Get a different angle and be patient.
Go up, climb the hills or the building and see how everything looks different from here. Or sit on the floor and see what happens. Give yourself some time every now and then to create a masterpiece :) Try to capture a touristic place in an original way, although this seems impossible! Tip: don’t go to the other photographers at the same spot.
Don’t forget about the lines.
In the photo below in San Francisco your eyes will follow the way down because all the cars are pointing in the same directions and the photo goes from dark (the street) to light (the water and sky). You also see a lot of lines in the air and the lines in building. The other photo of a road in Yosemite Tree National Park is a simple version of lines in a photo. Play with the composition!
Don’t forget to enjoy and look around without an iPhone or camera in front of your face! (note to self :) )