Ten Steps to Your Best Travel Photography (Part 2)

More about travel photography

Following with the list of tips and rules to get your best travel photography (here is the the first half), keep on reading for the last part!

Sizes and proportions


This picture is not mine, but it is such a great example that I couldn’t help but include it!

This rule is something we tend to ignore just because we don’t think about it. Many times, we take a picture of this amazing, huge and magnificent place. When we are there, we think wow, let’s get all of it in the frame. That waterfall of so many meters high. And then, when you get home and go through your photos you realize that it just seems like any other small waterfall. If we don’t have any trees, people, cars, or anything to give proportion to the real size of the things on the picture, it no longer is that impressive. Add anything to escale the picture to!

Direction of the components

Trucos de Fotografía, rules of Photography
This little tip helps improve the composition in a more delicate way than the others. It is not always as usefull for travel photography as it is for pictures of people, but it can improve your shots!

Usually, everything we take a photography of has a direction. If it is a statue, or a person, the direction will be the place where the eyes are focusing. if we are shooting to a temple, for example, we will want that the lines following the building have space to flow. You don’t want to compact everything into a packed photography.

The past seven points help improving the composition of the photography. They can be used when shooting with the camera of a phone or with a professional DSLR. The following one regards the colours!

Deciding when to go shooting: the light

London - Panorámica, panoramic. Fotografía, photography
This tip will help you get pictures with nicer colours. Some times, we have to take a picture whenever we get to that place. Maybe we have to leave in a couple of hours. Or you just don’t feel safe going out there on your own late during the day. Independently of the reason, sometimes we just have to deal with whatever conditions we have. The result, some times the colours are not as nice as they should be.

The best time to get nice and realistic colours is when the sun is down. If you don’t mind getting up early, the best moment is sunrise. Perfect soft light (what equals to soft shadows and great colours) will be shining, and (most likely), you will be able to take pictures without people around! Otherwise, a similar effect will happen around sunset. You’ll get the soft lighting too, and the company of a horde of people or mosquitos, depending on where you are.

The following two points are only interesting if you have a DSLR. Otherwise, it can be a bit complicated to modify some of the parameters of the photography.

Bokeh

Fotografía, photography tips

First of all, let me tell you what is the bokeh. This phenomena is the effect that we see when a part of the photography is perfectly focused but there is also a huge part that it is not. Even though in travel photography is not all that usefull, if you want to take a picture of a specific detail, getting a nice bokeh can turn your picture from normal to awesome.

How do you get it? (Sorry for the technical talking here)

You can get this effect by focusing in the object we want to have in detail from the minimum possible distance and setting the aperture to the max. The aperture is determined by the iris diafragma, a ring that opens and closes to allow light to pass. To get a nice and soft bokeh, you need a lens with much luminosity. Or what is the same, a low focal ratio. This focal ratio is the value that you see in your lense especifications after the f/__. The smaller the f-number, the better will be the bokeh you can get.

I don’t need to add that for this to work you should, at least, have the camera in semi-manual mode.

Shoot in RAW

Waterlands - Fotografía, photography
My las tip to take nice photos with a DSLR regards the post-processing. There are re-framings that make fantastic, straightening that works wonders and colour modifications that can turn the picture into something completely different. Even though it is possible to process pictures when they are finished, the best way to get an impressive result is to work directly on the RAW file. This type of file leaves most of the parameters of the photography open for modification. This translates into a much better fine-tuning of anything in the picture. From shadows to bright lights or colours. The result will be much much better.

Bonus tip

Amsterdam - Fotografía, photography
Once you have taken in all these tips and rules, and you have mastered their use… then it comes the best part. The part when you know them but you decide to play with them. You can learn tones about photography and then decide that you prefer to shoot to centered objects. Go ahead, at the end, this hobbie will just be another way to rememember where you have been. Enjoy. Have fun. If you like the result… You have reached perfection!

Also, if you want to know a bit more about the best lenses for travel photography… read this other post!

Fotografía, photography

15 Comments

  1. Good post! I’ve got a Nikon and still learning.

  2. I am so happy you posted the second part!! So useful!! Thank you! Can I ask you what lenses do you use and which ones you prefer? Do you use wide angles? If so, would you be interesting in writing a post on lenses? You explain concepts so clearly and easily that it’s a pleasure to read your posts!

    • I am glad you like my posts! If you get into thechnical stuff it all gets boring quite fast! Anyway, I currently have 3 lenses, a 50mm, a 17-55 and a 70-300. Even though I don’t have a wide angle what I usually do is take several pictures in manual and then mounting them on the computer to emulate the effect of a wide angle. If you are still interested, of course I’d like to write a post about them (it’s in my list of posts to write actually hehe). Thanks for commenting!

      • No, of course you don’t have to get technical, but if it’s on your list, I’ll be gladly reading it 🙂 (I’m interested in the mounting thing, though!!)

  3. These are great tips! I read through them all and love the more advanced tips at the end as well – I have a really hard time knowing when my photos are properly exposed, something you could maybe write about in the future 😀 😉 And like Gabi, I’d also be interested in a post on lenses.

  4. The best way to learn is just to put the camera on manual and keep on shooting. It’s hard, but very good. Also there are many forums about photography out there that give you advice after you post your pictures and so! You’ll see in no time how it is worth it!

  5. I will work on the post about lenses soon, I promise!
    About the exposure, I could maybe try to do a small post about that, but it is something simple. When you are looking through the visor, there’s usually this line with made with dots and a “-” and a “+”. Your photo will be perfectly exposed when the value is at zero, darker when leading to “-” and too much exposed when leading to the “+”. If you are in a very clear day and trying to take a picture of something in the shadows, point there and adjust the parameters to the dark zone, then take the picture. And… I think that would be all about exposure! Please let me know if you want any more info!

  6. Wonderful photography tips. I cannot pretend to understand them all but I will have to go practice by taking pictures out in the great big world.

  7. This is a great post on photography!! I really needed this and learned quite a bit. Your tips are so helpful and I can’t wait to use these tips on my next photos! Thanks for sharing!

  8. The photos are stunning. The tips also are quite helpful and I will try out your advice on some of the points that I am not following now;

  9. Those are really great tips! I need to brush up on my camera skills. I want my pictures to attract hordes of mosquitos. LOL

  10. I am glad you find them interesting!

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