5 Tips

You’ve just gone on the overseas holiday of a lifetime, but the pictures you came home with don’t capture the experiences as you’d hoped they would. Here are some tips to make your travel photos as memorable as the holiday itself.

#1 – Fill the frame:   Unless there is a very good reason to do otherwise (like illustrate isolation by leaving a lot of ’empty’ space’ in the frame), get an element of the story into every part of the picture.  Cut out parts of the picture that don’t add to the narrative, either when you are shooting or in post-production.  Often just walking a bit closer will fix the problem.

#2 – Get local people into the image:  Most people overseas do not mind being in a travel photo, so include them with some feature of the country behind. If the person says no, move on and try with someone else.  Go ahead and put a partner in the frame for a few shots (and please, he or she should be doing something and not just standing there).  But shoot others with local people prominent, preferably NOT looking right at the camera.

#3 – Look for interesting angles:  If you are shooting The Parthenon in Athens, for example, try to find a new way to see it, maybe through trees or from below, to show its dominating position.  Sometimes you can just illustrate a place by showing just one small part of it, especially when it is far too big to fit into your frame.

#4 – Shoot when the light is best:  Often that will mean sunup or sundown when you’d rather be in bed or out eating dinner. But make time to ensure great light on worthy locale (and note beforehand when that great light will be there. Flat light is the worst enemy of landscape photographers – make the effort to be there early or late. Midday lighting is usually flat and terrible. 

#5 –  Seek simplicity:  To offer variety to your final show, some of your shots ought to focus on the basics, a detail, an architectural shape, a blend of colours.  Look for form, for characteristic structures.  Try to be subtle in how you tell the story of a new land, not always focusing on the icons.

Click on image to view slideshow of images.