Tips and Tricks for Taking Amazing Travel Photos
Explore the world through your lens with these photography pointers!
Who’s excited for an upcoming holiday trip? Whether you’re going to a serene beach resort, backpacking through South America or exploring bustling cities, one thing is always must to bring: a camera. No travel is ever complete without pictures to remember them by – no one wants to forget all the breath-taking landscapes, exotic cuisines and people you’ve met! But not all photos are created equal. The good news is, you don’t need an expensive or fancy camera to capture fantastic shots. All you need is a basic camera (or even your good ‘ol smart phone), a little technique and some practice. Here’s a few travel photography tips and tricks to get you started!
Capture vastness through a panoramic shot of a desert landscape.
If you’ve got a nature-filled escapade planned out, consider the landscape’s unique features and qualities before you start shooting. For example, when in a rainforest, you could capture a macro shot of dewdrops on a leaf, or an action shot of birds fleeting in and out. If you’re travelling through a desert safari, you may want to showcase the ranging expanse of the landscape with a panoramic shot instead. Bear in mind that panoramic shots aren’t just about fitting as much as you can in a frame. Always find a focal point that highlights your main subject – it could be a small tumbleweed in a distance or the sun setting on the horizon. Then, follow the rule of thirds by positioning your main subject within one-third of the grid rather than dividing the image directly in half.
Don’t forget how sunlight affects your photos as well. For example, it’d be relatively darker in a rainforest, so make sure your shots are optimally lit. If you’re using a camera with a manually adjustable aperture (the lens opening), do note that a large aperture will result in a brighter photograph while a small aperture makes the photo darker.
Just starting out? Grab the Canon Powershot G7X Mark II for easy snaps.
If you feel slightly daunted by these technicalities, don’t worry – there’re cameras with plenty of easy-to-use functions such as the Canon Powershot G7X Mark II. Great for travelling light, this compact model features the new DIGIC 7 image processor which enhances the look of photos taken in low light. It also has a “panning” mode along with other video functions that make it fun and easy to shoot photos and videos.
For an adventure into the wild, check out the HUAWEI MATE 20 PRO. With an IP68 rated water and dust resistance, this smartphone is a great companion for a rugged escapade. Part of its Leica triple camera comes with the new 20 MP Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens, perfect for landscape photos and macro shots.
The Canon POWERSHOT G7 X MARK II, $799 and HUAWEI MATE 20 PRO, $1348; both available at COURTS, located at Causeway Point.
People make pictures come alive, especially when you want to bring out the unique character of a city.
Cities are always fun to shoot as they are so full of history and culture. Besides distinctive architecture, you can unearth the richness of a place by capturing the favourite haunts of locals, interesting food and even ethnic dress and customs. A great way to tell stories through your pictures is to take candid shots of the locals going about their daily routine on the subway or the streets. But quick photography etiquette - if you're taking a close-up of someone, ask for permission or even get them to pose for you. You’d be surprised how open locals are to travellers and you may even make a friend or two!
This model’s retro-hipster look is certainly a plus, making it super stylish to sling around while discovering colourful city life.
A great camera to capture city life is the FUJIFILM X-A5, a slim and lightweight model that you can easily carry around. Its 180° Tilting LCD & Portrait Enhancer will help you take great selfie shots and 4K burst shooting function comes in handy for recording fast-moving objects such as traffic across a busy street. You can also convey different moods of the city by playing around with its range of various filters.
The FUJIFILM X-A5, $999 is available at COURTS, located at Causeway Point.
Challenge yourself to find new perspectives on well-loved buildings and structures.
To find out which landmarks are definitive of the city, simply browse through postcards at your hotel lobby or tourist kiosks for a good reference on the key landmarks. Then, it’s up to you to take a unique spin on these landmarks through unexpected angles. For example, try taking a photo directly upwards to accentuate the building’s architectural lines.
When looking out for monuments, think about their significance or interesting backstories. For example, in Glasgow, there is always a traffic cone placed on the head of the Duke of Wellington statue as a long running prank of the Glaswegians. Don’t shy away from capturing the absurd aspects of a city – there’s always an interesting story to tell! You can also consider elements such as weather and lighting to bring out the meaning of the monument. For example, an old castle may look more fitting in dim lighting and rainy weather than on a sunny afternoon.
What’s the recipe for a yummy-looking food pic?
Sampling local fare is one of the best parts of travelling. Just like other subjects, try to capture your food snaps in soft and natural daylight. Present your food on clean, neutral backgrounds as food is usually brightly coloured with contrasting textures. Another point to remember is to let your subject – the dish – breathe by leaving some negative space so that it doesn’t fill up the entire frame. This will bring more emphasis to the shapes and forms on the plate. As food tends to make up the unique character of a place, you can also keep an eye out for the people preparing your meals. This works best when you’re exploring street food. Focus on the intent expression of the street food vendor as he flips the meat on an open grill, or the way he smiles at a customer.
A flowy, printed dress with a straw hat gives off a carefree vibe against the charming backdrop of a European street.
Why travel in style if no one is there to see it? With little chance to don sharp coats and lovely cold-weather scarves and boots in Singapore’s weather, documenting travel outfits has become an essential part of travel photography. Other than looking out for bright walls or beautiful architecture to stage your OOTDs, seek out haunts that most tourists don’t know of. Let yourself stumble into interesting nooks and crannies – you never know what surprising backdrops you’ll discover for your OOTD shots. The fun part is planning your outfits before setting off to different places, but make sure that what you wear won’t clash with the backdrop. For example, if you’re planning to visit a park, try to avoid floral prints. Instead, go for neutral and pastel colours. The key is to complement, not overkill.
Pack along this nifty model for your travel ‘photoshoots’!
For fashionistas who consider OOTD shots mandatory, check out the Sony RX100M6 that comes with an Advanced Eye AF ideal for portrait shots.
The Sony RX100M6 is available at Click! at The Centrepoint. Please check in-store for price enquiries.
Other travel photography gear
For well-taken travel pics, you may also check out the OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10 MARK II and Apple iPhone XS at COURTS, Causeway Point. Or, visit Click! at The Centrepoint to check out the Sony ILCE A6000L Kit Set (16-50mm Kit Lens).
With this, we wish you safe and enjoyable travels! Always remember to keep your eyes open for new perspectives to tell unique stories through your photos. They don’t always have to be perfect – with more practice, you will get there!