While the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a holiday location are with you when you’re travelling, they’re often not things that can be so easily remembered long after the vacation is over. That’s where your holiday snaps come in. Taking amazing shots on your trip is the best way to jog your memory and reminisce with travel buddies when the holiday tan has faded and it all feels very long ago. You certainly don’t want to forget staying at a unique Cairns hotel or the view from your room. And what about the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s Chinatown markets at night? Those are images you won’t want to fade from your memory. To help ensure you take remarkable pictures on your next vacation, it’s important to brush up on your travel photography skills. Read on for five quick and easy tips to help you take the perfect shots when you’re on your next holiday.
Protect Your Gear
While the focus may be on getting the right shots while you’re travelling, it’s equally important to protect all your expensive camera gear so that it’s always available to use when you need it. Ensure that you buy travel insurance (one that covers any countries or situations you could end up in) for all of your goods, and make sure any fragile equipment is kept with you in your carry-on luggage. Keep your accessories, such as memory cards or USB sticks, organised and safe by carrying them in an appropriate case rather than loose in your pockets. If you’re on or near the water also ensure that you protect your camera with a waterproof casing and regularly clean the lens if salt spray is building up.
Take Better Candid Shots
Most people travel with others and want to come home with some location shots of their family or friends as mementos of the trip. However, while everyone generally has a few standard, posed pictures in their collection, it’s nice to truly capture the feel of a particular travel moment by taking more candid shots. Try to grab a photo of a subject when they’re unaware that they’re being profiled, and you’re more likely to get an honest shot. Always ensure that there is enough background in the picture to show the setting too — you don’t want to look back later and wonder where the photo was taken.
Shoot in Different Conditions
Add some variety and texture to your photo collection by ensuring that you shoot in lots of different conditions. Capturing the vibrancy of a city at night, for instance, can lead to remarkable photos that really show a different side to a location. Similarly, shooting people, animals or nature when it’s raining can add a whole new element to a photo. Forests, gardens and mountains can look amazing when photographed in the wet, and the overcast conditions of rainy days can also add an interesting element to sights such as cathedrals, museums, galleries and markets. Sunset is another perfect time to capture some brilliant holiday snaps. Improve tricky sunset shots by choosing to silhouette a distinctive subject to provide contrast. For example a chapel, statue, interesting rooftop or a row of trees can work well.
Make Your Photos More Interesting
Look for ways to make your photographs more interesting so you don’t return home with just the typical holiday shots. Search out interesting subjects to shoot, such as unique plants, people, animals or wildlife, which will be indicative of the location to the frame. Another idea is to look for unusual patterns that you can photograph. Think sand dunes, rows of colourful houses or front doors, or vibrant, textured rugs or awnings. It’s also handy to try regularly changing the angle that you shoot from. Instead of repeatedly taking photos just from eye-level, mix things up by moving your camera higher or lower. Images showing a bird’s eye view, for instance, can offer a refreshing change to holiday photo collections.
Photograph Animals in the Wild
Getting a good shot of wildlife is usually one of the toughest photo-capturing challenges. Obviously, one of the first obstacles is being able to get close enough to the animal to take a good photo. Patience is key here, as is some planning — think about the habits and personalities of the animals you’re trying to photograph so that you’re more likely to anticipate their actions. This will help you get ready for sudden movements or interesting interactions that could offer a great shot.
About the Author: Samantha Harkins is a travel writer with a passion for art and photography. She loves to test out the latest cameras on the market and can be found taking happy snaps all around the globe.