Up your travel photography game with these tips from popular Instagrammers. By Sasha Gonzales
Annette Widitz (@dawa_lhamo)
Have people in your landscape shots
It helps the viewer connect with the image and puts the landscape into perspective.
Keep it clean
Be mindful about having a “clean” composition – know where everything is in your frame before taking the photo. For instance, check that there isn’t a tree in the background that appears to be growing out of your subject’s head in the foreground.
Use long exposures
Try shooting long exposures – where the paths of moving objects become visible – using the various apps available. You’ll need a tripod or an object like a rock to keep your phone in place. Long exposures can give you beautiful results, especially when shooting water or skies.
Franz Navarrete (@franzn)
Use natural light for food photos
Try to grab a seat near a window to get that soft, diffused natural light.
For a better, sharper effect, don’t use the zoom function on your phone. Get as close to your subject as you can, then crop the image after.
Remember the “golden hour”
For stunning landscape photos, make good use of the golden hour – the first or last hours of daylight. These times of day are especially photo-friendly as the light is softer and warmer.
Wait for the camera to focus before taking a shot. A simple tap on the screen will give you sharp-looking pictures.
Keep it simple
Keep your images free of clutter and go easy with filters.
Kitty De Jong (@panyrek)
Look for photo opportunities where you least expect them
Sunrises and sunsets are great but that heavy cloud cover or fog can also give you some spectacular shots – so don’t limit yourself.
Think about composition
The “rule of thirds” always creates aesthetically pleasing shots. Based on this guideline, subjects are composed along imaginary lines that divide the image into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, so you have nine parts.
Make sure your subject is in the top, bottom, left or right third of the screen; in other words, don’t put your subject smack in the middle of the picture.
“I also like to use negative space (the empty space around your subject) to capture people or animals in my photos, to add a sense of scale to a landscape,” says Kitty.
Try different perspectives
“I always take photos from different angles, and it surprises me how different a place can look from a new or different point of view,” says Kitty. “Hold your phone to the ground, such as near a puddle for a nice reflection, or climb onto a fence. Get creative.”
Enjoy the space you are in, look around to see what makes it special and try to shoot it in your own way.
Lauren Bath (@laurenepbath)
Get down to the same level as the animal when trying to photograph it. This gives you a more interesting perspective.
“For architecture shots, the trick is to look out for symmetry,” says Lauren. “I always look for repeating patterns and lines meeting lines, and add interest with pedestrians.”
The simplest and best way to shoot your holiday food is the humble flat lay. Arrange your plates and drinks attractively, style them with accessories like phones or sunglasses, and shoot from above.
To capture a striking landscape with minimal effort, look for “leading lines”. A basic photography technique, this describes lines within an image that lead the eye directly to the main subject. These might be roads or even rows of lavender, like the ones in Provence, France. You will be amazed at how following this guideline provides depth, and adds a sense of balance and flow to your photos.
For a great portrait photo, wait till afternoon when the sun is low in the sky. Have your subject look towards the sun – this creates a warm glow on their face. This tip works for selfies too.
Lavinia Cernau (@lavinia_cernau)
Focus on a subject
“I started taking travel photos with my iPhone about three years ago,” says Lavinia. “What I’ve learnt is that, over time, you will unconsciously focus on a subject in your photos. That is key to a good shot – your smartphone is equipped to do a lot of things for you when it comes to taking photographs, but if you don’t have a subject, your images will look ordinary.”
Position your phone
Moving your smartphone around may produce different and more interesting angles of your subject. “Keep an eye out for what else may interact with your scene, as that can either spoil or improve your shot.”
Shoot what catches your eye
Use your intuition and remember that what is interesting to you, and only you, matters most, says Lavinia.
This article was first published in Simply Her.