Looking to take better photos on vacation? We’ve enlisted travel Instagrammer Sher She Goes for tips on how to get a gorgeous shot every time.
Some people buy souvenirs when they travel. Me? I can’t take enough photos!
Photography has always been a fun hobby for me and I can’t believe that I get to travel and capture travel content as a full-time job. Through the years, I’ve slowly figured out how to capture great travel photos.
The best part?
Anyone can learn! Mobile cameras are so advanced nowadays that you don’t even need a heavy or expensive DSLR to start making great travel memories.
Travel Photography Tips
Here are 7 easy, actionable tips to take your travel photography to the next level – right away!
1. Add People to Your Landscape Shots
It’s hard to take a great landscape shot since you often want very specific camera gear: a tripod for long exposure, an ultra-wide angle lens, camera filters, etc.
But the easiest and most effective way to step up your landscape photography is to simply add a person in for perspective!
For this photograph taken in South Georgia, we wanted to capture the icy landscape. The second photo, on the right, uses a tiny figure to better show the huge height of the glaciers!
2. Be a Minimalist
When editing, go easy on the filters and tweak just the basics: brightness, contrast, detail, clarity and structure.
I like to make a slight ‘S’ curve, by pulling up the highlights and deepening the shadows, to create extra contrast in the image.
Kaieteur Falls, in Guyana, is stunning all by itself. This photo was edited minimally, with slight adjustments to brightness and contrast to make the water pop against the dense rainforest.
3. Simple Is Best
Sometimes the most soothing and stunning images are simple. Look for simple lines and a clean composition to create the best photos. So instead of shooting a busy street with competing cars and haphazard telephone wires, try shooting inside a beautiful museum.
New York City is fun to photograph, but challenging. Honking cabs, meandering pedestrians, stop lights and store signs all compete for attention. Ducking inside the Guggenheim museum we found a much simpler composition to shoot. The museum is built in a circular gallery so by shooting straight up we caught its beautiful clean architecture as well as these visitors waving!
4. Use Natural Light
Food photos in particular photograph the easiest in natural day light. Try to experiment with photography at lunch time instead of dinner, and even better, ask for a window seat!
Cocktails look especially photogenic when the drink is placed in front of a window. Light streaming in can illuminate the drink to give it a beautiful glow.
Also consider color and composition when photographing food. Well lit, bright images tend to look more ‘tasty’ than shadowy portraits.
And finally, the biggest secret: by the time you capture the best food photos, you’ll usually be eating cold food. Sorry!
On the left, a half eaten plate in shadow. On the right, a tasty spread of untouched colorful Chinese dishes shot next to a window.
5. Take Your Time
Sleep in and start your day later, so that you can shoot at sunset for photo-friendly light! You can also try photographing places at sunrise… but honestly, who wants to wake up in darkness?
Sunrises and sunsets photograph especially beautifully on the water, as in this photo taken on a Maine sailing trip.
6. Use a Tripod
A tripod is especially useful if you’re trying to take photos by yourself. I purchased this inexpensive iPhone tripod off Amazon and brought it with me to Mexico.
For both of these shots, I found the location first, then set up the tripod with the frame I had in mind. After that, it was easy enough to use the iPhone’s 10- second burst mode to snap away until I had a photo I was happy with!
To make it even easier, you can buy a Bluetooth remote to trigger the phone automatically, so you don’t have to constantly run back and forth to the tripod.
7. Correct the Perspective
The easiest way to make a photo look better is to fix any off kilter lines or horizons. I especially love taking photos of architecture, but it’s almost impossible to get a building straight in camera since you’re usually angling up to get the shot.
Luckily there’s an easy solution! Use Instagram’s native editing app to fix the perspective in post production. In the Instagram app, upload your photo and click ‘Adjust’ in the editing options.
You’ll see 3 icons that will allow you to adjust your picture in 3D until it’s perfect.
- The first icon is like a Y-access plane, it can help fix vertical imperfections.
- The middle icon can rotate a picture.
- The last icon is like an X-access plane, it adjusts horizontal imbalances.
On the left, the original photo. On the right, an easy adjustment with the vertical y-access tool to make Notre Dame stand tall and appear as good in photos as in real life!
We hope these travel photography tips were helpful!
Tag @Travelocity and #TravelocityPicks in your next travel Instagram photo so we can see the exciting destinations you’re off to! We’ll even feature our favorites!
Sher She Goes is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.
Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.