I’m a professional makeup artist by trade, and an amateur photographer. I’ve been lucky to have worked with some A – list professional photographers. I’ve learned a lot on the job by paying attention, asking questions, and then going out and shooting and trying new ideas.
As a creative and visual person I get a lot of inspiration from traveling. I love both travel and photography and they are a match made in heaven to me. For my first trip to Venice in 2007, I purchased a point and shoot camera. In 2010 I graduated to a DSLR.
If you have a travel blog, then you know good photographs are a must. Whether you shoot landscapes, food, or people, the photos should tell the story, with or without some text to go along with the photographs. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take interesting and well composed photographs for your travel blog.
Here I’m going to share some tips with you that I’ve learned along the way, mostly by trial and error.
For this article I’m using a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera. Whether you are using a DSLR, an iPhone, or a point and shoot, I think you’ll find a tip or two that will save you some time and some tears.
1. Travel photographs should tell a story. Even if your blog is very specialized, take a variety of images. Of course you’re going to write some text to go along with the photographs but the photos should be a visual illustration of the text. In other words, you can communicate that you had a delicious cappuccino simply by taking a nicely composed photograph. It can make the story more interesting if you also have some shots of the café, (interior and exterior) and maybe even a shot of a waiter or the barista at work.
2.Take a lot of photographs. That’s the beauty of digital. If your memory card is full, you can always download images to your laptop or other storage device. Or you can just delete the images that are a total bust.
3.Look at your subject in new ways. Try different angles. Look at it from all sides. Try shooting with your camera angled up, or get low. Make something normal and common look unique and different. Sometimes that means you have to take a lot of photographs until you begin to see things in a new way.
4. Get up close and personal with your subject. Detailed images work well on blogs.
5. Get out of bed! I’ve taken some of my favorite photos in the early morning hours before everyone else is up and about. This is really crucial if you want to take photographs in areas around popular monuments and you hope to get a clean shot, without too much clutter in the background. It’s also a great time to photograph interiors, when there aren’t so many people around.
6. Be prepared. Carry a quart size plastic ziploc bag or two with you. If it rains you can use it to shield your camera. They are also handy waterproof storage for extra batteries, lenses, memory cards, and anything else you you need to carry with you.
7. Choose a theme or subject. Food, colors, churches, people, and markets, all make great subjects to build a photo story.
8. Plan ahead. Think about what you want to shoot and the best time of day to do so. Early morning and sunset provide the best available light for landscape and outdoor photography.
9. Work out! Photography can be athletic. The best way to see an area is to walk it. I go to Italy frequently and there are lots of hills, cobblestone streets, and stairs. It’s aerobic! I also know a guy who likes to ride his bike while shooting in urban areas. It’s easier than driving and parking.
10. Compose in the camera. Don’t rely on editing software. Aim for perfection before editing.
Finally, join photogroups on Google+. Read. Go on photowalks. Most important of all, go out and shoot.
All materials copyright Penny Sadler 2012 – 2013.