Now I know what you are thinking… I can’t take good travel photos because I don’t have a ‘good’ camera. Well guess what – I only had an iPhone 5 when I started out and they are some of my all time favourite images.
Here are some tips I learnt along the way to make those photos epic!
1. Want clean photos with nobody else in your shot? Go early. I try to get to popular locations before opening time because often they are almost deserted. Snap some pictures, grab a coffee and watch as the location fills up with tourists all vying for the same spot.
This was taken early morning (8am) at the Louvre in Paris.
2. Don’t underestimate the power of a pano! These are perfect for capturing an entire scene happening in front of you. Shoot wide and crop later.
One of my all-time favourites taken in the Sahara Desert at sunset. I stepped back from the ridgeline and managed to get this perspective photo before anyone noticed I was taking it.
3. Get down on the same level as your subject. It’s easy to just whip out your phone and snap everything from shoulder height. Get down low and create an image from your subject’s perspective.
I was wandering down a side street in the markets and saw this little guy having a nap on one of the chairs outside. I would never have got that little paw hanging off if I have not got down on his level.
4. Get both landscape and portrait photos. It is so easy to forget to turn your phone around when you have an epic scene in front of you. I try to get one of each and am often surprised at how they give off such a different perspective of the same scene.
Hot air ballooning above Cappadocia I was a little terrified of dropping my phone so only took a handful of images. I only needed a couple to capture this epic sunrise.
5. For movement photos use burst mode. Perfect for getting that jump shot! Start taking photos before the subject has moved/jumped and keep it going until they have landed. Pick your favourite and delete the rest.
Knicole nailed this jump photo in the Sahara Desert! Bursts will always leave you with some hilarious out takes as well.
This was pre face plant - sorry mate
6. Use a person in landscape photos to show the scale of the scene and create depth. Ever taken a photo of a beach or view and it just looks flat? Add a subject in and straight away we can see just how big and epic the scale is.
I took this photo after hiking to the top of Priekstolen or Pulpit Rock in Norway. The size of this cliff is incredible, but it is only revealed when a person is used to show the scale.
7. Don’t zoom on your iPhone. I know it can be tempting but try to either get physically closer to your subject or crop your photo later. Zooming in will reduce the quality and leave your image pixelated.
8. Research unusual places or spots for photo opportunities. With the rise of Instagram, you can spend hour and hours trawling and finding locations to take photos. Most of the time the location is tagged so you can see exactly where it is!
I really wanted to get an epic photo with this DC3 wreck in Iceland after a customer at the coffee shop I was working in showed me their travel photos! I am so pleased I planned it into my trip. Iceland is so other worldly this photo looks like a poster for an apocalyptic movie!
9. Use an App to edit your photos on your phone. Instagram is quick and has a ton of pre-built in filters. I also like to use Snapseed – just adjusting the colours and exposure can have your photos pop in seconds!
This was the sunset on Seminyak Beach in Bali. Just adding a quick filter and lightening the shadows made a huge difference!
10. Create images that show off your perspective. Let other see what the world looks like from your eyes!
I love to get out my phone and snap a quick photo from horseback. It sets the scene and shows it through my eyes and between the horse’s ears.
All the above photos were taken on an iPhone 5.
I eventually saved enough to buy a little camera that would fit in my bag and could be used as a point and shoot for quick snaps or used in manual mode for more control over the look of your image.
It was a Canon powershot G16 – I would totally recommend it for beginners! The zoom is fantastic for its size!
Now I travel with a full frame DSLR but only bring one lens with me (24mm – 105mm) if I can help it. For something more compact a 35mm is good. This saves time swapping out lenses and missing photo opportunities and it saves me on travel insurance only having to cover one lens.
So, as you can see – You don’t need to have professional level equipment to take amazing photos!
Go out and play, discover the world and capture those priceless memories.