You will not be surprised to see someone sharing his or her travel photos. Although not everybody takes a photo in their daily life, they do tend to capture and click photographs while travelling. Get the most out of travel photography and improve it with the following simple methods that are necessary and useful.
Be it a person or an animal, focusing on the face of the subject is important. Eyes of the subject are captivating and have the ability to draw the observer naturally. Try to focus on the eyes of the subject to ensure that you get the best click of the day.
2. Capturing at high speed
You require a different mindset to capture people in fascinating cultural circumstances. Concentrate more on capturing the moment rather than the ISO settings or the image quality. Handheld is a perfect way, as you will not have the necessary time to use a tripod. When you have low light, do not worry about increasing the ISO into the thousands. Additionally, use wider apertures faster shutter speeds and shallow depth of field. It is preferable to use the aperture priority mode on your DSLR. If your lens has an inbuilt vibration reduction option, make sure that you turn it on while choosing the handheld option.
3. Local language
Spend a few hours to learn the basic language skills. If you can learn to say, “Hello, sorry, thank you, excuse me, please, yes, no,” etc., you can easily survive in a country that does not speak English. Learning these simple words will also make a huge difference when you are trying to interact with a native individual and asking permission to take a photograph.
4. Hiring a translator
If it is your first time to a particular destination, it will be difficult for you to know any locals or get access to things in everyday life. If you are serious about travel photography, it will be helpful for you to hire a translator who would act as a mediator in translating. It will give you the opportunity to interact on a deeper level than just possessing the knowledge of the basic phrases.
5. Wearing a smile
It is hard to approach people when you have no smile on your face. A smile is a universal silence breaker and softens the intimidating approach towards those who do not have the experience to handle an adventurous tourist. Make sure you wear your smile, as it is a good way to begin interacting with new people.
6. Ask permissions
It is important that you ask permission if you are capturing a person. Although there is no legal obligation, asking permission is good manners. Some people would not like to have their picture taken due to their religious constraints. Furthermore, keep in mind not to capture a delicate social situation.
7. Choosing the right lenses
Lenses play a crucial role in your travel photography. As a practice, you tend to travel with your all-in-one zoom lens. However, you would not be obtaining the lovely bokeh or the cinematic look to your pictures. The logic behind this is owing to the availability of lenses in different aperture values. It is important that you understand the use of an appropriate lens for a particular scenario. For example, you would be using the zoom lens to capture a sunrise or sunset. It is also helpful for capturing animals. However, when you are interested in capturing people and faces, you would require a prime lens of 50mm or 35mm, which are exclusively for capturing portraits.
A better way to fulfil every need is by carrying two or three lenses. Ensure that one of them is a prime that will give you the blurred bokeh effect. You can plan this ahead according to the destination you would be travelling and the places you plan to visit.
8. Carrying two cameras
It is very much similar to that of shooting at faster speeds. It will be difficult for you to switch between lenses when you are capturing animals or people. Therefore, carrying two cameras will be preferable that have lenses suitable for different purposes. For example, you can look at carrying a wide-angle lens on one camera, and an 85mm prime lens to capture portraits on the other. With this combination, you will be able to cope with different circumstances and situations that you adhere at your locations. And most importantly, you will have the probability to capture a lot of pictures at a faster pace. If you are planning to carry two cameras, carry a bag along with you where you can store the smaller camera. It will be challenging and intimidating for some people if you walk around with two cameras in hand.
9. Try something new
You could always try something new that you never tried before. It is only possible when you are willing to step out of your comfort zone. However, make sure that you use your common sense. Safety is a priority at all times. Make no mistake in adhering to it. Trying something new and out of the comfort zone gives you the possibility to get the best photo opportunities.
The best example here would be a visit to the Phra That Cave in Kanchanaburi Province in Thailand. The cave is a confining combination of tunnels with no lights. The best part of the entire cave is the presence of thousands of bats that reside in it. You can be sure that you will feel them flying on your face. For some people, it is a bad experience but for a few, it is quite adventurous. Therefore, plan according to your need and comfort zone.
10. Safety first
Third World countries, including a few first world countries, have an imprecise concept of safety and health. Westerners’ upbringing is in a bubble of safety that sometimes results in a false sense of obligation. Always use common sense and do not presume things that would take a toll on your safety.
Updated: April 27, 2016