Wednesday, July 04, 2007

10 Tips for Travel Photography

The way I prefer to capture my trips are written down, this may differ with someone. I may have missed some basic points, or may be I only told about basic points here, but it can be helpful for beginners. Please put a comment./suggestions the way you like to capture or if you do not agree with some of the tips.

Use digital camera

I used to take pics with still camera even 2 years back, but later I found there is no added advantage of still camera over digital camera, except some professional reason where only original shots are considered.

One can take as much pics, where ever and when ever needed, can see the shot instantly and delete/retake at that point of time, can store in computer/CD/pen drive, can print anytime by using digital camera, without bothering the loading of films. Its now very
cheap and if you have not switched to digital, do it asap.

Take at least one backup shot

We always have to take photos in a short time frame while traveling, so there is high chance that any shot may be shaken or not taken perfectly or something has come in middle or some part of it has not been captured in the frame. So it is always wise to take a backup shot, specially for the precise pics.

Try different angles

Gamlasthan in Stockholm

Avoid flat photography while doing travel photography. Try to use one predicate to the main subject. Like taking a shot of a castle keeping the main gate as a part of it. Sometime the angles provide amazing look to the pictures. See the following picture where three things has been captured through a unique angle.

Take small videos
This is really important to give a feel of the place, specially for the moving things, sounds, different landscape in many directions. If you are using any DSLR, it is better to carry another normal digital camera through which you can take small videos. However, I personally don’t like to use Video cameras/Camcorders to capture constantly. The movies that I have taken years back have not seen after few days for many reasons, and this is same for almost all of my friends.

Use different modes /exposures/ apertures

Sunset in Sunion

This is very important, specially for the beginners. Try to avoid Auto mode as much as possible and use portraits / landscape / night / close / moving mode appropriately. Why this is important because of the separate combinations of ISO/aperture/Shutter speed is used for each of these one, which helps to captures the subject at the point of time. For an example the portrait needs low DOF, so high aperture is needed whereas in Landscape we need to have wide region in focus, thus low aperture is needed; in night shot the ISO and Shutter speed has to be maximum, but in moving it has to be minimum.
For the advanced users one small trip is to take the same picture in different exposures. It gives different look of the place/subject.

Do necessary adjustments/edits through s/w

This I do often, specially to corp (resize)/sharpen (to sharp)/ Auto contrast/ Colour saturation/ remove hue/fill light etc. These small effects sometime make an ordinary picture extraordinary. In net there are many free soft wares available for photo editing like Picasa, photoshop etc. You can start trying anyone of these two.

BW/Tint/Sepia looks
Seaside in Athens

The Black n White/Sepia/ Tint looks make a picture quite different. You have to choose the appropriate one depending on the contrast and subject. Like a picture of Sunset will not look good in BW, whereas a colourful houses will not look better in Sepia, so its your taste and judgment to use these features through some soft wares.

Try to take 2/3 skyline in landscape shots
Countryside in Denmark

However there is no mandatory rule, but still a skyline I the middle makes a picture more flat. Usually the skyline is kept in the upper half (2/3 from the bottom) if the main focus is on the land, but if you have to focus the sky I prefer to keep the skyline in the lower half (2/3 from the top), as I have done in the above picture.

Take unusual shots
Hand Riksa in Kolkata

This makes the difference from a normal traveler and a photo traveler. The unusual subjects like the local people, small houses, windows, doors, uncommon wild life, street lights, small statues, special features of the place, local transports, people’s look, the trees etc all these captures the whole essence of the place. It also reflects your innovative look and artistic scene as well as the enrichment of the place.

Take the snap by any means

If you think that the shot is worth capturing, just do it. Even if you have to stop your car/reverse the car, have to go top of a small hill or down the roads, whatever it may be, if it is not risky do it to capture the shot. The same point was mentioned in one of the posts of Rambling Traveler blog by Stacy, and I strongly suggest this one, because you may not get second chance to capture the shot in your lifetime, may not get the same sky, same view and same opportunity.
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Mridula said...

Ask me about taking it at that moment. In this trip to Spiti, I witnessed a game of Volleyball of Monks but somehow thought I will capture it a while later. A while later there was no game to capture! Thanks for all the tips.

Cuckoo said...

I normally carry one digicam & one still camera with 3 diff. lenses.
I can't do w/o my still camera, it gives my pictures a different dimension altogether which I know I can never get from a digicam. Agreed, it is very expensive to maintain but still..

Agree with you on most of the other things except that I don't play with my pictures. I keep them as they are clicked. Personal choice you can say.
Because always only one question comes to my mind - Whom am I trying to fool ? I know how the picture looks like in original & for false praise from others, I am not going to feel guilty inside.

Anyways, the tips are good for any beginner.

So, are you back to your workplace now ?

Pijush said...

@Mridula, I cant imagine that Monks are playing Volleyball, not only you we missed it too.
Its nice you are back with a set of amazing pics.

3 different lenses!!! Wow,impressive. I agree with your points but like to follow my ones without feeling guilty :)
Yes back again to normal day to day work in Kolkata and spending cool weekends without net.

niki yokota said...

thank you pijush-chan
i love reading these kind of tips :)
will try to shoot video..

Pijush said...

Niki-Chan, Thanks for the comment, I will keep posting this kind of topics.

Sigma said...

Hey! Nice tips! Though I dont like to manipulate my photos either, except for a little crop, if I need the photo for some specific purpose.
And wonderfule pictures. I especially like the last one of the rickshaw.

Pijush said...

@Sigma, you are shooting me with comments, I am delighted :-)
Last one I captured few days back, I liked it too.

amit said...

great travel photography tips thanx..'Try different angle' d example pic is cool..