Five Fantastic Travel Photography Tips

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1) How to fool the flash

A lot of point-and-shoot cameras have less than stellar flashes that can result in a harshly lit photo. Here’s a clever fix: put an empty beer bottle (every traveler can get ahold of one of those!) in front of the flash and shoot. We’ve even heard of people using a tortilla chip to filter the light (hey, if you have beer, you very well might also have a tortilla chip handy).

2) How to deal with lens lice

Okay, there really is no such thing as lens lice; it’s merely a term we once heard a photographer use to refer to the people, mostly playful kids, who magically appear once they see a camera, ham it up, and try to get in that shot that you had – heretofore – perfectly set up.

What to do? Take a few shots to make them happy, put the camera down, wait till they forget about you, and look for your shot. It’s when people aren’t posing that the best shots happen and you can still look for those and perhaps even notice them better when you don’t have the camera up to your eye.

Dawn Boathouse by Jay Graham1 Five Fantastic Travel Photography Tips

3) How to make your shots look professional

What’s the biggest difference between the average traveler’s shot of the Eiffel Tower/Statue of Liberty/World’s Largest Ball of Twine and that of a professional photographer’s? Often it’s simply the lighting.

Photographers refer to the time just before and after sunrise and sunset as the “magic hours.” It’s when the light is soft, the shadows aren’t harsh, and the sky is usually at its most interesting.

This may not help you when it comes to fitting in all your sightseeing but it might help remind you to be at the ready with your camera when your travels take you out and about in the early morning or late afternoon.

Diego and the Apocolypse by Jay Graham Five Fantastic Travel Photography Tips

4) How to compose beautiful shots

Most travel photography happens on the fly. So while it’s not always easy to set up each shot, there are certain basics to keep in mind that will help you create a beautiful photograph. Read this post on the “rule of thirds” for a quick primer on composition basics.

5) How handy apps can help

We asked a few pro photographers and friends of Blurb what their favorite iPhone camera apps were for travel. Here are their top two must-have apps for photos on the go:

Snapseed – Dan Milnor, Blurb’s photographer at large, loves this app for quick fine-tuning (cropping, filters, sharpening) of images.

Photogene2 and Photosynth – Jay Graham, pro photographer and friend of Blurb, uses the Photogene2 app much the way he uses Photoshop. “I like Photogene because it’s easy to import images into, allows the use of layers, and allows me to modify the meta data – including setting up presets such as my standard copyright notice and contact info.” He also uses Photosynth to create panoramic shots on the go. “It’s a little tricky but once you get the hang of it, it’s a great way to get full scale views.”

photosynthe Five Fantastic Travel Photography Tips

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  1. Great info and short and sweet

      February 15, 2013 – 3:44 pm   Permalink
  2. I’m still learning, I’m a paraplegic, wheel chair dependant etc

    Have a new Sony Camera (A24, I think? sorry for not beng able to tell you more, I’m In hospital at the moment for another three weeks) ‘stumbled’ on your website and hope to be able to use the tips at some stage later on.


    martin zaugg

      May 9, 2013 – 5:14 pm   Permalink
  3. Hello Martin,

    We’re all still learning, no matter what stage we’re in. Best wishes for you as you recover in the hospital, and hope you’re back out there shooting soon.



    By Kent
      May 10, 2013 – 10:39 am   Permalink

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