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How to Get Better in Travel Photography by Using Smartphone

Vintage photo camera that representing past of a modern photo cameras

"Photography is the story I fail to put into words"

- Destin Sparks -

1. Get Ready

An important rule of photography, to take a photo, you need to have a photo camera. That being said, make sure to charge all your gadgets the night before and always carry a power bank with you, only this way you are never will miss an opportunity to bring great pictures home. When visiting new places level of excitement jumping to the roof, from amount of beauty we see, adrenalin is pumping, the head is spinning and on those great emotions, we are starting to make hundreds and hundreds of shots, when sadly realizing that all of it was ruined just by little dust on a camera lens. Please do not let it happen again, take a quick moment to clean lenses before going wild in your photo hunt.

2. Background

When making a group picture or a portrait, avoid a complex photo by including a busy background in it, just use a simple approach, decide what you wish to see on a photo, and take away all unnecessary distractions. Plain background usually works best, pick neutral colors and simple patterns to keep the viewer's attention on the main subject.

3. Come Closer

Figure out what exactly you trying to have on your photo and come closer, it will allow making a detailed, more personalized picture. If you do not have a chance to approach the subject, use zoom, but keep in mind that digital zoom, basically crapping your picture, takes quality and sharpness away, in this case, go for optical zoom, it will do the trick.

4. Outdoor Flash

While traveling, most of the time we are spending outdoor, exploring places and getting the most out of sunny days, but did you notice how frustrating can be to discover great shots being dark. An easy fix to eliminate deep shadows on faces is just to turn flash mode ON.

5. Off Center

By default, we have the skill to take pictures, finding the subject, center it, snap, another boring photo in the album. But here is the tip, next time you would like to take a shot, move the subject out of the center to the side and you'll see how the photo will come to life every time you'll look at it.

6. Go Vertical

Panoramic photos are great, it gives a maximum view of that beautiful landscape you never tired to look at, it can fit a lot in just one picture, however always a good practice to change perspective by turning the phone sideways, many of subjects will appear in a better, more exciting way.

7. Composition

Do not give viewers a chance to take attention out of the picture, keep them inside by proper composition. Photographers around the world using the rule of thirds that helps to make the composition more logical and eye-catching. For more convince of using a rule of thirds, switch ON grid mode in your camera, which will show 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines dividing the screen to 9 equal squares. Some images will look best with the focal point in the center square, but placing the subject off-center at one of the intersecting points of the lines will often create a more aesthetically composed photograph. If you decided to keep the subject in the middle then framing techniques can get handy to tell a little bit more of a photograph story. Favorite composition trick of all is to use leading lines, when natural lines in the environment, such as trail in the forest, fence, road, wires, and so on, can lead the viewer's eye through the photo to the desired subject.

8. Stay Steady

Right after the Camera, who is the best photographer's friend? Correct, it's a Tripod.

Even though we are using a cellphone to collect our memories, it doesn't mean we cannot do it professionally and more sufficiently. A compact size tripod not only will provide the stability you need to make clear shots, but also will be a great tool for making group pictures or videos starring You.

9. Light

An artist making paintings with brush and colors, while an artist of photography using light to create a masterpiece. Find a source of light to power the photo with an extra beam for more depth, pull more details out of the subject, and let the colors perform their dance.

If you are indoor, use light coming from the window, lamp, candle, or even flashlight from another smartphone and the sun will do the job outdoor by creating shadows in a most beautiful way.

10. Capture Emotions

Let's conduct an experiment, go through the pictures on your phone and count how many photos you can find with the same poses, smiles, face impressions see where I'm going with it. Stage pictures are fine, but over time they look similar one to another and start losing value despite the experience you had. Try something new, let emotion come naturally, use the environment you are in, be on a hunt for the spontaneous act, freeze the moment of life that will last forever.

11. Selfie

Must admit, when traveling alone, a selfie is the most convenient option to take a picture. All you need is just hold the camera as far as you can and click the button. However, there are still few tricks that can be done to reach the maximum result, 1) Angle is a matter, do not smile straight at the camera, lift your phone a little bit above you, 2) Use natural light, but avoid direct sun into the face, 3) Find your good side by tilting head left, right, up and down. 4) Get yourself a selfie stick to keep the phone as far as you can, 5) Have fun, be creative, and selfie the shot out of it.

12. Night Picture

Taking good pictures at night is possible, all you need to know is just little tricks. Every phone has HDR ( High Dynamic Range) mode, which can tell difference between the darkest and brightest part of the scene, also the straightforward night mode can help you level up the picture, at the end of the day, phones were called smart for a reason. Night photography is a little bit challenging when a single shake of a hand can ruin the shot, keep it stable, little investment for a tripod will go a long way. Even though a build-in flashlight can do more harm than good, there is a way around it, simply place tissue over it to soften the light. Last but not least, take advantage of city lights, storefronts, neon signs, it something that comes alive only at night.

13. Food Picture

When traveling the globe, one thing we are always curious about, one thing is always on our to-do list, and the name to it, local food. What possibly can make you feel the culture of a country, better than a good plate of something you never tried or even seen before. By tasting local food you are experiencing the entire history through a simple bite. Make sure to make a good picture of it by applying the following rules, 1)Include entire plate on a photo, 2)Use grid mode for better composition, 3)Take advantage of exposure control, which easily can be activated by touching the subject on the screen and when little sun bar will appear you can control the amount of light in your photo before a shot, 4) For more detailed photos do not use digital zoom, just physically move closer, 5) Make a photo from above for more complex composition, or close up for better texture view. Enjoy your meal!

14. Study

Before set sail, study the place you about to visit, ask yourself questions, what makes it unique, what story it carrying, what people are leaving in it, and pass collected knowledge through pictures to the viewers for a better understanding of beauty, happiness or sadness of particular places.

15. Respect

Traveling is an awesome way to explore the world, get closer to different cultures, touch ancient history, get a new experience, but we are must remember, what for us is subject of a cool picture, for somebody its a home, be respectful to people, animals, and environment ...

”Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing, but time.”


For more convenience in the article were used affiliate links of useful accessories:

- Lenses wipes - Power Bank - Tripod - Selfie stick - Optical zoom - Shutter button -

Have a Great Adventure!


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