It’s always nice to look through old holiday photos. But, like us, you’ve no doubt come across bad ones and felt a tinge of regret at not capturing the moment very well. Here are a few travel photography tips to help you make the most of your next vacation. It might also help to rent a good camera for your break – you don’t need to be an expert to take good photos, but a decent piece of equipment can help!
#1 Utilising street scenes
During your travels, be observant and keep a lookout for potential subjects as you hit the streets. Nothing beats snagging a candid shot. Venture beyond the main street to smaller alleyways where you might stumble upon quaint cafés and other great photo opps, from the beautiful to the bizarre! To get a good shot, you’ll need to be patient. Take your time to scout for the perfect spot, position yourself, adjust your settings (you don’t want to be fiddling about and end up missing the moment) and see who wanders by.
As you’ll be mainly capturing passersby, be discreet and ensure your camera shutter is on silent mode. Shooting from the hips instead of shoulder or eye level also helps. Alerting your unsuspecting subject could make them self-conscious or even cause them to hastily exit the scene, destroying your chances of a good photo.
What we recommend: Ricoh GRIII or a camera with a wide angle lens (24-35mm perspective).
#2 Watching the weather
It’s a rule of thumb to ensure that the sun is behind you while capturing a subject, whether that’s a person, building or landscape. With the sunlight on your subject, they will be well-lit.
Despite this, you’ll sometimes have to work with a wild burst of sunshine. In those cases, take advantage of the harsh light for an interesting silhouette – the result can look pretty cool! Sunny skies are great, but grey ones can make for a pretty picture too, creating a unique dramatic effect.
#3 Capturing landscapes
There are two things that will help with landscape travel photography: a tripod and a polarising filter. A tripod is easy to set up and can make a whole lot of difference in preventing blurry photos. It will also come in handy if you’ll be waiting a long time, such as capturing different moments of a sunset or sunrise.
A polarising filter is an accessory that you can attach in front of the lens. It allows you to select which light rays enter your camera lens, cutting down on unwanted reflection and glare. For example, if you’re shooting a lake scene, the filter will make the water look clear and enhance the colour.
Controlling the depth of field (distance between the closest and farthest objects in an image, both of which are in focus) is also key. To manipulate depth of field on your camera, you will need to change your aperture (F-stop). This changes the sharpness of your photo from foreground to background. There’s no fixed way to do this as it depends on the type of lens and the scene you are shooting. Generally, though, you’ll get a sharper photo if you set the aperture at the mid point of the possible aperture range (i.e. if the lens is F2.8 to F22, choose F10).
What we recommend: A camera with a wide-angle 16-35mm zoom lens or a 70-300mm telephoto lens to bring the subject closer.
#4 Shooting at night
Some people find night photography daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Your camera’s ISO setting looks at the amount of light you have in the scene you are shooting. So, when you have little light at night, you’ll need to set a higher ISO, lower your aperture value to F1.2 – F2.8 and place your camera on a stable surface. This will help you get a brighter and sharper photo.
Other strategies include mounting your camera on a tripod, increasing the shutter speed or switching to Bulb mode. This special Bulb mode allows shots to be taken that are minutes long, rather than seconds, which is great for night scenes. We recommend getting a cable or remote shutter release for this.
#5 Choosing the right equipment
If you’re going on a beach holiday, you don’t pack ski pants! Likewise, you need to have a suitable camera and appropriate accessories if you want to get good photos while on holiday. For instance, if you’re going on safari, it’s not much use bringing a compact camera with a limited zoom range and slower shutter speeds. You’ll likely end up with blurry shots as the camera won’t capture swift movements or faraway shots as effectively. Capture great photos of the animals from a safe distance by using a tele-photo lens like a Sigma 150-600mm or the Sony FE 200-600mm.
Ensure your camera and accessories are suitable for the weather and environment you’ll be travelling in. If you’re going hiking, ensure your camera and lenses are weather-sealed. Before you head out, check the weather and consider bringing along a water-proof cover for your equipment.
Want to rent a camera?
The Camera Rental Centre carries an impressive range of cameras, lenses, drones and even 360-degree cameras that fit right in your pocket for great travel photography! From 1 October to 31 December 2019, get 20% off any equipment rental when you present your travel ticket at their stores (not valid with other offers or discounts). No minimum spend is required.
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