I was never interested in photography when I was first starting to travel. For me, it took away from the experience and I secretly chided others who spent the majority of their trip behind a camera. However, over the past year or so I’ve started to develop a passion for finding the perfect shot. Instead of taking away from my experience, I found it actually enhanced it—how do you capture a single culture within one frame?
Here are some tips I’ve come up with over the past few years that have helped me.
Invest in a good camera.
Yeah, yeah. I know. You can take great pictures on your iPhone. It’s true—the new iPhones do have a pretty good camera with some nice editing features. But there is something about shooting pictures on a real camera that means a lot more. Plus, you’ll get some higher-quality shots than you would if you solely relied on your phone (which I still do sometimes). I finally broke down and bought a used Canon ti3 for $120, and I couldn’t be happier with it. It might not have all the new features that a lot of cameras have (WiFi, web browser, etc.), but it does take some nice pictures.
Be patient and take multiple shots.
Patience is not a virtue I am blessed with, but learning to take my time and wait for the perfect shot has really benefitted me, especially when taking nature pictures or animal pictures. I’ve found for waiting for just the right moment is often the best way to get a picture that I will be proud of. Also, taking a ton of pictures is often the best way to get the exact frame you want. With digital cameras now, you can take as many as your card will hold.
Look for patterns.
The best travel photography for me is ones where you can see a culture by seeing the patterns. I loved Morocco photography-wise because there were so many colors and so many different innate patterns. Part of photography is looking at things from another angle, and I try to see things from a slightly different perspective when I am taking a photo.
Angles are a fantastic way to add depth and interest to your photos. Look for building and structures that are moving away from you. It adds perspective and makes the picture seem larger than it normally would be. Angles are like patterns—you kind of have to be on the look out for them, but they really do help to make your pictures different than just a regular tourist’s.
Do you have any photography tips? What kind of camera would you recommend?