7 Tips For Taking Great Travel Photos

7 Tips For Taking Great Travel Photos
Vacations and road trips offer so many incredible moments and experiences. It's easy to treasure travel memories for a lifetime with outstanding vacation photographs. You never know when special moments will happen on a trip, so make sure to have your cell phone or a small camera with you to snap pictures.

If getting great vacation pictures is important to you, here are seven tips for taking the best vacation photos ever on your next trip.

1. Know your camera and cell phone well. There is often a tendency to purchase a new camera or cell phone before taking an epic vacation or road trip. In order to take the best pictures, make sure to get to know all the features of your camera and your cell phone before leaving. Practice taking photos with both before leaving on your trip. Memorable moments can happen quickly, so you won't want to miss a great shot while fumbling with your camera. If you have multiple cameras, think about size and weight limitations and how you're likely to use the equipment before choosing which ones to take on your trip. If you are planning to take pictures of fast-moving wildlife, try to bring along a good digital SLR camera with a long lens.

2. Be prepared with the right gear. It’s important to think about the details of your trip and bring along the right gear. If you’re heading to the beach, you may want to bring along a waterproof camera as saltwater and sand can cause permanent damage. In addition, don’t forget to pack plenty of memory cards and your camera’s battery charger. For the best photography on some types of trips, like capturing the Northern Lights, you may want to bring a lightweight travel tripod as well.

3. Take lots of pictures. Professional photographers know that taking lots of shots results in the best possible pictures. It can require hundreds of pictures to get the kinds of final images professional photographers are seeking. Experiment with composition and different angles. Shooting some photos in rapid fire sequence can help, too. Thanks to digital technology, it's possible to simply delete the pictures you don't want. It's important not to go overboard, though. Spending most of each day continually taking pictures can annoy your travel companions. It’s not particularly relaxing as well, so try to stay balanced. If you're trying to capture a group shot, have a pose in mind so you can quickly take the photos and move back to simply enjoying your time together.

4. Watch the light. Light is an important element in photography, so be aware of timing and light conditions. The best times to take outdoor shots are generally in the early morning and in the late afternoon or early evening just before sunset. These are typically the golden hours, adding a warm glow to your images. If shooting indoors, it's often best to turn off the built-in flash on your camera. Unless you're using professional grade flash equipment, photos taken with a built-in flash can appear washed out. If you're using your cell phone as your camera, top photo editing apps like Snapseed can help adjust your lighting and make your pictures even better.

5. Take both wide shots and close-up photos. Strive to create a mix of vacation photographs from your trip. You'll want to include both wide angle pictures and close-up shots that zoom in on faces and small details found at your destination or on your road trip. While it's tempting to take all posed individual and group shots, make sure to capture fun spontaneous moments, too. Those memorable times can deliver some of the best images from your vacation.

6. Eliminate the clutter. It’s easy to get completely focused on the main subjects in your shots and simply click away. Before doing so, look closely at the things that may distract from your photo, like power lines and a person or two. Moving just a few feet in one direction or another may get rid of the clutter and improve your shot immensely.

7. Consider arranging for some professional shots. Local photographers specializing in vacation photos are available across the United States and around the globe. Companies like Flytographer and Localgrapher have independent local photographers in locations around the world. Since they're from the area, these photographers know the best local places to take vacation photos and are skilled in photographing candid special moments and posed group pictures. If you're traveling with family or friends and would like to take group shots, think about what everyone should wear in advance and bring the outfits on your trip. Choosing coordinating solid colors often works best.

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