Top 10 Photography Tips

top 10 photography tips

Top 10 Photography Tips

Here are my top 10 photography tips to help you take great photos. knowing how to take better photos will help you capture the travel memories you want. These are the bullet points, with an explanation below

  1. Composition – Learn the rules of composition, then break them.
  2. Shutter Speed – Avoid Camera Shake.
  3. Use a Polarising Filter – Take away reflections and boost colours.
  4. Fooling your camera’s internal light meter is easy! – Bracket your shots.
  5. Light changes dramatically with the time of day! Know what’s best for your shot.
  6. Know Your Camera –  Know where all the buttons are for when the perfect shot comes.
  7. The Depth of Field – What’s in focus in your picture and what’s not.
  8. Backup and Memory Cards – and spread your trip out over them.
  9. Plan your Photographs – Spend time on Google street view getting to know the area.
  10. Take your time  Walk around the subject and try from different angles.

Top 10 Photography Tips – Explained

1. Composition

top 10 travel photography tips

Pathways lead into a photo

There are rules for composition, where things are, in a photo. The most widely known rule is the rule of thirds. Most cameras and phones have a grid in the viewfinder/screen. Click for more on Composition and the rule of thirds, as well as several other composition techniques like using pathways.

2. Shutter Speed

Avoid Camera Shake – Firstly, choose the right shutter speed. Causing the camera to shake by having a shutter speed that’s too low results in a blurred image. Using the right shutter speed for the length of the lens and lighting conditions can be crucial. Click for further information about Shutter Speed.

The correct shutter speed can freeze the action

3. Use a Polarising Filter

Planning a trip to the Rioja Wineries

Marques de Riscal Bodega

Polarising filters do a couple of things. If you only have one filter, this should be it. Firstly, they make colours richer. Secondly, they reduce reflections. They also reduce the amount of light getting into the lens. Learning how to use your polarising filter to give your photos extra punch and reduce editing is worth it in the long run. More about Using a Polarising Filter  

4. Correct Exposure

Fooling your camera’s internal light meter is easy, snow, sand and water all reflecting too much light into the camera can cause under or overexposure. The way around this is to bracket your shots. More about Exposure.

Beach scenes can fool the cameras light metre

5. Time of day

Generally speaking, the light changes quickly and dramatically with the time of day. Blue light in the morning, harsh light, with little shadow in the middle of the day and by the same token, golden light in the afternoon for example. Give your pictures different feelings and mood depending on the colour of the light. For this reason, try taking the same subject at different times of the day. More about light and colour temperatures can be found at Light and Time of Day

Light colour change throughout the day

6. Know Your Camera

top 10 photography tips

Sounds obvious but know where all the buttons are so you are ready when the perfect shot comes. From aperture priority mode, sports mode to full on manual. Each has its place in getting the best shot in any situation. The more time you spend looking down, fiddling with the camera means you may miss the perfect shot not to mention not enjoying your travels. More about knowing the best modes on your camera for any given situation can be found at Know your Camera

7. Know how depth of field works

Small DOF

Depth of Field, or, what’s in focus in your picture and what’s not. For example, add more depth of field to your photo to get the whole picture in pin sharp focus or use less depth of field to isolate details or tantalise the viewer by throwing the background out of focus. Click for more on Depth of Field

8. Backup

Firstly, change memory cards every couple of years, they do have a finite life. To demonstrate, this happened to my father. I took him to Zagreb for his birthday and we spent the weekend taking photos of the local sights. Finding the memory card in his camera had corrupted on getting home was a blow. Backup and Memory Cards – Backup your memory cards and also spread your trip out over them.  Click for more options on Back up your Photos and keeping your photos safe.

top 10 photography tips

9. Plan

Plan your Photographs – Trover is a good app for your phone that can show you other pictures people have taken in the area you are going. Before you get where you’re going spend time on Google Maps street view getting to know the area. Look for things like sun position and viewpoints! For more on Planning your Photos 

10. Take your time

Take your time. Firstly, time is your friend. Walk around the subject, also try from different angles, even the unusual ones! Even time of day will make a difference to the mood and feel of your shot. After obtaining the perfect shot, on the whole, you will have less to do with editing software. Editing software can make a great photo even more amazing but can rarely make a bad shot outstanding. For more about getting the best shot you can and editing see Photo Editing.

Top 10 Photography Tips – Conclusions

My top 10 photography tips will have you well on the way to taking better photos on your travels. It’s worth reiterating number 6 again. When I was looking down at my new camera one time trying to work out the settings a Red Kite, a bird of prey sailed over me only 20ft above me! To clarify, had I taken my own advice, I would have been ready to get that perfect shot!

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