Here’s How To Take Travel Photos That Actually Look Professional

Memory catching is easy these days. Camera phones and Instagram work in tandem so well it’s easy to make your pictures look like the work of art you imagine. Encapsulating certain settings isn’t so easy though but luckily BuzzFeed know just about everything these days…

1. When you’re at the beach:

Laurence Norah

Laurence Norah

“Beaches are best at sunset and sunrise, when the light is easier to work with,” says Norah. His tip: “Avoid shooting during the middle of the day, because the overhead light is harsh and difficult to work with.” Also, to avoid the clichéd sand-and-sky shot, look for something interesting to focus your image on, he advises.

2. When it’s rainy and/or overcast:

3. When it's rainy and/or overcast:

Laurence Norah

The big lesson: Don’t put your camera away because it’s raining or grey, emphasizes Norah. “Find fun reflections and colorful subjects (umbrellas are always good!), and use the lighting to your advantage,” he says. “Moody skies can make for a great shot!”

3. When you’re around (or in) the water:

Laurence Norah

Laurence Norah

Gone are the days of buying underwater cameras from CVS. Now, there’s a ton of gear out there to help you take really awesome photos underwater. “Start with a waterproof camera case (like this one), or spring for a bigger investment, like a GoPro — they’re great underwater cameras,” says Norah. He recommends theGoPro Hero 4 Silver, if you can afford it. “The touchscreen makes it a lot easier to see what’s going on compared to previous models, and the image quality is excellent for both video and photos,” he says.

“And perhaps most importantly, get yourself up close and personal with the action,” he says. (Water shots aren’t as good when they’re taken at a wide angle.)

4. The streets:

Laurence Norah

Laurence Norah

Street photography is all about searching for the best, most telling moments and scenes, and then freezing them with your camera, says Norah. “Markets and streets are very good places to start. Don’t forget to look up as well; there’s a lot going on above our eyes!”

5. Interiors of rooms:

8. Interiors of rooms:

Laurence Norah

Shooting indoors can be tricky, because if there isn’t enough natural light, your shot can easily turn out too dark. The fix: “Shoot on a tripod if you can,” advises Norah.Keeping your camera steady in low-light situations is key because your camera is using a slower shutter speed, which lets in more light — but the problem with this speed is that if the camera moves while the lens is still letting in light, everything will come out blurry.

If you don’t have a tripod, just balance your camera or phone on a flat surface, like a table, to keep it steady. “Some photographers even travel with a small, hand-sized bean bag for stabilizing their camera in situations like this,” says Norah. Also, if you happen to have a wide-angle lens, or even a fisheye lens, this is a great place to use it, in order to fit everything into your frame, he says.

6. Your friends:

9. Your friends:

Laurence Norah

Be sneaky! “By this, I mean, go for the candid, natural shots of your friends just being themselves, rather than posing for you,” says Norah. You’ll get more natural shots this way, and really capture their personalities, he says.

7. Moving things, like fire or athletes at a sporting event:

Laurence Norah

Taking pictures of moving objects — i.e., action photography — is hard, but definitely possible. It helps if you have a DSLR camera. If you do, the key is to learn how to set it up so you can control the shutter speed. “Controlling the shutter speeds lets you control time itself, either freezing the action with a high shutter speed, or showing something in motion with a low shutter speed,” he says.

If you only have an iPhone, all is not lost. “Since iOS 8, you have been able to manually change shutter speed on the iPhone, but you need a third-party camera app that lets you control shutter speed, like VSCO. Download that app, and learn how to control shutter speed there. Then, you can take full control and get those action shots.”

8. Food:

Laurence Norah

Laurence Norah

Many food Instagrammers simply hold their phone right above the food table, and snap a birds-eye-view shot. That’s one way to do it, but if you want to take your food photos to the next level, the secret is to also find really good light. “Natural light is best, but if you can’t find it, be creative with what you have available. Napkins make nice reflectors,” he says.

Next, be sure to use a wide aperture lens. “iPhones are actually fixed at wide apertures already, so the iPhone is pretty good for food photography. The only problem is lack of light, so my advice again is to find locations with better light, or to shine additional light sources onto the food to illuminate it better,” says Norah. Otherwise, if you have a DSLR, wide aperture lenses allow for a shallower “depth of field” effect, which means that basically only the food is in focus, and the images in front of and behind the shot are out of focus. This makes the food look even more appealing.

9. Seascapes:

15. Seascapes:

Laurence Norah

“Seascapes are all about those incredible blues of the ocean,” says Norah. His advice: Try to find a vantage point that will let you capture those, as well as something interesting in the foreground that contrasts the colors of the sea and sky.

And if you enjoy tinkering around with the above tips you sound like you’re ready to take the next step into professional photography! That’s where we come in – click here to see more about our Photography courses at The Sheffield College.


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