We all know what a great photo looks like. The question is: how can we take one?!
Actually, a good photograph they say, is subject to the eye of the beholder. However, there is no harm in gaining a few technical tips to make sure you can make the most out of your subject matter. A good quality camera will do most of the work for you, however composition, lighting and subject matter is just as important.
Here are some top tips on improving the quality of your travel photos and making sure every experience you have is remembered by a great single shot:
- Light is at its best early in the morning just after sunrise and in the evening just before sunset. In the photography world this is often known as the golden hour of photography when daylight is redder and softer.
- Get in close- if you feel your images aren’t saying anything then you are not close enough to the action. Fill the frame with your subject and avoid wasted space.
- Use your flash during the day when the light is extremely bright, forcing extra light on a subject will avoid ugly shadows and create an even exposure.
- Think about your composition. A good composition can bring dull objects to life, similarly, the best subject matter in the world can be ruined by a bad composition. Follow the ‘Rule of Thirds’ to give you a basic idea.
- Take your time before taking a photo. Think about what you are photographing and where you should position yourself based on light and composition.
- Try to refrain from checking your images the moment you take them. You could miss a vital magic moment and it affects the flow of your work.
- Be aware of your shutter speed as this can be the difference between a blurry photo and a sharp photo. The speed of your shutter will depend on whether you are shooting subjects in action or static.
- Remember to have your camera on you at all time so that you don’t miss the ‘money shot’! This has become increasingly easier with the quality of smart phone cameras which are always at hand.
- Don’t pack too many elements into your photo- keeping it smart and simple can sometimes be much more effective.
- Think about perspective, sometimes an image can be much more engaging if you shoot it lying or crouching down or from an elevated position.
- Take inspiration from other photographers. Look at different styles and technical elements for inspiration.
- Unless you are photographing something vibrant like the Mardi Gras festival, try to limit your colour palette. One or two colours dominating will be more pleasing to the eye and help set the tone of the image.
A word on Instagram:
As smart phone cameras are constantly updating in quality, more and more of us are choosing to travel light and just use your phones to capture the moment. We then upload to social media such as Instagram and Facebook to make sure we have those photos safe and saved in case anything happens to our phones. It’s also a great way to show our family and friends the exciting things we are doing without having to send individual messages – but I don’t need to tell anyone living in the digital era about how social media works!
A lot of experts say, the quality of a photo is in the editing and with such great tools at hand, there is no better way to make a photo looks fab than to crop, enhance, add borders or covert into black and white.
The options are endless and can really make a difference. So before you hit send on that Instagram post, have a think about how much more beautiful you can make it look! You’ll not only create a beautiful feed, you’ll have life long memories of some of the greatest times of your life.
Test your own skills and take part in one of Oyster’s projects that offer some amazing photographic opportunities! Don’t forget to send us some of your best shots. We love to create blogs about your experiences and post your photos on our own social media sites for future and past volunteers to enjoy!