How to take travel photos you’ll enjoy for years

Take travel photos you'll enjoy forever.

If you're no expert when it comes to photography, how do you get shots that'll really remind you of your trip after it's finished? Despite the fact that our car hire options allow you all the space you could ever want, you don't need to carry loads of expensive and bulky camera equipment around with you.

One thing you should carry loads of, though, is memory cards. Whether taking photos on an expensive camera or a mobile phone, the last thing you want to do is run out of space.

Either have tons of memory cards, or back your photos up somewhere safe every evening.

Either have tons of memory cards, or back your photos up somewhere safe every evening.

Storage aside, how can you take great holiday snaps like a pro?

1) Make use of your camera's mode settings

Most cameras come with a set of 'modes' which will pre-determine some of the settings used in the photo. It's really worth trying them out and reading the information that comes with them. Portrait setting, for example, will focus on the foreground – which is where your subject should be. Sports mode, on the other hand, will use a high shutter speed and capture movement much better than other options.

2) Don't be afraid to ask for portrait photos

Sometimes you see that perfect shot that sums up the atmosphere and location perfectly – and it stars a local stranger. Don't be afraid to ask if they mind you taking a snap with them in. Of course, they can say no, and you certainly shouldn't take their photograph if that's the case – but if they say yes, you have an awesome holiday photo to remember the moment by. There's so much you can read through someone's expression and stance that would be missing if they stepped aside.

3) Get creative and connect to your photo

Every tourist spot has the famous photograph that we've all seen a hundred times. By all means take your version, but then think outside the box and try the same shot with a different lens or angle. Going back at a different time of day and taking the shot with early dawn light or after dark instead can create something totally different. Hanging around after everyone else has left is a good tactic for getting a different kind of shot.

In order for your photos to mean something to you when at home, think about what you want each photo to be about. Is it what's in the foreground or background? Is the geographical feature, or the general ambience of the place? Knowing what you want the photo to do for the viewer will help you decide what you need to focus the lens on.

4) Research the best locations

If you're keen to find the perfect spot for a photo, take some time to research where to go when you arrive at your destination. Naturally, you can research from home before you travel, but also pop into local tourist info centres and ask locals where you should head to take the kind of photos you're into. They'll be able to recommend that spot on the other side of the water that gets the best cityscape, or the waterfall that the tourist books don't mention. Top tips like busy times to avoid will also come out of talking to locals.

Doing some research will also show you what excites you about the area and what kind of photos you are keen to emulate for your own collection.

5) Learn to edit

The fancy software is fun to learn if you're serious, but mobile editing apps are just as useful to begin with. Most people understand that they can brighten and image or play with the contrast, but there's lots more you can do too. Instead of contrasts, try looking at highlights and shadows to achieve more depth. Saturation changes how much colour is in your photograph and can really change its feel and focus.

Another great thing about editing is that you can stop worrying about getting every little thing right when you take the photo. If you just can't avoid some unattractive graffiti or getting some litter in the picture, you can edit it out at home.

6) Use the light

There's lots to know about using light, but a few basics will help you improve your photos straightaway. Morning and evening lights are considered good for photography. However, midday light can add brightness to certain colours, if that's what you want from a photo. For the perfect sunset photo, be on the lookout for cloud formation as the day comes to end. The best colour comes with with some cloud rather than a clear sky, as light reflects off them and provides that glorious mix of colours every sunset photographer wants.

Whatever kind of camera you have, it will adjust the light according to what it determines to be the average in the given scene. If this means your shot is looking a little bright, darkening the exposure often provides more detail which can be lightened later on if required.

Now you're ready to take some snaps, make sure you've got the car hire to get you there. Book now.

About the Author

Chester is a foodie and loves to explore the great land of Australia. He is currently blogging for East Coast Car Rentals.

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