TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR EVERYONE
Going travelling? Got a new camera? Here are a couple of basic tips to help you get better pictures.
BUY YOUR CAMERA long before your trip, so you can practice and get familiar with it. Shoot everything and everyone around you. If buying a compact camera please make sure it can shoot in RAW format.
SHOOT RAW. The files are much bigger and you can take fewer pictures on a card but the picture quality is so much better than if shooting jpegs.
APERTURE PRIORITY. If you are totally new to photography please use the scene modes, with the little diagram pictures. They are usually in the form of a mountain for scenery pictures, a person for portrait, a flower for close-ups… Once you get familiar with what the aperture is doing I recommend using aperture priority mode. You select the aperture; a small number like F2.8 means a bigger opening which means a more shallow depth of field. This is usually very nice for portraits where you can blur out the background either to make junk disappear or create a dreamy look or a “mysterious” look.
When selecting a small aperture, which means a bigger # like F11 or F16, there will be more depth of field which is usually wanted for scenery pictures.
ISO. As a general rule just use 100 or 200 ISO when shooting outdoors and it is sunny, and 400 or 800 ISO when shooting indoors or it is overcast. If you have a better camera and great lens you can use ISO 1600 or 3200.
COMPOSITION. This one is very much a subject of personal sensitivity and artistic expression, please be free to always experiment and frame and shoot things in any way you can imagine. When faced with a beautiful scene and you are unsure what would look best just shoot it in different ways, tight medium and wide, the subject centered and off to either side, and you will end up with many pictures where one is going to stand out as the awesomest.
Develop your artistic eye by watching the classic works from the masters. Also watch movies that won best picture awards, study the framing and the lighting in every scene.
FOCUSING: for regular travel photography I would suggest using auto focus with face detection enabled. Once you will be familiar with focusing and you need to be more precise with it use single point focusing. You select the focusing point with the thumb wheel.
RESPECT THE PEOPLE: Please remember that the people who live in the country you are visiting are not there to put on a show for you, they just live there and don’t like to be bothered by tourists with bad camera manners. Always ask if you can take their picture, or point at the camera and with questioning eyes frown the forehead like Jack Nickolson… actually no make that Leo DiCaprio (if you are a guy, if you are a woman I guess a big smile will do) and they will let you know if they are OK with it or not. Some people are very eager to get photographed and even make it their business;
“hey Gringo take my picture!” click! “10 pesos please!”… said the little shoe shine boy above.
Have a nice trip!