HOW TO TAKE BETTER TRAVEL PHOTOS

Follow these simple tips to take the best travel photos on your next trip

By Lauren Townsend

AAA World Article

Documenting your travels through photography can help preserve your memories and share them with others.  Follow these simple tips to take the best travel photos on your next trip:

KNOW YOUR END GOAL
How will you use your photos after the trip?  Are you looking for family photos that you can share online to document your trip, or will you be creating an album that showcases the details of the destination?  Knowing your end goal early on is important and should guide the types of photos you take, the size of the image, and the style of the shot. 

PICK A SUBJECT OR A THEME
Oftentimes a destination lends itself to a photographic theme that will follow you through your trip.  The subject is completely up to you—it could be colored doors, cats in their natural setting, spectacular city views, food, or sunsets.

FRAME YOUR PHOTOS
Look for opportunities to frame a scene with texture or a stationary item nearby.  This could be foliage, a stationary object, or a textured wall. Experiment with different items that are close-up and items in the distance that can work together. 

FIND INTERESTING ANGLES
When photographing people, find an interesting angle to vary from the traditional front-and-center-smiling shot. Try a few with an interesting background and the person off-center.  When shooting a scene, consider capturing a reflection in a window, off of water, or another reflective surface.  Both approaches create a photo with more depth and interest.

DON'T SHOOT INTO THE SUN
The subjects of the photo should have the light facing them, with the sun to the back of the photographer.  This ensures the light is more consistent across the subject and doesn’t glare.  Watch for shadows on faces—they can sneak in and ruin a group photo.

SOMETIMES A FLASH ISN'T NECESSARY
Give it a try with and without the flash. Natural light can often provide a better photo than a flash, even in a dimly lit scene.  Try it with both to be sure you get the best shot. You can also use low-lit scenes to capture the movement of a subject. 

SHOOTING WITH YOUR PHONE
An iPhone or Android can take excellent photos and is more portable than a camera with a larger lens. Experiment with different filters such as black and white, tonal, or chrome.  You can also take time-lapse photos or panoramic shots to capture a wide scene. Play around with it when you have time, and try the same shot with different filters or treatments to see what you like best. 

DON'T DISMISS THE APPS
Apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic give you many more options to play with filters, frames, and treatments. They can capture a scene like no other, making you feel like professional photography is in your near future. You can also save these photos in your Photo Library to use in your album post-trip.

Most of all, take a lot of photos, experiment with different approaches, and always have your camera with you—the best shot will come when you least expect it!