If you love to travel, you probably know the Travel Addicts (aka, Lance and Laura), one of the first and most popular travel blogs out there. What started in 2008 as an online journal has morphed into a must-read blog for thousands and thousands of people who are planning a trip or just looking for some inspiration.
They such consummate travelers that, when I asked Lance during a recent phone call about his favorite travel destination, he hesitated. “It’s very difficult to answer that question, having been to somewhere north of 50 countries. If you asked us today, we would say our favorite country is Slovakia and our favorite city is Rome. In Slovakia, you can have truly amazing travel experiences for pennies.”
Lance and Laura have honed their photography skills over the years as well, and they were more than happy to share their top 8 travel photography tips:
1. Basic cameras are perfectly fine
Our biggest tip: You don’t need truly amazing camera equipment to take great photos. iPhones and point-and-shoot cameras can, in a lot of situations, do just as good of a job as a high-end DSLR camera. Laura took a photo during a trip to Ireland last year that has been used by a magazine in Australia, and Dublin bought the rights to the photo to use on their new website. She took it on an iPhone, she didn’t set up the shot – she just saw it at the moment and knew, that’s it.
2. Capture candid moments
We all take photos of our family in front of, say, the Taj Mahal, but the photos that will be most memorable are the candids. When your child is playing in the sand at the beach and he doesn’t know you’re taking the photo, you have all the time in the world to set up the photo because your subject is so focused on what he is doing. Focus and capture those candid moments because it creates a really compelling image.
3. Focus on colors and contrasts
Vibrant colors add a lot to the photo. Even a little bit of blue sky does wonders because it brings in some elements of natural lighting. If you’re taking a picture of something with bright red in it, the red adds a layer to the photo you won’t get otherwise.
4. Get off the beaten path
Go around the corner, and see what’s there. If you’re walking down the main boulevard in a city, you might not come into contact with those interesting, slice-of-life shots that are truly memorable unless you go off the beaten path.
5. The late afternoon light is as good as the early morning light
A lot of photographers say that early morning light is best, but we’re night owls. We are not getting up at 5 am to take photos! Late afternoon light can be just as good.
If there’s a place we know is going to be really photogenic, sometimes we schedule our day knowing we want to take photos there late in the afternoon.
6. Look for very different angles
When you’re going to that iconic place – the Eiffel Tower or the Coliseum in Rome – look for a way to make it interesting. Bring a plant or bush into the foreground or offset the photo so the Eiffel Tower is not right in the middle of the frame. It makes that image much more interesting (as you can see in the photo of the Rock of Cashel).
7. Use the rule of thirds
Divide your field of view into nine boxes – it really helps you take better pictures. Shift your horizon so it’s not in the middle of the frame but in the top or bottom, or shift so your subject is to the right or left.
8. Learn from the photos you love