Now that we are traveling again, an important part of every trip is taking photos, especially at gatherings with family and friends.
World Photography Day is August 19, a good time to remind ecoXplorer followers about these photo tips from professional photographers I know personally and have traveled with.
These tips and tactics apply whether you are snapping images with a phone or a traditional digital camera.
Avoid mid-day for outdoor photos
That’s because between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the sun is overhead and the light is flat.
Shooting in early morning and late afternoon adds more color and shadows to your photos, giving more definition to the subject.
Photographers call the light just before sunset “the golden hour”, because the light is a creamy, even golden, hue.
Get up close and personal
When you are too far away, there can be a disconnect from you and your subject.
Or, when there is too much happening in the picture a close-up can be a better image than a ‘busy’ wide shot where a lot of things are competing for attention, advises Michael Ventura.
Instead of using the zoom, which can blur the photo, move in closer to your subject. Fill the frame, he advises.
- My personal tip is to shoot “wide” on a phone, since zooming in can make your hand unsteady and the image blurry. Then, edit the in-focus photo from a long-shot into a close-up.
Pay attention to what’s in the background
Before you click the shutter, look for distractions in the back of the photo or behind the heads of your subjects.
Move yourself or your subject so there’s no tree or telephone pole growing out of his or her head, advises Dennis Cox, director of Photo Explorer Tours.
And you can fix a background that’s distracting or simply really bad with software that includes a background remover.
Move away from the middle
Instead of putting your subject in the center of the photo, it is often a more interesting photo to move him or her or it to the side, and show more of the background.
Always use the flash
Of course you should use a flash indoors, for extra light. But it’s also a good idea to use it outdoors, also, as a ‘fill’ to minimize the shadows on somebody’s face.
The flash has a limited distance, so that’s another reason to get close.
Full disclosure —
I have been a longtime member of SATW, including serving two terms on the board of directors of the Freelance Council, and I have traveled with and learned from both Michael Ventura and Dennis Cox.
I am also a member of NATJA, the North American Travel Joiurnalists Assn., and currently serve as 1st VP of IMPA, the International Motor Press Assn.