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11 Tips to Make Your Travel Photos Worthy of National Geographic

11 Tips to Make Your Travel Photos Worthy of National Geographic

Taking travel photos while you’re globetrotting is a wonderful way to remember your journey, as well as to share your experience with others—whether they be family and friends or millions of strangers across the globe via the world wide web. As a photographer and travel writer, I’ve taken photos in all sorts of places. I’ve learnt a few lessons the hard way, but the good news is you don’t have to! Here are my top travel photography tips to get the best possible shots out of your camera.

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sydney travel photo
    Sydney Skyline by Luke Chapman
    1. Before you leave home, consider which camera gear you should take, and which you should leave behind. If you just want to take a few holiday snaps, then a decent compact camera may be all you need. On the other hand, you may want to take a digital SLR and a few lenses. Lugging around a backpack full of camera gear can be a real pain, so as a compromise, consider taking an all-in-one travel zoom lens, like Tamron’s 18-270mm as well as a small 50mm lens for portraits and low light photos. (The nifty fifty is a recommended addition for any camera kit)
    2. I would consider a tripod to be an essential item for travel photography: It will allow you to get great long exposure photos in low light conditions and at nighttime, but can often be too bulky for travel. Tripods can also be a real hassle if you’re travelling internationally; I have been stopped countless times at airport security checkpoints as they check for any concealed weapons in my tripod (spiked tripod feet can also be an issue). A good alternative is Joby’s Gorillapod: It’s small, lightweight and flexible, so you can either stand it up or wrap it around something (like a fence or a tree) to get the perfect shot.
    3. If you don’t have a tripod with you, look for somewhere stable (like a bench or even the floor) to rest your camera on, especially for indoor or night time photos. This will keep the camera steady and help to eliminate blurry photos.

      rainforest travel photos
        Curtis Falls by Luke Chapman

      • “Bad Weather” doesn’t necessarily mean bad photos—some subjects are perfect for photographing in the rain. If you’re in a city, reflections on sidewalks and roads can make for some interesting photos. Gloomy weather can be great for subjects like rainforests and waterfalls; cloud cover is a great diffuser and eliminates the dappled light and harsh shadows that you normally get in the rainforest on a sunny day. If you’re near a garden, try taking photos of plants with water droplets on the leaves or flower petals. Search out local places to take indoor photos, such as churches, museums, train stations (the list goes on).
      • If you’re photographing something large (like a mountain or building) or small (like a miniature horse), try taking some shots that include people in the photo to give the viewer some perspective and sense of scale.
      • Although it sounds counterintuitive, using your flash during the day can be a good thing: it can help to fill in shadows and reduce contrast.
      • Try taking photos at night! In the city, you can get some interesting lights and reflections (especially on rivers or other bodies of water). If you’re away from the city lights, try taking some star trails or star field photos.

        river city night travel photos
          Brisbane River by Luke Chapman

        • Don’t just shoot the whole subject (e.g. a building). Take extra photos of little details. Get high, get low, try different viewpoints so you don’t get the same old photos. These all come together really well to tell the whole story.
        • Get away from the main tourist traps; follow your nose and explore back streets and meet the locals. Thousands of people will have photos of the main attractions, but how many can tell a story about the local people and culture? You will be guaranteed to find hidden gems by leaving the well-trodden path.
        • If taking photos of people, try to take candid photos. If they notice that you’re taking photos of them, most people will pose or smile for the camera, and it can look forced in some circumstances. Experiment with both. Most locals will be happy to oblige if you ask to take their photo. If they’re not, just move on. If you’re travelling in a country that doesn’t speak your language, it can be very helpful to learn to say “hello” and “Can I take your photo?” in the local language.
        • And a final tip: Get out from behind the lens and experience the journey. It’s nice to have photos, but sometimes it’s even better to put the camera down and just immerse yourself in an experience!
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        Last Updated on February 11, 2021

        The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

        The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

        Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

        Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

        1. Humans Of New York

        Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

         2.  Paris in Four Months

        Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

        3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

        George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

        4. Andrew Knapp

        Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

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        5. Idafrosk

        Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

        6. GrandmaBetty33

        Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

        7. Maya_on_the_Move

        Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

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        8. Leoleoparis

        Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

        9. Jacob Santiago

        Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

        10. Julie’s Kitchen

        Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

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        iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

        12. “Red” Hong Yi

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        13. Alexis Diaz

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        14. Murad Osmann

        Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

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        GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

        20. Vin Farrell

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