I used to like traveling with a good camera, but there are definitive drawbacks to that. A SLR camera with lenses takes up an amazing amount of space. On moving around in foreign places with an expensive camera , really makes you stand out like a real tourist. Crime is everywhere these days. You need not advertise that you might be an easy victim.
The main rule in photography is still: the best camera to use is the one with you. These days everybody has a cellphone at hand. The capability of these small wonders to take photo’s with are simply amazing. Technology improved a lot since the first camera phones appeared on the market. It allows us to always have a camera at hand and they are so easy to use. Unfortunately, sometimes way too easy… I often cringe at the quality of photos people post on their social media. Photos are taken without considering what message you want to convey.
It is important to follow some basic rules and start off with a decent photo. in days gone by photography was an expensive hobby. A photographer, worth his salt, would plan a photograph before taking it. These days people will take a lot of random photos and try to edit it better afterwards (but usually they don’t even do that, they just dump them on social media.) So often I see a photo on Facebook and think: That would have been a great photo, if only…
There are a few basic rules to consider when you are taking any kind of photograph, or even making art . I will concentrate on travel photos as that is my passion. These rules are easy to follow and will make a big difference.
The angle you take the picture from makes a huge difference. The conventual way is to take a picture from eye level while we are standing, but just see the difference by using a different angle: birds eye view or from ground level
With perspective comes the creation of depth in the photograph. try to include a foreground, middle ground and background in your picture. Your foreground and background can be out of focus, if you want to enhance the object in the middle ground. If you take a landscape photo include something like flowers in your foreground.
There will be more impact to take a picture of a single flower against a uniform background, rather than having it amongst a mass of flowers. The same effect if you isolate a tower against the sky rather than having it against a background of a landscape Do not overcomplicate your picture with detail. Two thirds of your picture can be negative space and the photograph can still be working. It might make your message stronger.
The rule of thirds
Use the grid on your phone that will divide your screen in thirds automatically. Use the horizontal as well as the vertical thirds of your screen. The intersections between the lines can be focal points as well.
Strong lines strategically placed can lead the eye or even lines leading the eye through the picture.
Symmetrical framing of an object by a window frame or door can add some drama to an ordinary picture.
Portrait or landscape layout
To use a portrait versus a landscape layout of a picture can totally change the atmosphere of a picture. Decide what will look best before taking your picture
The time of day makes a huge difference. The quality of light at dawn is so different from sunset. Remember the golden hour. Make use of the intense colors of the hour after sunrise and before sunset
Reflections from water or windows will add drama and depth to a photo.
Using of a timer, lights like artificial lights and flashes will make a dramatic difference. For now, I am trying to take a good picture without external manipulation. I even try not to use all the photoshop apps that is available. I want to use natural light and images that is there before me as I travel. Maybe I will still grow to love technical manipulation. For now I will concentrate on the other aspects to improve my photography