Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Travel Photography tips

You may have seen on my social media that I was at Blog At The Beach hosted by icelolly.com. I was actually asked to be a speaker at the event due to my photography so this is where I spoke about travel photography (because they are a travel site after all) and thus #KayesTravelTips were born! Following the same format as my popular #KayesPortraitTips on social media, except in a presentation format this time. A lot of you were gutted to be unable to go to the event held in Leeds so I have decided to write a blog post describing my tips just for you

collage of travel photos
As you do when making a presentation, make it as visual as possible. So I included a slide about some travel photographs of mine and mentioned where they were taken. We have places such as Newquay, Iceland, Gothenburg, Venice, New York all in this collage and I wanted to introduce me and my style of travel photographs obviously
My first tip! When on holiday with someone, you don't need to constantly be taking photos OF them. You can use them in the photos and still focus on the landscape behind them. It makes the image more visually interesting, and you also don't have to delete the photo if they don't like the way they look in photographs because they would be blurred out. You need to use a low aperture for this so anything from F1.8 to F2.8 will do the job. The resulting image then gives a sense of exploration and adventure rather than it being a nice portrait in a nice place
Snow in Iceland
My second tip. A lot of people I know get disheartened when trying to photograph snow. It will always come out blue on cameras, unless you know how to manually change the white balance of your camera and have an understanding of the Kelvin scale. Don't get disheartened. Just know that you CAN edit photographs. People do it all the time and don't be ashamed to make that blue snow then look white in editing software if you don't understand white balance on your camera. When shooting film people used to edit photos all the time in a darkroom so Photoshop did NOT create photo editing just to help you feel a bit better

If you adjust your camera's white balance manually using temperature and the Kelvin scale, then you can achieve white in camera without doing any post production. I have linked an article here all about colour temperature and Kelvin

Third tip. Most people would take a photo of the New York skyline, or the Edinburgh castle. But it doesn't hurt to get creative with your shots and stray away from that obvious photograph. I could easily have taken a photo of the NYC skyline, but actually including the flag in the way and focusing on that makes for a more visually pleasing photo and one that is "Hey I am in the US but I am not being that obvious and showing you that skyline we all know and some people have inked onto them". The same with my castle shot. I didn't take a photo of it looming over Edinburgh and on top of that hill. Instead I got a photo from inside the castle looking out at Edinburgh itself. The sense of a cannon at the bottom of the shoot shows I am in the castle because cannons are really only ever in castles. I am giving a sense of where I am but in a slightly more creative way and less of an "HERE IS A PHOTO OF THE CASTLE" way
Statue of Liberty
Next tip. When we go away we always go to tourist traps. Always. That's because you always see them on travel sites/instagram/blog posts etc. It is inevitable that you will go to places where other people will be so why do we try and avoid them in our photos? You are there travelling, why not utilise the tourists because you can't get rid of them without hours of photoshop work. Why give a false example to others just for the perfect gram? Nobody else will ever see it without people so use tourists in your photos to give a sense of the atmosphere of where you are. The world isn't silent and there are BILLIONS of us so show that off. Never have them in focus obviously but shoot through tourists, over tourists, blur them out etc
Tourist photographs
There are so many ways you can include tourists in your shots so I just wanted to show you a few ways. I never focus on people though so they will always be blurred out or silhouetted
New York skyline at sunset
One thing I always advocate. 1) Shoot in RAW format. 2) Learn the basic settings of your camera. You would never be able to catch the New York skyline at sunset as effectively on Auto modes at all. The camera can try but it just won't happen. You won't get the colours in the sky, or you won't get the lights in the buildings. It becomes a mess. So learn your ISO's and shutter speeds and play around to be able to catch what you want effectively. You would never be able to edit an image taken on Auto without shooting in RAW either. JPEG files have limited editing capability whereas RAW is a whole new world of editing!!
iphone photographs

Lastly I also wanted to show the kinds of photos I take on my phone. Completely different from my camera shots eh? My phone is literally "snapshots". I pick it up, take a photo, and carry on with what I am doing. I don't even think about it. That is why I think taking a camera with you on any 'once in a lifetime' holidays is a MUST! Or any kind of holiday where you want to take real good content. My mentality completely changes when I have a camera in my hand and I'm sure I am not the only person out there like this

Any questions? I am more than happy to answer tweets/DM's so just hit me up with a message!
@fordtography on Twitter and Insta

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