Better Travel Photos Made Easy
Go for the great shots you can hang on the wall or use in a dramatic slideshow of your trip
We could write a whole series of articles on composition techniques for travel images. Here are some quick tips that will get you better shots in a hurry.
•Get close. Fill up your image area with the subject, whether that means zooming in or walking closer. Travel photos too often lack impact because the main subject is too small in the photo area.
•Look for interesting foregrounds. Usually, you can find something with good location detail that can be used in the foreground of a larger photo: signs, architectural details, flowers, even people can help give a stronger identity to your image.
•Avoid the middle. There's nothing wrong with having a subject or horizon in the middle of a photo if it's appropriate to the scene. The problem comes when every photo has the same composition because the subject or horizon is always in the middle (or close to it). Put your subject off to one side or corner and find ways to create relationships with the rest of the scene.
•Watch skies. Bland, washed-out skies should be avoided—keep them out of the photo if possible. If you have a dramatic sky, use it in the composition and look for ways to silhouette your subject against it. You also can use a grad neutral-density filter to balance the sky with the ground.
•Look for people to add to the scene. Many photographers are afraid of photographing strangers. You often can include people naturally going about their business in larger compositions, especially when you use a wide-angle lens, without being too obvious about pointing a camera at them. This can give life to a travel scene. See Rick Sammon's article for more information, "Photographing Strangers In A Strange Land."
Memory Cards & Storage
Memory cards have come down in price so that most photographers can buy enough memory to last at least through a short trip (this depends a lot on whether you prefer to shoot RAW or JPEG). Cards are small, so you easily can transport hundreds of photos, unlike film, which takes up space in a hurry.
I highly recommend memory card cases that hold multiple cards. Memory cards are easy to misplace, lose or even run through the wash if you don't have a specific place for them. These cases also allow you to set up ways of noting if the card has been shot or not (if nothing else, you can insert the shot cards upside down).