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My Favourite Photography Tips | Travel Blogging

Travel Blogging Photography Tips
Before I start this post, let me say that I am in no way a professional photographer, but I love to take photos and I think one thing that held me (and others) back from starting a blog was that I didn't think my photography was strong enough. I came to realise that I didn't need to be a seasoned pro to take and edit photos and put them on my little space of the internet.  One of my favourite times to use my camera is when I am travelling, and I thought I would share my top tips for capturing those travel memories...

Whether you are using your old iPhone 6S, the new Huawei Mate 20, your Mum's Canon DSLR or Panasonic's Lumix DC-GH5S mirrorless camera, I hope these tips will help you to improve, and enjoy, your photography for your travel blog.

Rule of Thirds & Leading Lines 
You might have seen these two phrases a few times. I won't lie, I'm not one for sticking to these "rules" of composition, but I am the first to admit that if you do think about these and incorporate them in to your photography, your pictures tend to be better.
The rule of thirds is a guideline to essentially line up your image to achieve the photograph that is most pleasing to the eye.  Using the grid on your camera, the image will be split in to 9 equal parts; the idea of this method is that the background is split on a 2:1 ratio, and that the subject of the image sits on the intersection (I've popped a couple of examples below, with gridlines). I break this rule more often than not, as I love a little symmetry.
Travel Blogging Photography Tips  Travel Blogging Photography Tips
The leading line is a way to draw your viewer through the photo to the subject; this can be a road leading to the destination, or a bridge with a monument at the end.  The idea is that the lines lead your viewers attention to the focal point (example below). 
Travel Blogging Photography Tips
In the Jardin des Tuileries, Paris 
Research 
When you travel and know you are going to be blogging about it, chances are you want to find the best spots and viewpoints to take your photographs.  My best tip is to research beforehand.   If you are going on a city break, research the best high points to get that stunning shot of the city from above.  If you're hoping to catch that gorgeous sunset on a beach in Bali, know your east from your west. Ask other travellers on Twitter and Instagram for ideas, use (my current addiction) Pinterest for inspiration. Look at where and when the sun rises and sets so you can plan your itinerary around getting that "golden hour" shot.  Google also has a great feature where you can see how busy or quiet a place is at each hour of the day.  If you want a crowd-free shot, look in to when the location is least busy.  We got some gorgeous, mostly people-free, photos of Charles Bridge in Prague after racing down from our hotel at 5am.
Travel Blogging Photography Tips Travel Blogging Photography Tips
Without Instagram, I wouldn't have known that the Trocadero is a great place to get a view of the Eiffel Tower, or that the best spot to catch the sunset in Verona is across the Ponte Pietra at Piazzale Castel San Pietro.

Framing 
One of my favourite parts of travel photography is taking time to step back and find something in the foreground to frame the subject.  I think it makes the shot more interesting and feels more personal, it also allows you to be creative, whether its capturing a landscape through the trees... or getting an angle of a building through an archway...
Travel Blogging Photography Tips Travel Blogging Photography Tips

Lighting 
It is so important to have good lighting when taking your photos, if the lighting is not great, the photo will be pretty mediocre.  Of course we now have apps to help adjust a wide range of settings, but half the work is cut out if the light is good to start with.  Natural light is best, and in most situations, the perfect light is in the early morning just after sunrise, and in the early evening just before sunset.  We travel bloggers rave about the "golden hour" and I can highly recommend taking full advantage of it on your next trip.  
Travel Blogging Photography Tips
Golden Hour in New York City 

During the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky, the light will be more harsh and the photos will have too many strong shadows. (Sometimes this may work for the vibe you are going for, example below, but generally speaking, you'll want to avoid it) 
Travel Blogging Photography Tips
Wawel Castle, Krakow 

Perspective 

You don't want your photos to always look like that standard cliche Instagram shot that everybody gets so make time to find interesting angles and perspectives; some of my favourites have been when I've wandered through somewhere, turned around and realised there is a great shot behind me.  Take a look in the rearview mirror now and then, the view might be pretty special...
Travel Blogging Photography Tips

Make Use of the Weather 
If you are not blessed with a bright day and blue skies, don't fret.  You can still capture some amazing photographs. When you are in a city and it rains, you can get some really cool reflection shots....
Travel Blogging Photography Tips  Travel Blogging Photography Tips
On a recent trip to Bavaria, I was praying for blue skies when we visited Neuschwanstein Castle, but the misty mountains and low clouds gave it such a moody atmosphere, and the photos turned out great!
Travel Blogging Photography Tips

Learn How 
If you are using a DSLR, learn how to.  Watch YouTube tutorials, read guides and tips; there is no point spending a lot of money on photography equipment if you don't know how to take full advantage of its features.  It has become apparent in the blogging industry that being in your photographs helps to draw in more views, likes and followers.  Getting a tripod and learning how to use your camera can help so much with this; you can get the photograph you want, with you as the subject, without having to rely on someone being around to take it for you.

Details 
I think it is important to capture not just the architecture and the landscapes, but the detail and personality of the destination.  I love taking up-close shots of a flowerbed, the colourful vegetables of a market stall, the detail on a gothic cathedral... I'll look back at the below photograph and remember the gorgeous rows of pale pink flowers at Wawel Castle in June...
Travel Blogging Photography Tips
A detail that I know a lot of people try to avoid is... people.  I see so many people waiting around for everyone else to leave so they can get that crowd-free shot, but sometimes I like to have people in my photos, whether they are other tourists or locals.  It makes the place feel more real and alive. Looking at the below, I love the row of different coloured houses but I can also feel the hustle and bustle of the market square... Travel Blogging Photography Tips

My Favourite Editing Apps 
I dare say I will do a separate post on this one day, but something I like to do for each destination is create a preset and apply it to each photograph I want to share.  My favourite apps to do this are VSCO and A Color Story.  I may have to tweak each photograph slightly, adjusting exposure or saturation, but once I've created the preset, my editing time is very short.  I like to keep each destination to its own theme, as I just think it is more aesthetically pleasing and makes a blog post flow better.  I find editing photos on my phone very therapeutic and it's fun to play with new filters and techniques.

The most important thing to remember in all of this, is that you are capturing a memory and that your photos are not just for Instagram or your blog, they are also for you.  Remember to be present in the moment and not solely focused on the photographs you are getting.  I love to look back at old travel photos, and be transported, whether it's to summer '13 on top of a mountain in Colorado, or feeling ever-so-content in a bar with a ceiling of fairy lights in Paris, or finally arriving in Chicago after an 8 hour drive from Nashville just in time to see the sun set behind the city's skyline.  The memories a photograph holds is much more important than the likes it gets on Instagram, but I'm still going to take full advantage of those hashtags!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and do let me know your favourite tips for getting the perfect shot!

I can also be found on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Bloglovin x

Thanks for stopping by,

Disclaimer - this post was sponsored by Panasonic but all views are my own xN

11 comments

  1. These are amazing photo's! The grid tip is so good, every blogger should read this! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  2. These are probably some of the best tips I've read for photography. I've been really getting into it really but I'm not very good and struggle to make my photos look good. There are some great tips here so thank you and I love your photos. They are wonderful!

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    1. Thank you so much Chloe! I'm in no way a pro, but I really enjoy it! xN

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  3. Great advice! I don't think I'll ever have the eye to take good photos, but at least I can give it a try.

    Alex| californiapollution.com

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    1. I don't think I have a very good eye for photography, but I think I'm improving! Thank you for reading, xN

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  4. I simply LOVE this article!!!Great articles, anecdotes and pictures x

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  5. These are great tips! Every single one is so insightful, thank you! Can't wait to get my camera and use these tips

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