By Darren Griffiths

Easy Tips for Taking Great Travel Photos

4th March 2023

When you’re on a holiday, you’ll want to take care of all the small details first. That means you should make sure you get the right flight and hotel reservations for your trip. You should arrange for better JFK airport parking in New York so you can take your car to the airport (or near to it) and leave it there. You’ll want a have a general itinerary of what you plan to do when you get to your destination.

Once all these things are done, it’s time to enjoy yourself. Of course, you’ll also want to take great photos of your trip. Nowadays, even buying a digital camera is no longer an absolute necessity for taking easy photos of your travels. Even your smartphone camera will do if you know what you’re doing.

But that’s the question: do you know how to take good photos while on vacation? To help improve the quality of your travel photos, here are some tips that can help:

Take Pictures at the Right Time

You’ll want to take photos early during sunrise or late during sunset. More specifically, the best times for a photo outdoors are the hour after sunrise and the hour before the actual sunset. Those are the times when the shadows are great and the tones are soft and warm.

You really don’t want to take photos at noon, as the downward shadows and the harsh light won’t result in great-looking photos. You can try to take one and see for yourself.

Fill the Frame

This means you need to get closer to your subject or you should use the zoom feature of your camera. This technique focuses on a particular subject and it doesn’t include distracting and unessential imagery. Having the subject fill up the frame makes the photo look much more interesting.

Use Familiar Sites as Background

When you’re in Paris, do you think you’re the only person who’s taken a photo of the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower? Taking another shot of these familiar sites only results in another boring photo. You’re better off having a companion stand in the foreground with the famous site behind as the background. If you’re traveling solo, then try to get an interesting-looking person as your subject.

Keep the Horizon Straight

You may think that an uneven picture with a slanting horizon is “edgy”, but it’s just bad photography. So keep it straight. One way to look at this is to mentally superimpose a tic-tac-toe diagram (3 by 3 squares) onto the frame. Have the lower 3 squares filled up by the horizon, so you don’t have the photo split in half.

This is a general rule of photography known as the Rule of Thirds. Some of the newer cameras even have the feature of having those grid squares superimposed on the frame to help you compose your shot.

Take Lots of Photos

You know how they say that practice makes perfect? It’s true for photography as well. It’s great that these days you don’t have to spend money on wasted film. Just take a bunch of pictures during the day, then when you’re back in your hotel room you can take a look at all of them and see what you have. Just delete the bad ones, and then save the photos online so you still have lots of hard disk space for a new day worth of pictures.

Edit the Photos

Some so-called purists may think that editing photos is some form of cheating, but that’s just plain wrong. All professionals do this too, and it’s called “post-processing” in the biz. With the right photo editing software, you can adjust the exposure levels, reduce sensor noise, improve the shadows, minimize the highlights, and soften the color tones.

So what are the right photo editing software? Well, the first programs that come to mind are naturally Photoshop and Lightroom. These Adobe giants are famous for their extensive toolkit, heavy price tag, and – let’s be honest – confusing workflow. If you need a program that would be devoid of the latter two aspects, but would still grant you a pro-level result, consider going with less known but still mighty options. For starters, there is PhotoWorks, an AI-powered photo editor that expertly combines ease of use with a myriad of nifty tools. It allows you to edit images both automatically and manually, remedying all common flaws in a snap. Alternatively, there is Polarr, a free image editor that has both basic and advanced tools under its hood.

Save your edited photos, and then share them with your friends through social media. One of the joys of traveling on holiday is the knowledge that all your friends are jealous of your travels!

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Do you know how to take good photos while on vacation? To help improve the quality of your photos, here are some easy tips that can help.