Since the camera phone arrived it has been made so easy to take pictures of everything and anything, any time any place – including travel photos. Of course, there are purists who say top travel photos can only be taken with a good camera, but some phones really do have excellent features that make good travel photos easy. You’re not looking to win competitions or get published in National Geographic – just take nice travel photos as memories – right? Here’s 7 Top Tips for Taking Travel Photos with a Camera Phone:
Even for capturing spontaneous moments, timing is key. Although camera phones have come a long way they are still notorious for their shutter lag. That fake shutter sound actually doesn’t coincide exactly with the taking of the picture. So, when you’re taking travel photos that include people, count three to them, but press the button on two. Also hold completely still for a second or two to after blurring.
A key to all pictures, not just travel photos is light, and there is one simple rule – the more the better. Some camera phones don’t have a flash or can only produce semi-dark pictures. These can be remedied and brightened up with a simple photo-editing app. Also, make use of your phone cameras lesser features by experimenting. Fabulous travel photos can be made by capturing nature’s own light and shadow at different times, creating amazing scenery shots.
If you are taking travel photos with people in them, make sure your subject is actually in the light. Lights behind them can create silhouettes.
Blurring in pictures is usually caused because you don’t hold the camera steady when taking the photo or you move too quickly after pressing the button. You can counteract the latter by doing what was said in point 1 – stand still a couple of seconds after pressing the button to ensure the shutter speed has been compensated for. For those with shaky hands you can try a few things. Sharpshooters breathe out when they press the trigger – it helps them keep steady. Or, you could try leaning against something when you take your travel photos. Another way is to use the camera timer and use a wall or ledge to hold the camera whilst the shot is taken.
If your travel photos aren’t truly capturing nature’s wondrous colors, play around with your camera phone settings. You should be able to adjust contrast and brightness. Some camera phones also have options to change picture size and other options to improve quality.
Composition is important in all travel photos whether you’re taking them with a camera phone or a conventional camera. Professional and good amateurs generally use the rule of thirds. Your subject (person, building, mountain – it doesn’t matter which, it always applies) should not be in the middle of the shot but about one third in from the edge of the frame. Also, with people, their eye line should be one third from the top of the shot.
The actual design of a phone can interfere with the quality of your travel photos. The thick side of the case’s lens cutout can create a fog across pictures when a flash is used. This reflection can also be caused with outside sources of light. The solution is to use your hand to shade your lens as you take photos.
Make use of your camera phone features. For example, GPS can record your location details, giving your travel photos instant memory tags of time and place. There are also Apps and programs available to tart up your pictures, even if they are already pretty great because you’ve been following the tips above. Try Instagram and Photoshop Express.
These tips for travel photos won’t turn you into Ansell Adams or Annie Liebovitz, especially if you’re using a camera phone, but they can certainly improve the quality of your shots.
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