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Level Up Your Summer Travel Photography With These Simple Tips

This is a partner post in collaboration with MixPlaces.com

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Whether you pack an expensive DSLR camera or intend to use your mobile phone, taking great travel photos to capture the spirit and essence of your adventures is probably an important goal for your next trip. 

Following these 5 simple photography tips will help you nail stunning shots that you’ll treasure for years to come.

Tip 1: Focus on Composition

Image by David Gregg

The most basic way to improve your photos is to focus on composition. Look for natural borders within your shot, such as doors, windows, and archways. Shoot from lower angles looking up to make ordinary subjects look more dramatic and interesting. Use leading lines in the ground, pavement cracks, or paths to draw the eye into the center of the photo. Simple adjustments to your framing and points of view can make a huge difference.

Tip 2: Let Light Do the Work

Image by Sandro Fabris

Pay attention to the direction, quality, and color of the light. Golden hour – that time just after sunrise and before sunset – can provide perfect, warm light for amazing, filter-free photos. Overcast days offer soft, even lighting that minimizes shadows. Shoot into the light for silhouettes, or position your subject with the light shining from behind to create a natural rim or halo effect. Getting the lighting just right is arguably the most important part of any stunning photo.

Tip 3: Get Close

Image by Jose A. Bernat Bacete

Most travelers try to fit as much as possible into each photo when it’s often better to get physically close to your subject to yield the most impactful shots. Get down on the ground, climb on benches, use a selfie stick, just do what it takes to fill the frame with exactly what you want to feature and forget about looking silly. Once you start focusing in tight on small details and textures, your travel photos will take on a whole new vibrancy that transports the viewer directly into the scene.

Tip 4: Shoot in Landscape Orientation

Image by Marco Bottigelli

Using a wider landscape not only makes your photos look more “professional,” it also allows you to include more of the setting and sense of place. Turn your phone sideways before taking that picture of a beautiful coastline or dramatic mountain range, and save the vertical photos for selfie mode. The simple act of switching to landscape can profoundly improve your travel photography.

Tip 5: Edit Strategically

Image by David Trood

Even with a basic photo editor on your mobile device, you can use simple adjustments to drastically improve your photos. Adjust the exposure, contrast, saturation, and white balance to draw the eye to your subject and emphasize the mood you want to convey. Cropping out distracting elements, straightening horizontal lines, and converting to black and white can further refine your shots. Don’t be afraid to edit your photos. With just a few taps, you can transform so-so shots into true travel masterpieces.

By following these quick and easy tips, you’ll soon find yourself capturing travel photos that perfectly convey the joy, wonder, and memories of your adventures. The most important thing is to keep your camera or phone handy at all times ready to snapshot those fleeting moments that become our lasting recollections of special trips. Soon you’ll develop an eye for framing compelling travel images that tell visual stories anyone can instantly connect with.  

And once you’ve got your perfect travel gallery, why not print it out? MixPlaces provides several options for your photos – from wall art to photo books. Upload your travel photos at MixPlaces.com.

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