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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

#Adventures: Photography Tips for Documenting Your Travels

Travel and photography are inseparable, and a trip isn't complete without high-quality photos to document your journey. Choosing your camera, framing your image and being safe are all concerns if you're a serious travel photography enthusiast. Consider the following tips for a better photography experience on your next adventure.

Choose Your Camera

Smartphone camera quality has grown so much that you can take professional-quality images with them. However, dedicated cameras have been making a comeback recently. Whether or not to pack a camera often boils down to a matter of convenience versus quality.

Dedicated cameras generally have a higher quality than smartphones, along with more flexibility for experimenting with settings and better battery life. Smartphones take up less space, are faster for taking pictures on the go and are easier for sharing pictures with family and friends. If you decide to go with the convenience of a smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is currently rated the best smartphone camera in the world by TechRadar for its 1440 x 2560 camera resolution, 32GB storage capacity and long battery life.

Frame Your Image

Anyone can buy a great camera, but it takes some knowledge to get a good picture. One way to capture a great image is to frame your shot. Travel photography tour guide Steve Davey says that you can often find elements on the outskirts of your shot that serve as natural frames for your main subject, such as windows or foilage. He suggests keeping your eyes open for frames by adjusting your focal length or changing your position.

You'll rarely be able to keep both your subject and your frame in focus, so you should decide which one will get you the effect you want. When taking pictures in crowds, use a balcony, pillow or window to avoid having a picture that cuts someone on the edge of the picture in half.

Know Your Lighting

When it comes to travel photography lighting, four-time Travel Photographer of the Year award winner Bob Holmes offers a few tips:

       Practice shooting before you travel so you know how your camera records under different lighting conditions.
       Carrying a lot of lighting equipment with you when you travel isn't practical, so look for ways to bring your subject into the light rather than bringing light to your subject.
       The best times to shoot are at dusk and dawn, so if you're serious about getting quality pictures, get up early and wait to eat dinner until after the sun sets. However, don't be afraid to take pictures at noon or under harsh lighting conditions, just be sure to do a little planning to take adjustments into account.
       Choose an exposure that brings out your highlights, and let the shadows take care of themselves. When shooting people or animals, make sure the eyes are well-lit. If you need a portable reflector, try a newspaper.

Keep Your Camera Safe

It's easy to break or lose your camera while traveling, so take some safety measures to make sure you don't spoil your trip. If you're using a smartphone, a glass screen protector reduces the risk of your screen getting broken. To prevent your phone from getting lost or stolen, use a strong screen lock with a good password, enable a "find my phone" app, record your phone's ID number and attach a note to your phone with instructions for how to contact you if your phone is found.
For cameras, record your camera's serial number, use an older bag to make your camera look less appealing to thieves and wear your bag in front of you.



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