5 tips on how to make your travel photos stand out - EMONG'S JOURNALS.COM

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5 tips on how to make your travel photos stand out

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Travel photography is the best way to share your experiences via Instagram or Facebook. But with the abundance of social media users who post thousands of images online every minute every day, how would you make your images stand out?

The advent of less expensive cameras and low-cost travel destinations has allowed travel photography to become easier and easier. Smartphone cameras have evolved tremendously in the past 5 years, and full-time cameras like point-and-shoots and DSLRs have become affordable for everyone. In retrospective, it has allowed regular consumers to blend with professional photographers -- and they're equally competitive.

If you have your hands on these nifty camera equipments and you're out there on location, it's about time to step up your photo game.


Camera angles is one of the quickest ways to add interest and variety to your photos. Angles are really easy - even if you don’t know how to use your camera very well. All you have to do is move your camera higher or lower to dramatically change the angle of your photo. It doesn’t matter whether you're using a DSLR or your smartphone, you can always make more creative photos by changing the camera or shooting angle. I took this photo of a street sign in Kuala Lumpur during my Malaysian trip. Instead of a face-to-face angle taken at eye level, I opted to shoot it at a low dutch angle to emphasize a more vibrant city look.

Travel photography tip #1 Angle


Shooting through elements in the foreground is a better way to suck viewers into your photos. It gives your photos an illusion of depth and makes your audience feel like they can step into the image. One way of achieving this effect is to open your lens as wide as possible to get a shallow depth of field - to get that creamy, blurry foreground. This photo of a guitar performer was taken along Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur. Notice that I placed a few blurry people in front of the guitarman to get enough depth effect for my image.

Travel photography tip #1 add foreground to your subject


Everybody's tired of those boring sunsets and landscapes - try googling "SUNSET" or "MOUNTAINS" or "LANDSCAPES" and you'll know what I mean. Instead, think outside the box and be 3-dimensional. If you love sunsets and beaches, shoot those images from the opposite direction. Shoot at people and use that sunset as backdrop or shoot a mountain from the left or from its right. It's all about perspective. The idea is to compose your shot in a way different from what most people commonly see. It's not necessarily sunsets and landscapes, but it also applies to inanimate objects like a building or even in food photography. When I shot at a food plate in a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, I stopped for 10 seconds to think about my composition. I thought if I use the bird's eye view angle, this would look exactly like what every food subject looks like - a bird's eye view of a food. So I took the shot differently. I placed my food plate sandwiched between two blurry images.

Travel photography tip #3 think 3 dimensional


Get enough light for your subject or else nobody will be able to see it. Even dark themed portraits utilize light to illuminate their subjects. Use a fill flash or if you don't have the equipment, try to get your subject as close to a window as possible. Find the light. Make your subject bright enough for everyone to see it, especially when indoors. If you can't get sufficient lighting, there's no point making the shot - unless you're going for night photography. Here's a photo of a restaurant food handler who I posed near an open window. If I made the shot away from the window, the image won't be as vibrant as this one.

Travel photography tip #4 lighting in indoors

Then, in Jalan Alor - night photography. I composed the shot of the male folk singer in an angle where he faces the light coming from a food stall. Look at how the light was illuminating him, as if there was a soft box in front of him. Notice also how I used the lights from the lamp posts in his background as I turned those lights into bokeh balls.

Travel photography tip #4 lighting in night photography


There's nothing technical about a good frame or a good composition. Everybody can do it. all you have to do is to keep your subject surrounded by multiple elements to simulate a frame. Your subject won't look good if he's all alone in the frame. You have to add up things to create interest and depth. In this photo, I used the metal trusses and a roof to frame my subjects who were approaching my front. Just imagine the photo without these trusses, and you'll get my point.

Travel photography tip #5 framing and composition

Learn these five photography tips, and practice them whenever possible. When you find yourself stuck in a boring or predictable environment, spice up your photos by applying these methods and choosing which technique is best for the shot.

Boost your creativity skills and break out from the everyday perspectives.

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