We’ve all been there. We go on an amazing vacation and take tons of pictures with the intent of sending some home as postcards to our family and friends. But, when we go back to look through our pictures, we realize that half of them are blurry and the other half have terrible lighting.
While you might not be able to go back and retake some of your old photos, you can learn some simple photography skills to apply on your next trip.
Read on to learn some of our top travel photography tips. Start using these today, and you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect travel postcard!
Check Your Lighting
If you want to get a high-quality photo for you travel postcard, one of the first things you need to do is get the right lighting.
Generally speaking, the best time to get amazing shots is either in the early morning or later in the evening. The “golden hours” are the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. On the flip side, the worst time to try and get photos is around noon on a bright day.
There are extra benefits that come with getting up extra early, too.
In addition to providing you with great lighting, taking photos during the golden hours of the morning gives you the added bonus of not having to deal with tourists and other photographers. This is especially important if you’re trying to photograph things like famous landmarks and don’t want a bunch of random people in your shot.
You can, of course, get good shots at other times of day, but it takes a little more work.
Remember the Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is one of the most basic and classic photography tips. That’s because it works! When you follow the Rule of Thirds, you end up with balanced, eye-pleasing photos that will enhance any travel postcard.
For those who are new to photography and have never heard of the Rule of Thirds, think of breaking your image into thirds horizontally and vertically. Imagine lines dividing the frame into nine squares, then try to place the subject of your photo in one of those sections.
For example, if you’re taking a photo of a person, try placing them on the left or right grid line rather than right in the center, which will split the image in half instead of into thirds.
If you’re still struggling, take a step back and ask yourself what the key point of interest in the photo really is. Then, you can turn on your camera’s “grid” feature to help you see the lines more clearly. From here, simply line up your shot so that the point of interest is placed appropriately.
Shoot In Manual Mode
It’s tempting, especially when you’re a new photographer, to rely on your camera’s auto mode. Try to avoid falling into this trap, though!
Keeping your camera in manual mode gives you complete control over its settings. This means higher quality pictures!
Some of the settings that you’ll need to learn to adjust include:
- ISO: Reduce noise of images and deal with difficult lighting
- Aperture: Control the depth of field in your image
- Shutter speed: Capture motion more creatively
It’ll take a little longer to get used to everything, but you’ll end up with better pictures later on.
Play with Angles
Adjusting the angle from which you’re taking your photo will help you get more creative, eye-catching shots to jazz up your travel postcard. Listed below are just some ways you can adjust the angle of your shot:
- Raise your viewpoint by positioning yourself higher than the subject
- Crouch down to get below your subject and shoot from ground level
- Move further away from your subject for wide shots
- Move closer to your subject for — you guessed it — close-ups
A good travel photo depends not just on how you use your camera, but on the specific subject that you choose to focus on.
One way you can jazz up your travel photos is to include signs and other details that provide information about the photo’s subject. This is especially important for something like a travel postcard. The extra information will help the postcard’s recipient know what it is you’re trying to show them.
For example, include the name and price of items from a farmer’s market, or the names of city streets. These details add a sense of life and realness to your photos.
Take Action Shots
A lot of postcards feature stiff, awkwardly posed group shots in front of popular landmarks. If you want your postcards to make it to the refrigerator, break the mold and play around with action shots instead.
You can photograph your kids trying local cuisine or your partner taking a bike ride through the city streets. These kinds of pictures are more “real” and are much more fun for your friends and family to receive.
Remember: People want to see what you’re actually doing on your vacation, not just what buildings or monuments you’re standing in front of!
Take Lots Of Pictures
Being a perfectionist is one of the most common bad photographer habits out there. It can prevent you from trying new things and makes it harder for you to get the practice necessary to become a great photographer.
Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection. The only way you’re going to make progress it to practice, practice, practice!
Keep this fact in mind, too: When you take more pictures, you not only have more to choose from, but you also get more experience trying out new angles, effects, and camera settings.
Design A Unique Travel Postcard Today
Now that you know how to capture the best pictures for your travel postcard, it’s time to start designing one! At MyPostcard, we make it easy for you to design the perfect postcard to send to your loved ones.
Download our app and check out all our design options today!