Summertime means summer vacations and trips to tropical and exotic places! One of the best parts about these vacations is getting to relive your trip through the photos you take once you have returned. Everyday we see beautiful travel photos pop up in our social media feeds, and wonder how they got such an incredible shot. In most cases, the answer is a professional camera, but for the hobbyists there are a few tips for capturing quality travel photos that you’re proud of by just using your smartphone.
1) PRACTICE BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Before you leave for your trip practice taking the types of travel shots you think you’ll want. Start by walking around your neighborhood or local park and experiment with different angles, lighting, filters, and photo tools offered by your device. By taking practice photos before you leave on vacation you will begin to develop a trained eye, and find your travel photos taking on a higher quality.
2) WIPE OFF YOUR CAMERA LENS
Our phones spend most of their time riding around in our pockets or the bottom of our purse, causing the camera lens to collect dust and smudges. Your camera lens will also fog up when you switch from the air conditioned indoors to the humid outdoors. By taking a second to wipe off your camera lens with your shirt or a cloth you will notice that your photos are much crisper and cleaner than when you don’t wipe off your lens. After doing this a few times, cleaning your lens will become second nature — filling your photo albums with clear, quality shots!
3) HOLD YOUR PHONE HORIZONTALLY
Photos that are taken horizontally will look more professional than pictures that were taken vertically. When taking photos horizontally you are able to capture more of the scene within your picture, and you are also able to apply the rule of thirds. If you are using an iPhone, Apple makes it easy to practice the rule of thirds. To use the grid that is central to the rule of thirds, all you need to do is go into Settings, scroll down to Photos & Camera, and then turn on the Rule of Thirds option.
4) FOCUS ON DETAILS
Unfortunately, even when we hold our phones horizontally we still can’t quite capture what we’re seeing as accurately as we would like. In this case, it’s best to focus on the main detail that catches your eye and try to capture that detail. This gives you a quality photo, with a memorable detail that will help you remember the scene, and be able to recall the story behind the photo.
5) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF GOOD LIGHTING
Whether you are using a professional camera or your smartphone camera, good lighting is everything. Photographers will tell you that taking photos in the morning is when you get the best lighting because you do not have to deal with as many shadows. Also, anytime you get the chance for a photo opportunity at sunset, you should take it! If there is good lighting, chances are the perfect photo is just a shot away.
Most importantly, have fun with your travel pictures — these are your memories to enjoy. Whether you are using a professional camera or your phone’s camera, make sure your personality and creativity are what you are using to guide your shots, instead of trying to imitate your favorite National Geographic photographer to a T.
Do you have any tips for taking amazing Smartphone photos? Please share with our readers in the comments below! Read Next > How to Creatively Compose Your Travel Photography