Taking Pictures for Better Travel3 min read
Ask any avid traveler, and she’ll tell you that one of the worst things about traveling is going home. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun, but you never realize how quickly time comes and goes until a great trip is over. But is there any way to make the trip at least feel as though it lasted a little longer?
Of course. Just look to your camera.
While this might seem like an obvious piece of advice (especially during a time when people want to take pictures so they can share them on social media), many still choose to leave their cameras at home or not take pictures at all. While some simply forget to do so, others believe taking pictures will be more distracting than anything.
However, there’s a difference between mindlessly snapping a picture and carefully capturing an important moment or object. According to recent research, people who took pictures of paintings and relics in a museum were less likely to remember what they saw than those who simply observed the art. Yet those who took pictures of specific details of the art, such as the head of a statue, remembered more about the artifact.
Why does this happen?
Focusing on something to “get the perfect picture” forces the photographer to immerse herself in the moment and truly study what’s on the other side of the camera lens. And when you do that, you get the benefits of being an observer and having tangible, 4×6 memories of what you saw.
Taking pictures also makes you more aware of your surroundings, as it encourages you to see the world in a new way as you look for photo opportunities. As a result, you become more observant than if you were to simply walk through everything.
And when those memories do begin to fade or blur together—which they inevitably do—you’ll have some awesome pictures to reminisce with. If anything, you’ll at least have something to share on Facebook or Instagram and inspire others to travel as well.
So how can you be a better travel photographer?
Here are some tips from the pros:
- Look for details: A great picture doesn’t have to be of a wide landscape or a clichéd image of a monument (although these are still nice to have in your repertoire). Look for details, such as a barn in the middle of the Irish countryside or intricate patterns carved on the outside of a building.
- Change perspectives: Instead of taking a picture of something at eye-level (or selfie-level), consider lying on the ground and looking up at the object or climbing to a higher elevation for a unique view.
- Consider the time of day: The “magic hour” (20 minutes after sunset) is a great photo opportunity since colors tend to pop as the sun goes down. Additionally, getting up early in the morning before everyone else is a great time to capture moments before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.
- Be ready at all times: Some picture-worthy moments are unpredictable. As a result, make sure you and your camera are ready to go at any time.
Image from The Telegraph.