How to Take Amazing Travel Photos with Your Smartphone

Technology continues to progress at break-neck speed and today’s smartphones have replaced a variety of devices. Among these devices is the compact camera. Travel photography has now become accessible to millions of smartphone users who can easily capture moments no matter where they are.

Photo retouching technology has also improved significantly, with many smartphone cameras rivaling professional camera models. However, even with all this amazing technology, taking great pictures while on vacation is not without its challenges.

Tourists are typically excited by their new surroundings and understandably want to take photos everywhere they go. Knowing some helpful photography tips can help photos turn out better. Here, we’ll touch on a few key travel photography tips that can be used with both smartphones and professional-grade cameras that will help you take amazing vacation photos.

Know Your Camera

If you already own a professional camera, you may already be familiar with the art of photography and everything that goes into getting the perfect shot. However, most travelers do not fall into this category. It’s important to know that you don’t need professional-grade camera equipment to preserve the memories of your trip.

Whether you own a simple point and shoot camera or one of today’s popular smartphones, you, too, can take breathtaking travel photos. The key to taking pictures that not only capture the moment but also look professional is to know a little bit about the camera you’re using. Understanding the capabilities of your equipment will help you take better pictures and temper your expectations.

Good Lighting Produces Great Photos

One of the easiest ways to achieve great photos is to understand lighting. Knowing how lighting impacts the final photo is a valuable skill when traveling that will help you better plan your most sought-after shots.

When taking pictures, it’s important to remember that what your eyes see may not be how things come through on the camera. Lighting impacts the outcome of your photos in various ways, so learning the fundamentals about light and shadows is essential. For example, too much sun will produce photos with a lot of dark spots or shadows. This can obscure things you want to stand out in the picture. Alternately, when the lighting is too dim, your final photo may lack the detail and contrast you were looking for.

Timing is another important consideration when it comes to lighting. When visiting a popular tourist attraction, you might want to time your photo ops during off-peak hours. It will also be more difficult to achieve the perfect shot during the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest position. Photography experts recommend taking photos during sunrise or sunset, both of which usually coincide with off-peak hours.

Find Inspiration

When traveling, you may see so many fascinating things that you want to capture them all immediately. Despite this excitement, it is better to think about your shots beforehand and try to create the ideal conditions for great photos.

You may not be aware of the best locations for professional-looking pictures, so try enlisting the help of a local tour guide. These individuals can often provide you with access to area favorites that may not be included in standard tours. These off-the-beaten-path locations are often a great place to take pictures and you will be less likely to run into other tourists.

If you are still looking for inspiration, check out local newsstands and look at the photos on postcards. These postcards typically depict top attractions in the area that are designed to draw tourists.

Use Apps for Finishing Touches

The great thing about technology is that there are many photo editing apps that can make your vacation pictures even better. Photography apps can take ordinary pictures and make them stand out with a variety of filters and controls.

Built-in smartphone cameras as well as third-party apps offer various adjustment tools to help not-so-perfect pictures look better. You can easily adjust exposure, shadows, black point, and other factors to drastically improve the quality of your vacation photos.

Though most social media apps allow you to take photos directly from the app, photography experts advise against this. The resolution in mobile apps is often of a lower grade than that of your smartphone’s native camera app. It is better to take the photo with your phone’s camera then share it to your social sites.

You Don’t Have to Be a Pro

Amazing photos take a little planning, but you by no means need to invest in professional camera equipment unless you want to. Technology can help even the most simplistic camera take amazing travel photos. Using the tips outlined here will help you take the best pictures possible, even with a smartphone or simple point-and-shoot camera.