5 Quick Travel Photography Tips

5 Quick Travel Photography Tips

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About an hour and half from Venice there lies the sleepiest, sweetest, village I’ve ever set foot in. If you could take Venice – shake it upside down and get out all the tourists, squeeze it into a tiny ball and plop it down beside the mighty Dolomites – you’d have Sacile. Set alongside the river Livenza, the town was originally built as an escape for Venetian nobility as a place where they could have their gardens and is often referred to as the “Little Venice”.

My time here barely constitutes a visit. It was the sight of a lunchtime meal and stroll en route to the airport. Since it was a work day, the town was nearly desolate but in a peaceful, relaxed way. (Unlike my visit to the fortress in Ankara, Turkey.) If I had to pick one word to describe the village, I’d choose “lovely”. 

Recently I’ve been flooded with really sweet feedback about my photography – thank you! Using my photos from Sacile, I wanted to share 5 quick pointers on how to beef up your landscape shots:

1 | Find Reflections – 

Seek out reflections to add color and balance to a shot. Don’t be afraid to shot a subject dead-on, splitting the photo in half- the top of the subject and lower half the reflection. If it starts raining, sing praises, this can quickly create dynamic pictures especially with warm lighting.

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2 | Find a line – 

I allows love a good shot that provides perspective and depth, finding a ‘line’ does just that. You’ve seen the cliche image of straight train tracks going off into the distance, although artsy, it’s not all that interesting. Use the curvature of a road or building as your ‘line’ and allow IT to be the subject. The shot below really works because the bend in the road, forcing the eye up to the mountains behind.

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On the note of perspective, don’t be afraid to shift your image to force the viewer to follow the line. Here I focused down at the beautiful old sidewalk (the street was outside the pillars), encouraging the viewer to follow the path to the plants and chairs in the background.

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Bear in mind, perspective doesn’t have  to be centered, for the shot below used the seam of the church wall and ceiling to create a line for the eye to follow from left to right.

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3 | Love the Rule of Thirds

Friendship bracelets, sleepovers, you name it. This is my golden rule and has aided drastically in scoping out great shots and cropping afterwards. If you’re not familiar with the rule of thirds, read more about it here. If you’re just getting started with this concept, instead of dividing the image into nine sections, divide the image into thirds (horizontal or vertical). Within each third think about weight, is one of the thirds extremely dark or bright, balance the weight. Each third should bring something to the table, whether it’s an interesting subject or relief, like a bright blue sky.

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4 | Clouds, clouds, clouds

I can’t emphasize this enough. Clouds can make or break a picture. For the images below, had it been just a bright blue sky I don’t think I would’ve kept them images even on my hard-drive. Bright cotton-ball clouds should sound of an internal alarm, they can make for the BEST pictures.

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5 | Think about Color

This applies to detail or landscape shots. Some of the most popular pictures at Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn are due to the color palette. If you’ve got an image with beautiful sea blue and warm tones, you can guarantee it’s appealing to the eye – even if it’s not the most spectacular thing to look at.

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