Travel photography has gone a significant change over the last few years. You don’t even need to carry those expensive and bulky DSLRs anymore. Your smartphone has multiple cameras now for taking selfies, wide angle landscapes, even good night shots that some very expensive cameras are struggling with. Selfies are good, it shows your personality, but it could be better? Let’s explore a list of things solo travelers do to win on Instagram using just their smartphones.
Posing and Personality
As with everything, it always starts with yourself. Stop worrying about people judging you for taking 100 selfies every hour. What you need to learn is how to take selfies that people would look at. As a part of planning your travel, you need to get as many inspirational photos or pegs as possible. Try to mimic those photos until you get the hang of posing and discover what works for you. To be confident is first to be comfortable.
Adding your personal style in your photos would make more impact especially if you are trying to build a personal brand. Otherwise, just keep taking photos.
There are very small tripods now that don’t weigh anything. Pick ones that are sturdy and can also function as selfie sticks. Prices can vary so much but a few things to consider other than prices are:
- Build – it has to be stable or you will end up spending a lot of your time trying to prop that tripod straight. It has to withstand being in the luggage. Go for the ones made in lightweight alloys instead of those cheap plastics.
- Weight – those heavy tripods are really good, but not for traveling. Try to find something that would not compromise your freedom of movement, and would not let you pay for excess baggage. It should not be too light either, you would not want it knocking over the slightest wind with your precious smartphone in it. Pick something that would be stable enough but not too heavy.
- Other uses – pick something that is multipurpose. Some tripods can be converted to a selfie stick, some can even be a cane. There are also some that has smart functionalities like remote controls.
Lenses come in different sizes, attachment styles, and builds. There are some cheap clip ons that work well. Several of those clip-on lenses even come with multiple lenses or configurations. Macro lenses are great for taking those closeup shots of an indigenous flower you just saw while trekking. Consider getting wide angle lenses for your phone as they would show more of the place you are trying to showcase. Telephoto lenses when the zookeeper won’t want you to come pet that lion. There are also art lenses that can help with your creativity.
Nowadays, you could use your smartwatch as a trigger. As said above, a lot of tripods also offer some form of remote triggering device. When all these are still out of reach, your phone has a timer.
Since you don’t have the luggage space to carry proper lighting equipment. You summon the power of the “Golden Hour”. Most photographers swore by the Golden Hour but didn’t know that it happens twice a day. For a quick definition to those who doesn’t know, Golden Hour is a 1 hour time frame where the sun is at its lowest and casts the longest shadow. This in turn creates more drama on your subject with contrast while softly lighting it up. Most would take the golden hour opportunity in the afternoon just before the sun sets. While that is really awesome, you will for sure be sharing that with other tourists. The whole place will be littered with a whole day’s garbage, it will just be too much work to find a good spot and angle. Come in the morning, just after sunrise, it will be less polluted.
Asking for Help
Last on this list is, of course, the best. Why? you go try asking somebody that looks like a photographer, someone who has a really expensive camera around his neck. Now you will get your friends to start asking who took your photos last week were you were in Maldives. You could also frame your shot and ask someone to take the shot as you have set it up. Also, most tour guides are either well trained in photography or have taken enough photos to know how to get you in to frame. Lastly, do not forget to return the favor, take their photo after they have taken yours.
Taking photos has never been easier, cameras are really handy now, they are even in our hands already. Gone were the times where you buy postcards to send to your mom, now you can even livestream your travel. Mobile photography has changed how we store and share our life moments, maximize it now!