We asked prolific Instagrammer and our behind-the-scenes AT cover photographer Melissa Findley for her tips on taking your travel shots to the next level.
1. Don’t just stand there – get on that horse or camel, on a bicycle or motorbike, in a helicopter or seaplane or even on that park bench, and take photos from a different perspective. Take a range of lenses with you – wide angle, telephoto and portrait lens – and change the lens depending on the story you want to convey.
2. Think about what draws you to a scene, and what you want to convey in your photograph – it might really change how you take your shot. Consider larger scale scenes like vast landscapes and cityscapes, action shots involving people or animals, or simple but captivating textures and colours in food, foliage or the sky.
3. If you’ve got some time, learn a bit about the principles of photography and composition. Leading lines, like in this photo or in the classic ‘road’ photo, can be really effective. Consider including people for perspective.
4. Don’t let a miserable day deter you – some of the best images are captured on overcast days, in foggy conditions, stormy skies or in the rain – and if you’re lucky, you might even get a rainbow!
5. A graduated Neutral Density filter (a filter you put over your lens, with a gradual change in lightness to darkness, as above) can be a useful investment in order to add motion blur, or for extended exposure times.
6. Always seek permission to photograph others. If the scene presents itself suddenly or you’re seeking a candid travel shot, I suggest capturing the moment first then introducing yourself and asking for permission afterwards. Speaking of locals: some of the best spots to shoot come from their local knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
7. Get up early, stay out late! It’s a great way to experiment with light. Also, plan your time of year or the season and arrive at your photography location earlier on the day; this allows time to scout the area and decide exactly what you want to get from your shots.
See more at of Melissa’s travel photography at melissa-findley.com