Will you go on the trip of your dreams or dream away on the Dutch beach? Whatever your goal is in the coming months, that (phone) camera is most likely going with you! This summer, travel blogger and photographer Kiki van Dongen of Backpack Routes shares her best photography tips and tricks, so you'll have great photos in your possession at the end of your vacation. We kick off with the secret behind the perfect vacation photo. Ready, set, shoot!
I'm going on vacation and taking with me....
...a well-stocked camera bag! Make sure your camera and/or phone battery is charged and that there is enough space on your memory card. Currently in Kiki's camera bag is a FujiFilm system camera with an 18-55mm zoom lens, a 12mm and 58mm standard lens. She also uses a tripod and the Camera Remote app, so she can peek on her phone in advance to see what the result will be. Kiki: ,, Nice to know that you do not necessarily need a mega expensive camera for fat pictures. Even with an iPhone you can shoot beautiful material while traveling. It's all in the composition and focus.''
Good preparation is half the battle
Going on a trip without any photo preparation? Don't panic! Instagram or travel blogs offer the solution to finding great photo locations. Still completely lacking inspiration? Kiki has the tip: ,, Check www.locationscout.net. There you can see exactly where, when and how someone took a picture.''
Once you have a goal in mind, it is important to make the necessary preparations. After many trips, Kiki does think about the colors of her clothes these days, as it can really make a difference in a photo. ''The best thing is to use contrasting colors. So are you going to a natural environment? Then wear orange, yellow or red. Are you going to the desert or more sandy area? Then white fits better again. In addition, you can think about attributes you want to use in a photo to make it extra unique.''
Golden glow, golden photos
,,Sunrise is absolutely my favorite time of day. Not only are you able to take phenomenal photos, but most travelers are still asleep, leaving you to have the place to yourself. The perfect time for the perfect photo!
If you're not an early riser on a trip, you still have a chance to capture the best images at the end of the day. ,, About two hours before the sun sinks into the sea, the surroundings turn golden, giving your photo a beautiful, natural effect. Photographers also call this the golden hour. There are even apps that advise you when this hour starts!''
Furthermore, it is advisable to avoid direct sunlight or a dark, rainy day. Should you still photograph with direct sunlight, Kiki has a trick for that: ,,Try shooting against the sun. You'll get a cool effect like the one below! Or find a shady spot, that will help too.''
Hocus pocus, let's focus
Whatever device you use to take a picture, according to Kiki it's mainly about one thing: focus. ''It is important that the surroundings are quiet enough and the subject sharp enough so that attention is drawn to a specific subject. In a portrait this is often the person's eyes, in a city trip photo it might be a building or bridge, and in a landscape photo the focus is on the mountain landscape, for example. So first you focus your subject and then adjust the aperture as necessary for a depth-of-field effect.
Sharp eyes are essential in a portrait
DON'T strike a pose
Perhaps the most common "mistake" made: striking a pose. Kiki: ,,Keep moving! A lot of people pose statically, but if you just keep walking or moving, your photo will have a natural look and thus you will break the cliché effect.'' You will also feel less awkward because you don't necessarily have to smile at the little bird.
In addition, what will also help is if you and your traveling companions are the only ones at the location. Note that you have to put some effort into that, just like Kiki and her friend. ''We searched for hours in Venice for a quiet spot and were eventually rewarded with a tourist-free zone.'' The perseverer wins!
The complete picture
Tell a story with your photos! So when taking them, think not only about the hotspots you visited, but also your favorite breakfast, that nice chat with the locals and the stray cat that came to give you head every morning. This will give you a more complete picture of your vacation and you will have many "oh yeah" moments when you go back to looking at your vacation photos.
Finally, it is nice to alternate various types of photography. "For your perfect vacation or photo album it is advisable to make a combination of landscape and mood photos, portraits and close-ups. You create the color combination afterwards by repeating certain colors.''
And now all you have to do is load up that camera, get out there and shoot the perfect vacation photo.
Have fun traveling!
Love, Kiki and team Instawall