5 tips for amazing travel photos

5 tips for amazing travel photos

1. Natural light is your friend. There is a reason why "golden hour," the periods after sunrise and before sunset, are the best times to take any photos. The light is warmer and softer, so it blurs imperfections and imparts an ethereal dimension for portraits. (No squinting and harsh shadows from direct sunlight!) In landscape photography, the warm color of the low sun enhances the colors of the scene. 

Mid-afternoon sun

Mid-afternoon sun

After sunset

After sunset

2. Composition is key. A good composition to attract a viewer's eye, but a great composition will hold his or her attention. Composition is an arrangement of shapes, tones and colors. There a lot of tips like the Golden Ratio or the Rule of Thirds. My advice is just to experiment and take thousands of photos. You'll learn quickly what makes an interesting photo.

Rule of thirds at work

Rule of thirds at work

3. Always shoot in burst mode. Recently, I discovered the beauty of burst mode. It seems obvious to shoot at least 10 photos of the same shot. (I blame my stubbornness and pride, since I always think I have a good eye.) The more photos you take, the more likely you'll have at least one good photo out of that set. Burst mode allows you to capture more dynamic street shots.

My local guide took at least 100 shots (because he didn't know how to use focus).

My local guide took at least 100 shots (because he didn't know how to use focus).

4. Shoot RAW (or highest resolution possible). Another tip I learned to appreciate much later. Most cameras shoot and save files as a JPEG or similar format. The downside of these formats is that the data is compressed and lost. RAW files are uncompressed, so you're able to produce higher quality images. More importantly, you can adjust exposure or white balance that would be incredibly difficult if shot in compressed file formats. There have been countless number of times I saved mediocre shots just by adjusting these two features alone. RAW files are huge, so I always carry multiple high-speed SD cards at least 64GB. Luckily, SD cards are affordable and compact.

All the details of the Amalfi coast

All the details of the Amalfi coast

5. The best camera is the one on you. Photography allows you to capture life's moments. Like life, you can't predict when the next best shot will be. Smartphone camera sensors have made huge advances in recent years.

One of my most liked images to date was taken with my iPhone 6s P

One of my most liked images to date was taken with my iPhone 6s P