by Work the World

With the Big Picture Competition showing us just how great some travel photos can be, we thought our top ten tips this week should be about how you take a great photograph.

  1. Do your research: it's worth having a think about your destination before you go. Many photos may catch an impromptu moment, but the photographer has given themselves the best chance of getting that shot by placing themselves in the right space at the right time. Have a look to see if there are there any festivals, parades or street markets happening and get yourself into the best vantage point ready to take some shots.
  2. Positioning: Think about the actual photograph. If you place your subject off centre, instead of right in the middle,  the story is far more interesting. The best way to think about it is as a three way grid. Place your subject on any of the intersected points  and check out how much better your picture is. There is a handy breakdown of this on ehow.
  3. Keep notes: Where were you when the picture was taken? So often you get back and look at your 1000's of photos and have no idea where you were on that day. The camera will keep a record of the date, you just need to know your itinerary.
  4. Inspiration: What photos have you seen that you like? Check out Flickr or scroll through the images on our site. What angles have other photographes used and what subjects? You can also look at postcards when you are away and see what is considered the best shot of your subject.
  5. Different perspective: It's not a surprise that some of the best shots are of some of the most iconic spots in your destination country. Instead of turning up and trying to take a photo in a crowd of hundreds (or even thousands!), try and work out how you can get a unique shot. Our Big Picture winner chose to do this in Chitwan and her early morning photograph of elephants in the mist was so much more mysterious and interesting than other pictures we received of Chitwan later in the day.
  6. People: Photos of people bring travel to life for the those at home that are looking at your shots. Try and think of ways you can befriend the locals so that they are happy to have their photo taken. Pens and sweets are usually enough to win the kids over!
  7. Beat the blur: Even if you only have a tiny handheld camera, use both hands to steady yourself. As digital-photgraphy-school recommends, two hands will help prevent blurry photos.
  8. Use your phone: Although camera phones are great these days, somehow the shots aren't as good as your actual camera. Check out the tips on my photography tutorials for some good tips about using a phone camera.
  9. Back up your pictures: There is nothing more annoying than losing all your shots if your camera gets broken or stolen.
  10. Read a guide: Check out Rough Guide's breakdown for more tips and examples.
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For more of our top ten tips, follow the blog!

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