When you’re traveling to a new place, photography is an easy way to preserve the memories you make after reaching your destination, and while taking in attractions along the way. Whether you’re visiting a famous landmark or trying out the traditional cuisine of a different culture, a quick smartphone snapshot can ensure that the memory is never forgotten.
You may not be a seasoned photographer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take high-quality travel photos using your trusty smartphone. If you find yourself frustrated with the photos you take while traveling, here are five simple tips that will help you improve your travel photos.
Make Sure Your Lens Is Clean
It may seem like a silly tip, but it’s the most important thing you can do to ensure your photos come out crystal clear: Clean your smartphone’s camera lens. Your phone probably spends a lot of time in your pocket or bag, where it can rub against fabric or other items that leave the lens smudged and dirty. Lenses that are soiled with dust, dirt, oil, or fingerprints occlude light from entering the camera, and your photos will wind up ruined by smudges, blurs, and dust spots.
Before you start snapping pictures, take a minute to clean your lens. Purchase a soft lens cleaning cloth to carry with you on your travels, and use it to wipe off your phone’s camera lens before you start snapping photos.
Use a Portable Photo Printer
When you’re viewing a long roll of photos on your phone, one after the other, they can start to blur together. To really get a good idea of how your picture came out, invest in a portable photo printer.
A portable photo printer can sync with your phone’s camera app to let you print photos quickly. Seeing a physical version of your photo can provide a better perspective on the composition of the image. You only have one chance to get the perfect picture while traveling. Taking a moment to study the composition of your photos is worth it for creating lasting memories of your trip.
Manually Adjust the Exposure
When you focus on your photography subject with your phone’s camera, the exposure of the camera automatically adjusts. Exposure refers to how bright or dark a photo is. However, the default exposure on your phone’s camera may not be the best one, depending on how you want a photo to look.
Before you snap a picture, try manually adjusting the exposure to make the photo lighter or darker based on how you envision the photo looking. You may find that slightly tweaking the exposure makes a huge difference in the quality of the picture you create.
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Avoid Blurry Photos with a Tripod
There’s nothing worse than taking what you think is a fantastic shot, then discovering that it came out blurry. The only way to avoid blurry photos is to keep your phone completely still while you take a photo. This is especially true when you’re taking pictures in low light or at night.
If you have trouble keeping your phone still on your own, it’s worth investing in a smartphone tripod. These small, portable tripods easily affix to your phone and keep it completely still while it takes photographs, resulting in crystal-clear photos every time.
One of the best things about taking pictures with your smartphone is that it’s easy to take multiple pictures of the same subject, without have to worry about running out of film. It’s a good practice to take an array of different photos of your subject, so you can keep the great ones and delete the rejects.
If you can’t seem to get the shot you want, a simple trick is to try changing perspectives. Hold your phone up high to get a bird’s-eye-view shot, or crouch down low for and shoot from angle that looks upward. Exploring different ways of looking at your subject can provide the special perspective your photo needs to go from “meh” to “wow!”
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Your next travel adventure is the perfect reason to brush up on you smartphone photo skills. With a little patience and these simple tips, you’ll be shooting high-quality pictures that you want to share. And remember: With a highly technical art form like photography, the old adage that practice makes perfect definitely applies. So, get out there and hone your skills by taking tons of photos!