“You should have seen the real thing. These pictures don’t do justice to the place.”
Photos are visual imprints that allow you to look back on and relive memories. But have you ever returned from a road trip only to find that the images you took did not bring out the beauty of the place you have experienced? Most of us have been there, felt that. Fret not, here are some suggestions on how to bring your photos to the next level (and maybe get those Instagram likes if that’s your thing).
Make use of leading lines to guide the viewer towards the main subject.
To make photos with a stronger impact, place elements and subjects off center, along the ⅓ or ⅔ lines of the frame.
Humans are naturally drawn to frames; make use of elements in the environment you find yourself in to frame the subjects. This could be using tree lines, doorways, leaves, or anything you can land your hands on. You can even use the window/ windscreen to help frame the scenery outside while on the road! *Drive safely*
Your vehicle will be a base where you store your luggage and equipment. When stopping to explore a location, bring along only essential items. Travelling light means you can enjoy the scenery. Your creativity will flow better when you don’t have to worry about the load.
Keep moving around and explore different landscapes and terrain. Be aware of the direction of the natural light and use this to your advantage. Golden hours – one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset – are amazing for images. Be mindful of the hours and get to the location in advance!
Sometimes a scene can prove overwhelming with too many elements like lampposts, dustbins, fences or random bushes. Minimize these distracting elements by varying the angles (e.g. don’t be afraid to go down low) or using foreground elements to block out unsightly items like dustbins to have a cleaner and more impactful image.
The best camera is the one you have with you at all times. You never know when a photo opportunity would present itself (the most beautiful moments may be fleeting!). Sometimes even an iPhone can capture amazing images.
Silhouette shots, especially at sunrise/sunset can add a tinge of drama to your images.
It’s hard to describe how dwarfed by nature we are at times. One way to do this in images is to use humans to convey a sense of scale.
Useful for taking images of the entire group / unconventional ‘selfies’. This is especially true when you are out in the wild with no passerby/ waiter to help for group photos. Pre-compose the shot and use the timer function, or use a camera remote control to trigger the shot.
Keep an eye for things that we usually take for granted that may be Objects of Interest (OIs) and use the above guide to capture the essence of the trip.
Now go out there, have fun and take things slow. Anticipate the moments yet embrace any situation that arises. Being creative and making beautiful images takes time. And don’t forget to enjoy the process! Happy road trippin’.
Alex Goh Photography seeks to capture precious moments and preserve them in the form of visual images. Focusing on wedding, travel and lifestyle photography, we are constantly intrigued by the way people interact with each other, their surroundings, and the interplay of nature and light. We believe that the best photographs are made instead of taken.
If you are looking for more campervan travel tips check out our Campervan Travel tips section…