These days, almost everyone carries a camera with them, everywhere they go. So, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with images – all you have to do is open social media feed, and you risk being drowned in images of the mundane and the remarkable.
Travel photography and videography is much the same. Even the exotic has become familiar to our eyes, so to create a lasting impression you must move beyond the normal, and take your efforts to a higher level if you want to make an impression. Here are some useful tips on how you can cultivate the skills and knowledge you need to get to the next level.
Invest in equipment
Great gear doesn’t guarantee great travel pictures, and travel video’s – much of what goes into creating memorable images and video’s relies on the instincts and experience of the man or woman behind the viewfinder. Also, there’s no denying that you can do a lot with a modern smartphone. But high-end cameras will offer you a wealth of options and are equipped with superior optics that will let you capture those next-level images that make for great travel videography and photography.
Improve your skills before the trip
No matter what equipment you’ll be working with, know how to use it in any situation. Read your manuals and user guides and practice operating your gear so that it’s second nature to you. You don’t want to miss a shot because you’re trying to remember how to set the exposure level! One of the best ways to practice is to put yourself in a similar situation to what you’ll be experiencing during your travel. Doing travel videography for a backpacking trip? Do day hikes with your gear. Doing a photo essay of a foreign city? Take your camera with you during a stroll downtown.
Learning the technical side of your gear is important, but you also need to feed your creative fire inside. Take classes in videography and photography to learn insights from experienced pros, and to get some honest feedback on your work. Other good resources can be found online. There you can find primers and courses, and examine the work of other videographers and photographers. Soak in as much as you can, then play around with the concepts you see in their works. This will help you develop your own distinctive style.
Look for the unexpected
Some of the most compelling travel videography and photography doesn’t concentrate on the obvious. Everyone has seen pictures of the Eiffel Tower – think outside of the norm and consider what other ways you can capture the experience. For example, shoot reflections, shadows, people, and small architectural details. Even if they’re not the main focus of your photo or video essay, these images add interest and context to your experience.
Capture the whole experience
The aim of travel videography is to capture the whole experience. Shoot footage even when you’re not expecting to capture anything special. The interactions with people and the environment will provide compelling background context to your finished product.
Improve it in post
It’s no secret that the masters of photography – Ansel Adams, among them – created some of their greatest work in the darkroom, through careful manipulation of the color balance and levels in their prints. This modern era of digital tools offers you an incredible range of options for correcting images and adding in effects to make an indelible impression. Take the time to go beyond the basics of your photo and video editing software. Practice and experiment, and you’ll be ready to move up a level with your travel videography and photography.