CTW’s Tips for Taking Better Photos

CTW’s Simple Tips to Take Better Photos next holiday…

 Here at CTW we’ve been on the road for the 3 years now, traveling to over 20 countries on 4 continents, and we hope you like the photos!

Here are some basic photographic principles, tips and tricks to help you take better photos next holiday :)

Rule of Thirds

E-S Photo-9 The rule of thirds is one of the simplest principles of photography and an easy way to make your photos better.

All you have to do is imagine there is a noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe) board on your image… Two horizontal lines and two vertical that divide your image into 9 equal parts.

The idea behind the rule of thirds is that the main subject of the photo is placed on one of the intersections of the lines or along the lines.

So, next time you are taking a photo, instead of putting the object right in the center of the frame, think instead about your noughts and crosses board!

Get low

E-S Photo-17You have to envy children sometimes; they see the world in the most amazing way, constantly looking up in wonder at everything around them. The easiest way to add dynamics to your image is to simply get a shot from down low. Not only will it make your photos more dramatic but it will also add depth, creating a more captivating image.

Leading lines

E-S Photo-19Leading lines is another basic principle in photography. It’s when there is something in the image that guides the viewer’s eye to whatever the photographer wants the viewer to focus on. This can be as simple as a road, a park bench, a bridge, a railing…

Be aware of light and match exposure

Have you ever taken a photo and your subject is in complete darkness but the background looks amazing? This is because the exposures of your landmark and your subject don’t match.

Next time you’re taking a photo, ask yourself, “What’s the lighting on my subject and what’s the lighting on the background?”

Luckily, there are simple solutions! If your background is in shadow, find some shade for your subject. If your background is in direct sunlight, have your subject step into the sunlight!

However, sometimes it’s just not possible to simply walk into the sunlight. Or you don’t want to be staring directly into the sun! This is when it’s time to use that flash on your camera! People always think the flash is only good for nighttime and when you’re taking photos inside, but it’s actually perfect for when you are outdoors and in the shade!

Foreground object

E-S Photo-2Too often you will take a photo of a beautiful landscape and it looks small and flat. I’ve done it before, and it’s frustrating as the extraordinary grandeur of the scene is lost. An easy way to fix this is to look for something in the foreground… rocks, trees, or even a person. It will add a sense of depth to your shot that it might have been missing.

Get a tripod (a good tripod)

E-S Photo-3Tripods are great, primarily for people with DSLR’s, mirrorless cameras, and point and shoots, but they’re even useful for the smart phone photographer. They are perfect for taking nighttime shots, long exposure shots, epic selfies, and timelapse, if you’re like me.

But I will say one thing… PLEASE invest in a decent tripod. You’ve just spent all this money on a camera so why skimp on the tripod?

Choose a good quality one. So many times when I travel I see individuals with cheap tripods that are twice the size and weight of my tripod. I use a light, small, and hellishly strong tripod by Sirui. It has been opened and closed thousands of times and visited over 20 countries, it still works better than ever, and it cost me $150.

So that $25 big, silver, plastic thing might seem cheap and look appealing, but in the long run, when you have to replace it every other holiday and carry it around everywhere, it isn’t a sound investment.

 Stop. Breath. And shoot.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people walking and taking photos at the same time. Or people who see something nice, raise the camera up, and click without thought for composition, exposure…nothing. Often times we get wrapped up in wanting to take the photo, because we think that’s what we’re meant to do, we measure how great the holiday was based on how many photos we take. But next time, stop for a moment, appreciate what you are looking at, take a deep breath, and raise the camera. Find the perfect angle, the perfect framing, and take the photo.

 Experiment with angles

E-S Photo-21Simply – always look for new and exciting angles to make your photos stand out above the rest. And another little tip, always remember to look up…

Be respectful, of where you are, of other tourist and other photographers         

This isn’t really a photographic tip, but more of a Public Service Announcement :) – Owning a camera, big or small, doesn’t give you super powers. Remember to be respectful of wherever you are, and of course understand that a lot of other people probably want a photo similar to the one you’re getting. If everyone did this, imagine how nice it would be :)

Forget the rule sometimes

E-S Photo-1-2It’s good to know about rule of thirds, leading lines, exposure and now you do! But at the end of the day, these are your memories, your moments captured in time. Decide your own angle, your own framing, and how you want to remember this moment.

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