5 Tips for Using A Tripod To Capture Amazing Travel Photos
I get asked so many times, “who takes your pictures?!”, whenever I post a self-proclaimed fire picture on my Instagram page. In a previous post, “How to take pictures while traveling solo”, I shared some ways to take some dope photos while traveling solo that can work for anyone, and shared my (not-so secret) favorite method of taking photos while on my solo travels – the tripod.
It’s all about finding your comfort level (even though it wouldn’t hurt jumping over that) and doing what works for you. I created this post to provide you with tips on how I, and you can too, use a tripod to capture amazing travel photos.
Note: these tips can be applied to regular anytime, anywhere kind of pictures, not just for travel.
Yes, “we’re talking about practice!” This is the first thing you should do. You don’t want to get to this amazing city, planning to take amazing photos, but you don’t know how to set up the tripod properly, you don’t know your angles, you don’t know how you want to pose, you don’t know how to use the multiple photo and timer features on your camera, and so on. Practice all these things when you are home, and they will translate into a great picture later. Plus you need to build your confidence, because people will stare. If they do, give them a show!
2. Be patient.
While this isn’t in the technical realm of using a tripod, it’s still important and helps to set the foundation for a bomb photo. You don’t want a hundred people in the background if you can help it. And if your editing skills aren’t up to par to delete people from a photo then you definitely want to practice patience and get a clear and empty background.
One major tip: have a set place in mind to take pictures, and get there early, especially if it’s a tourist hotspot. I once arrived at the Eiffel Tower at 7am to capture photos before the crowd. I do this all the time, and trust me, it’s absolutely worth it.
3. Envision the picture.
Before you take the shot, think about how you want to final product to look. The great part about using a tripod is you can get a clear view of what the picture will look like before you take it, as opposed to someone else taking it, you don’t know if they are capturing the essence of all that you want in the photo. Once you have thought about how you want the photo to look, you simply just have to envision yourself in a certain spot, set the timer, go there, and pose your heart out.
4. Use a moveable tripod.
As I’ve noted in a previous post, “How to take pictures while traveling solo”, my favorite tripod for my camera is the Joby. The ballhead is adjustable and allows your camera to sit and hold steady once locked in place at any angle you choose. The legs are bendable as well, allowing you to get creative on where you wish to set up your tripod. If you are using your phone to take photos, use a tripod that can adjust in length. Sometimes you can get some really cool from the bottom up pictures, but you also want the freedom to take some higher up as well. Just depends on what the photo calls for and how far you want to go creatively with the shot.
5. Know your angles.
Once you have found the perfect scene - free of randoms, visualized the final product, and set up the camera, now it’s time to snap away. Using the multiple photo feature on your camera (I usually do 5-10 – depending on how much I feel like editing), get ready to create greatness. This is where the result from practicing comes in. You know exactly which angles of the camera as well as yourself will work best with the shot at hand. You know where to place the camera so the lighting is perfect, you know where to let the sun hit your face, you know which side is your “good” side and so on.
While these tips are super simple, remember taking a photo is only half the battle in producing a great one. The other half is editing. Sometimes you need to fix the lighting, reduce the shadows, remove imperfections, and smooth certain features.
Would you like to see some simple editing tips? Let me know in the comments, email or DM me!