Traveling alone is a great opportunity to have your own adventures and explore new places without having to coordinate your schedule with what other people want to do. When you travel alone, you get the chance to explore your own limits and push out yourself from your comfort zone. The biggest downside is perhaps that making travel photos can be difficult.
Fortunately, capturing the best moments of your travel for your own photo albums or Instagram is a whole lot easier with a little help from technology.
I travel alone frequently and I’ve managed to pick up a few strategies for great photos along the way. Here are some of the best tricks I’ve found for taking beautiful travel photos without a travel partner.
Use a tripod to make travel photos
Taking along a tripod is pretty much a requirement for steady travel photos, and a good idea whether you’re travelling alone or with someone else. A tripod can help you avoid blurry or out of focus photos caused by unwanted motion or shaky hands.
A tripod doesn’t have to take up a lot of extra space, either. Tripods such as those in the Gorillapod line are perfect for smaller cameras. These tripods feature flexible legs that can wrap around poles, railings, even tree branches, allowing you to set up shots anywhere, even in the tightest of settings.
For larger, heavier cameras, such as the 5D Mark II, consider a tripod from the Manfrotto line. These tripods can help you take stunningly clear photos, even in precarious settings.
Also consider investing in a digital timer remote. This handy little device allows you to set up multiple shots without having to keep adjusting for different angles.
Bring a selfie stick
I know what you’re thinking, selfie sticks are silly, and they kind of are, but you’ll be surprised at just how handy they are for taking pictures when traveling alone.
When taking a picture of yourself, your range is limited by how far you can reach. A selfie stick effectively extends the range between you and your camera and lets you expand the frame of your shot so you can capture more of the background with your photo.
Clip on a GoPro
Tripods and selfie sticks are great for static shots, but what do you do when you want to capture real action? Enter the GoPro.
A GoPro camera offers the opportunity to capture exciting action shots from your perspective. Whether your sense of excitement takes you surfing, skiing, cycling, or bungee jumping, a GoPro will help you memorialize the experience.
Even better, there are a range of mounts allowing you to take your camera into any situation, even underwater. The Hero4 Silver offers an LCD screen to let you frame and view your photos immediately, is waterproof to 131 feet, and offers a wide angle lens to let you capture more of the action.
Ask for help
Even when you have plenty of gear, sometimes the best shot is one that has another person behind the camera. Travel photos are a great way to capture memories of your trip, but creating those memories requires taking part in the culture. What better way to do that than to ask for help getting the perfect shot?
You may not always get exactly the shot you have in mind, but you may be pleasantly surprised. If you can find someone with their own DSLR camera, you’ll know you’re talking to someone who has at least basic knowledge of how to use it. You might also consider letting them know what you have in mind when you ask.
Use editing software
Capturing the perfect shot is just the first step. It’s what you do with the image after you snap it that can turn your great shot into an amazing work of photographic art.
Most modern cell phones offer basic image editing capabilities that let you crop and rotate your images, or add some fancy-looking filter. There are also image editing apps available, such as ProCamera and Snapseed, that let you correct the color, reduce noise, and make other adjustments to your images.
For more advanced editing and for editing images not taken with your phone, Adobe Bridge and Photoshop are fantastic. Some photographers also like Lightroom, which is similar to Adobe Bridge but has the advantage of having a somewhat shorter learning curve.
Consider an upgrade
While it’s true that a good photographer can still get a great shot with a low quality camera, and a poor photographer isn’t going to get a good shot no matter what kind of gear is used, if you combine a great photographer with a great camera, you can expect nothing less than amazing photos.
I’ve experimented by taking identical shots with my smartphone and with my Canon 5D Mark II, and the images from my phone can’t hold a candle to the ones from my Canon. A good camera with lots of megapixels means you can edit and crop your photo without having it come out grainy. A good camera also gives you more options, including RAW files and increasing ISO for dimly lit shots.
Granted, the 5D Mark II is a bit much for most amateur photographers, but a Sony a7 Mirrorless or Canon Powershot G16 both provide excellent images for any photographer, and for the one shooting on the go too.
Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start taking amazing photos! Also, check out 5 money-saving web sites for a smart traveler