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4 Secrets to Taking Great Travel Photographs

Whether you’re shooting from your iPhone or toting a top-of-the-line DSLR, here are nine ways to make the most of your equipment and take home photos you’ll be thrilled to share.

1. Choose Your Subject

“A good photographer can take a good image with any camera,” says travel photographer Richard I’Anson, author of Lonely Planet Travel Photography: A Guide to Taking Better Pictures. One of the biggest mistakes people make with photos, says I’Anson, is failing to focus their photo on a single subject. “Make sure you know what the photo is of and then try and fill the frame with your subject,” he says. “If you have to explain something about the image, then it’s probably not working.”

2. Avoid the Centre

“One of the biggest traps people fall into is that the focus spot is right in the middle of the frame,” I’Anson says. “People tend to focus on their subject in the middle and take the photo,” meaning every shot has the subject in the middle of the frame. By shifting the subject elsewhere, I’Anson says, you’ll generally create more dynamic images.

3. Play with Orientation

Another thing your fancy camera can’t decide for you? Whether to shoot in portrait or landscape—that is, vertically or horizontally. “A lot of people just hold the camera and take the photo,” I’Anson says – and, he adds, “most people by default take horizontal pictures.” Experiment with both, and even take two orientations of each subject to learn what works best.

4. Move Up and Down

“Just going down on your knees or taking a different viewpoint can change things,” says I’Anson. Think about how looking up or down at your subject, rather than straight on, might change the nature of the photo and give the viewer a different perspective.