First of all, let me tell you that not to worry if you don’t have a camera, your smartphones can be your best travel companion. Just know the settings of your phone’s camera and it is done.
Now, for those who are a proud owner of a DSLR or a GoPro or any other kind of a camera, remember when you have it make proper use of it. The best thing travel photographers have with them is that they have several photography genres like street, portrait, or landscape. And these genres become even better when you click shots your camera settings correctly.
Well, it takes time and experience to learn all the settings of your camera, if you already have some knowledge handy, the learning process can become much easier. Have a look.
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Brilliant Camera Settings for Travel Photography
Shoot on Auto Modes
You’ve traveled so far to visit so and so place, and you’re leaving back without having some great shots, that’s not fair, isn’t it? No worries if you don’t have experience in handling the settings of your camera, you can always use the Auto Mode or one of the preset modes and click a shot.
To make things understandable: Portrait mode is used to blur the background behind the subject, a Landscape mode is used to keep everything in focus, while the Sports mode is used to capture the action of fast-moving subjects.
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General Camera Settings for Travel Photography
- Focus: Well, you can leave your camera on the auto-focus mode, but on the same side you should also know how to manually change the setting if in case, your camera picks up the wrong subject.
- Metering Mode: You can go for the default or the general metering mode of your camera where it takes the reading for most of the frames. But make sure your priority should always be the middle frame. Of course, you can know more about the metering modes of your camera from the manual.
- Auto ISO: Feel lucky enough to have such a camera if it comes with an Auto ISO option. The reason being, that way your camera will always go for the lowest ISO possible, but will also let the ISO move towards slowly when it gets darker while saving you the blurred evening pictures.
- White Balance: This is the setting when your camera records the white tones. If your camera comes with an ‘Auto white balance’ option, you don’t need to worry about anything. If you’re somewhere under blue lights, it should record the white tone as a bit blue. If you’re going to take a sunset shot, the white tone should record as a bit orange. Also, some models come with a manual white balance setting, which is a great option in case of extreme lighting conditions.
- Lens: If you only love travel photography but not dedicated to the same, try not to overload your luggage with lots of lenses. Instead, if possible, get yourself a compact superzoom for travel.
- Aperture Priority Mode: Do you know what an aperture priority mode is? If yes, nothing’s better than this setting and we would suggest using it over capturing fully manual while traveling unless you can do it without looking. That way you can focus on the view with your naked eye and appreciate the beauty of the place without bothering about the shutter speed. Now, you don’t have to fight with your friends or family to stop for at least enough time and take pictures of a particular place.
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Some Useful Specific Settings
Now, when you all the technical knowledge about the camera settings, it’s high time you should also focus on the creative part. So, here are a few certain settings you can add to your knowledge bank.
- Sunrise and Sunsets: Both these timings are the favorite part of the maximum number of travelers out there. But what is that major problem people usually face while taking pictures of both these ends of the day is the auto exposure calculation. It is when the high contrast fools you and you end up with a picture that is much darker than you remember. Learn how to make use of the exposure compensation of your model, and also use 1-2 stops of PLUS compensations and make the image brighter.
- Buildings: If you have a keen interest in shooting buildings and historic sites, you need to get yourself an architectural tilt-shift lens; otherwise you’ll face an issue called Converging Verticals. This is the scenario where the curve of a wider-angle lens can make the building look like it is sloping inwards.
- Food: If you wish to take pictures of those exotic and mouth-watering dishes, but it’s going to be dark now. Never use the flashlight as it will just make the colors of your food look brighter due to the white light, which can ruin the atmosphere. Instead, use a high ISO and if you don’t know how to use it, simply take out your phone.
And these were some of the tips we feel should be known to every travel photographer out there. Of course, there might be other settings as well, but that depends on the type of camera you have and how do you use it. But eventually, you’ll become used to your camera and its settings when you have got an experience of using it for good enough days.
Also Read: Best Waterproof Camera