Why don’t your pictures look as great as someone else’s? The answer is usually easier than you think and often has nothing to do with your camera equipment or other special equipment. In this article we show you the most important rules & photography tips for perfect photos.
TURN ON HEAD FIRST THEN TRIGGER
At the beginning of each photo you should always ask yourself the same question: For whom or for what purpose do you want to capture this moment?
Is the photo just for yourself, for your family or for a photo book? Would you like to advertise or sell the photo on a platform? What exactly do you want to capture and what message should your picture convey?
Is it a special memory or did you just press the camera because everyone took it at that moment? A perfect photo is very different from a snapshot, like a painting it should be roofed.
Be honest with yourself and next time think about whether you really want to photograph this. In this way, you optimize yourself and, over time, only take in the desired motifs. Especially if you have taken several hundred photos on only one day, this question will help you to structure your photographic behavior and to sort out unnecessary photos during the trip.
Furthermore, you should also be aware of whether you want to capture the moment in landscape format (e.g. landscape) or portrait format (e.g. people). Both can have its charm depending on the situation. Sometimes there is only one possibility. Many pictures do not affect the viewer, because a certain important part of the motive was cut off or not correctly set in scene.
How to find the right format can only be learned through practice. If you’re unsure at first, shoot your subject in landscape and portrait format and compare the two results. This will give you a sense of which format is suitable for which situation.
PREPARE YOUR PHOTO EXPERIENCE
And suddenly he appears in front of you, you take your camera in your hand, press the shutter button like wildfire. After a few seconds the last click and just like that the mighty whale fin is still on it.
With such a unique photography experience you have to be fast and well prepared. You can’t think about the right camera setting and the perfect picture detail in the few seconds that a whale appears, because then you’ll unfortunately get nothing.
When we are travelling we inform ourselves in advance about sights and special places we would like to visit privately and photographically. Especially the ideal location search of various services like Instagram or Google Maps can be very helpful. A simple tip that is usually used by a few people. Before we start, we will then put together all the photo equipment we need for this day, such as lenses and filters.
The right camera lens is crucial
When you go whale watching or go on a safari in the Serengeti, you definitely need a lens that allows you to photograph distant objects. Who would want the actual motif, like the whale or lion, to be so far away that the viewer has to look twice? A wide-angle lens doesn’t help you at these moments.
Such photos don’t work because the focus or point of view is missing in the picture. You only see a big boring emptiness and nobody recognizes the small blob in the middle as your motive. Avoid such shots! Especially as a photography beginner you have difficulties with it. But don’t worry with the time the experience comes.
For distant objects like animals you need a telephoto lens. With it you can go on the “hunt”. We use a 70-200mm lens from Tamron. It’s quite a heavy bullet, but at the latest when you look at the photos you know that it was worth dragging around.
Landscape shots have to create width
For landscape photography, we recommend a wide-angle lens. The selection is huge, it’s worth taking a look, for one or the other bargain. We are very satisfied with our Nikon 16-35mm. With this lens you can capture a wide image section such as a canyon or a wide bay. The shooting angle of such a lens underlines the vastness of the landscape.
Very wide subjects like the Grand Canyon simply don’t look appealing if they are only photographed in a small image area. For everyday pictures a fixed focal length of 50 mm is definitely sufficient. With it, one can achieve super results especially as a photography beginner.
Always think in advance which lenses you will need for each trip. Then you can also capture the magical encounters and moments. Have a look into our camera backpack once more, here you can find our photography equipment: Packlist Technology
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME
The next photography tip we’ll give you is very easy to implement. Even though you can take photos theoretically at any time of the day, there are two very popular lighting situations that give your photos that certain something. The times during sunrise and sunset. This time of day is also called the golden hour.
During this time, the light is most harmonious at the golden hour, less bright and gives your photos a natural warmth. However, when the sun is shining brightly around noon, your photos will be negatively affected. Avoid backlighting ideally, it rarely produces a great photo.
Natural colors will then lose their contrasts. In addition, bright surfaces like leaves reflect the light too much and parts of your photo may even look burned out. Even a modern SLR camera reaches its limits here.
Just try it out at home and compare your photos of sunset and bright sunlight. When the light is bright, a lens hood can help and you’ll get better photos.
What influence does the weather have on your pictures?
We admit it, we are rather morning grumpy and like to sleep in. Therefore you will find more photos of the sunset with us. The two light situations are almost identical. It is much more important to know where the sun rises and sets. Depending on the situation, it may be worth getting up early or staying longer on site.
Additionally the weather has influence on your pictures. Do you have nice weather with sunshine or a cloudy day with clouds? The colours on a bright day look more friendly and create a positive mood. However, depending on the location, cloudy weather can also have its charm, such as fog in Scotland.
But remember, the less light there is, the harder it will be for you and your camera to capture a decent picture (keyword exposure time). Especially in the evening you should have a tripod with you. Our little travel tripod of Cullman Mundo 522T was the perfect companion on our world trip with almost 1kg weight!
Left: in bad weather with little light | Right: in nice weather all colors come to the fore.
BECOME AN ARTIST
Do you remember your art class? At that time you got to know a very interesting design tool called “Golden Section”. The classical rule of painting, which Da Vinci already applied, has an extremely harmonious effect on the viewer. With the Golden Ratio you can divide a picture into certain areas and then place the motif in the grid at intersections accordingly. Once you’ve internalized these photography tips, apply this important rule to your photos as often as you can.