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Travel Photography Top 5 Tips by Jacob James


by Nicola Cox – September 28th, 2017

Travel photography is important to many of us. This article by Jacob James gives you some excellent tips for improving your travel photography memories.

In my experience, each destination I travel to has a different feel that needs to come across in the images I make. Capturing this feel can be influenced by the destination’s culture, history, landscape and people. Therefore, it’s really important to understand the best way to capture these factors and give viewers a visually interesting glimpse of a part of the world they may not be familiar with.

I’ve collated my top five tips that will help photographers capture their travels:

Lighting it right

Light is the most important thing to consider as it’s where everything begins. In terms of travel photography, lighting is crucial in bringing the destination to life. Lighting has a huge impact on the way the viewer sees the environment captured in an image. When I’m on a shoot, I look for interesting lighting conditions that’ll make the image more appealing and eye-catching. For example, a sunrise or light streaming through a market roof. Good light helps to give a scene richness and depth, and can add or remove saturation to the various colours captured in the image. Photographers can also use exposure creatively to add silhouettes, definition and highlights to an image.

Travel Photography Jacob James_Sibiu_Romania_1

©2017 Jacob James

Colour capture

Colour can make or break an image. When doing travel photography we are taught to look out for complementary colours that add contrast to an image. One of the easiest ways to do this is to consider the time of the day for a shoot. For instance, shooting at twilight when the sky is still blue with the orange of the street lights can create a certain dramatic ambience. In order to capture predictable colour in all lighting conditions, I use the X-Rite ColorChecker.  The ColorChecker is my reference point to achieve true-to-life colour and reliability from capture to edit. ColorChecker targets from X-Rite can also help photographers match multiple cameras, set perfect exposure and manage colour accuracy.

Travel Photography_Kyoto_Japan_1_Jacob James

©2017 Jacob James

Human interest

Adding a human element to travel photography can often make the image more interesting or relatable to viewers. This works well as viewers can add scale to the landscape of a scenery and it helps them to imagine the destination for themselves. In addition, incorporating motion to these human subjects can give the images added interest and make the image seem lifelike. Don’t be afraid of using slower shutter speeds in certain images as it can help to create a more dynamic look to the final images and help capture the true reality of a scene.

Travel Photography Jacob James_Sirohi_India_1

©2017 Jacob James

Focal length

When shooting travel photography out on the street I recommend picking a focal length and sticking with it. This forces photographers to work with the space and develop stronger compositions by ‘zooming with their feet’ rather than using the lenses zoom. Simply moving closer to the subject or the scenery and shooting with a wide-angle lens can help to create images with a little drama in the composition.

The final edit

The final tip for travel photography is to make sure that monitors are properly calibrated – as an accurate colour spectrum can only be viewed when working on a fully calibrated monitor. I use the X-Rite i1 Display Pro to ensure that the images and colour I’m capturing at the shoot will be the same as the end result. Ultimately, this will ensure that I don’t have to spend hours perfecting or editing images and will help save time and money, as well as giving me full creative control over images.

Travel Photography Rabari Facial Tattoos

©2017 Jacob James

Jacob James

Jacob James is an X-Rite Coloratti and UK based internationally published travel and cultural documentary photographer. Jacob’s work has been published in well-known photography publications both in the UK and worldwide such as Digital Camera, Amateur Photographer, Tutti Fotografi and N-Photo. His work has also appeared in numerous exhibitions and books. Jacob has worked with a number of clients across Europe and Asia including the Austrian and Hungarian tourism boards. For more information on Jacob, click here.

Visit XritePhoto.com to learn more about how to ensure that your travel photography memories have perfect color.


Categories: Coloratti, ColorChecker, Lighting, Perception, Travel Photography | Tags:

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