A man sits on a step in Bhaktipur, Nepal

Tips to improve your travel photography

With the advent of the digital camera everyone has become a photographer in one form or another. From the professional carrying the Canon 1Ds to the amateur with the built-in SmartPhone camera, the majority of people can capture an image at anytime. And whether your destination is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or Timbuktu, here are a couple simple tips to think about before you press the button.

  1.  Fill the Frame – Once you have chosen your subject think about the elements that surround. Does all that sky enhance the photo or is it not necessary? If I remove all those trees branches and zoom in on my subject will it be a better photo? Now fill up that frame with your subject and let the background clutter fall away. And remember: the most powerful zoom lens you have is your feet, so get close to your subject.
  2. Rule of Thirds – There is an old saying among old photographers: “Dead center is dead boring.” When you are framing a photo draw mental lines, and divide it like a tic-tac-toe board. This works if you are framing a photo horizontally or vertically. Now, try to get your subject to fall on one of those lines you have mentally drawn. Better yet, get your focal point right where two of those lines cross. And for all landscape shots, get the horizon off the centerline.
  3. Not every photo has to be posed – The best travel photographers talk and interact with the people they are photographing. This not only creates a rapport with the subjects, but also gets them to relax and let down their guard. Great photos are captured when people are at ease and their most natural. A big smile or a cheesy grin becomes an image which is just that.

Next time you pull your camera out of the canoe pack give one, or a couple of these tips a try and see if you like your photos more. And when you capture that really special image from the trail send it to us here at Duluth Pack and we will post it online. Who knows you might even win our next photo contest and become a Duluth Pack celebrity.

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