Travel photography tips – how to take the best pics with your mobile

mobile travel photography

As they say, the best camera is the one you have on you. Off course a fancy DSLR camera will take the nicest pics. But the truth is, when you’re  traveling and on the go, the majority of your shots will be with your mobile. It’s easy, quick, quality of the mobile cameras is approving rapidly and it allows you to share on social media in a flip. So have your insta fans scream & scroll for more with some of our travel photography tips on how to take the best pics for smartphone snappers.

1. Light!
Natural light is great for mobile photography but can also be too harsh, especially around noon. Instead of waiting the ‘golden hour’ (just before sunset) or for the clouds to pass, look for a spot that blocks the direct vertical light, like a tree. The softer light will make colours warm, rich and soft and create beautiful photos.  Be careful not to go too shady as your shots will be more grainy and pixelated.

2. HDR instead of flash
Indoor photos are hard work. Flashes usually do not improve the photo. Try using the HDR function instead.  It creates the best, well balanced photo with a series of shots at different exposures.  If you need artificial light, rather ask a friend to use the flash light on hi/her phone to point to the scene. If you’re going for perfection and a white paper napkin is within reach, ask you friend to shine the flash light through one layer of napkin.

3. Don’t reinvent the wheel
With touristy and often photographed places, chances are someone has taken the shot before. Look up the location on instagram and usually the perfect angle will be right there in the top 9 pictures (most likes). Use it for inspiration and save yourself some time researching every angle.

4. Add Blur
Sometimes you want to catch the mystique of a scene by shooting in blur. You can easily do this by locking the focus of your camera on something very close. Use your keys or a ring on your finger. Then hold the camera on the scene you actually want to capture and play with the adjustment slider (the little sun on your iPhone) to play with the exposure. Good scenes to practice are sunset when traffic and car lights begin to come on.

5. Capture a moving subject
With an app like Slow Shutter you can help the camera’s speed drop down. Follow the subject with your phone at the same speed and release the shutter. You will get a cool blur background and a crisp, moving subject.

6. Clean your lens
Ok. Obviously. But when you’re travelling your lens tends to get greasy and dirty in your pocket or covered in finger prints. You’re pics will suffer, So from time time, clean it with your sunglasses cloth.

One of the challenges with many camera phones is keeping them maintained and clean. Phones spend a lot of time in pockets, in bags and being used in all manner of weather and conditions. As a result they get dirty and can easily become damaged – fingerprints are a common problem on camera lenses – especially if your phone doesn’t have a lens cover. From time to time clean the lens of your camera using a soft cloth (sunglasses cleaning cloths are great).

7. Prepare the perfect scene
If you want to be in the picture yourself, you’re often dependent on others to take the picture. To get the nicest pic, check the best angle, background, light and composition before you ask someone to take it. You’ll be able to explain and direct the perfect shot and you’ll be so happy you did afterwards.

Get in as close as possible. Avoiding zoom will make your pic so much crisper.

9. People pics
When taking pics of friends, try to keep them at the bottom of the frame, stand back a good distance and try to create a scene with as much negative space around them as possible.

10. Edit on your computer
While it’s fun and satisfying to edit your pics straight away with an app and get them ready to share instantly, save the best for last. If you think you have a really great shot, then best edit that one later, on your computer for better quality images.

!! BONUS: If you’re friend has taken a really good pic or a group pic you would like to have, ask them to e-mail the picture to you at its highest resolution. Sending via Whatsapp or Messages will lower the resolution of the picture substantially.

Hope you enjoyed, and please let us know if you have some travel photography tips of your own to share!

xox Amstel Staff