Experience photography around the world

| May 19, 2016

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When you’re travelling to some of the World’s most incredible, beautiful and downright-jaw-dropping places, we’re certain you’ll never forget what you see. That being said, nothing helps you preserve and cherish these special memories quite like a photograph does.

For most of us, a camera is already an essential and must-have item when we’re exploring a new and exciting corner of the world. What is less common however is the ability to get the most out of the photographs we take. All too often stunning landscapes and spectacular scenery are let down by poorly composed and badly-thought-out photos. The good news is that photography is a brilliantly easy art-form to master, and here at Netflights.com, we’ve gone directly to some of the most intrepid explorers on the planet to bring you their tips and tricks on getting to grips with travel guide.

Bram Reusen- Adventure Shots

How to capture great adventure shots when you are out and about…

When it comes to adventure travel photography, which is by no means the same as regular sightseeing travel photography, there are three specific things you can do to improve your pictures.

The first one applies to every type of outdoor photography and involves shooting early in the morning and in the evening—within an hour after sunrise and within an hour before sunset, more specifically. This time is known as “golden hour” and trying to shoot around this time is one of the absolute basics in terms of outdoor photography.

When shooting people partaking in outdoor adventures, you should always focus on trying to capture them while they’re moving and not paying any attention to the camera. This creates a natural feel that’s impossible to stage.

Third, when shooting landscapes, especially when they’re expansive or imposing, try to incorporate a referential object into the picture. This can be a natural object such as a tree or a rock, but also a person or an animal. This frame of reference adds perspective to the photo, which only enhances the magnitude of the landscape.


What not to do…

When you’re taking pictures of people during outdoor activities, which can range from hiking and cycling to rock climbing and canoeing, absolutely make sure that they don’t look “posed.” A posing person during an outdoor adventure takes away from the sense of spontaneity and freedom that is exactly what makes these activities so attractive. Try to keep your pictures as natural as possible.

Additionally, try not to shoot pictures from the obvious—read: easiest—angles. Be creative and try to find unique spots from where to shoot. Climb a hill yourself, go lie on the ground, do something to find a less common angle.


My favourite location in the world to shoot and why…

My favourite location for adventure travel photography has to be Scandinavia—Finland, Sweden and Norway. This spectacular region in northern Europe has everything a photographer could possibly be looking for, from the world’s most magnificent coastlines to vast forests, tall mountains and icy tundra. Particularly in Arctic regions from late spring to early fall, the extremely long days result in a “golden hour” that lasts several hours, or sometimes even all night.


Some advice for travel photography beginners…

Always, always, always take your camera with you. You never know when you’ll come across a scene worth photographing—you’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t have a camera to capture it. In addition to that, practicing will eventually result in better photos. Even when you’re at home, I would suggest bringing a camera along on trips, drives or walks.

Keep the “rule of thirds” into mind. When photographing an object, person or other feature, imagine two vertical lines and two horizontal lines in your picture. One of the four places where those lines cross is where your subject should be. Of course, this is not a requirement—photography is a creative art, after all—but this will undoubtedly improve your travel photos.


A little about Bram…

Bram Reusen is a Belgian travel blogger, author, freelance writer and photographer who’s based in Virginia, USA. From multi-month adventures to short city breaks, he has tried several travel styles since he started wandering the globe in 2010. So far, Bram has been to 26 countries on 4 continents, 27 national parks and 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. His three favourite ways of getting around are backpacking, cycle touring and road tripping.

To follow Bram’s adventures, head to http://www.travel-experience-live.com/ or follow him at @TravExpeLive on Twitter.


Laurence – Moving Terrain Shots

How to capture great moving terrain shots when you’re out and about…

Motion is a really fun subject to capture – it can really help tell a story in your images, from freezing a moment in time of a fast moving subject like a racing car or a runner, to conveying the power and motion of something incredible like a waterfall. It can be, however, a bit of a challenge to get right.

My main tip for capturing motion would be to set your camera to shoot in shutter priority mode, or at least, to focus on the shutter speed as the main setting you want to worry about. A fast shutter speed, say 1/500th of a second of higher, will let you “freeze” the action of say, a horse in motion. A slow shutter speed will let you transform that motion into a nice blur – great for creating a silky effect of something like a waterfall.

Once you’ve figured that out, remember the rules of composition. Subject placement and the rule of thirds are two really important rules to keep in mind for shots like this – making sure your viewer is able to identify the focus of your shot quickly and easily.


What not to do…

If you’re going to be shooting at low shutter speeds, particularly 1/60th of a second and lower, then it’s really important not to shoot hand held, as you won’t be able to hold the camera steady enough. I’d suggest investing in a good tripod, or at the very least, finding some way of stabilizing your gear so it doesn’t make the image blurry through your movement.

laurens 2

My favourite location in the world to shoot and why…

For the longest time my answer to this question has been New Zealand. I’m a passionate landscape photographer, and New Zealand has just about everything you could imagine, from incredible mountains through to beaches, forests, glaciers and more. However, I’ve recently moved to Scotland, and have been blown away by the variety of scenery on offer, from stunning castles to medieval cityscapes – through to gorgeous wild landscapes. So I think right now my answer is Scotland!


Some advice for travel photography beginners…

There are two things that are really important as a photographer. The first is learning how your gear works. By this I mean understanding how a camera works generally to capture the light, and understanding how things like aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together to create an exposure. Then – learn how *your* camera works. Learn how to access those settings in your camera, and get it out of automatic and into the manual modes. Next, learn about composition and light. Photography is all about telling a story with an image, and learning how to compose a great image, as well as how light affects that composition, is really important. If folks are looking for more advice, I run an awesome online travel photography course, which will take anyone right from beginner level through to being an expert.


A little about Laurence…

I’m a full time travel photographer and blogger, and I run two travel blogs, Finding the Universe and Independent Travel Cats.

The former focuses more on my travel photography and adventure travel, whilst the latter is more about travelling as a couple with my wife Jess. I’ve been a travel photographer and blogger full time since 2010, and absolutely love that I get to travel the world and take pictures of it as my job! If folks are interested in following my adventures, I can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Laurence can be found at http://www.findingtheuniverse.com/ and http://independenttravelcats.com/, or at @lozula on twitter.


Petra and Shaun- Outdoor Shots

How to capture great outdoor shots when you are out and about…

Always have your camera with you, and ready to shoot. Lots of great photo opportunities, especially in streets and with animals, happen very quickly so if you’re not ready to shoot then you’ll miss it! If you’re photographing landscapes, make sure to use the rule of thirds, shoot during the golden hour, and try to have something interesting in the foreground – landscapes can become a bit flat and boring otherwise. Also have protection for your camera in case it rains.


What not do…

Pretty much the opposite! Don’t keep your camera tucked away safely in your bag because you’re likely to miss great shots – unless you’re crossing a river or climbing over rocks, of course!


My favourite location in the world to shoot and why…

We’re lucky enough to call New Zealand home – one of the most visually spectacular countries in the world (I’m biased!). We have amazing natural landscapes on our doorstep that we frequently visit, and beautiful national parks that are a short flight from where we live. The South Island of New Zealand is just stunning – with landscapes ranging from snowy mountains to gnarly forests to white sand beaches, all within a few hours drive of each other!


Some advice for travel photography beginners….

Buy a decent camera and learn how to use it. I can’t stress enough how important it is to understand what the different settings mean on your camera, so that when you’re out shooting you can adapt to whatever situation is presented to you in terms of light and the type of shot you want. There are tons of photography workshops, classes, and even YouTube tutorials – it’s easy to learn!

pet3 pet4

A little about Petra and Shaun…

Petra and Shaun are New Zealanders who run The Global Couple travel blog. They love travel by campervan, hiking, and embracing the outdoors. But if you put them in a buzzing street in Southeast Asia with amazing local food they’ll be equally happy!

You can find Petra and Shaun at http://www.theglobalcouple.com/ or alternatively, find them on Instagram at @theglobalcouple


Suzanne Jones – Outdoor Shots 

How to capture great outdoor shots when you are out and about…

Compose your shot – aim to have a foreground, middle-ground and background and think about how your subject or the main focus of the image fits in with it.

Try and aim for ‘golden hour’ – that’s the half hour before and after sunrise and sunset when the light is less harsh and gives shots a softer look with interesting shadows.

You may be focusing on shooting a landscape but sometimes it’s good to have a person in shot to give a sense of scale and show just how huge and majestic that mountain is.

You may be on a once in a lifetime trip and the weather isn’t that good. If it’s cloudy and dull maybe shoot in black and white. Use the elements like brooding clouds or fog to add to the atmosphere.

Sedona Sunset

What not to do…

Avoid shooting outside in the midday sun or when the sun is high say from 11am to 3pm. The light is strongest then and there’s very little diffusion and the harsh light will strip your photos. If that can’t be helped then keep the sun behind you. A polarising filter and a lens hood for your camera will also help.

If you’re shooting a horizon get it straight unless you’re getting very creative. The grid on your camera display will help. There’s nothing worse than looking at a wonky horizon.

Sedona View

My favourite location in the world to shoot and why…

At the moment my favourite place to shoot is North America. I went on a road trip last year covering parts of California, Nevada and Arizona where the landscapes are so diverse and majestic. At every stop I saw something that left me breathless; killer whales leaping out of the ocean, the vastness of the Grand Canyon and the glowing red rocks of Sedona. The camera went into overload!

Yosemite National Park USA

Some advice for travel photography beginners…

If you’ve got time, think about the composition of your shot before you start clicking away. Look closely and decide how you’re going to make the shot different from the one everyone around you is taking. Use a different angle or frame the shot creatively.

Try and look at things from a different view point – shoot from the ground looking up or elevate yourself and look down on your subject to keep things interesting.

Use natural lines like pathways or fences to draw the eye into your shot and give perspective.

Don’t always place your subject in the centre. Use the ‘rule of thirds’. You should have a grid option on your camera which will help. Line up your subject with the intersections of these lines which help the eye travel across your shot. If you’re shooting a sunset, for example, aim to get the horizon on the top or bottom line emphasizing either the sky or the ocean, whichever is more interesting.

The best way to learn is to just grab your camera or phone and just get out there and click away.

Yosemite National Park   Zabriskie Point, Death Valley

A little about Suzanne…

Suzanne Jones is a British travel blogger based on the South Coast. She’s the creator behind The Travelbunny, a blog brimming with travel tales, tips and culinary adventures. Suzanne is an avid photographer and to fuel your wanderlust she packs her website with images taken on her travels.

To follow Suzanne on her travels, head to http://thetravelbunny.com/ or @thetravelbunny to keep up with her on Instagram.

Suzanne Jones

Adriana Jennings – Adventure Shots

How to capture great adventure shots when you are out and about…

There’s something in the magic of being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes the best travel shots are the unplanned, candid ones. When something catches your eye and you just pick up your camera and shoot. Some of my best and favourite ones have come from an experience like that.

Great adventure shots are also about shooting at the right time of day. This often means early mornings when towns are still sleepy and the crowds haven’t arrived. Or at the end of the day when there is a slower pace and people are lingering around. You tend to get more detail, character and better lighting by doing this.

So always have your camera on you, and set your alarm early when you arrive at a destination. Take a wonder and take it slow. See what catches your eye and just have fun with it!


What not do to…

Don’t shoot in the middle of the day. There’s nothing nice about shadows and harsh contrasts in photos. Also don’t try force photos – if they aren’t working move on.


My favourite location in the world to shoot and why…

Anywhere coastal or a place with a unique culture. I love shooting coastal locations as an Australian girl brought up on a rugged coastline, it’s ingrained in who I am. I also love shooting at dusk and dawn, thus the name Golden Hour Girl. There’s something completely captivating when the sun starts to set (or rise) and turns the world pink. It just gets me. Everything looks so different and dreamy – these are my favourite types of photos I love to share with my followers, and it’s what they know me for.

Also I love capturing the things that make a country what it is. Capturing all the details and the history ingrained in the city’s architecture. For example, when we were in Greece, I loved walking around in the late afternoon and capturing the Old Greek Men herding the donkeys up the steep alleyways, the bright cobalt blue roofs against the endless ocean horizon, the cats lurking on the balconies, and the Catholic crosses hanging on the corners of every wall. It’s those details that bring my travel photography to life.


Some advice for travel photography beginners…

For me, travel photography is about capturing a unique perspective, and sharing it with the world. It’s about those candid moments that make you fall in love with a new destination, and the behind the scenes stories that make a place and the memories that come with it. My advice for avid travel photographers who are just starting out is to pick an angle and stick with it. Consistency is key. Start a feed of photographs with a similar theme or look – it can be as simple as black and white, highly brightened or minimalist photos. It also helps when you share a story alongside the image of why you are sharing it, what that place means to you or the wonderful surprises you’ve come across in your travels.

Also invest in a quality camera. Never underestimate the power of High quality DSLR photos. In terms of what not to do – don’t try copy others or feel like you have to be the same as everyone else. Just do you, and what comes naturally to you people will find attractive. Also never post blurry or out of focus images.

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A little about Adriana…

Hi there! I’m Adriana Jennings, the 22 year old Sydneysider behind the blog Golden Hour Girl. I recently completed a degree in Marketing and Media at university, got married and am blogging in any spare minute I find. I currently work full time in Marketing and Media communications.

Four years ago I started this blog as a way to share what life was teaching me and to keep in touch with home as I moved to Europe for six months. The blog has now extended to travel photography and writing, capturing enriching life moments and my favourite fashion looks and brands. GHG kicked off after winning a blogging competition with Mango Fashion. After spending 4 days in Barcelona with the MNG team, and some top bloggers including Gary Pepper Girl (Nicole Warne) and Sincerely Jules, I was ever inspired to follow my passion and grow what I was doing.

Golden Hour Girl is about honesty, the ups and downs of life and making the most of everyday whilst dreaming BIG when you’re in your twenties. I have been lucky enough to travel to tens of countries around the world, and my followers love coming on the journey with me as I share my travels, the people I meet and travel tips and advice.

You can keep up with Adriana’s adventures and photography at https://goldenhourgirl.com/ or alternatively, head to Instagram, where she can be found at @goldenhourgirl






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