4 easy ways to snap travel photos with better composition

Taking photos

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When you’re snapping photos on a trip you won’t always have the time to painstakingly frame the composition of your shots so that elements line up perfectly. However you should not ignore the composition altogether and should instead focus on improving it as and how you can.

While there are many techniques that you could use to snap photos with better composition, there are a few in particular that can help immensely for travel photos:

Fill the frame

If you’re taking a photo where you want the focus to be entirely on the subject, try filling the frame with them. It will help to reveal additional details and make them the sole focus of the photo.

As far as possible you should use this technique by moving physically closer to the subject. That will help to produce a much better image, as if you use the digital zoom on your camera it will affect the quality of the photo.

Place frames within the frame

One useful composition technique for travel photos is to look for frames that you can capture within your photo’s frame. It could be an archway, window, or even just trees that frame a landscape.

By capturing the composition through such a frame, you will make it much more visually interesting. The frame doesn’t necessarily need to completely surround the scene that you’re capturing, and could border it in a few of its sides instead.

Symmetry can help when you’re using frames in your composition, and can make your photo look more ordered and balanced.

Find leading lines

Lines are everywhere, but teaching yourself to spot and use lines in your travel photos can be a little bit tricky. Ideally you should look for lines that can lead peoples’ eyes to the subject of your photos, whether it is a river, path, wall, floor pattern, or something else entirely.

In some cases you may want to find lines that converge with one another to add depth to your photos. For example the lines on either side of a road that converge in the distance will make people feel the depth that is in the photo.

Apply the rule of thirds

Although arguably the most common composition technique, the rule of thirds is also one of the easiest to apply for travel photos. In fact you should leave the grid on your camera permanently enabled to make it more convenient.

Basically you should try to position the subject and other elements in your photos based on the gridlines and intersection points. That will place the subject slightly off center, and balance it better against the other elements in the composition.

It may take practice for you to quickly frame shots using the rule of thirds, but the more you apply it – the faster you’ll get.

Despite your best efforts you will find that the composition of some of your travel photos doesn’t turn out exactly the way that you hoped. However in most cases they will come close enough that you can tidy them up with a bit of editing.

The more you are aware of the composition of your travel photos and try to improve it, the better you’ll get. In time you will find that you start to identify potential shots with good composition more easily, and can capture them much more quickly as well. That is the key to good travel photography – and you will get there eventually, with a bit of practice.

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