Tired of the usual photos of iconic landmarks you see on the internet? Want to make your pictures of these places stand out? Avoid cliché photos and put your compact Sony Alpha A6000 camera to good use with these photography tips and tricks.
Get There Early
It can be difficult to capture the beauty of a place when you’re trying to fight your way through a crowd in a famous landmark. So wake up early and be on location ahead of time than most tourists would. Composing your photos will be a breeze and you’ll have more time to figure out which angle and setting will work best for the shot you’re trying to achieve. Not to mention that you won’t have to deal with your fellow onlookers blocking the frame or wait for your turn to take photos on a certain spot.
Avoid Taking Postcard-Style Photos
Since you grew up looking at postcards, it can be tempting to pattern your shots to how you see iconic destinations in them. For instance, the Eiffel Tower is often photographed during the early hours of the morning, in broad daylight, with greens as its foreground. But did you know that the Eiffel Tower is actually more beautiful at night? To make the shot more whimsical, you can even include any of the two merry-go-rounds near it in the frame. Or take the photo from afar while you’re cruising the Seine river for a romantic touch.
So, be observant of the surroundings of the particular landmark you’re trying to capture. There may be elements you can include that can make your subject come alive.
Keep Your Lens on the Details
When taking photos of architecture, we tend to try to fit the whole structure in the frame. Take the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris for example. It’s difficult to capture the whole thing without unintentionally cropping some of its pointed parts on top. And even if you do get to include the entire thing in your frame, the picture will come out underwhelming due to the subject’s small size and lack of focal point in the frame.
To change things up, why not try capturing the Gallery of Kings sculptures embedded within the walls of its west facade instead? It’s one of the works of art that make up the whole Notre-Dame. You can even vary the angle from which you take your photo. The Notre-Dame Cathedral is such an intricately done piece of gothic architecture that you’ll find something beautiful to photograph whichever side you zoom in.
Include People in Your Photos
Having people in your frame doesn’t always have to be a nuisance. As long as you do it in a way that the presence of these people in your pictures looks intentional and well-placed, you can actually engage your audience even more.
Let’s go back to our Eiffel Tower example. Due to its popularity, it’s impossible for a regular tourist to get a shot of it without including people in the frame. But if you time your shots in such a way that these tourists become a part of the background (if you’re taking a photo of yourself or your companion standing in the landmark), it can actually work. It can even make the photo appear more realistic.
If you happen to just be taking the shot of the place itself, adding human interest elements will allow you to bring a whole new meaning to the place and reveal a part of your travel experience. Examples of human-interest photos include a mother carrying her child as she peddles goods on the streets of one of Bangkok’s famous temples and the drivers of velotaxis (literally translated as bike taxi) in Paris calling out to prospective passengers.
Dare to Shoot in Unpleasant Weather
I vividly remember my first visit to the Eiffel Tower. Everyone was scampering to take pictures at every angle possible, when suddenly, the rain fell. And just short of 5 minutes, everyone was out of the way. Had I been into photography then, it would have been a perfect opportunity to take a photo of the Eiffel Tower in all its glory, in a setting that’s different from what one would normally see.
The lesson here is, unless it’s really dangerous, don’t let a little rain or snow prevent you from enjoying the place and taking photos. This little mishap can actually add charm and character to your images and draw the viewer’s attention to them.
Photos of well-loved travel destinations don’t have to be boring. With a little resourcefulness, creativity, and persistence, you can come up with pictures of these famous landmarks that are engaging and uniquely your own.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.