photography tips framing

4 Photography Tips That Will Improve Your Shots Immediately

Photography is a process of trial and error, pushing boundaries, and finding new visual ways to tell a story. It is ever-changing, forcing us to be willing to listen to our surroundings and then learn. I genuinely believe it is a passion for learning and being ready to give back and help others.

Due to that, here are four photography travel tips that will help you better your shots! Better yet, they are all outdoor photography tips that you can use immediately to better your photography and create stunning landscape shots!

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Use Long Exposure When Possible

photography tips long exposure

I love long exposures. I think it stems from our inability to experience the photo in real life. Used mainly for waterfalls or to calm a rough lake, long exposures allow us to stop time in its tracks. However, one underrated use of long exposures is of clouds. A long exposure of them can create some incredible shots in a scene with fast-moving clouds. This is by far my favorite photography travel tip I like to share.

What you’ll need for long exposures:

  • A tripod or a flat rock to set your camera.
  • If shooting in daylight, use an ND filter to keep your photo from being overexposed.

How to Shoot Long Exposures:

  • Move your shutter speed to anywhere from 0.5 sec to 5 seconds.
  • Depending on lighting conditions and ND filter, put your f/stop between f/13-f/22.
  • Bring your ISO to as low as it’ll go.

Add depth and framing by putting something in the foreground

photography tips framing photography travel tips

Finding new ways to compose and stage a photo, such as putting something in the foreground or framing it with leaves or rocks, can turn a photo someone’s seen a thousand times into one they’ve never seen before. It’s a foolproof way to put a twist on a classic shot. Taking this approach requires more effort and means you have to think big yet act small.

You’ll have to take time to look at everything around you and then see a small area that would be perfect for framing your creation. I have been trying to do this more often, forcing me to be more creative and abstract.

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Outdoor photography tips – Change your perspective. Literally.

photography travel tips

This one can be fun! My two favorite ways to change a photo’s perspective are getting as close to the ground as possible (think kneeling or laying down), attaching your camera to your tripod, and lifting it above your head. Most people shoot in a structured way, standing tall and from your eye level. By instead slightly changing your posture, you can create an image with your unique flair that will stand out in a crowd.

Another option would be standing on top of your truck or van. I don’t have that luxury with my car, but I would recommend that to others who can!

Bracket your shots

photography tips bracketing canon

One of my top outdoor photography tips is bracketing. This one I found through trial and error. I love shooting in the mountains, and as the sunsets, the valleys below become dark far quicker than the sky above. Due to this, you tend to blow out your sky to illuminate the valley, or the valley is black while your sky looks nice.

With bracketing, a setting that is easy to turn on in your camera settings, it will take three photos at different shutter speeds. This allows you to get your shots in the correct light. Then, in post-processing, you can merge in Lightroom to create one image that looks incredible.

I can’t speak to Sony or Nikon users, but for Canon shooters, click Menu and then go to the second camera page. Click on exposure comp/AEB.

Here, you’ll be able to choose your bracket settings. I usually stick to a one-degree difference on both sides. To get this to work best, also have your camera on rapid shooting, as you’ll want your three shots to happen together to decrease shake and camera movement.

Bonus outdoor photography tips: Find a way to wake up early for sunrise

Kearsarge Pinnacles Kings Canyon National Park photography travel tips

This has zero to do with your camera and more to do with you. Sunsets are easy to shoot; you’re already up. For sunrises, you need mental fortitude to wake up and, in some places, leave a warm cozy bed for the chilly outdoors. However, and this is one I truly believe, you never regret waking up to shoot sunrise.

I’ve found my most incredible photos are those taken at sunrise. So brew that cup of coffee, set multiple alarms, and get up to shoot sunrise. You won’t be mad if you do!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed these photography travel tips and outdoor photography tips.

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

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Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside