Instagram has more than 300 million active users, and is one of the most popular ways avid travelers share and discover new places around the globe. I mean, what is traveling the world if you can’t find a way to share your experiences with others?
But of those 300 million users, there are a select few who always seem to look better and head to more photogenic destinations than the rest of us. Of course this is never the case; usually this is actually the result of a lot of effort and editing, and your favorite traveler knowing how to take better photos than you.
If you’re heading overseas and want to step up your Instagram game, you might be able to benefit from the following tricks and tips. These are strategies that some of the most popular accounts use.
And, if you’re a UK resident, after you’ve snapped some amazing shots you can enter your favorite holiday photo using the #myparadisemoment on Instagram for the chance to win £1,000. Competition is running until May 31 2016. More details at the end of the post.
Tips for Taking Great Instagram Travel Snaps
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Avoid the in Camera App
The camera in the Instagram app is terrible. Avoid using it to take your shot.
Using an actual camera and then importing the photos when you open Instagram is a far better way to achieve a beautiful feed. This way you have the ability to zoom, film in slow motion, control your exposure, and take advantage of a huge range of other functions like the grid feature to compose your photos.
The camera in the actual app is extremely limiting, and nowhere near as capable as the camera in your smartphone, or using the WiFi feature to transfer photos from your DSLR. On top of all of that, it automatically crops your image into a square. It’s better to take your initial photo with a capable camera, and then post them to Instagram.
Shoot From Different Angles
The difference between a professional travel photo and a “tourist snap” can often come down to the angle.
Experiment with taking your pictures from different angles and unusual viewpoints. Think outside the box, and try to avoid snapping a photo from the same angle you’ve seen before.
Shooting photos from right down on the ground, or positioning yourself up high will achieve more interesting pictures. Iconic scenes which everyone are already familiar with can look amazing if shot from a completely different perspective than people are used to seeing.
Use Natural Light
Lighting is key to any form of photography, and that goes for Instagram too. It doesn’t matter how much filtering or editing you try to apply after the fact, you generally can’t save a photo from being poorly lit.
Photos shot in natural light usually turn out better, so if you’re heading outside, aim for early morning or late afternoon for the best light. Cloud cover from overcast days provides great light too.
If you can’t get the lighting right, try moving around. The lighting will change depending on your angle and position to the sun.
Play With Props
Playing with props and pulling different objects into your frame can “enrich what your photo is trying to convey.”
Whether this is adding a suitcase to the scene, or positioning a set of rowboats behind you, suddenly you’re not just taking a photo – you’re telling a story.
Know Your Square
While you can now upload horizontal and vertical shots to Instagram, the optimal size for a photo is still a square. So you should keep this in mind when shooting and place the focus of your photo in the center of the shot.
Using the grid feature to aid your composition can really help. But it’s also a good idea to compose the photo in your mind before aiming the camera lens.
Instead of whipping out the camera and snapping away without purpose or thought, spend some extra time to actually look at the scene in front of you. Use your eyes to frame the picture, and you’ll find you have a much higher success rate when taking a fantastic shot.
It’s Better in Bad Weather
Bad weather is generally when you’re able to take the best photographs. So grab an umbrella or a rain jacket, and embrace the bad weather while everyone else is indoors.
Take advantage of the clouds for dramatic shots – these can provide a great backdrop for old buildings, new skyscrapers, and trees. There’s nothing more boring in photos than clear blue skies.
Utilize the wind for artistic exposures and motion, and use the snow for added emotion. Fog can be great for high impact scenic pictures, and reflections in puddles can make really interesting shots.
Practice All the Time
Like anything, practice makes perfect when it comes to taking beautiful photos for Instagram. So practice as often as you can. Practice composing your photo, play around with props, and get to know the many filters available in the editing process.
You will perfect the process as you go.
Share Your #MyParadiseMoment
Sovereign Travel is giving UK residents (18 years or older) the chance to win £1,000 for sharing their favorite holiday photo on Instagram using the #myparadisemoment hashtag.
To enter, follow @Sovereigntravel on Instagram, or @Sovereignluxury on Twitter, and upload a ‘Paradise Moment’ photograph (.JPG format only) taken while on holiday. You need to tag the photograph with ‘@Sovereignluxury’ on Twitter or @Sovereigntravel on Instagram and ‘#MyParadiseMoment’.
Images can also be uploaded through the www.paradisemoment.co.uk website through the competition element. The closing date for the Competition is at 11.59pm (London time) on Tuesday 31st May 2016.
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