As a traveller, I’ve had my fair amount of ‘why did I take a photo of that rock?’ moments. When on a trip, it’s only natural to want to capture everything new, exciting and different to that at home.
Yet, a lot of the time those constant snap shots are usually forgotten if there was no emotion behind taking the photo. Think about it, a funny moment with friends is captured; the image is then used as a trigger to remember that funny moment and as a result makes you laugh every time you look at that photo. Make sense? We want to take photos to remember the place we were in but it is often the people, or something that made you feel a certain way, that is worth capturing.
So, how do we take amazing photos that make our adventures unforgettable? Firstly, it is important to acknowledge what you’re taking a photo of. Landmarks, statues and buildings are important to capture, but only to set the scene of your location. Take the Eifel tower, one of the world’s most famous land marks. It is incredibly beautiful on a sunny Parisian day, yet without people in the foreground (in front of it) of the photo, taking too many of them can get a little boring. Try to include life, get a person passing by to take a photo of you and your group as well as the icon, usually people working at attractions are the most trustworthy and won’t pinch your camera. This is important when travelling alone as well; seeing yourself in that location is a far better memory than the location on its own, people can Google that!
Natural scenery is a whole other kettle of fish. Breath taking surroundings, like in the above photograph of Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi Thailand, are particularly picture worthy, with or without people. What makes this photo ‘picture perfect’ is having an interesting foreground as well as background. The boats provide character and culture, whilst the limestone mountains and luminous water pay respect to the natural formations of the bay. Looking at this photo not only reminds me of Maya Bay, but its innate atmosphere. It doesn’t show the hundred or so other people who were also on the island, attempting their best Leonardo DiCaprio impressions from the film ‘The Beach’, but captures the way I want to remember the trip; as an incredible and privileged experience.
Just remember, try to capture how you’re feeling at the time. Don’t be afraid to take a few photos of the same image but keep in mind why you’re taking the photo. Keep your camera in an accessible spot to avoid rummaging through your bags and risk missing a photo opp. Consider your favourite thing at your location, and capture that as it is this love for something that will shine through and minimise your ‘why did I take a photo of that?’ moments.