How to take pictures while traveling - ready-made scheme and common mistakes

The headline is a bit loud, but I don’t know how toone could still call this article. Naturally, it will be about my personal experience and how I shoot on my camera. I can not immediately speak for everyone. I am sure that someone takes some photographs in the same way, someone is completely different, but unless you try, you will not be able to work out your own scheme of actions. Let's start with the shooting conditions and typical mistakes.

The content of the article

All parts of my FAQ for novice photographers:

1. Which camera to choose a novice photographer
2. What lens is needed for and what to choose
3. Basic digital camera settings
4. How to take pictures while traveling
5. How to process photos in Lightroom and how to store them
6. Sample photo bag and fotoryukzaka for traveler
7. How to photograph the starry sky
0. What I photograph in travels

Shooting conditions

The fact is that due to the imperfection of technology, wedepends on the time of day. I will not go into details about the technique, I’ll just say that it’s about the amount of light in the dark and the dynamic range.

Twilight and night

If you shoot at dusk or at night,you will catastrophically miss the light, the pictures will be dark or blurry. ISO-twisting to a maximum, high-aperture lens and a tripod can save you.

ISO can be unscrewed somewhere up to 400-800 forsimple cameras and up to 1600-3200 for better cameras. Next will go strong artifacts and not the fact that such a photo will be watchable. Test empirically what value suits you.

A high-aperture lens will give much more light than a normal one, but you will lose in sharpness due to DOF. Well, and if it is a completely dark night outside, do not flatter yourself, you will have to use a tripod.

The tripod is excellent and budget solution, muchcheaper than high-aperture lenses and expensive carcasses with high ISOs. Only one minus - your object should be static, otherwise it will be greased due to long exposure. Although sometimes grease only decorates the photo. I wrote separately about how to shoot the starry sky.

Dynamic range

We are accustomed to the fact that with our eyes we see verygood in almost any conditions. And when we look at the photographs, we wonder why they are so different from what they see. The problem is that the matrix of cameras have a much lower dynamic range compared to the human eye. And for this reason, a frequent occurrence is photos with the sky littered, when the sky is not blue, but bright white illuminated, or vice versa, the sky is of normal color, but very dark forest / land (everything below the horizon). The camera is simply not able to always capture at the same time too bright area and too dark so that both of them can be seen with normal illumination (and the eye can). By the way, cheap soap trays have a very small dynamic range, so SLRs or good mirrorless ones offer advantages, but here you need to know the nuances.

There are no too dark areas, but the sky and water are filled up.

Almost no too dark areas, but the sky and water are overwhelmed.

Too dark shadows, but already normal sky and water

Too dark shadows, but already normal sky and water

Not only outside there is a problem of dynamic range, but also in rooms when it is dark in the room and daylight comes from the windows.

 the window is not visible at all, but the room is visible

In the window nothing is visible at all, but the room is visible.

You have to choose either the normal sky in the window, or you can see what is in the room.

You have to choose either the normal sky in the window, or you can see what is in the room.

How to shoot and when

  • It is better to photograph in mode time, that isin the morning and when the sun is approaching sunset. First, the difference between the brightest point and the darkest will be much less than during the day. And, secondly, when shooting in the middle of the day, very hard shadows are obtained, it is not beautiful. Look at the sunset photos for comparison, when the light is soft and warm, it feels like a grandmother's blanket in dank weather.
  • When photographing on a bright sunny day,Try to do it so that the sun shines in your back, if, of course, you need to get a blue sky. It is clear that if your object is a waterfall, you will not rearrange it, then if there is a possibility, then at least let the sun be at an angle of 90 degrees to the shooting line (it shines in your ear).
  • Choose this exposure so that the frame isdarker than necessary, and not vice versa, focusing on the sky, so that it is even slightly blue. It will be useful semi-automatic modes and exposure compensation, or manual mode. I assure you, to draw out dark areas much easier than light ones in the program. And too light areas can not be pulled out at all.
  • Shoot in RAW, of which it is much easier to pull something out while processing.
  • When shooting a subject / person in backlight(when not only the object itself is in front of you, but the sun is shining right into the lens), it is best to use a flash, even a built-in one. Then you can adjust the exposure in the negative, and the shadows will be less on the face.
  • You can wind the gradient gray filter on the lens. But only applies if you have a smooth border between a bright sky and a bright earth.
  • And if you really want to be confused, then readwhat is exposure bracketing and HDR photography. In short, instead of one frame, several different exposures are made (dark photo, medium, light), and then in a special program with each of the photos the necessary piece is taken, from one sky, from the other. There are also built-in HDR modes for photographing in JPEG.
In the next article about processing, I will tell you how to make such a photo from the one that was higher.

In the next article about processing, I will tell you how to make such a photo from the one that was higher.

How I take pictures while traveling and at home

My scheme of photography (oh, how loud againIt sounds) does not depend on whether I travel somewhere or just walk around my native Moscow. Since I am not a wedding photographer, I don’t shoot various love stories, and I don’t go to photo studios, for the most part I shoot on the street: landscapes, passers-by and architecture. Occasionally there are also in rooms.


Let me remind you that at the moment I always have with metwo lenses: standard 24-105L and shirik 11-16. It is called full-time for a reason, but because it is always screwed onto the carcass, there is an occasional shirk there.

People, near plans, long plans, reportage,sometimes landscapes, I almost always shoot at 24-105. This is useful when a large zoom, you can take a picture or zoom close to you. Portraits also suit me perfectly on this lens (105 mm). A mirror with a convenient control and such a lens allows you to zoom in / out, change settings, and orient yourself in a split second.

Landscapes are mainly rented at 11-16, to climb,as much as possible. With the advent of wider, there was no need to make panoramas by gluing together several frames. Of course, Shirik does not allow to make a real panorama, when it is 180-360 degrees, but the angle is enough for me. You can also take a good picture of architecture, I like how it breaks the geometry (not for everyone). In general, with the help of it, it is very cool to look for some angles that are inaccessible to the ordinary eye and the usual lens. Perhaps you have seen such a technique here or on other blogs - shooting from the ground level, when the camera is put on the ground, or is very close to it. This is very good with width.

Paris. Taken from the ground to the soap box, really like this picture

Paris, removed from the ground in the soap box. I really like this photo, Daria shot


90% of the time I use priority modeaperture. Since my objects are mostly static, or at least not moving too fast, the shutter priority mode is not particularly needed. I already wrote in the article about basic camera settingswhat values ​​and rules I use nowI will not repeat. That is, I expose the aperture, and then just keep track of what shutter speed the camera chooses. If something does not suit me, then I quickly twist the exposure compensation wheel in one direction or another. As a rule, in a minus, because the main problem is the lack of light and, accordingly, there is not enough equipment in stock. Nevertheless, if I mention at least some value, then in general cases, when I am not going to shoot anything on purpose, I put the aperture somewhere F5.6.

Also in this mode, I often put in advanceexposure correction in -1/3, -2/3, -1. This allows me to win some values ​​from the shutter speed or aperture. Yes, the frame turns out to be darker than necessary (underexposed), but this is easily pulled out later in Lightroom without loss, because I shoot in Raw. I will add that I also often put the ISO a little higher than necessary, I almost never lower it below 400, so that there is a reserve in terms of settings. Since I have a working ISO up to 1600 (in my opinion), then below 400 it makes no sense to lower it, well, only if I don’t take a waterfall during long exposure in sunlight, when, on the contrary, I have to twist everything in the opposite direction to reduce too bright light. In the cheapest mirrors or in mirrorless ones, I think, if possible, it is worth lowering below 400.

I almost always have one focusthe point. On the previous camera it was only the central point (it is the most accurate, because only she was the cross), now sometimes I shift to the place I need (now I have all the points of the cross). Naturally, if there is an opportunity, it is better to shift it so as not to build central compositions. But, if there is no such possibility, then how to shoot at the central point? We focused on the object by pressing the shutter button halfway, took the camera aside so that the central composition was not formed, and pressed the shutter button. Try different shots, and see if your camera will miss the mark or not.

How to take pictures while traveling

How to take pictures while traveling. Photos of Katie Kuchina.

Some nuances

  • If I'm on a photo hunt, then I never turn offcamera and hold it around your neck. Only in this case, you can not miss the frame. And in general to remove the camera in a bag / backpack and then again get bored quickly. Exception, a hike, when you can hook not a cheap camera for any stone or snag. In the campaigns, the camera is always in the trunk and on the shoulder.
  • When I know that I will do reportage photos,in addition to the camera turned on, I still try to predict the frame and set the settings in advance (sometimes in manual mode, it's easier). And when you have to shoot completely dynamically, I remove the focus by one point and set the automatic selection. Occasionally I use tracking autofocus. Report on wet new year made entirely on the machine, just duplicate was a million.
  • If I really want to make a certain frame, I can do a lot of duplicates with different settings and different angles. Then I leave from this literally a couple of photos after thinning.
  • For building a composition I often usethe rule of thirds (or immediately when shooting, or then cut into Lightroom). This is when the frame in the mind is roughly divided into three parts horizontally and vertically, and on these lines my photography objects are located. Not fanatically, of course, I follow this, but often. This is mainly manifested in the fact that my horizon is not in the middle, but slightly higher / lower. And people are not in the center of the frame, but to the right or to the left.
  • Landscape composition can not figure out, but justI see. I may not see it the way another person would see her, but this is a certain view of himself. But I don’t know how to do portrait photos at all, because I don’t understand how to put shadows on and how to put a person to improve a photo. But in general, it trains, I just do not really need it.
  • In those rare moments when you need to reducebrightness of light, using a polarizing filter, for example, to shoot a waterfall during the day. You can still use gray, but I don't have it. I also use a polarik in the mountains, and sometimes for landscapes, so that the sky is bluer. The latter works only when the sun is under 90 degrees to the line of shooting (it shines in your ears), this is a feature of the polar team. And the Polarik is good for removing the reflected light (shop windows, glare on the water).
  • I often use a tripod if I rent a Pezayzhi at dusk. This is much better than raising the ISO and opening the diaphragm. The only negative is to carry it with you.
  • If I make a frame with the person where he playsthe main role, then most often rented him close. I really do not like photos, where several people stand tall at the monument, occupying only half of the photo in height, figs you can see who is there.
  • I also don’t like the format “I’m standing bymonument in the center of the photo with a stone face. " This kind of horror, even for a family archive will not work, boring. It is better to fool around and wriggle on the photo, or at least look away somewhere with a philosophical view. When we went with a group in Thailand, forced everyone to express emotions, otherwise there would be no such lively and funny photos.
Rule of thirds to build a composition

Rule of thirds to build a composition

P.S. Something happened so long, I hope that is not too boring, and understandable. If anything, ask questions in the comments. Naturally, she does not claim to be true, and this is just how I do, which need not be right :)

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