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  • A Cruising Couple | September 8, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    How To Tell Stories Through Better Travel Photography

    How To Tell Stories Through Better Travel Photography

    One of the reasons why I love travel photography is because of its ability to profoundly impact people. When you see a great photograph from an exotic locale, you can experience any range of emotions, from excitement to nostalgia. That's in large part because when travel photography is done right, one image truly can convey a thousand words.

    Paleo Siena Tuscany

    So how do you capture travel images that tell stories and aren't just the same old boring vacation selfies? Here are our top tips for capturing amazing travel photos that will not only capture once-in-a-lifetime memories for you but also awe your friends and family back home:

    Use An Anonymous Subject

    Pulpit Rock

    This is one of my favorite ways to tell stories through travel photography. It's a great way to make the viewer feel like they could be the one standing in the photo, hiking that mountain or gazing off at that gorgeous sunset.

    This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of your photogenic travel buddy. After you grab some classic "I was here" photos facing the camera, have them turn around and face the other way to catch a beautifully candid and anonymous photo.

    Capture Action

    Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Chiang Mai Temple

    While many travel photos end up just being still pictures of lovely churches or famous landmarks, find a way to add some action to your frame. This could be as simple as a monk quietly saying his devotions while walking around a temple, or a street vendor serving up a piping hot plate of fried dumplings at a night market. Adding an element of motion or movement to your image will cause the mind of the viewer to stop and wonder what's just happened and what may happen next.

    READ MORE: Discover the Birth of Travel Photography

    Look For Unique Angles

    Koh Lipe Thailand

    For many people, pulling the camera up to eye level and snapping a picture of what's directly in front of them is enough. But not for you. You're a storyteller. You want to get new angles and perspectives that few have seen or experienced before. Find a rooftop bar and get high above the city for some great aerial-style photos. Alternatively, get low to the ground or at hip level for an entirely different perspective. Don't just shoot from eye level, try to find unique angles that could tell a better story.

    Utilize The Rule of Thirds

    Rule Of Thirds

    This is a photography term that refers to the grid that appears when you cut your viewfinder frame into thirds. Many DSLR cameras and smartphones have the option to make this grid visible while you are taking pictures. For example, if taking a picture of a subject walking on the beach, try snapping the photo with the person on the left third of the frame, leaving open space on the right side where they are walking. Or you can wait until they reach the right third, so space is behind them.

    Even though the photo is of the same person walking on the beach, the photo with space in front will convey a story of optimism and focus on moving forward. On the other hand, the photo with space behind the subject will communicate more of a focus on where this person come from and what their past could be. The Rule of Thirds is an excellent way to instantly make your images more visually appealing and to help tell a more compelling story.

    Ask Locals For Their Favorite Photo Spots

    Men in Grenada Nicaragrua

    It turns out that some of the best travel photos aren't taken at the most popular tourist attractions. Some of my personal favorite travel images came from local recommendations that were a bit more off the beaten path. This is an excellent way to not only tell travel stories through your photography but to also have a one of a kind adventure in the process!

    Which tip did you find most helpful for creating travel photos that tell a story? Do you have any additional tips for travel photographers?


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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