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7 Ideas for Creative Travel Photos

Coming back from a trip can feel strange: it’s nice to be home, but you’ll surely miss the weird sort of routine you’d established in unfamiliar lands, where each day meant exploring new places, meeting new people, and creating new memories. Reliving your trip by scrolling through your travel photos can help take the edge off of post-vacation blues, but oddly, you might find that the repetitive selfies in front of monuments and clichéd photos of historical sites just don’t capture the trip the way you remember it. It’s time to rethink the way you take your travel photos. If you’re ready to capture stories on your camera, then read on.

Feel Like You Want To, Not Like You Have To
Sometimes, seeing a monument in the flesh is accompanied by a sense of duty to photograph the object before you. But don’t take a particular photo just because you feel you have to—chances are, you can find a better photo taken with a fancier camera of that particular monument online. Instead, focus on capturing feelings that stop you in your tracks: the impossibly bright colors at a booth at a market that dazzled your eyes, the way an otherwise unremarkable fountain looked with the sun sinking down behind it, or the fantastic poster that you saw that made you burst out laughing. Looking back on your photos, you’ll appreciate the meaningful ones much more than the clichéd ones.

Get Other People to Take Your Photo
There’s only so much you can capture in a selfie—and it’s usually just your face, at an awkward angle. If you want to get a photo with yourself in the scene, ask someone who’s with you to snap the shot so that you actually get a bit of the background in the photo. -–—

Get Candid
Take a break from the perfectly posed photos and snap candid shots of your travel partners. Instead of calculated smiles, you’ll catch genuine emotions and expressions that will tell the true story behind the moment.

Remember the Rule of Thirds
There’s something that just feels amateur about photo after photo where the subject is smack dab in the middle of the shot. Avoid this sloppy look by recalling the old photography classic, the rule of thirds: divide your frame into a tic-tac-toe style grid and compose your shot so that the main subject falls along the intersection of two lines in the grid, not right in the middle of the frame. Many cameras offer a setting that let you see the grid outline when you’re taking the picture, to ensure that everything is aligned.

Stay Within the Lines…
Take an extra moment to ensure that everything lines up in your photos: that your horizons are truly straight across and that vertical lines aren’t tilting in your frame. Proper lines will make your shots look cleaner.

…But Think Outside the Box
Sometimes the best photos are the nontraditional ones, like this set of shots snapped by a fellow following his girlfriend, or pictures of tourist attractions taken from unconventional angles. Don’t be afraid to get a little playful.

Always Keep Your Camera Nearby
Sometimes, the most spectacular photo ops can happen unexpectedly. Keep your camera nearby to capture impromptu moments between friends, buildings glowing in peculiar light, or random scenes you encounter on the streets. You just never know when inspiration will hit!

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