When travelling you can’t always plan for every circumstance. This may seem especially true if you’ve ever planned a dream getaway to an exotic location, only to be plagued by poor weather your entire trip.
While preparing with the right gear and knowing your camera’s capabilities can certainly help alleviate some of the pressure in the moment, some of the best travel photos come from getting creative with how the scene in front of you presents itself. The shot you imagined may never appear to you, but that doesn’t mean with creativity and passion you cannot produce professional-level photos.
Kristian says: Every image tells a story, immerse yourself in the moment and use all your photographic tools to tell that story with passion.
PLAN FOR SUCCESS
Before any trip or shoot, do a bit of research and then visualize what kind of images you want to take.
Then figure out what kind of gear you will need to bring in order to create your vision.
The clearer you can see it in your mind’s eye, the easier it will become to get the shot when you are on location.
I also recommend bringing extra batteries, cleaning cloths, memory cards and a lightweight rain cover on any adventure.
GET IT RIGHT IN-CAMERA
Many photographers don’t realize that you can adjust picture controls like Saturation, Sharpness, Clarity and Contrast levels right in your camera. You can also manually set white balance, In-Camera HDR, D-lighting and many other effects to change the look and feel of your images right in-camera. When shooting hundreds or even thousands of images on a trip, this can save you hours of editing when you get back home and help inspire you to get perfect shots in the moment, without relying on post production after the shoot.
GETTING RAZOR SHARP IMAGES
For professional-looking photographs, it’s critical to ensure the main focus point of the image is sharp. Shake can soften an image’s sharpness, so utilize VR (vibration reduction) if you have it. The new Nikon Z series mirrorless cameras have 5-stops of VR on the sensor and I can easily shoot hand-held at 1/15 sec for longer exposures. If you don’t have VR, you might need to shoot at 1/250 sec or faster to get shake-free images or use a tripod for longer exposures. Don’t be afraid to increase your ISO if needed to get fast enough shutter speeds in darker shooting environments. You may also want to use face or eye detection or a dynamic singe point focus mode to ensure the camera knows exactly where you want the focus point to be.
CONNECT TO THE SUBJECT
Take a breath, allow yourself to be present and truly see what you are shooting and connect to it. We rarely get exactly what we expect on a trip – weather, lighting, wind and circumstances always come up, but remember to go with the flow and focus on whatever scenes show up in front of you, and not what you originally expected. Set an intention to capture it with excellence and let your feeling about it guide your creativity, and the look, feel, and photographic principles you apply to the image.
TELL A STORY
Once you have connected to the subject, and identify how it makes you feel, tell that story about it through the photgraph or even video. In order to tell the best story you may need to get up early and shoot the sunrise or be ready to capture that sunset, to do whatever it takes to create your vision. Time of day, lighting, depth of scene, perspective, composition, depth of field choice, shutter speed and camera settings all tell the story in a different way. From my experience, the more you can immerse yourself in the story you want to create and the more energy and passion you give to it, the better the your creation will be.
JUST THE FACTS
Sign up for a weekend course with Kristian Bogner in the Canadian Rocky Mountains or see more images, tips and Nikon Z series work along with shooting information on each photo at www.kristianbogner.com / Instagram: @kristianbogner
Nikon is a world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo and video capture technologies. The Nikon.ca website links all levels of photographers and visual storytellers to the web's most comprehensive learning and sharing communities. Check out Kristian's Nikon Ambassador page: http://nikon.ca/kristianbogner
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