Take bet­ter travel pho­tos

Know­ing when to keep it sim­ple can turn a tricky travel land­scape into a straight­for­ward mas­ter­piece, ar­gues Ross Hod­dinott

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Contents -

Tak­ing a ‘sim­ple’ im­age can be the trick­i­est thing of all. Learn how to fo­cus on what mat­ters

Less is of­ten more, es­pe­cially when cap­tur­ing travel and land­scape images. If you try to in­clude too much de­tail or com­pli­cate your com­po­si­tion, there is a high risk that it will look clut­tered and the scene’s im­pact will be di­min­ished. I pre­fer to look for sim­plic­ity.

The best way to achieve this is to iden­tify the key el­e­ments within the land­scape and then ar­range them within the viewfinder to cre­ate a nat­u­ral and at­trac­tive bal­ance. For ex­am­ple, when I pho­tographed Scot­land’s Kilchurn Cas­tle ( pic­tured), which is built on a rocky penin­sula on Loch Awe, I avoided the temp­ta­tion to go su­per wide-an­gle and in­clude the shore­line and rocks in the fore­ground. Do­ing so would have added an ex­tra layer of in­for­ma­tion that this tran­quil Scot­tish scene didn’t need.

It is said that photography is the art of sub­trac­tion – and it’s true. Go­ing wider, in this in­stance, would have made the cas­tle smaller and less sig­nif­i­cant in the frame. In­stead my Nikkor 24-70mm zoom proved the right fit for the scene, al­low­ing me to keep em­pha­sis on the ru­ins while re­tain­ing a lovely feel­ing of con­text.

top tip You don’t have to have the most ex­pen­sive kit; com­pacts and mo­biles are very ca­pa­ble. But the most vi­tal as­pect of be­ing a land­scape travel pho­tog­ra­pher is be­ing in the right place.

1 Con­sider the weather Clear blue skies can look dull, but dark cloud, low-ly­ing mist, frost or snow will pro­vide at­mos­phere and drama. There­fore, use a good weather app – Me­teoearth or Yr – and visit pho­to­genic lo­ca­tions when the weather suits the...

Mas­ters of Land­scape Photography (Am­monite Press; £25), edited by Ross Hod­dinott, is out now.

3 Per­fect sym­me­try Pho­tog­ra­phers are of­ten told not to place the hori­zon cen­trally in their shots, as this can cre­ate static, un­in­ter­est­ing com­po­si­tions. But when you have a mir­ror­like re­flec­tion, as this im­age has, then an even split can prove very...

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