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