A. You can afford.
B. Fits your travel style.
C. Provides you with the best quality.
D. Helps you achieve the look and dynamics that you’re looking for.
E. Will remain technologically relevant for a good amount of time.
I have already written at length on cameras here and you can also find my previous articles that cover various tips on how to improve one’s photography here. However, when you’re picking the right camera for your upcoming travels, be sure to write up a quick pro’s and con’s graph, stating exactly what you want, expect, and want to avoid. I would suggest considering first if you wish (and can afford) to have a nice camera or if you should think smaller. It’s not too difficult to figure out which direction you need to pursue… For example, if you need to travel light, choose a point-and-shoot camera, or if you can get away without a high-powered flash on your camera, then I would suggest just using the iPhone – it offers high quality shots, with a dynamic HDR feature that can help you improve your blowouts. If you can afford a nicer camera, and are interested in professional quality imagery, then I would suggest a mid-ranged Canon, Nikon, or Sony Digital DSLR. Up from there, you will find extremely powerful cameras, with just as advanced settings and confusing menu structures, but your quality will skyrocket as well – and so will the price. There are so many cameras and so many options out there, so just do some thinking, some research, and try out as many as you can in a store before you buy.
- Shoot steady – Mount your camera on a tripod for the clearest and most in-focus shot possible. If you don’t want to carry around a bulky tripod, consider using your surroundings, or a sand bag, or even one of those flexible Gorilla Pods to help you steady your photos.
- Use the right settings – There are many rules in photography that are often best showcased when learned, practiced, and then broken. But there are a few tips and tricks in the trade that can make your ability to shoot well, consistently. First, make sure that you understand how to use these basic features in Manual: ISO, shutter speed, f/stop, and white balance. There are plenty of other important settings to worry about, but these four are fundamental.
- Always shoot in focus – A photo that is out of focus is better unshot, than salvaged. You can boost your focus by steadying your shot, and by keeping your f/stop above f/11. At f/11 and above, you will improve your camera’s depth of field, adjusting it to pull in as much focused detail as possible.
- Lessen the noise – A noisy photograph can be beautiful, if created with passion and direction, but most of the time, a noisy shot is a lousy shot. So, be sure to try and keep your ISO down as best you can in low light scenes.
- Cut out the distractions – Do you really need that car in the photo? Well, what about that power line? By cutting out the little unneeded details and distractions, you overall are strengthening your work.
- Mold the light – No matter the location of what you’re shooting, controlling the light can completely make or break the mood - the look and the feel of an image means the viewer’s perception is altered.
- Let creativity and inspiration take over – It’s a simple purity of inspiration that fuels the thriving and successful artist. It’s okay to practice varying styles and techniques, but it’s equally important to let yourself go, so that you’re reacting to what is around you, rather than trying to accomplish what you’ve already imagined prior to shooting. The best work of an artist is fashioned when the soul and the subject align ever so beautifully – this is when inspiration strikes!
Ultimately, the tips, tricks, and various advice that I’ve offered in this article will only help you if you practice. Remember: practice makes perfect!