How to take better travel photos

August 13, 2011

Varanasi candle

My love for photography came before my love of travel. And after my first trip to Europe six years ago I realised, happily, that the two go hand in hand.

I upgraded from a point and shoot to a DSLR. I’d studied photography briefly in high school but found myself having to relearn everything from the beginning. What was an F-stop and how did I control the shutter speed?

Since then, I’ve come a long way from the first photos I took with my DSLR on a trip to Vietnam.

But my photos and my technical ability are far from perfect.

Sure, I can tell you what an F-stop is now and I can freeze motion using a particular shutter speed. But I still have a lot to learn about composition, light and the more advanced functions of my camera.

And a lot of the time I still find myself shooting in auto. 

Now that I’m travelling again and about to head into South America, I really want to try and get the most out of my camera. So the release of the new photography e-book Getting Out of Auto has been particularly timely for me.

Getting Out of Auto

Published by Almost Fearless and written by the talented Bethany Salvon from one of my favourite travel blogs, Beers and BeansGetting Out of Auto covers the basics of photography with a focus on digital.

And unlike many books about photography, Bethany doesn’t forget those of you with a point and shoot – there are plenty of tips and tricks for taking spectacular photos with the simplest of cameras.

With a chatty and honest tone, Bethany’s explanations of more advanced concepts like white balance and metering really worked for me.

Both are concepts I’ve struggled to get my head around and I’ve never really read anything on either subject that helped me to get it. Bethany, however, presents the information clearly and without jargon.

The book teaches you how to take a good exposure using the manual settings on your camera, how to approach the composition of your shot and helps you understand the principles of light.

I loved the tips on different types of photography, particularly food photography, which is something I’ve started to think more about recently. 

And would you check out that cover art? That’s worth the purchase alone!

Beautifully and professionally designed with lots of examples, Getting Out of Auto will make you think more creatively about what to photograph, as well as how to control your camera in a way that ensures you get the picture you want. 

If you’re new to photography, Getting Out of Auto is a must-read. And if you’ve been doing it for a while, it’s still worth a look to pick up some of the tricks of the trade Bethany has learned in her 10 years as a professional photographer and traveller.

At only $9.99, it’s a bargain edition to your kit.

Check out a preview and purchase here: Getting Out of Auto

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  • Reply James Cook August 14, 2011 at 7:53 am

    We just purchased our first SLR just waiting for it to be delivered. We will have about 18 months to get “out of auto” before we are going overland back to the UK from OZ. I will look at getting that book.

    • Reply MeganRTW August 17, 2011 at 1:22 am

      It’s definitely a worthwhile read, James! Which SLR did you choose? It’s great that you’ve got so much time to practice before you hit the road.

  • Reply Annette | Bucket List Journey August 16, 2011 at 4:02 am

    I am in the process of researching cameras, so this post is going to be very helpful, because I am going to need a lot of it! The first photo is stunning!

    • Reply MeganRTW August 17, 2011 at 1:20 am

      Glad you’ve found it useful, Annette! Let me know if you need any recommendations. The e-book would be a great companion to a new camera.

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