Jet setting and living the good life but your pictures don’t look quite like it? There are ways to effortlessly capture the magnificent scenery on your next trip to the ski lodge, beach house, or hotel up east. I’m sharing five tips that I’ve gathered from my experience traveling to luxury destinations and talking to people who take high-class real estate photos for a living.
Tip #1: Use a combination of natural and artificial light.
There’s more to bringing out the best features of architecture than just taking photos during dusk and dawn. Finding the right lighting solution is crucial in taking good pictures on location.
Be on the lookout for times when the shadows contrast with each other and when the sunlight highlights certain parts of the room beautifully. That’s when you’d want to take a snap of the place. If you have the privilege of time, you can observe how light affects that particular space. Practice so that you know which angle and time of the day look best in photos.
Tip #2: Use exposure bracketing.
If you’re in a pinch and not sure about the lighting, try exposure bracketing. Shoot the same picture three times: one at a slightly lower exposure than your camera’s default setting, one using the default exposure, and another that is at a slightly higher exposure value.
When on automatic mode, you can just turn on the exposure bracketing setting, and your camera will automatically churn out three images.
Exposure bracketing allows you to choose the photo with the right balance of brightness and color. This technique is best used when taking photos without people in it. Better think twice about using this technique when the shot involves people. It only takes care of the photo’s brightness, but not the overall mood it’s trying to convey. For people shots, go for tip #1.
Tip # 3: Work that lens.
A tilt-shift lens works like magic when shooting architecture. Experts swear by how its tilt function allows more lens movement without distorting the image’s perspective. A tilt-shift lens can come with color, contrast, and flare control settings (depending on the brand). You can also take panoramic shots of the view and the room you’re in. Pictures shot with a tilt-shift lens appear to be more natural than those taken using a wide-angle lens.
But there is another school of thought that favors the use of a wide-angle lens over a tilt-shift lens. Some photographers like the fantastic perspective the wide-angle lens brings to photos, especially when taking outdoor pictures. If, let’s say, you want to capture the grand and luxurious experience of chilling at the Burj Arab terrace pool, use a wide-angle lens. Just avoid going beyond 24 mm; otherwise, the image might come off distorted and fake.
Tip #4: Impress them with detail shots.
Show your followers how much you are enjoying your current destination by taking photos of people in action. Keep the composition of the picture simple, but pay attention to the small details.
When shooting events, try to add a human element to your photos like the hand of the waiter meticulously setting the table or the people dancing in a party. This will make your images more dynamic and will give your audience something to focus on. Lifeless pictures ain’t fun to look at!
If the building you’re in has mad architecture, you can also take a close-up shot of its details. Try to incorporate natural colors and textures in the frame or maybe some gourmet food to make the setting look inviting.
Tip #5: Shoot for the sky.
Luxe travel and living affords you the best view of the sky possible, so there’s no better way to show it off than by including a view of the sky in your photos. Also, it never looks exactly the same, thus making it an interesting element to add to your frame.
Capturing one’s travel experience, whether luxe or not, through photos is never easy. But it can be done. All it takes is a little practice with your camera to nail that perfect shot.