When faced with a beautiful sunset or a majestic landmark, you’re usually going to have to make a few quick decisions in order to get a good shot before you move on to your next destination. Since compositions aren't limited to a single, catch-all rule, we'll be recommending various methods and guides. After which, all it takes is practice to snap the perfect shot!
Canon EOS 70D, Canon EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, f4.5, 1/1600, 20mm, ISO 100 by Bill Collopy
Here are 5 ways you can experiment with framing and composition to raise the level of your travel snaps.
1) Rule of Thirds
Good things come in threes, and for photos the rule of thirds is one golden rule you should take note of.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF70-200mm f/4L USM, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 100 by Arjun Purkayastha
So how does the rule of thirds help make photos more interesting? Well, photos that capture more attention often have points of interest positioned over any of the four intersection points of a 3x3 grid as seen below.
Try to place your subject off-centre when you play around with the composition.
2) Leading Lines
Here’s another way to guarantee an interesting travel shot: guide your viewers’ gaze. Now we aren’t talking about mystical mind control. Use lines in the scene to control the flow of your image and give the eye something to follow. For example, focus on a winding road in a wide landscape shot, or power lines that span across your photograph, or even tiles!
Canon EOS 650D, EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM @18mm, f/11.0, 1/320, ISO 100 by Daniel Zimmerman
3) Negative Space
Sometimes, less is more. Make use of negative or empty space – like a large or open background – to make your subjects pop! Remember, having enough breathing room around your subject can increase the appeal of your photo by reinforcing the power of your subject.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM @ 15mm, f/8.0, 1/3200, ISO 125 by Geraint Rowland
4) Natural Framing
This is another technique to make your subject stand out. Use anything to frame your photograph! Try using an outstretched branch, or even an open window. This will result in an image that’s more focused on the point of interest.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF85mm f/1.8 USM, f/8.0, 1/500, ISO 125 by Geraint Rowland
5) Centre Point
OK, we know we told you to try to experiment with the rule of thirds, where your subject is off-centre. This tip completely contradicts that, but it’s perfectly fine! Why? Because photography is all about exercising your creative muscles. Sometimes, an image is just a lot stronger if your subject is caught dead centre!
Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM @ 15mm, f/14.0, ISO 200 by Jason Mrachina