How-To Make Your Travel Photos Less Boring
I’ll be honest, on my recent trip to Rome I took all of the tourist-y photos. The Colosseum. The Pantheon. St. Peter’s Basilica. Each of these buildings is wondrous, don’t get me wrong, but every person who has ever traveled to Rome has the exact same pictures! The truth is, these ancient buildings only make up a small portion of what Rome really is as a city. So, I challenged myself to take some less traditional photos as examples to bring back to you, my lovely readers.
Next time you travel, grab your camera bag, put your walking shoes on, and consider these tips for making your travel photos less boring and more memorable.
1. Find Love.
Each culture has unique ways of representing love and its remnants are often left for you to find. Above are “locks of love” on a bridge crossing the Tiber River. Lovebirds write their names on padlocks, hook them to the bridge, and then throw the key into the Tiber River to seal their love. (If you’re interested in where this tradition first started, check out Europe Upcloses’s blog post).
2. Use The Sun
Lighting can change a photo’s composition or mood and take your standard travel shot from “nice” to “sweet.” This photo was taken inside the Roman Pantheon looking up at the ceiling. If you look closely in the dark shadows, you can see the rest of the squares like the ones highlighted in the circle of light. I find it more fun to imagine what the entire ceiling must look like given what’s illuminated in the photo.
Here’s another example using the Colosseum. Instead of capturing the entire arena, I stood about 20 feet from the building and looked up while the sun was directly behind the structure.
3. Find Things That Don’t Belong
We were on the top tier of the Colosseum when My Stronger Half called me over to him. On the outer brick wall, hundreds of people had carved their names into the bricks. While some looked old (possibly ancient?) others stood out glaringly with their “John wuz here in 1995″ or “Suzie + Tom 1975.” While it’s sad that this ancient ruin is in danger of being further damaged, it’s also an interesting juxtaposition of ancient and modern times.
Speaking of graffiti…it’s everywhere in Rome. Instead of the spray painted cover up (like we have here in the states) graffiti is virtually left untouched. We asked our Roman tour guide why the city doesn’t do anything about it. She explained that among the younger European generation, graffiti is seen as an art form. Just as the ancient sculptures and buildings are art, so are these spray painted declarations. Italy has apparently toughened up on graffiti artists, but every corner was covered with images like the above.
4. Look for Cultural Similarities
One of my favorite things to do in foreign countries is to browse through the local supermarket to see what products they carry. I’m always surprised to see which foods are internationally loved. We were walking through Vatican City when we came across this window filled with chocolately hazelnut goodness. Can you spy the odd one out?
How do you capture the essence of a location in your photos? Share below.