How to Capture Great Travel Portraits

Create interesting and memorable travel portraits
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A great travel portrait is one wherein the subject acts naturally, is often taken spontaneously, and doesn't look posed. A successful one makes you feel as though you're part of the moment the picture was created. Many photographers feel as if it needs to be a stolen moment in time that's taken surreptitiously. This doesn't have to be the case. The subject can be aware of your presence just as long as what he or she's doing is done at ease, is natural, and doesn't have a "say cheese" feel.

Try to blend into the action and be as invisible as possible. If you work with kids, it’s a bit easier as they tend to not be as self conscious as adults. Use natural light with fill flash if the light is harsh. If you work in close to your subjects, a wide-angle lens lets you shoot from the hip without always having to place the camera to your eye. If you get a bit too much in the frame, you can always crop out the extra information in postprocessing.

Use Depth Of Field Wisely
Depth of field is impacted by how close you are to your subject, how close the subject is to the background, the focal length of your lens, and the given aperture. If you need a lot of depth of field, preset a wide-angle lens to ƒ/11 or higher to get the desired zone of sharpness. If you want to throw the background out of focus, use a longer lens wide open, and choose subjects that are far away from the background.

Prefocus The Lens
Prefocusing cuts back on the time a lens uses to acquire sharp focus. In the grand scheme of time, a second may not seem like much but in the world of photography, it can be an eternity. A huge smile may disappear, as can an intriguing glance, a look of sorrow, etc. If the lens is searching at the peak moment, it may be too late by the time it locks on. To prefocus, aim the lens at something that’s approximately the same distance as your intended subject and lock onto it. With the camera now aimed at the subject, in that the relative distances are the same, the lens won’t waste time acquiring focus. Be sure the proper focus sensor is active for either a vertical or horizontal composition.


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