By Honey Writer
Call me biased, but I believe that having your Bali cycling holiday images captured by a former professional photographer who has shot the biggest cycling events in Australia for the top publications is a great way to make your friends jealous that you’re cycling in Bali and they’re not.
Taking travel photos has been a trend for as long as there have been cameras. Even when cameras weren’t portable, a holiday scene was constructed in a studio so it looked like you were on vacation! Travel, cameras and our lifestyle has changed massively since the first Kodak of 1888. With social media, blogs and websites now an essential part of life, taking ‘wow’ photos is an art you’re probably looking to nail right about now.
Travel photos are good in so many ways. They are like a memory shot. Decades later one glance can transport you straight back to a place. The feeling, the sounds the experience all snap back like it was yesterday. Ahhh, yesterday…
In additional to memory recall, you can use your photos for:
Not a Facebook wall, I’m talking an actual wall. Have your own piece in print and framed, it’s personal, unique and artistic. Be bold, 10×12 looks great in a set, but for real impact go 24×36. It’s a great talking point as well as a constant reminder that you are awesome. It doesn’t need to be expensive either. Ted’s or Harvey Norman are constantly having sales on prints, and great looking standard frame sizes are available in any homeware or print shop.
Save Your Voice
1000 words a picture right? Save your breath and let you pics tell a power ‘wow’ story.
Share your Bali bike tour with friends/family/colleagues. Email from your hotel, share a dropbox file, make a date for a coffee catch up, take over the next board meeting, or, if you really put the work in, let people hold an actual photo book or album. Thank god you have photos or nobody would have any idea what you are talking about. And yes, the aim of these photos is not just to share, but get them jealous!
‘Wish you were here’ becomes so much more powerful when it’s instant live footage! Social media means you can instantly share your day with the world, that might mean impressing your crush, keeping your friends up to date, letting mum know you’re okay, promoting your business, or engaging with clients. Think Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
So, how do you get wow photos on your holiday to make your photos, your posts and your stories really shine?
Okay, so our best and biggest tip is to have a professional photographer travel with you. It’s so much cooler than a selfie stick. And you get to share images like this…
1. The equipment doesn’t matter, it’s how you use it.
The best camera in the world is the one you have with you, and this is especially true for social media. Phones have amazing cameras these days. However, keep the following in mind. High res means better quality. More is totally less when your images are grainy and lack contrast. Set to a high resolution and delete the pics you don’t need often to give you more space.
If you are going for album quality then of course, a DSLR is best. Before you rush out and buy one through, consider that this is a heavy item, a pain to pack and carry. It also means you will need to be vigilant your entire holiday, it’s not the kind of thing you want to leave on the beach when you’re swimming. Theft, monkeys, water damage. Can you handle that kind of stress on your holiday? Really consider if a DSLR is actually going to be right for you. Point and shoot cameras as getting super classy now. Check out the Canon G7X, it’s our camera of choice when we’re visiting the sights and scouting coffee shops between Bali by Bike tours.
A better camera means for detail, more detail means sharper clarity, light, colour and the image is true to life and adjustable, making it easier to crop, enhance, edit and get creative.
2. Be prepared.
You can’t take a photo if you don’t have a camera with you. I say that but even with a camera at your fingertips you are never going to capture everything, the world is in constant motion. We don’t recommend you attempt to either, if you spend too long behind the screen, you’ll miss the holiday and your walk down memory lane will be just a confused blur, like they’re someone else’s pics.
The whole point is that you remember, so carry a camera (or phone), even if you don’t think you are going anywhere interesting (when you tour Bali anything can happen at any time!), remember to use it when you see an opportunity but don’t have it permanently stuck on, live a little!
3. The sun goes behind you.
Want good quality pictures without doing much work? Use this rule. Back to the sun. If what you want to take a photo of is directly where the sun is, take your photos early in the day or in the evening when the light is softest.
If you are inside, use a flash. Again, the better quality flash the more light, the more light, the more detail. Lamps and lights need to be positioned out of shot so they don’t make your sensor scream in pain when you open the shutter to capture your image.
Ever see those holiday images where the scenery looks ok but the people are in silhouette? This is a nice effect for the odd sunset, but something best avoided by ensuring you, the photographer, are between the subject and the light source.
4. Keep it simple.
Too much going on in a photo is distracting and unengaging. Look for stillness and focus on that in order to emphasise movement. (so many people use the word juxtaposition incorrectly, this is an actual example of when you juxtapose stillness to amplify movement.)
Don’t have a zoom on your camera? You have a natural zoom you can use, they’re called your legs. Walk as close as you can safely go to the thing you want to take a photo of, and try to fill the frame as much as possible. Too much ground or sky is called ‘dead space’ and leaves the viewer of your image unengaged.
5. Take more than one photo.
So you think the greats like Graham Watson and Con Chronis snap one photo and leave? What you don’t see is the hundreds of deleted photos or the hard drives full of files of so-so images that will never be used. Sure this takes extra time to sift through later, but it’s worth it. The trick is to take photos in a ‘series’ and pick just ONE from that series to keep. The best one, obviously. And I do mean pick ONE. Otherwise, you’ll be choosing/editing forever and people will be bored to tears looking at your 99 photos that are basically the same.
Part B of this is when loading a gallery to Facebook, less is more. Keep people entertained with a sample of 10-12 images. Dumping your memory card full of images of that weird street sign and endless plates of food will bore people who don’t have the context. Choose your favourite images, and caption them with a story explaining what the moment meant to you. This will also help you remember the details in years to come!
6. Get creative.
There are thousands of angles and points of view in any one situation. Find some. Get fun, think outside the box and look for something different. Of course BE SAFE but think about standing up, climbing up, clambering down, scurrying through to see the world differently. A photo is a point of view, so show something different. Have solid subject matter, which means focus on a colour, a shape, light or shadow, that stillness, an emotion, and make your picture around that one thing. Get close, be friendly and see what happens. So much about photography is being able to go with the flow, the best photos look natural, even when they are staged, so relax and let the camera be part of your body. HAVE FUN!
Use simple pre-sets and cropping in editing software like Lightroom or iPhoto to get the most out of your picture. Get rid of anything that distracts from your subject matter. Balance in a photo doesn’t always mean front and centre so consider your focus point and play with your image until that point is the driving factor. You’ll get better and faster at this as you go. If you’re just starting out, set yourself an editing time limit and stick to it no matter what. It can seriously eat your day away of you’re not careful, and it’s not where your energy is best spent. Two minutes tops per image. Lightroom Presets we love are Punch and Medium Contrast Curve, as well as increasing the Vibrancy and Clarity to give some extra pop, get active with black and whites as well.
Remember that if you’re on a Bali cycling holiday with us we’ve got you covered for action photos, we’ll be out on the road with you every day. But at times you’re going to want to capture your own memories, so keep these holiday photo tips in mind and see what you can come up with!