How Can a Travel Camera Tell a Story?
Watching the sunrise turn the sky brilliant shades of pink and purple over Angkor Wat.
Wandering down narrow cobblestone lanes in Florence, fingers sticky from the gelato that’s dripping down your hand.
Gasping for air as the first epic panorama of Machu Pichu comes into view.
Every place has its own unique ambiance and character. The challenge of travel photography is capturing not just the sights, but also the smells, sounds and tastes that make a place unique – and doing so all in a single image. Great travel stories brings back these memories long after we’ve returned home, telling a powerful story about our adventures. Once you’ve mastered a few composition basics, like how to frame a shot, it’s time to take to take your travel photography to the next level. Follow these tips to tell a National Geographic-worthy story with your travel camera photos and videos:
1. Capture the human element. Don’t be afraid to include local people in your travel photos! Respect local customs by asking permission first and shooting second. If your subject has a few minutes to spare, ask them to show you a favorite place, like a park or cafe, and photograph them there. Not only will you discover a place that’s off-the-beaten path, but you’ll have a great story behind how your photo or video came to be.
2. Go wide. Whether it’s the pyramids or Christ the Redeemer, the scale of the places we visit is oftentimes their most defining feature. Capturing this scale in photographs and video, however, can be tricky. The best travel camera will let you step back and shoot with a wide-angle lens. The Polaroid CUBE+, for example, includes a 124-degree wide-angle lens that’s perfect for recording the enormity of the experience. Add perspective to your panoramas by including your travel companions, locals, or a smaller tree/building in the foreground.
3. Get close. While it’s tempting to make every photo a sweeping panorama, textures, colors and patterns are key to telling your travel story, too. If you’re exploring a crowded marketplace in Morocco, for example, look for unique elements like the polished lanterns, ceramic tagines and colorful spices. Use the Polaroid CUBE+ to record a walk-through of the marketplace complete with a close-up of each vendor’s stall.
4. Use the sun to your advantage. Whenever possible, shoot with the sun behind you so that it lights up the building, statue or landscape view in front of you. While the sun’s midday glare can be harsh, early morning and late afternoon sunlight can create a magical feel in your photos. For example, notice how the setting sun reflects off cathedrals, the town square, or locals sitting outside at a cafe relaxing after work.
5. Pack light. When it comes to telling a great story with your travel photographs, flexibility is your friend. The best camera for travel will be rugged, lightweight and compact, like the Polaroid CUBE+, so you can keep up with all the action wherever the day takes you. The Polaroid CUBE+ can be easily mounted to a helmet, bicycle, or the top of just about any surface so you can record the moment hands-free.