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The Art of Commercial Photography/Videography as a Novice - Take a Trip with Tina

Repurposing For Commercial Photography

When you travel, there are so many opportunities to capture shots that would not be conceivable at home. From architecture, foods, events, people and landscapes – the world is just waiting to strike a pose for the camera.

Photos are important and as the saying goes – one is worth a thousand words. As a travel journalist, images bring a story to life. In order for your work to speak for itself, here are some basic tips when it comes to improving your photojournalism portfolio.


1. Include people in your photos

Try to feature the locals rather than tourists. Their daily life can seem average but to audiences abroad, it’s something different. Street photography can include people reading the newspaper, having coffee at a cafe or walking their dog.

Pick a spot, choose a few distinct characters and wait for a bit to see how those locals interact with the area. Something interesting always happens and stories are unfolding around us everywhere. The human element adds to your photos if captured at the perfect moment.

2. Take interesting shots

That standard landmark photo is great, but everyone that has passed through that destination has the same one saved as their desktop saver. Don’t be afraid of getting down to the ground or climbing a tree to grab that perfect shot. You might feel silly at the moment but when you’re looking back at your photos, you’ll be glad you hung upside down from that 40-storey building.


3. Get Closer

The closer you get to your subject, the more detail and interest you can capture. By closely framing a photo, you are making it obvious of what you’re photographing as there are no other distractions for the eye to look at.

To be effective in this skill, there are two ways to do it. The first is to use the telephoto lens and then zoom in on your subject. You’ll find this to be a compelling photographic technique as your subject will be clearly defined and everything else will have a soft blur to it. 

The other way is to simply walk closer. If you’re photographing another person, it may be uncomfortable at first but your viewers will appreciate the distance you’ve overcome to take those personal and even intimate shots.

4. Get into the midst of it

It’s nice to have wide shots of events to show the enormity of it, but what can make a photo even better is when the photographer makes themselves a part of it. Engaging with the crowds and not standing apart from the action always make the photo a bit more interesting.

5. Framing is key 

Look for different frame outlines that will make your photo more appealing. You can shoot through tree branches, doorways, arches, sunglasses and even your hand to draw attention to your shot. Framing is a composition technique that can point the viewers to what they should be looking at as it provides the image with better context, depth and layer.

How To Take Epic Travel Videos      

Know that in order to do your perfect storytelling, you will have to be fluent in editing as you are with filming. Although you can always pass the job of editing to someone else, they might not always share your vision and produce something different from the tale you wish to share. Here are some of our thoughts to kick off your journey making travel videos.

1. Gear Up

Your equipment is key. We’re not saying to go out and grab the most expensive devices you can lay your hands on. However, we are emphasizing the importance of practicality. Do you see yourself lugging tripods and attachments about? We love the compactness and waterproof features of a GoPro but they don’t shoot the most HD videos all the time. Understanding your needs comes before picking out the fanciest of devices.

2. The Little-Big Hacks

So, we know we just talked about equipment. We don’t blame you if you’re hesitant to invest in a GoPro or GorillaPod right off the bat. However, you can still achieve great videography with a device you probably already have. That’s right, your smartphone!

Pro Tip: Psst. Did you know you can double your frame rate your iPhone? Simply go to Settings > Camera > Record Video 1080 at 60 fps (frame per second). This improves the smoothness of motion on your videos drastically! Granted, a minute of video time will take up an average of 200MB now, but videos are smoother than ever. You’re welcome.

3. All About That Space

As we just mentioned how tweaking features can increase the file space, we’re going to discuss conquering just that. We know, we dread seeing the whole “You’re Low on Storage Space” in both real life and digital. No matter, you can counter this with a 1TB external hard drive (that’s 1000GB!) and keep shooting videos in HD.

4. Once Upon A Time In Videography Land

Storytelling is the whole purpose as to why travel videos exist. They tell us tales of people’s wild adventures and a vagabond lifestyle. What is the story you wish to tell? Before you shoot, think of the style and message you wish to convey. Knowing these things will provide for consistent storytelling as a travel videographer.

Sometimes, you’ll be required to do research and planning in advance. However, don’t beat yourself up to produce a Hollywood movie. Having a lot of content helps you when you’re editing to string together a commonality and produce a story.

5. Watch Travel Videos. Like, A Lot Of Them.

Just like how we mentioned style previously, you will notice a certain flair from travel bloggers. Each individual has a theme of sorts they prefer to go with. Again, this allows for harmonious storytelling and it leaves the viewers wanting more.

6. Music To Our Ears

Have you ever watched a silent film? Even without a word of verbal dialogue, the production is able to convey emotion and keep you drawn in with its symphonies. Similarly, using music in your videos are so crucial. The soundtrack (along with the visuals) dictate excitement, sorrow, shock and more. It commands the viewer’s attention and all in all, is vital when you’re editing your videos. It is basically the guideline for you to clip your images to fit the beat (or push back the beat, depending on what you’re going for). 

This includes noise and narrations. Be it a comment or a dub over, ensure that you (or the person you’re filming) can be heard. The last thing you want is for your audience to angrily press the speaker to their ears to hear some mumbling right before a car alarm goes off.

Top Editing Apps The Best Travel Photographers Are Using

Photo editing apps are compulsory for young photographers these days. Not because without them your images don’t look good, it’s just a good way to ‘shape’ your picture and make the most of what you have. There are several applications worth considering and I found the 9 top apps to edit photos:

1. Adobe Photoshop.

With no doubt the most recognizable programme for editing. Photoshop is a professional app available for both – Mac and Windows. It allows you more than most programmes and includes a wide range of features. Check out what different plans inclusive of Photoshop CC are available on the official Adobe website.

2. Fhotoroom

Available for Mac and Windows users. A solid compilation of filters for an easy way to edit any format pictures. It’s an instant editing app, meaning the immediate effects per single click. The app can be found on the iTunes Apple App store or the Windows Store.

3. Sketch Camera

A Google Play app that gives your images a specific sketchy look and has more unusual filters. Here you can choose from the following features: Simple Pencil Sketch, Color Sketch, Water Drawing, Oil Painting, Blue Art Style Sketch, Old Movie Style, Face Frame Sketch and a Smooth Sketch.

4. Polarr

This Windows PC App and Apple iOS App

It wouldn’t matter if you’re an amateur or complete professional with Polarr. With exceptional auto-enhance tools and filters, beginners can edit just like a pro. Professionals will also delight at their layer support, curve tools and local adjustments.

5. CyberLink’s PhotoDirector

Available for both Mac and Windows, this is the one to beat. With easy photo organisation features, you’ll love coming back each time to a wide range of editing tools. Did we mention how easy the system was for beginners too? It’s unbelievably easy to pick up. Shout out to that impressive object removal tool!

6. Adobe Lightroom

One of the most professional photo editing apps for both Mac and Windows that contains several features such as removing objects and spots and ‘healing’ the pictures with a single stroke. Lightroom is another Adobe app widely popular which allows you to organize images easily. We also love how you can use it on your desktop, web and phone.

7. Microsoft Photos / Apple Photos

This is the cheapest option you can have and most likely, you already do! These free already-installed applications on your PC/ laptops are actually really handy. With each passing update, both Microsoft and Apple have been adding more features in. You can do wonders for your photos that you couldn’t do 5 updates ago! Be it simple cropping, adding saturation, giving your snaps a quick filter, these apps do it really well! Any beginner can pick up these skills quickly at no financial cost. Chances are you own the same operating system smartphone (e.g. Mac owner with an iPhone). You’ll also get to enjoy seamless cloud sharing across your devices.

Every day the online stores are being filled with new, more advanced photo editing apps. Your options in this sector are unlimited. Don’t be afraid to examine different apps and combine them to create a perfect image. These are just my top apps to edit photos. Have fun and explore!

Practice does make perfect. With these tips in mind, keep shooting and your photography skills will improve! It doesn’t happen overnight, but the more pictures you take – the more visually aware you become of the world around you. So, get out there and shoot!

Want to use your photography/videography to earn real cash? Click here to find out how you can!


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