11 Tips For Taking Travel Pictures And Videos With Your Phone

Remember lugging around your Dad’s brand-new Nikon & telephoto lens during the family trip to the Kennedy Space centre? Those days are over. 

Most mobile phones have 8.0 megapixel cameras. They produce high-definition video and photos that can become beautiful 8 x 10s. And if you really want to accessorize your phone with additional lenses and sound gear, they’d all fit into your pocket.

It’s easier than ever, but you still need to know what you’re doing. Here’s a primer:

1) Shoot with a plan — try to tell the story of your trip, don’t just randomly point and shoot. Capture the place (wide shot), the scene (medium shot) and the characters (close-ups).

2) This is so obvious, but it must be said. Make sure to turn your phone 90 degrees to record video in landscape instead of portrait to take full advantage of the frame.

3) If you’re trying to focus on a specific person or object, move in closer – don’t zoom.

4) Centered is the most unflattering angle of a person (including yourself!) you could possibly take. It makes your nose look flat and face appear wider than it is. Try capturing subjects slightly off-centre.

The Rule of Thirds

5) Rule of Thirds; Most consumer cameras have this function built in as a guide, but it’ easy to remember. If the frame is broken up into a grid of 9 squares place your subject against the background to the right or left of centre on one of the cross-hairs between two squares. It allows for the most information to be included in the shot and is typically the most visually appealing. 

6) Take lots and lots of CLOSE UPS of people posed and candid; architectural/monument details are often stunning; food looks great before it’s consumed and really try to restrain yourself to capturing only special/unique meals.

7) When shooting landscapes try placing the horizon in the bottom half of the frame. 

Point Dume

8) Stop Motion: Try capturing a moment with rapid fire photos instead of video. When you get home you can either pull them into iMovie or Movie Maker to make a short video or print them out with iPhoto to make a flipbook.

9) Use the app Vine for capturing video. 6 seconds of that street parade in Barcelona is really all you need. 

10) Give your images/video some legs and pick up either a mini-tripod or dolly. 

11) Sound is 50 per cent of the moving image experience so for those willing to take audio into account, consider buying a external microphone.

Bonus: A cool concept can’t hurt. For inspiration, check out one of the coolest short travel videos ever: 

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