Top 5 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Travel Photos

Photographs are among the most treasured things you take home with you from a journey. These pics serve as a lovely reminder of the places you’ve been and things you’ve done. But it’s rare that you come back with National Geographic-level pics. Usually, you end up with slightly flawed shots – a random photobomber, a tilted horizon, overexposure, you name it.

Hey, don’t delete these pictures just yet! In this article, we’ll show you 5 ways you can turn a not-so-stellar picture into a killer shot. 

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But first, let’s clear one thing out of the way – no matter how appealing it is to post-process your photos right on your phone, do not do that. Sure, the market is flooding with cool photo editing applications, but trust us – you’ll never get proper control over the process on your cell phone, no matter how big your screen is. This is why we endorse using desktop photo editors – they are a lot more convenient, provide tons of tools, and grant you full control over the editing process.

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If you know your way around post-processing, you might want to use Lightroom, Photoshop’s little brother. This Adobe product is packed with pro-level tools, but also has a heavy price tag. If you are on a budget, then direct your attention to GIMP, a completely free (and honestly quite efficient) photo editor. However, there is one huge downside to GIMP – a nightmarishly confusing interface. And if you are looking for a happy medium that does not have a steep learning curve and boasts both an intuitive interface and powerful tools, then look no further than PhotoWorks. This intelligent photo editor can help you fix your pics in just a click – to a professionally looking result. 

But let’s get back to business. How can you get rid of any imperfections that keep your picture from being a photography masterpiece? Let’s have a look:

Crop Your Pic

A fairly obvious tip, but there’s so much more to it than just cutting the unnecessary parts off. We suggest cropping your picture to improve its composition. Remember the Rule of Thirds or the Golden Ratio? That’s right, use these structures to take your photo to a completely new artistic level. 

Add a Vignette

No, it’s not old-fashioned! In fact, a subtle and barely visible vignette might be the very thing that your picture lacks. Blurred or darkened edges of your pic will help the viewers focus on what you want them to focus. Just make sure you apply a vignette to a picture with something really eye-catching going on in the middle of it. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Get Rid of Distractions

An unsightly trash can, a yawning passer-by, a rusty boat on a pristine beach – these things kill the mood of the picture. So get rid of them. Delete all those small but pesky elements that turn your shot into an amature tourist pic. Thankfully, there are tons of ways to erase unwanted objects without a trace in post processing. 

Boost the Colors

Sadly, a camera will never be able to capture all the shades and colors that a human eye can perceive. But let’s learn how to work with what we’ve got, shall we? That’s why you should crank up the number on your picture’s vibrance and make sure to color correct it. Make your photo ooze color and life, but do not go overboard with unrealistic hues. 

Shoot in RAW

Ok, this might be a bit of a cheat, since this is not an editing tip per se, but without it virtually no editing would be possible. So if you shoot with a camera, make sure to photograph in RAW. If you do, you’ll be able to fix your shots a lot easier. So when the lighting conditions are not perfect, you’ll always be able to salvage your pictures if you shoot in RAW rather than in JPEG.

So now you hopefully know that there is no such thing as a ruined shot, because most flaws can be easily fixed in post-processing. So take those unlucky shots that you have been hiding all those years and give them a digital makeover using our tips and a smart photo editor!

Top 5 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Travel Photos
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Stefan von Imhof is a travel writer and photographer. He loves going off the beaten path, exploring cities by foot and finding under-explored, hidden gems. After living in California for the past 15 years, he and his wife now live in Melbourne, Australia.

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