In the beginning, writing about my travels and the thoughts that they provoked was all for me. It was a way I could keep memories alive; a way to take me back to places I loved without the need to go anywhere at all. Only when I turned my writing into this blog, did I realise something pretty fundamental.
My photographs were rubbish!
They were mostly holiday snaps. You know, stand in front of a vaguely acceptable view with a cocktail in your hand, grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat. And while pictures like that are great for your own mementos, they just don’t cut it when you put them in a post.
I’ve always watched other people with their cameras, and I’m guilty of thinking that maybe taking photographs was easy. It’s not. But taking good pictures means you’re rewarded. And in more recent trips, I’ve come to appreciate the mosaic of memories I’ve created through my snapping more than ever before.
Reading travel blogs makes you see that although words can indeed be enough, a photo has an instant impact and the power of a strong image pulls the reader into the page, hungry for more. I know this because it happens to me all the time. I’m engaged by a photograph, and the words that seem to sing alongside it, manage to paint me into that picture. The combination makes me want to be there, or sometimes, believe I already am.
So I’ve upgraded my camera. And even though it’s still a compact point and shoot, it’s infinitely better than the digi-dinosaur I was using before. I’m also learning. When I look at the photos of blogs like Adventurous Kate, or Eurotriptips, I know I’ve got a long way to go, both in terms of shooting and in editing, too. So I scour travel sites I love in search of tips on photography and I try harder (even if it slows us down) when we’re out and about. These days, my camera comes out with me almost all the time. Just in case.
And when I don’t have my camera, I’m using my smartphone – the potential in this is phenomenal. And with a plethora of helpful apps, I’ve plenty to keep me busy.
I’ve started to see the world with a different eye, and it looks good! Maybe good enough for you to start to see the difference. I can only hope! In the meantime, while I’m writing up my travels from the past, don’t be too disappointed with the photography (or lack, thereof). It’s a learning curve, but I’m improving, I promise.
And if you’ve anything to teach me I’ll be entirely grateful for your photography tips!
How important is photography to you? And what advice would you give this eager to learn amateur? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!