Have you ever returned from a trip after visiting several famous landmarks, reviewed your images, and said to yourself, “Wow, these are really nice photos, but they look like all the others I’ve seen?” This is a common occurrence, and today we’ll explain several methods for doing things differently so your images stand out from the rest.
There are several reasons for unremarkable photos of popular locations. One is that there are often tourists (like you) all over the place, and this makes for unappealing, cluttered images. And like other photographers, you probably have an image in your mind of these iconic sites, which is why everyone’s shots look pretty much the same.
For this tutorial by educator Mikkel Clausen we’ll assume that you’ve nailed exposure and focus, and the problem is simply one of same-old-same-old. As you’ll see in this nine-minute video, this situation is very easy to rectify if you approach the task with a fresh mind.
Clausen demonstrates five straightforward techniques that he says, “will help make you a master at shooting famous landscapes,” and you can practice these tips near home before you hit the road. He also provides a list of the gear he prefers when traveling light.
Tip #1 involves a creative approach in which you shoot from an unusual vantage point, like he did when photographing the Eiffel Tower from further away, using buildings in a side street to frame the main subject. In essence, this simply involves changing your mindset.
His second tip is one you’ve likely heard before: “Get there really, really early.” This will hopefully enable you to avoid throngs of tourists, but unfortunately others are familiar with this common recommendation. Nonetheless, it’s worth a try, and the earlier the better.
Other tips include shooting with a telephoto lens, which enables you to capture tight details that aren’t apparent when using a wide-angle lens. There are also times when a long lens lets you photograph a site from afar to achieve a perspective that’s different from those captured using a more conventional approach.
The video includes more great advice, and it’s all about taking an approach that’s different from that used by everyone else. You can find more tips like these by paying a visit to Touchstone’s instructional YouTube channel.
And for another powerful method for capturing images with a different look, check out our earlier tutorial explaining how to use negative space for photos with added impact.