How To Take Better Travel Photos While RVing
If you want to take pictures and capture the memories of your RV trips, you will need to become somewhat of an amateur photographer. If you already have some natural skills, you have a leg up. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn a few skills that will help you take better photos of your RV travels.
First, you don’t need to travel with all kinds of photography equipment (unless you are thinking of photography on a more professional level). Extra equipment takes up extra space, and that can be a problem with available RV storage. You can take excellent photos with most cell phones these days.
Get familiar with your phone
Before you start taking photos, you should know what your phone can do. Open your camera and start playing with the photo settings. Play with it in bright sunlight, dusk, and evening. Know how to zoom out and in. Your phone camera may also have manual settings you can put in place before taking photos that can supplement for any weakness in photography skills you may have. Some features you will want to get familiar with are:
- Manual settings
- Crop vs full rame
- Image resolution
- Shutter speeds
- Controlling movement
- Understanding light use
- Using flash
What is your subject?
What do you want to take photos of? Do you enjoy people or nature scenes or close-ups? What type of photos do you want to take will impact what types of features you will want to become very familiar with on your phone? Do a little research online with your specific phone so you know what settings are best to use with people or the subject matter you like best.
RVing gives you the perfect subject! Get different angles and photos of your RV in all different kinds of scenery. Just think about how you want to use your RV photos later so you know what to look for and photograph.
Take multiple shots
Try using burst photos that will allow you to capture multiple shots, or do it manually. This will not only help you choose your favorite memory for later, but it also helps you learn. You can capture many shots as your subject moves, and this will help you know what situations you like best and how and when to capture them.
Try to study your photo shots soon after taking them so you will be aware of the weather, lighting, or other situations that helped you capture certain effects.
Playing with lighting
Photography lessons will tell us to stick with natural or outdoor lighting as it is the best. But you are going about creating photos that reflect your memories of your RV experiences. Deep shadows, nighttime scenes, or people. Maybe very little indoor lighting is exactly what you want to remember from what you currently see.
Remember that lighting doesn’t just provide a bright or dark setting for your photos. It can also create the mood with darker photos, shadows lending themselves to a completely different tone than bright, sunny photos. Take photos of the same subject throughout the day until one captures the mood you feel at the time. Try taking photos with your RV awnings out and in and see how that affects your photos.
Use the rule of thirds
This is a rule that can apply to a lot of artistic activities, from decorating to painting to photography. It involves dividing your canvas into a 3×3 grid. Aim your camera to get the most interesting parts of the scene near the corners of these segments where the gridlines meet. If you just center it in the middle of your frame, it can look boring and sterile.
You can download or use grids like this on your phone or camera. Practice taking photos with and without the grid so you can see how photos using this rule turn out more interesting.
There is nothing wrong with downloading cool, free photo apps or editing tools for your phone. You probably already have several tools built into your camera tool. These are simple ways you can edit your photos easily from your RV without any special storage or equipment. Most importantly, back up your photos often so you don’t lose them, and you can access them at any time or any place to share with work, family, or friends.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun and practice. The nice thing about RVing is there is a postcard photo around every corner that is begging for us to capture the moment.
Get tips from other RVers
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.