Phone Camera or Compact Camera?

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When you’re traveling, even an ounce of extra weight can seem like a ton to carry. It’s just not fun for anyone to carry more stuff than is needed, which is why people don’t like taking heavy DSLR cameras with them on trips.

So if you have decided not to take along your photography gear, should you buy a travel compact camera or is your phone good enough?

Compact Cameras Are Better (The Good Ones)

The reason DSLR cameras are vastly superior to phone cameras is because of the massive sensor they comparatively have. Compact cameras also have bigger sensors than smartphone cameras, but not all of them are really that much better than smartphones. The reason is that not all compact cameras have a much larger or better sensor than a modern smartphone does. However, there are some amazing little cameras like the Sony RX100 and the Lumix LX100 that offer near-DSLR quality photos (the former has a big 1” sensor while the latter has an even bigger micro four-thirds sensor). But these cameras are not cheap, so unless you are serious about your travel photography and really don’t want to take your bigger camera along, you might want to stick with your phone.

Phone Cameras Have Improved a LOT!

The times when a phone camera photo was only good enough for recognizing someone in an emergency are gone. Phones today have amazing sensors with great photographic capabilities. They have multiple lenses for specialized photography, and even full manual controls with RAW capabilities. This means that not only can you take great casual photos but also use the RAW files to create HDRs of landscapes or buildings. Take a look at www.aurorahdr.com to learn a little more about this process.

So your options are simple; either cough up some cash and get a serious compact camera or simply use your phone’s camera a little creatively to get the shots you want.

Travel Photography Tips to Make You an Expert

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What’s travel without some amazing photos to make your friends jealous? Whenever I travel, I make sure to take as many photos as possible, mainly because I’m a hobbyist photographer. You don’t have to take photos of course, but they are a great way to immortalize your experiences and memories while in a different country among a different people.

If I’ve convinced you to take more photos on your next trip, or if you’re just bored and would like to read about how I take travel photos, please continue.

Reach Out to the People

Before I start clicking that shutter button like a maniac, I talk to the locals. I learn about their lives, their cultures, what’s important to them and what’s not. This process will give you a much better understanding of a place than reading about it somewhere ever will. This will also inspire you to make photos a certain way that highlights the place’s culture and its people.

Roam the Streets

In continuation to the point above, you need to go out and just walk about. See the different parts of the city you’re in. Go to the streets, the markets, the museums. Look for things that stand out, and things that seem unimportant. Take photos of all these things. Look closely, look carefully. Most of the time while doing this, you’ll find something that sticks out and has some meaning to it that most people would fail to see.

Try Different Methods

Photography is about experimentation and evolution. Expand your skills by trying new things. Each different subject can be enhanced in your photos through different styles. A portrait might look great in black and white, but you might need to take an HDR shot for the amazing architecture that you see.

Pro tip: Visit this website to find out what my HDR editor of choice is.

Shoot in RAW

If you want your travel photos to stand out, then shoot in RAW like I do. This has many benefits, the most obvious one being that RAW files can be edited non-destructively in a RAW image editor. What this means is that you can finalize the actual look of your photos later on and don’t have to worry about getting it exactly perfect in-camera. White balance, exposure, saturation, noise and much more can be easily tweaked this way.

 

So! There you have it. Some great tips for all you aspiring travel photographers out there. These are all things that I’ve tried and tested myself, so be confident in what has been said (and read) here and go forth with your photographic pursuits.

Cost effective ways to travel abroad

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Most of us like to travel. Even if we don’t, we may do it for spouse and kids. However tours are costly. Those exotic abroad locations are costlier. More grandeur would mean more costs. A group of 4-5 endures unexpected expenses. Solo travellers have a completely different headache. Lot of countries follows single room system instead of room for one. We cannot avoid tours considering the costs. We cannot let the time fly cause of the concern for money. Here is a list of working tips on saving tour expenses on your next trip.

  • Flexible with flights is a nice approach to save on travel costs. Be ready to accept a few more stops in your journey. If you can, choose midweek instead of weekend to fly. These small savings accounts to a lot, when you travel in a group.
  • Off season travel is a neat way to cut down on costs. Off season rates on hotels, attractions and activities are a lot lesser. In some countries, the off season budget comes to half of the on season budget.
  • Alternate hotel option is your ticket to save on hotel bills. Try spending the night at some family run guesthouse. Check for any house sit options available to you. Do not stay at big brand hotels, unless you are in a dire need.
  • Pack for emergencies when you leave your home. Things which you dint think will be needed is what you will need the most. Always pack your first aid kit, especially when you have children travelling with you.
  • Public WiFi is there to be used. Do not shy from making calls using public WiFi. Cellular rates can go deep in your pockets when you are abroad. Use FaceTime Audio, Skype Calling and WhatsApp instead.