How to take awesome travel photos for Instagram

We ask four popular Filipino Instagrammers to spill the beans on what makes a great travel photo

A girl snapping an Instagram photo

Observe the rule of thirds

“Apply the classic rule of thirds in photography. Use the grid lines on your phone camera to frame your shot accordingly, placing the focal point along the intersections to increase tension and movement in your composition. Do note, however, that this a rule of thumb – symmetrical compositions can also produce powerful imagery.” – Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap (@eazytraveler)

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The calm before the storm. Mr. Boatman sits patiently as the boat is loaded up with tourists. Rain has started, and everyone was drenched. We were each to ourselves like trying to read each others thoughts in between brave smiles. The guides and boatmen reassured us of safety despite the bad weather. And as we exited the safety of the lagoons, strong winds, heavy downpour, and near zero visibility greeted us. Everyone decided we skip the last island on the tour and head back to the mainland. And as we huddled in the midsection of the boat to pool in the weight as instructed by the experienced boatmen, we could not help but make silly jokes finding ourselves in an unexpected adventure. #ElNido #ElNidoPH #Palawan #PalawanPH #Philippines #travel #travelPH #vsco #vscocam #NorthernHopeTours

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“To create more visual interest, place your subject off-center, on the side of the frame with fewer interesting elements.” – Lisa Marie Mirasol (@pinaytravelista)

Include a human element


“I love having people in my shots, even if I’m photographing a landscape or a monument. I find that photos are more moving when they capture humanity.” – Pepe Diokno (@PepeDiokno)

“When photographing landscapes and architecture, include people in your shot to create a sense of scale and grandeur. Get your travel buddies to pose for your photos!” – Edgar

Lighting is key


“Take advantage of natural lighting – no filter in the world can substitute that. Always look out for patches of light that act as a natural spotlight for your subject.” – Gem Muzones (@gemandthehobo)

“The optimal time to take photos is during the ‘golden hours’ of dawn and dusk, when the sun is soft and low, casting dramatic natural light across the landscape.” – Edgar

Find fresh perspectives


“If you see an opportunity for height, use it. For instance, try taking a shot of a busy street or cityscape from a higher or a lower angle.” – Lisa Marie

“To capture famous landmarks and scenery in a new light, try framing the subject with other elements in the environment, or shooting during a different time of day.” – Edgar

Look out for the little things


“Zoom into textures, patterns and details, which communicate a sense of place as much as the big picture.” – Edgar

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“Keep your eyes peeled for the little things. There are so many lovely moments happening in plain sight – we just have to open our eyes enough to see them!” – Pepe

Live in the moment

“Most importantly, take out your phone or camera only when you have something truly worth capturing. Don’t get distracted by the urge to take that perfect Instagram photo. Rather, savor the moment fully.” – Gem

Also read: 8 places in Singapore for Instagram-worthy desserts

Written by

Delle Chan

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