28 Jan 6 Tips for Facebook-Worthy Selfies
In 2014, I was fortunate to be on two extended solo trips; a 13-day Nepal Trip in May; and a 12-day China, YangShuo, GuiLin, ZhangJiaJie Trip in December. This gave me lots of practice for travel self-portraits that documents my trips. I have always had my Facebook newsfeed flooded with travel photography, usually of yet-another-face-only-selfies or photographs trying-too-hard-to-look-like-professional-shots-from-Google-image-search (sorry friends!). Hence, I thought it was important for me to share SIX tips for Facebook-worthy travel photographs that will hopefully garner you more likes. What I am going for, are photographs of you, within that must-go travel destination.
I will DI and tweak my photographs from raw formats hence compensating for my shortfalls in photography
Travel light with a prosumer camera or a smart phone with clip-on lenses and add a mini-tripod. DSLRs are energy-draining-machines that are simply too heavy for trekking. Instead, opt for a good quality prosumer camera model that still allows you to tweak shuttle speeds, apertures etc, and light enough for you to slip it into your backpack. I have been using a Lumix LX3 since forever. If a prosumer model and photography is not your thing, your smartphone takes great photographs with add-on lenses which you can purchase easily from Qoo10. Also, bring along a mini-tripod (aka selfie-sticks before selfie-sticks were cool). This allows for self portraits to be taken from a greater distance thus capturing the entire landscape with you inside. If all else fail, support your camera/phone with a rock, the dustbin, a tree root, hand from a branch, improvise, and put it on self timer.
Copy poses and wear nice clothes. For simplicity sick, wear something decent, colour coordinate your clothe, opt for neutral colours and wear something comfortable. All these comes with common-fashion-sense which I shan’t elaborate cos I ain’t a Fashionista. If you can trek on 10-inch heels, I will only roll my eyes when I see you.
Also, check out poses of great photographers as you might find it awkward standing alone for a shot. Photographs of your back view are great too if you are camera shy (aka not photogenic). Follow, Pete Rojwongsuriya on his Facebook or be inspired by Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, 1818.
3 Off the Beaten Track
Taking photographs with a tripod is only possible at places with almost no tourist since it might be unsafe to leave a camera unattended(DUH!)You’re solo back packing, now get off the common road(but watch your safety!) and you will be rewarded with the most amazing, undisturbed piece of land which is almost definitely one of the highlights of your trip. Besides, you can spare the awkwardness about posing for your shots.
4 Make Friends
Meet strangers, make a friend (or a few) on your trips while travelling at tourist-filled destinations. These are the ones you will feel safe entrusting your cameras with. Besides, making friends from all over the world are all part of solo travelling.
Photoshopping was cool (and still cool) before filters. This can mean, removing railings, ugly signage, making yourself look slimer, removing a pimple, to get the shot like what the pros do. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with good photography skills but fortunately I am a good graphic designer who knows how to DI and tweak my photographs from raw formats hence compensating for my shortfalls in photography. Photoshopping also means having to filter out good photographs out of the 1000 photographs of yourself from 1000 different angles.
6 Pano Selfies
Forget selfies, Pano Selfies are now the ‘in’ thing, in fact, there’s an entire tumblr page dedicated to it. Besides capturing a photograph of yourself, Pano Selfies captures the entire landscape, hence creating the context relevant to your photo. Preinstall Panorama apps on your mobile phones (while you still have wifi) in order to capture these photos easily. Alternatively, digitally combine several images together with your amazing photoshopping skills.
So please, for the sick of fellow social-media-stalkers, follow my tips and take your next best solo travel selfies.