High-quality cameras with an easy interface are now accessible. Photo-sharing social media platforms also have more users. Thus, photography as a hobby gained even more popularity — especially travel photography.
Unfortunately, a lot of people think that a good camera would automatically capture amazing photos. Understand that a camera is only a tool. The photographer is ultimately the one who creates and determines the aesthetic quality of a photo.
Professional photographers capture fantastic images — the night skies full of the constellations, the perfect twirls of whirling dervishes, and so many wonders of the world that we think it might have something to do with their cameras. Partly yes, partly no — they do have some high-end gadgets, but the composition of the image is not random nor an accident. The best photos are planned well.
There are so many online guides on the basics of photography that could get you started. You could also learn further from the professionals themselves about their tricks and their techniques in capturing their best shots. Many travel photographers have blogs or websites of their own. But if you really want to find a niche for yourself, you should look for a subject you could specialize in.
We have a few suggestions — subjects that are simple but interesting enough to capture a following. We’ll start you off with inanimate objects from around the world since some countries have strict protocols when taking photos of people, especially children.
Doors are fascinating because we don’t know what lies beyond it. The more intricate it is, the more our mind wanders and imagines what secrets it might be concealing. It is also a popular subject for travel photographers. From the carved teak wooden doors of Bali to the colorful portals of Dublin, you will never run out of interesting images to take. Even doors of an old barn have their appeal.
Door lovers would be happy in Granada, Nicaragua which has some of the most intricate and colorful portals in Central America. Chiang Mai, Thailand has beautifully carved temple doors that could transport you back to the old kingdoms of Siam.
Maybe Banksy was the reason why Street Graffiti suddenly became part of the art scene. But with or without Banksy, graffiti provides a creative insight into society.
There are cities with nonsensical graffiti — walls vandalized with names of people who just want to leave their mark or claim that they had defaced some public structure. There are also places with strong messages — almost Banksy-like in their tone, except that they are not as creative. In some cities, graffiti looks like wall art you’d think they were commissioned by the government to doodle on the walls. And yes, know the difference between murals — usually done by paid artists — and graffiti art.
Among the best cities for graffiti hunting are Rio de Janeiro in Brazil with its pacified favelas, and Bogota in Colombia, which still shows some aftermaths of the violence the country suffered some years back.
As weird as it may sound, restrooms are great subjects. It’s interesting how establishments decorate their restrooms to mask the mundane and even unsightly part of the establishment. Some have elaborate paintings on their walls, while others have shelves of books that you’d think the owner wanted you to do your business longer than you need to.
Anywhere in the world, you would find interesting restrooms. Even boring hotel rooms sometimes have quirky stuff lying about in the bathroom to liven things up. But if you’re around Jakarta, Indonesia, check out the restroom of Café Batavia in Kota Tua. You’d be transported back in time and feel like you’ve intruded in someone’s boudoir.
Your Feet — Or Rather, Your Shoes
Perhaps you’re familiar with the popular photo of girls holding the hand of a guy, leading him to a nice view. Your feet — and where they are — could also provide an interesting perspective. People rarely look down when they take vacation photos. That is why carved iron rails covering drains, and beautifully painted stairs rarely make it to travel magazines.
Starting your photography hobby with a focus will not only give you unique memories from different places but will also force you to experiment on how to present a repetitive subject. Mastering the aesthetics of photography is not only about knowing how to angle your camera or knowing the shutter speed and aperture opening. You have to master how to make your images look fresh and exciting no matter how old or how common your subjects are.