How to Take Better Travel Photos and Videos

From capturing details to planning your shots, these tips will have you shooting video and pictures like a pro

As the saying goes, "it's not the tool, it's how you use it." With the evolution of smart phones and the affordability of professional video cameras, the average Joe is more capable than ever of taking great pictures and video of their travel experience. But what good is the increase in megapixels or the telephoto lens if we don't know how to best utilize them? These following videos break down the basics of taking good travel photos and videos and ensure that you will be able to share them with pride upon your return.

Even the most experienced videographer will tell you, it's all about the basics. This video from Videojob covers the basics of photography that will dramatically enhance your photo taking ability.  These concepts can also be applied to shooting video. Often we know what we want to capture, but now how to do it properly. In this video, photographer Nick Wood stresses and explains everything from shot composition to lighting, and even how to enhance your photos when you are done shooting.

As the consumer video industry continues to grow, DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex) are becoming more and more affordable. And although they can take a little longer to figure out than the camera on your smart phone, the quality is definitely worth it.

In this next great video, Justin Weiler of DSLR Traveler explains not only how to take better video and stills but, more importantly, how to tell a story. I often find that the best part of a trip is returning home to tell my friends and family about my experiences. We often return home from a trip with a scattered assortment of pictures that give a general idea of our trip but what's often missing are the finer details (and I'm not talking about perfect focus).  If you know ahead of time what you want to document, it will be easier to capture when you get there, and those details are what help take the story from a basic plot to a well-written tale.

Lastly, always remember to get a wide variety of shots. If you're documenting the experience of dining out with friends, don't just zoom in on the tasty plate of food you are eating. Make sure to also get the shots of others at your table enjoying themselves and a wide shot of the restaurant to capture the ambiance of your experience. OK, enough tips, just watch the video: