Travel Photography Hacks Every Instagram Addict Will Love

Instagram is the social network that provides inspiration and bucket list fodder for Wanderlusters like you and I; there’s plenty of world class photographers sharing jaw-dropping images to their galleries on a daily basis. 

So how can budding photographers and burgeoning world travellers ensure their own IG feed is chock full of inspiring images?

Here’s our pick of unique travel photography hacks every Instagram addict will love. 

Shoot a time lapse of your favourite locations

When Instagram introduced video back in 2013 we were just getting started with our @WanderlustersUK IG account and had a blast uploading short 15 second snapshots of our adventures.

FYI You should follow us @WanderlustCharli for a daily updates from our current 4K Photo travels!

The only thing we struggled with was how best to curate 15 seconds of video to show our followers the very best of our travels. Here’s where time-lapse photography comes in handy. Time-lapse videos have the unique ability to condense events that take place over a long period of time into a much shorter sequence.

Although much longer than 15 seconds, we love this time-lapse of the vast Norwegian landscape by Rustad Media.

Use 4KPhoto mode to capture action

So perhaps you’re trying to take an epic shot of salsa dancers in Colombia; their Cuban heels seemingly vibrating with ease against the floor, or you’ve spotted a Pelican dive bombing sporadically into the ocean in a bid to catch a meal, and you want to capture the moment the action happens.

What do you do?

Use Panasonic’s awesome new 4K Photo mode to capture the precise moment the action happens.

Since we announced our partnership with Panasonic and started shooting with the Lumix GH4, we’ve spoken about the great benefits of 4k Photo mode and how it has helped us to capture the fleeting moments that make our travels so memorable. Giving us the flexibility to shoot video shorts of our adventures, we can then scroll through the footage and freeze-frame movement by pulling out the stills that best capture the action.

Yesterday we had way too much fun experimenting with 4K Photo cocktail shaking at Chrishi Beach Club here on Nevis.

Go old school and shoot with a DIY pinhole lens

Hipsters the world over go crazy for the vintage look, so it’s no wonder that Instagrammers love shooting with lo-fi techniques such as pinhole.

Surprisingly it’s simple enough to make a portable pinhole lens for your DSLR and in turn capture some quirky travel pics to populate your IG gallery.

Using nothing more than a spare body cap for your camera, a small square piece of an aluminium soda can, a pin or needle (about size 7), scissors, some black electrical tape, fine sandpaper and a drill, you’ll have all you need to transform your DSLR into a vintage camera.

Take a tripod and snap epic selfies

Selfie sticks are a travel fashion faux-pas, it’s true. So be sure to travel with a tripod to help you capture shots of yourself in all the picturesque places you plan to visit on your adventures.

Taking a good selfie is an art, especially when there’s also an indomitable landscape or cultural scene to contend with in the background. Along with my Panasonic Lumix GH4 I travel with the ZOMEI Z669 Portable Aluminium Alloy Compact Travel Tripod and use both to capture epic travel selfies.

Here’s one of my favourites, taken at Lake Tekapo in New Zealand.


Shape up with some stylised bokeh

An adaptation from a Japanese word meaning blur, bokeh is the term for the artsy, out of focus backgrounds that really make a subject pop into the foreground.

A simple way to jazz up your favourite bokeh style shots is to create a custom lens hood which affects the shape of the light bursts in the bokeh.  A very creative and eye-catching effect (as long as it is not overdone), you can add an extra dimension to your travel shots using this DIY photography hack. Travel Photography Hacks Every Instagram Addict Will Love

Shoot with a wide angle lens

The key to successful wide-angle lens photography is getting up close and personal with your subject, and this can inspire some rather unique results. A wide-angle lens elevates the experience of scale, making objects in the foreground appear larger and those in background smaller.

Imagine you’re stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon and there’s a small patch of violets growing at your feet. If you were to lay down in the dirt and shoot the canyon with the violets in the foreground, thanks to the nature of the wide angle lens the violets would establish a strong foreground presence, and exaggerate an awareness of scale and near-far perspective over the vast expanse of the canyon.

Pretty epic Instagram fodder right there folks. Travel Photography Hacks Every Instagram Addict Will Love

Source Baron Reznik
Source Baron Reznik

Shoot hazy, ethereal images with the help of a sandwich bag

If you’ve found the perfect vista but you’re struggling to bring a little creativity to your shot, consider adding a hazy, retro inspired light-leak effect by simply fitting your lens with a torn up sandwich bag.

Take the open end of the bag and slide it over your camera lens making sure the hole end extends a little past the end of your lens. You want to make sure it can be seen in your viewfinder however so don’t cover up the middle portion of the frame.

Full instructions here.

Simply by upcycling your picnic trash you can add a touch of creativity to your travel Instagram shots. Still lacking? Try covering the ripped edges of the bag with in felt-tip-pen to introduce swathes of colour into the shot.

From 4K Photo mode to custom lens hoods, there’s plenty of unique travel photography hacks out there to help you make your Instagram feed a raging whirlwind of inspiration.


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Have any of your own savvy hacks to share? Leave me a comment below!

Travel Blogger & Photographer
  1. You have some really fun ideas here! Like the idea of taking a photo though a plastic bag – very cool. And the images you have produced certainly are inspiring. I’m working on improving my photography – one step at a time.

    1. I think we’re all always learning, life would be dull if we were experts at our craft! The more I read about photography the better my images are. I hope these hacks help to elevate your captures!

  2. I know I should be using IG for my blog, buuut I don’t. Are these all done w/ a cell phone camera!? If so, some of these are even better than my REAL camera!

    1. Only the 4k Photo images and the pic of me jumping are my own (taken with a camera not smart phone), I’ve sourced the other’s from photographers I follow. Everything is credited so you should be able to click through to where the image was posted.

  3. I love the idea to shoot in 4k photo mode to capture the action – you can seriously grab some amazing shots, and the 4k photos really stand out above the rest because you’ve got the precise moment which everyone else misses. Love it!

    And tripod is brilliant idea too – I’ve been meaning to purchase one for myself – so many moments which could have been captured if I only had a tripod with me!!

    1. A tripod can be really handy when you want to set up for the perfect shot, definitely worth the investment. I hope you get the opportunity to mess around with 4K photo mode too, it really does make capturing your adventures a lot of fun!

  4. These are some amazing tips- I had no idea 4K photography could do these things- that image is beyond awesome. I love Instagram- it’s one of the few channels I haven’t become bored of. So, thanks for these tips- most of these are new and original.

    1. Thanks Natasha! I had a lot of fun taking that image of the cocktail at the Chrishi Beach Club here on Nevis. Obviously!! My 4K Photos are really popular over on Instagram, they really bring the scene to life.

  5. awesome ideas!! i LOVE your selfie. How long did it take you to get that awesome shot?

    Your video is amazing! I always forget to use timelapse. The only time I remembered was in India on a houseboat where I took more than 30 minutes of video to show a quick 30 second video of our journey.

    1. Thanks Karilyn! My selfie actually took quite a few attempts, sadly I didn’t have my 4K Photo capable Lumix GH4 at the time, so I had to set my camera to take multiple shots and even then it took me a few tries to find the perfect moment.

      Your timelapse sounds great! I need to implement it more when travelling, it is such a great way to translate the atmosphere of a destination.

  6. Love these IG travel photo hacks Charli! I recently completed a natural light photography class, and I’m having so much fun playing around with different techniques. Now I have a few more to try out – the sandwich bag is brilliant. Thanks!

    1. Oh that’s great to hear Nancy, I’m thrilled to hear I’ve been able to ‘shed some light’ – sorry bad pun – on a new technique for you to try out! You’ll have to let me know how you get on 🙂

  7. Awesome photos guys! I love the shots you captured of the drink–so cool! Thanks for sharing lots of great ideas. I should think about sharing more time lapses on Instagram–we always seem to create them but I don’t think about sharing them often enough!

    1. Thanks Dariece! I have to say we’ve found all these tips really helped us to make a much more innovative IG feed. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good landscape shot, but sometimes you can enhance a photograph so much with a simple photography hack!

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