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Every Wednesday, we’ll feature one practical travel tip here, on our blog. Get our clever weekly tips and other travel resources in your inbox by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our newsletter.

Maybe your shot of the Eiffel Tower is backlit. Or your scenic Japanese landscape is marred by the shadow of your thumb in the lower right-hand corner. Or your photo of the White House is all right — except that it looks exactly the same as every other tourist’s photo of the White House.

If you’ve ever been disappointed by travel photos that fail to live up to the real-life experience, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you don’t need a fancy camera or foot-long lenses to improve your skills as a shutterbug. In 19 Tips for Better Travel Photos, IndependentTraveler.com columnist Traveler’s Ed offers this easy suggestion:

“I find that very often a decent photo could have been a great photo if I had just moved a little bit, whether to reframe the photo slightly, or to put something interesting into the background. This can involve moving a few steps forward or back, shifting to one side or the other, or crouching down. As a photographer, you have much more control over what you are doing and where you are standing than you do over the subject matter; if you just stand lead-footed in one spot, your photos will reflect this.”

Instead of just snapping the first view that you see, take a few seconds to set up your shot and experiment with different angles. Adding something interesting to the foreground, shooting from an unusual perspective or shifting the subject in the frame can all make for much more memorable photos.

taj mahal

eiffel tower paris

golden gate bridge san francisco

flower mountain sky

What’s your best travel photo tip?

– written by Sarah Schlichter

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