7 Ways to Take Unique Photos of Historical Sites

Everybody likes to have photos to remember a trip to a special location.

When visiting a historical site, one of the most common things to see is a line of tourists, pointing their cameras and phones at the subject and snapping away.

There’s nothing wrong with that, though the resulting pictures will probably be pretty run-of-the-mill.

If you like your photos to have a little more of an artistic feel, you may want to try some of these tips.

1-Research the site

Other than the obvious checking for opening and closing times, you’ll want to look into the particulars of the place you want to visit.

If you don’t already know, find out why it’s historically significant. This ensures that you don’t miss any important elements as you’re taking photos.

Some other considerations are what time of day the site has the best natural lighting for pictures and even the direction the light will be coming from at different times.

2-Go for a varied perspective

Eye-level pictures of a historical site are standard fare. Try changing up the viewpoint a little bit.

Look for places from which to shoot that aren’t typical, for example, get higher or go lower.

You’ll end up with a shot that’s unique and different from anyone else’s.

3-Consider the conditions

To get the best possible picture of a historical site you need to take the conditions of the area into account.

Is the area misty on humid mornings? Does the sunset cast a great shadow that you’d like to capture?

Make the conditions work in your favor to create the photo you want.

4-Remember the tourists

You can’t really avoid tourists when you visit a historic area.

There are a couple options for dealing with crowds of people at a spot that you want to photograph.

Wait it out. You can hang around until there’s a sufficient enough gap in the traffic in which to get some shots in. Keep in mind that this may require you to wait around for a long time, depending on the busyness of the day.

Include the tourists. While this idea is unconventional, it can make your photos unique. Your normal instincts are to keep people out of the frame, but incorporating them into your composition can tell an interesting story about the site by showcasing the visitors.

For example, if you’re visiting Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, a close-up portion of a sculpture would make an interesting and different photograph.

5-Use your zoom

It’s pretty standard to take a picture of a historical site as a whole.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but small details can be overlooked if you don’t get a closer look.

Give yourself enough time to fully examine your subject and pick out some smaller attributes to feature.

This is where your prior research can pay off. You might find out that a particular section of the building or area has a specific historical significance.

6-Arrive early

Generally, the early morning light provides a lovely backdrop for photography.

It’s also less likely to be crowded unless it’s beauty at sunrise is one of the draws.

If that’s the case, you may want to get up extra early to stake out a good spot from which to shoot and beat the rush!

7-Show respect

A historic site deserves a certain amount of reverence.

Be aware of any impact that you’re having on the site. Pay attention to where you’re walking, standing, setting up your tripod, and placing your equipment.

Make sure that what’s on your camera is all that you’re taking with you and you aren’t leaving anything behind.

If you put the appropriate amount of effort into preparing for your visit to a historical place, you’ll come away with stunning images that will remind you of your time at the location as well as serving as lasting pieces of art.

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