As more and more destinations are opening up again, following the pandemic that lasted (way) too long and for a period of time put a stop to international travel, we can start traveling safely again. Now I don’t know about you, but when I got around to taking pictures again, I was a little rusty from this long break. That was a great opportunity to test what was working before and what other new stuff I can learn to better my pictures, as I find that if I get to take a photo the way I am imagining it, I can relive the moments most dear to me. 

Especially in Romania, where there is a lot of potential, photography-wise, as it is an extremely varied environment with lots of stuff to take pictures of. Ranging from people, to scenery, any amateur or professional would have a field day in this country. To set yourself right on the journey ahead, here are a few tips and tricks gathered to help you on your way, gathering material for your expansive portfolio.


Without further ado, here are a few tips and tricks gathered to help you on your way when gathering material for your expansive portfolio: 


  • Brightness and Focus are key
  • Rule of thirds
  • Picture format
  • Golden hours
  • Take photos from different perspectives
  • Practice makes perfect



 1. Brightness and Focus


Phones nowadays will automatically focus on the foreground of your frame, however not every picture you take on your phone has the subject in the best view possible. To remedy that, and adjust where you want your camera lens to focus, open your camera app from your phone and tap the screen where you want to sharpen the view.

Brightness and Focus are the main principles when taking a photo because they help elevate the frame a lot when done correctly. They are the key on how you want the image to be translated in the viewer’s eyes. You can access these features by tapping on your phone’s screen where a square or circle – depending on the phone – will appear afterwards. That causes the camera to focus and adjust the brightness on the specific area you tapped on.  These fundamental tools are used in both a professional camera, as well as your phone.

Useful tip: In order not to take potential blurry and unfocused pictures, you can use the multiple cameras on the back of your phone, that most recent phones appear to have. Each of them has a standard distance that they take pictures from. In this case, 0.5x (WIDE) incorporates more of the frame in pictures, 1x (NORMAL) takes normal photos, and 3x (TELEPHOTO) which offers a huge zoom that shows pictures from afar with great detail.

A lot of good photos include only one interesting subject. Whenever taking a photo, take some time setting up, try different angles and try different distances. So, press on the phone screen to focus in on the subject to – ensure the brightness, lighting and the focus is optimized. Next step is considering the following aspect:


  1. Rule of thirds


Rule of thirds is a really useful technique used in the photography world. It consists of a series of lines (grid) on the screen of your phone’s camera that are based on this rule – a photographic composition principle that implies that the image should be broken down into thirds, both vertically as well as horizontally, so you get nine parts in total. 

These can be turned on in the camera app’s settings or even in the main phone’s settings. That said, if you put your subject at the intersections or along the lines, the end result will be a world changer in every way.

For example:

Whenever you want to take a photo of your subject, this becomes static, so the attention of the viewer concentrates on the middle of the image. In contrast to this, the moment you move the subject away from the center, the photo becomes more dynamic and the viewer can observe all the details that appear around the subject, showcasing the whole beauty of the image.

To activate the grids:


-iPhone: Go to “Settings”, choose “Photos & Camera”, and switch “Grid” on.

-Samsung Galaxy: Launch the camera app, go to “Settings”, scroll down and switch the “gridlines” option to “on”.


  1. How to choose the ideal Picture format


The quality of the picture is determined by the format the picture is taken in, be it PORTRAIT or LANDSCAPE. There is a strong and useful suggestion on what format should be used based on what you want to take pictures of, people or scenery.

Usually, photos taken of people should be taken in the PORTRAIT format (holding the phone in a vertical way). This way you get to showcase the subject in your picture without causing the viewer to focus on something else by accident. This is an example comparing both formats.

Of course when it comes to group pictures, these are taken in the LANDSCAPE format (holding the phone in an horizontal way) so that everyone can be part of the pictures taken during your holiday.


The LANDSCAPE format is highly recommended when taking photos of tourist attractions or when sightseeing, to incorporate the whole beauty of the subject. In this example, the PORTRAIT format is not ideal to use in this sort of scenery because you cannot grasp the details of the surrounding view.

Exception to the rule:

In the moment when you want to post your masterpiece on social media, you need to have the following aspects in mind: Do you want to post it on your feed? You want it to have it as a Story? Maybe you want both? Then it is recommended that you take pictures of the subject in BOTH FORMATS. Why do you ask?

If you post a picture on your Story that is taken in the LANDSCAPE format, the image will appear cut and compressed, and it will not look as good. That is why in this case, it is highly recommended that you post photos in the PORTRAIT format.


4.Golden hours


The so-called “Golden hours” are the times of day, in which natural light shines the most and brings the most out of your pictures. You can catch Golden Hour moments two times a day. The first one- a short while after the sunrise and the second one- just before the sunset. Normally, these magical moments are over in about an hour and change according to the time of the year. If you want to know the hours precisely to your timezone and location, please visit the website Suntoday.

The difference between these Golden Hours and the other times of day is found in the intensity of the sunlight, which isn’t as strong and doesn’t cause as many problems when taking pictures. You won’t find that your photos are overexposed or that they are not focused as they should and of course, you will not have to worry how you are positioned relative to the sun.


5.Different perspectives – how do they help?


Taking photos from unique, unexpected angles can make them more memorable because of the chance of creating an illusion of depth or height with the subjects. You can also try and take a photo that is pointed directly upward and play with the sky as negative space, or in angles that are slightly to the left or right.

What is the negative space you say? It refers to the areas around the subject. When you include a lot of empty space in your photo, your subject will stand out that much more and it will be more entertaining to look at. Negative space refers to things that can appear naturally around the subject, like: the clear sky, an empty field, a large wall, or water.

At the same time, another helpful thing to mention is the use of leading lines, which help guide the focus of people towards a specific area of the frame. These are, but not limited to, stairs, train tracks, roads or even a path through the woods. These elements are perfect for creating a sense of depth for the image even though you might just happen to come across them while exploring.


6.Practice makes perfect


Of course, the most useful tip about taking great pictures is just that, to take pictures EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

In order for everything to go into effect and actually evolve the quality of your photos, break free and let your creativity run wild and practice this art as much as possible

Curious of great picture locations when visiting Romania? Maramures is every photographer’s go-to area, while most of Romania’s countryside makes it easy for every amateur photographer to stand out. Breathtaking skies, lustrous hills and rich fauna make up the perfect recipe for great photography. Just come and see for yourself.