Photo Hacks – Avoiding ‘Photobombers’ 101

photo hacks spellbound travels

Getting sick of pesky ‘photobombers’ in the background of all your pictures? If so, you’ve come to the right place! These photo hacks will change the way you take pictures next time you’re travelling or exploring a new spot.

Avoid touristy spots

Easier said than done but if you can avoid touristy spots, you’ll usually miss the crowds. Generally, the touristy spots don’t result in the best photos anyway, as they’ve been done time and time again. Some of my best photos came from locations that don’t appear the best at first glance. Use your creativity and you might surprise yourself with some great shots!

Go during ‘off peak’ time

Some touristy spots are worth it and can get you amazing photos – especially ones in nature. Keep in mind that “off peak” times can range drastically depending on the place. For example, some hikes are busy at sunrise, city attractions are busy early afternoon etc.

Let’s look at the photos above as an example 👆🏽. I took these in the Philippines (Coron) during a private island hopping tour with a few girls I met. Typically, these spots are FILLED with tourists that go on island hopping tours. In an attempt to avoid the crowds and after discovering the standard tours leave at around 8am, we opted to leave around 10/11am when most of the groups had already left.

The result was empty lagoons and stunning photos to show for it!

Use apps to erase unwanted objects

Of all the photo hacks I’ve discovered over the past few years, this one is a go-to. There’s something so satisfying about removing people from a background to allow the photo to stand out. It can take your photo from a 3 to a 10!

Some photos are easier to manipulate than others so keep that in mind when you’re editing people out. You might need to go in with Photoshop on more complicated photos like the one at the top of this post. You can see how the random people’s bodies intersected with mine, making it harder to erase.

I personally use Lightroom CC on my laptop to simply remove unwanted objects from the background but you can find free/cheap apps that do the same:

  • Retouch – $2.79
  • Photo retouch – free
  • Snapseed – free

Crop them out

With simple cases, all you need to do is crop the photo and the problem is solved! This solution isn’t used too often but if you come across a distraction on the ground or sky, it’s fairly easy to crop it out and continue editing.

It’s all about the angles

It might seem nearly impossible to avoid photobombers at some locations but don’t let that deter you! If you scope out the scene you may be able to find an angle that works where you can get most of the distractions out of the frame.

Take the photos above as an example. The Golden Bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam is pretty much crowded with tourists any time of the day, making it difficult to get a great shot. In the first two pictures you can see how many people are on the bridge. By finding an opening near the hand with less people around and after showing friends how I wanted the photo taken, I was able to get the third shot with no one in it!

Embrace it

Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and embrace people in the background of your photos. You won’t always get a win and that’s alright! To make a photo as aesthetically pleasing as possible with people in the background, take the shot as far as you can from others with you or the subject as the main focus. This way, the photobombers will be small enough to not take away from the person or object of interest!

Well that concludes my photo hacks for now. Let me know if I missed any good ones in the comments below or message me over on Instagram!



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