Looking to take amazing photographs on your travels? We share these 10 tips for travel photography, to help you get those perfect shots!
Once you visit some remote (or not so much) place, you never truly leave. Your travel destination lingers with you, giving you a sensation of fulfillment and awe. With time the sensation fades, but can be easily rekindled by looking at the pictures you took there. Don’t have that many good pictures to remember the good times by? Well, if your travel photo archive is mostly of flawed shots, it’s high time you learned how to make perfect travel photos.
In this guide, we’ll be looking at 10 surefire tips that will help you end up with breathtaking landscapes, graceful cityscape shots, and lovely native portraits. So let’s not waste any more time and get to the tips stat.
Research Your Destination
Don’t be tempted just to go somewhere on a whim. Do your research first. Once you know your next destination, take your time getting to know it. Surf the Internet, read blogs and visit communities.
Don’t limit yourself only to the most popular landmark, but try to search for some new and little explored places. But if you do decide to stick with the popular places, learn what time of the day has the best light, the fewest people, and so on. Make sure to find out the easiest and safest route.
Once you know all the details, consider yourself ready.
Never Shoot Without Permission
Local people might be one of the most intriguing aspects of traveling. Their raw beauty and often unconventional lifestyles mesmerize photographers and make for some top-tier images.
However, never try to snap a picture without their permission – this is just plain rude. The key is to talk to the people first, provided that you know the language or have someone to translate back and forth. Only after you establish some semblance of connection, ask them for a picture.
Don’t get discouraged if they say no – they have the right. Keep on asking for a photo and you are sure to one day find a willing model.
Remember – Patience is a Great Virtue
This is actually no joke – travel photography might be 90% waiting for stuff to happen. If you are not ready to spend at least 15 minutes in driving rain or blistering cold to make a worthy shot, reconsider your plans to be a travel photographer. Learn to wait and keep patient. All the metaphorical stars must align in just the right way for you to snap the shot. Good travel photography takes a good deal of time.
Never Underestimate a Good Composition
Your picture might seem to have it all – juicy colors, impeccable lighting, breathtaking sights – but still fall flat. The reason is simple. The picture has a poor composition. Learn to find a balanced composition to take your shots to a next level.
One of the easiest ways in that regard is observing the Rule of Thirds. Pictures shot with this rule in mind always turn out professional and pleasant to the eye. Composition is especially important if you’re making a photo book because it helps with flow. Photo books look better if you stick to a theme or general shot style.
Become an Early Bird
If your destination of interest is a popular location, it is bound to be swarming with people at almost any given time. This is why you have to beat them to it. Wake up in the wee hours of the morning and rush to the landmark. Not only are you likely to be one of the very few people there, but you are also very likely to have the advantage of shooting during the Golden hour.
Get Yourself a Tripod
You remember the importance of patience, right? Well, it’s hard to be that patient if you’ve been holding your camera perfectly straight for the last two hours. This is where a little thing called a tripod comes in handy.
With it, you can easily arrange your composition, adjust focus, and wait for the perfect moment to press the button. If you frown at the idea of carrying additional weight with you, get yourself a lightweight tripod and quit complaining.
The stability and consistency that’s provided by shooting from a tripod will also come in handy if you plan to eventually create a picture collage with your travel snaps, so the benefits keep stacking up.
Ditch the Auto Shooting Mode. Go Manual
While your camera’s auto mode can still produce relatively nice travel photos, its digital eye is no match for yours. Only you know what ISO, aperture, and shutter speed to set to truly capture the beauty of the scenery. So make it your priority to thoroughly study your camera and always shoot in manual mode.
Keep Your Images Safe
While your own safety should as well be your concern, make sure that your shots are properly stored and protected as well. Regularly upload them to cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive. This way you’ll not only free space on your camera’s memory but will also make sure that your images don’t get accidentally deleted or lost when, for instance, your camera falls into a ravine.
Never Stop Learning
Many photographers usually fall into a trap of arrogance once they become successful. What is there left for me to know about the craft? I make money off it.
Well, the trick is to never stop striving for more knowledge. Buy courses, attend master classes, read articles and watch tutorials – there is no such thing as too much knowledge. Especially when it comes to post-processing.
News flash – Photoshop is no longer the only photo editor worthy of your attention. The market is now flowing with more affordable and comprehensible software. Find out more about them. You might start with PhotoWorks, a smart photo editor that is filled with tools similar to the Adobe giant, but at the same time is intuitive and easy to master.
Prioritize Photography Over the Rest
This one might be sort of obvious, but it’s still worth repeating. When you go somewhere to shoot nature or cityscapes, do that. Don’t go bar hopping, don’t go sunbathing, don’t go anywhere or do anything that isn’t directly linked to photography. After all, you’ll get your leisure time someday, but when travel photography is your trade – focus on it.