7 travel photography tips you should know before heading out

Posted by on 3/4/2021 to PHOTO TIPS
7 travel photography tips you should know before heading out

Have you ever browsed social networking sites and checked out stunning travel photos? Well, you can do that too with the help of these travel photography tips.

There are countless travel photography tips out there. That is great as you can reference several articles and apply them to your images. 

However, these pointers mentioned below are the ones worth mastering. Once perfected, you can go out, explore, and take home great images.

Focus on composition

The composition can make or break a photo. Despite having a spectacular background if the angle is off, then the image is wasted. 

However, taking your time before clicking the shutter helps a lot in landing a better image. It may be contrary to some who consider travel photography similar to street photography. 

Both genres need you to go outside, at the city perhaps. But travel photos focus on beauty while street photos capture the “moment”.

This is why slowing down and taking your time while traveling is not a bad thing.

Only bring what you need

Most of the time, season photographers will say “travel light” as their first tip on travel photography. The main reason is it its easy to get excited and bring a lot of equipment. 

Traveling prepared is not bad. Though sometimes it becomes counterproductive. No one is prohibiting you from bringing multiple lenses as they may come in handy. You can also bring your camera rig, L-brackets, and gimbals. But remember that it is not practical.

First, traveling with a lot of equipment may increase the insurance costs. The next reason is you need to save a lot of energy to shoot.

Bringing in lots of gears will tire you out quickly as compared to just having one lens and one body. If you are going to trek or walk several miles, you will end up wasting your energy carrying stuff instead of taking photos.

Now, the ideal traveling setup is one body and a versatile lens such as a 24-70 f/2.8 or an APS-C equivalent. This ensures that you can cover wide and tight-angle shots. If you prefer a prime lens, get a 35mm or a 50mm lens. 

Do not forget to bring a lightweight tripod, extra memory cards, and batteries. Travel photography for beginners should be fun. But it will not be enjoyable if you forget these essentials.

Pick the right lenses

As mentioned earlier, it is better to limit the gears that you should be bringing. This includes the lenses. One of the first things you should do is to plan what lenses to bring.

For an instance, if you are going to a nature reserve, then bring an ultrawide lens for your landscape shots. If you are off to a city, get a 35mm lens. Otherwise, if your goal is to take some travel portraits, then a 50mm or 85mm lens would be perfect.

It is better to evaluate your itinerary so you can decide what lenses to bring. It would be a shame if you cannot get the shot that you want because of an inappropriate lens.

Keep a small diary

Travel photography tips for beginners often focus on just shooting. However, this technique helps in the future when you are already posting and processing your photos.

Keep a diary or log of your day-to-day events. Take note of the important events that happened. This helps when posting your photos on social media. You can easily put keywords such as places, and activities when posting.

If taking travel portraits, it is also nice to have the name of the random person you shot. This way, they can search for you easily. But this is entirely up to you as others may prefer to keep the person’s name anonymous.

Take portraits

Traveling is a great way to practice your photography skills. But it does not necessarily mean that you have to shoot places or landmarks.

Taking portraits of people you meet on the street is a great way to practice your skills. You can take photos of people from afar, but shooting up close opens up lots of angles. Plus, the interaction can give you a glimpse of their culture.

What if they refuse? Then simply say “Thank you” then move on to the next person.

Though most of the time, people will just nod, after you take a photo of them. Smile back to show that you have no ill intent. Sometimes showing them the output also helps in building rapport.

Unleash your creativity

Popular landmarks have thousands of photos on the Internet. The Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, or the Leaning Tower of Pisa all have thousands of images out there.

There are times when you might be discouraged that you will not have a unique shot. But that is okay.

What you can do when you arrive at that place is to check for different angles. Unleash your creativity and think of something that other photographers have not done. 

You can use the environment as your foreground. You may even shoot low using a tripod. Try visiting at different times to capture different light. The possibilities are endless and it is up to you to nail the perfect shot.

Keep safe

The last one of our tips on travel photography is being safe. Several places in the world are safe. You can easily go out and be back to your place unscathed.

However, do not forget the fact that you are at an unknown place. Some people can distinguish a local from a visitor. This is when they decide if they can mug you or not. Be mindful of your belongings at all times.

To ensure the safety of your gears, it is highly advisable to get insurance. Read the policy and see to it that you are covered. Check if it includes extreme activities such as river crossing as well.

Make sure that you have an excellent luggage lock as well. Most luggage has built-in locks, but it is better to have a double lock than to lose your things.

That’s it for the six travel photography tips you should know. Keep these in mind and you are good to go. Do not forget to have fun and enjoy the essence of photography.

Images used courtesy of Checan27_, Collis, Andrei Tanase, Junior Machado, Paul Isjendoorn/Pexels

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