There is no doubt that travel photography is an incredibly
rewarding profession because you have an opportunity to tell stories
through your own pictures. But it is also one of the most challenging
genres to master. Besides having to be able to photograph everything
from people and architecture, to food and landscapes, you are also often
at the mercy of the elements. Getting a great travel photo isn’t easy
and it often doesn’t come about by luck. You have to be willing to work
hard to capture the shot that you want. Here are 5 simple tips to help
you improve your travel photos:
1. Do your research
Fortunately, we live in a time when researching locations is easier
than ever, so don’t just rely on turning up somewhere and hope to
capture a great shot – do your research before you leave. Put together a
shot list (things you want to photograph) and work out what the best
time of day is to photograph it. Go onto Google maps and work out the best location to photograph from, work out sunrise and sunset times,
and have a look at photos in image libraries that already exist to get a
sense of what is already out there. If you have time, go and scout the
location first hand. The more you know about the place the more chance
you have of capturing a great photo.
2. Don’t settle for your first photo
I rarely find that the first photo I take of a place is the one that
turns out to be the best. So instead of snapping a few quick photos and
moving on, take your time and have a good look around. Sit down and just
observe the view and try to take it in. Think about what story you are hoping to tell with the photo. And don’t forget to move around and look at things from different angles.
The photo on the left was my first shot. On the right was after around 20 mins and several shots later.
The shot on the left is nice but too generic. The shot on the right taken after waiting for a while tells a much better story.
3. Think about light
Light is one of the most important elements of a photo and can really
help set the mood and tell a story. If you do your research you’ll have
a good idea of the best time to photograph at that location. But when
you are there, think about what the light is doing. Is it harsh or a
soft light? Which direction is it coming from? How does it help light up
or affect your subject? All of these can influence what your final
photo will look like. And if you find that the light isn’t right, be
prepared to come back (if possible).
The light coming from the side helps to light the landscape beautifuly.
4. Try the unusual
You’ve probably heard the saying “thinking outside the box”. Well;
it’s never been truer than in this day and age. Just searching for the
“Eiffel Tower” on Getty Images returned over 17,500 photos! The
challenge for us photographers is to try and find new and creative ways
of showing the same locations. So when you are at that famous landmark
or beautiful landscape, think about what would make it unique? Would it
be including people in the image? Or just an unusual angle? Maybe a
different time of the day? Of course this is again where your research
can help as you would know what already exists.
Slightly different shot than the traditional shot of the interior of the church
The photo still says car but isn’t the normal exterior shot.
5. Find your style
One of the things I did when I was starting out was to cut out photos
which I thought were great from magazines and newspapers. After a
while, when I had a big pile, I placed them all out on a table, along
with some of my own favourite photos I had taken and immediately saw a
similar style and feel to them all. The great thing about photography is
that there isn’t a right or wrong style, but just what feels right with
you. So try to find your own style as this will help your photos stand
out from others.
Even the most seasoned professionals are continuously developing and
improving their skills, but using these 5 simple tips will help you on
Don’t forget to share your tips below.
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