If you’re a traveler and a photographer you’re blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime to capture moments in time from throughout the world and allow others to experience the world through your photography. Your adventures will become others dreams and inspiration. Often a particular photograph could make someone want to follow in your footsteps. Just one photograph could trigger the travel bug in someone and the next thing you know, you, the photographer, and enhancing people’s lives through the use of your camera.
01. Take the right camera
Professional photographers use big, complex cameras and they produce fantastic pictures, but if you’re a novice a pro-level camera is likely to be very intimidating. If you’re planning to buy a new camera to take on your journey, be realistic about your experience and get something appropriate.
Ideally select a camera that has a large sensor, as physically bigger sensors tend to produce better quality images.
There are some excellent compact cameras with good sized sensors and extensive zoom ranges. However, also consider a compact system camera (CSC) such as the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, or an SLR like the Nikon D3400 if you are happy to use a camera with interchangeable lenses. These are comparatively small examples of their camera type, but they give you lots of control and will produce better results than a small compact. Like many compacts, CSCs and SLRs, they also have automatic modes that you can use when you’re starting out, along with more advanced options that you can use when you gain in confidence.
02. Travel light
If you’ve got lots of camera kit, think carefully about what you’re going to be shooting and the kit that you need to take. If you’re going on a walking holiday, then do you really need a long telephoto lens? Granted, there might be the odd occasion when you could frame up a nice distant detail, but do you want to carry it for the rest of the time? If you’re going on a safari then it’s a different matter; take the long lenses to get the wildlife shots.
Once you’ve decided which camera and lenses you’re going to take, make sure that you’ve got the batteries, battery chargers and memory cards. Lots of memory cards.
that it’s comfortable to carry. A small secondary bag is useful for excursions and city trips if you’ve got the space to take one.
If you can, take a tripod; you’ll be glad you did at night and if you want to shoot long exposures. There are lots of travel tripods that are small and lightweight yet reasonably sturdy.
03. Shoot raw
Nine times out of ten you can get away with shooting JPEGs, but Raw files contain much more data and they allow you to perform more adjustment if you make a mistake with the white balance or exposure. You also get control over the level of noise removal so you can process low-light images to hide the coloured speckling without losing lots of detail.
04. Know your exposure modes
Most cameras have scene modes that tailor the camera settings to suit the shooting situations. With a portrait for example, portrait mode will tell the camera to set quite a wide aperture to blur the background, while in landscape mode it sets a small aperture to capture lots of sharp detail. It’s better to swap between these modes than shoot in fully automatic.
If you’re more confident, try using aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure modes. In aperture priority mode you set the aperture so you can control how much of the scene around the focus point is sharp, while the camera controls shutter speed for you. Meanwhile in shutter priority mode, you set the shutter speed to determine whether any subject movement is blurred or frozen, while the camera takes control of aperture. In manual exposure mode, you set both aperture and shutter speed.
Generally speaking, aperture priority is a good choice for travel photography. Shoot at a wide aperture (small f/number like f/2.8) to isolate subjects from their surroundings with background blur.
05. Be quick
Candid photographs of people are a great way of capturing the vibe of a new place. When you’re photographing someone, you want to capture them unawares. So don’t hang about, have the camera at the ready and take the shot quickly. If they spot you and smile, great: give them a wave and ask if you can take another. Again, be quick; they’ll become self-conscious if you take ages. If they frown, give them an apologetic wave and move on.
06. Shoot themes and details
There are often things that stick in your mind about a particular place. In a spice market, for example, it might be the vibrant colours, in an old Tuscan city it could be the peeling paint and texture of the walls. Whatever it is, make a point of shooting a series of images about it. It’s often the details that you recall rather than the bigger picture.
07. Shoot at night
Lots of cities and towns look better at night. Any litter is lost in the dark and the most attractive buildings are illuminated. Shoot while there’s still some colour in the sky, before it goes inky black; it will give you more attractive images with less dense shadows.
Shoot with your camera on a tripod and keep the sensitivity (ISO) setting low. This will ensure the best image quality with the most vibrant colours.
08. Take proper selfies
Don’t forget to take a few photos of yourself enjoying the trip. But don’t do it with the camera at arm’s length: put it on a tripod and use the self-timer or if it has the option, Wi-Fi control on your phone. Including people in landscape and scenery shots can help add scale and depth. Also, if the people are looking towards the view rather than at the camera, their gaze helps draw viewers’ eyes in the right direction.
09. Get up early
In busy tourist areas it’s worth getting up early to beat the crowds and traffic. Getting up before sunrise on a day that promises you sunshine will reward you with the best light: warm and soft. Don’t forget your tripod; it will be gloomier than you think at sunrise and a low sensitivity setting will give the best results.
Once you’ve captured the general scene, start photographing local people setting up market stalls and arriving at work.
10. Try long exposures
It can be hard to replicate the shots that you see in travel magazines if you can’t get to tourist hotspots before the masses. However, there are still creative opportunities in busy locations. Fitting a dense natural density filter over the lens of your camera will allow you to take a very long exposure in daylight. The aim is to shoot with an exposure that’s long enough to blur the movement of the people in the scene, so you’ll need to put the camera on a tripod and shoot in aperture priority or manual exposure mode with a low sensitivity setting.
If the people move quite quickly you may be able to get a shot without any figures being visible. Alternatively, you can get shots with blurred ghosts that give a sense of the business of the place and reflect your experience more closely.
Tips For Taking Great Travel Pictures:
Taking great pictures of your vacation can be easy if you have a few basic photography skills. In this article, you will find seven travel photography tips that will help you take some fantastic travel pictures that you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Add Drama to Your Pictures
By adding drama to your pictures, it makes them more interesting and visually appealing. If you want to add drama to your pictures one way is to show scale. You can do this by adding people or natural features to your photographs of big things like monuments, landscapes or the world’s biggest Redwood.
Clean up the Clutter
When you’re seeing exciting new things, it’s easy to ignore the background. But before you hit the shutter release button, look at what you’re really photographing. In some cases, moving a few feet could eliminate unwanted clutter like power lines, billboards, or people walking through your picture.
Photograph the Locals
No matter where you are traveling in the world, learn how to say some basic things like “May I please take your picture?” in the local language. Offer to send those you photograph a copy so make sure to have a small notebook or pencil to jot down names, addresses or emails.
Unique and Candid Photos
Candid shots when traveling are the best, but occasional portraits of the family in front of spectacular views and famous landmarks are part of almost every vacation album. Don’t forget to get in the vacation pictures too by using the self timer or remote shutter.
Always take pictures of things that interest you instead of taking pictures of things “you have to take” like those shown on postcards in the gift store. You can always pick up some postcards to add to your vacation souvenirs. Unique subjects make great travel pictures so look out for these opportunities.
Every Photo Has a Story
You may want to tell your vacation story by using your photographs from the time you departed to your return home so make sure to capture these moments too. Include highlights like your campground neighbors,an unusual meal you had, activities, the look on a family member’s face when he or she saw something for the first time. Once you get home and look at all of the pictures, select those pictures that best reflect your trip and frame them on your wall to remember.
Get the Kids in on the Act
If you are traveling with children, give each child a camera (use disposables for the young ones) and encourage them to take pictures too.
Then when you return home you can create a fun photo album to remember your vacation. While on your vacation, make sure to make notes so you can later add captions to your photos.
If you’re going to be near or in the ocean, bring one-time use or waterproof camera.Watch out for salt water and sand as they can wreak havoc on your camera.
Remember that not every picture will turn out good as even the seasoned photographer will take some bad pictures from time to time. The best solution is to bring extra memory cards and have a way to upload your photos each day while you’re away.
And don’t forget to prepare your camera for the next day by recharging the batteries and replacing the memory card. By doing this, you’ll be ready to go in the morning!
As you can see, taking great travel and vacation pictures can be a lot of fun and relatively easy just by following these seven tips. And, by the time you return home you will have a lot of fantastic pictures to share with your friends and family.