8 Travel Photography Tips to Remember
Every place that you travel to has its own special characteristics. Try to capture the unique features and ambiance of that place. The photograph should not only trigger your memories, but should easily communicate to anyone viewing the image the captivating vim and vigor of the location.
Following these eight tips will help you capture outstanding photos.
1. Learn the basics of photography, and know your gear
A good quality camera may help you get better images, but it’s what you do with that equipment that will turn a snapshot into a photographic image. Any camera will do, but a DSLR, (Nikon or Cannon), with a 50mm to 200mm zoom lens will enable you to capture any image in any situation. DSLR’s tend to be a bit heavy to carry around all day, so check out a mirror less camera like a Sony a6500. Other essential gear you should have on hand are item such as memory cards, one or two extra batteries, a battery charger, neutral density filters, a polarized filter, external flash units, a lens hood, cleaning gear, power adapter and a tripod or monopod.
Good travel photography doesn’t require special training to get good shots. Getting great images will become easy if you have:
• knowledge of the basics, like setting the shutter speed, changing the aperture (f stop) setting,
• using the different camera modes such as the aperture priority setting,
• understanding ISO,
• and understanding composition guidelines.
2. Get as much information about the destination as possible
Prior to arriving at your destination, gather as much information about the location as possible.
• Know about the best time of the year or day to travel,
• What are the chief modes of transportation,
• What and where the main attractions are located,
• What special events are scheduled and shouldn’t be missed,
• Things or places to be avoided.
Once you have completed your research, prepare a list of photographic opportunities available.
3. Look beyond the main tourist attractions
Don’t become obsessed with the main tourist attractions. Doing so may cause you to fail to notice other photo-worthy subjects. Keep your eyes open, look beyond the obvious, keep you options open. Sometimes, objects near the main attraction are more interesting and photogenic.
4. Natural light vs. artificial light
Using artificial light (flash) tend to make the photographs look unreal. Try to rely upon natural, available light. Try to utilize sunlight whenever possible, but don’t hesitate to use light modifiers like filters, reflectors, lens hoods, and fill flash when the sunlight is overbearing or detracts from the image. If the natural light is insufficient to get a good exposure, use a fill flash, or adjust the ISO setting to fine-tune the exposure settings of the camera.
5. Composition Rules
Check out the whole scene before you press the shutter button. Determine what is the main subject of the image, check for distraction in the background, do the secondary focal points overshadow and detract from the main subject. Everything you wish to include in the frame should be distinctly visible.
If you are trying to capture candid portraits of the local people, you should openly interact with them before tanking the shot. Don’t take a photo without asking for permission first. If language is a problem, point to your camera and then point to them, give a big smile, shake your head yes, and wait for their reaction. This type of interaction generates trust, and it will get them to relax and be natural.
7. Digital images don’t cost anything, so don’t count the pictures
Work the shot from all angles and perspectives before moving on. One of the great aspects of digital photography is that you never have to worry about running out of film. So, don’t hesitate to push that shutter button. Shooting more images is better than less. This way you won’t second guess yourself back at the hotel when you review your images.
8. Group tours, not so good for creative photography
Your creative freedom is drastically diminished when traveling with a group. It limits your opportunity to pause, look around, and assess the different perspectives of the subject. It puts you on the group’s timetable, not yours. So, photographing solo doesn’t mean you antisocial, it means your serious about getting the best images possible.