One of my favourite things about travelling is capturing gorgeous images of my surroundings. I want a photograph to freeze a moment in time and retain some of the essence and feel of the place as well as the mood. Great Photography involves telling interesting stories, you want to give a real sense of time and place and to give a window into other parts of the world. By following some important rules, such as working with the right light, going out at optimum shooting times and using the correct camera settings, you have the beginnings of a perfect travel photo.Great Photography involves telling interesting stories, you want to give a real sense of time and place Click To Tweet
I get asked a lot about how I take photos when on the road, so I decided to create an article featuring travel photography tips from travel bloggers, so that you can follow their expert advice and start creating some photo magic on your travels. Here is a round-up of their photography tips and advice to get you started.
Kacie Morgan – The Rare Welsh Bit
My top travel photography tip is to focus on finding original opportunities for photos. It can be really fun to spend time looking for lesser known places to take a photo, and avoiding jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to taking photos of yourself in particular poses. When I see photos of girls leaning forward with their boyfriend holding their hand from behind, for example, I get the impression that they haven’t put much thought into capturing the shot.
I put my advice into practice when I visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. I’ll admit I did take a photo of myself sitting on the ‘Diana bench’ and a few photos of the ivory white marble mausoleum from afar (it was so hard to resist!), but I also tried to get a few shots that were a little less ordinary. I got my guide to take a photo of the Taj Mahal reflecting off my sunglasses, as opposed to just taking a direct shot of it, as a result, I love this photo.
Leanne Scott – The Globe Trotter GP
I’ve always loved travel photography – it makes you see a place in a different way. You notice the minor details you might miss otherwise. If you’re in a popular tourist destination there are likely hundreds of ‘samey photos’ out there, you need to make yours different. I usually take one quick snap – in case the conditions change suddenly leaving you without ANY photos. I then look for something more unique for my next picture. Perhaps a low angle, a reflection in a puddle, a change to the exposure and therefore the mood of a picture? Speaking of exposure, I almost always underexpose slightly and correct with editing. It’s easy to edit an underexposed photo but impossible to edit a blown highlight such as a bright white sky!
Another really important thing to remember is to learn to handle your camera and get your focus right. It may be manual focussing your lens or fixing the focus with an AEL button. But either way, you need to be in control of what your camera is choosing as the main focus point. And if it’s a portrait or a picture of wildlife, that point should ALWAYS be the eyes. Get down to their level if needed! You may enjoy my article ‘How to take travel portraits to capture personality’, one of several photography how-to-guides I’ve written!
Inma Gregorio – A world to travel
Raksha Rao – The Roving Heart
Jessica Norah – Independent Travel Cats
Claire Martin – Claire’s Footsteps
One of my best photography tips is to really use the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a photographic technique that draws emphasis on certain objects in the photo and makes the image aesthetically pleasing. On most cameras, you can turn a setting on which splits the screen into nine squares by splitting the screen with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Putting the focus on objects at any of the lines’ intersections draws attention to them.
The rule of thirds is great for photos with the horizon in; it is more aesthetically pleasing to place the horizon near one of the thirds lines rather than in the centre of the photo. It’s also a fantastic way to place emphasis on the sky, the sea or land, depending on what you want the particular draw of the photo to be. Another great tip for the rule of thirds is to leave the centre of the image free of any focal point. This means that the eye is drawn to other areas of the photo, and it is much more eye-catching this way!
Craig Russell – No Real Plan
Laurence Norah – Finding the Universe
There are a number of different ways to can learn how to use your camera properly. The manual is a starting point, but they tend to be fairly dry and challenging to read. A better option is to look up youtube videos or search the web for either photography courses, or guides written specifically for your equipment. Some key things you should focus on learning are how to quickly change the focus point, how to manually adjust ISO, how to disable the flash (essential for travel photography as many locations don’t allow for flash photography), how to adjust shutter speed and aperture and how to quickly adjust the exposure (exposure compensation). Whilst most cameras today will work well in Auto for around 80% of the shots you want to get, those 20% are often the shots you really want. So learning how to make the most of your travel camera is essential!
Anjali Chawla- Travel Melodies
The photographs we take of the places we visit narrate the stories about the place before we could even gather words to describe. The pictures remind us of the moments we lived and the experiences that were long forgotten. Thus, we need to feel the pulse of the place when kicking off to take photos.Capturing the essence of the place certainly is an art that needs to be perfected. I have learned that photography needs you to be slow while travelling. Running around places will drain you and you won’t be able to take good pictures.
One of the many photography tricks is to take pictures during golden hours (an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset), to catch a good light which is a vital ingredient for awesome photography. It’s a perfect time as there are fewer crowds, natural light and ample time to experiment. But remember that these hours are short-lived and you need to be there before the magic light disappears so make sure to plan ahead. The time of the sunrise and sunset depends on the season and the time zone.
Stay out late to capture the dance of colours while the sun sets. It’s all about that magical golden light in photography. Keep in mind that golden hour isn’t sunrise or sunset time but shortly before and after sunrise and sunset. You need to be prepared for your composition because the golden hour can sometimes only last minutes, are you may have lost that ideal lighting by the time you set up your camera. You can never really go wrong with golden hour, your pictures are sure to be amazing even if you are an amateur photographer.
Thanks to all my fellow travel bloggers for their helpful tips and insights, hopefully you have found them useful. What are your top photography tips? Let me know in the comments below!