Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

Do you want to take better travel photos? Do you wish you could take Instagram-worthy shots when you are on the road? I have compiled a list of travel photography tips and tricks from travel bloggers so you can start taking better travel photos today by following their tips and advice.

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

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. I

Great Photography involves telling interesting stories, you want to give a real sense of time and place Click To Tweet

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

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.

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

Leanne Scott – The Globe Trotter GP

Twitter: @globetrottergp Instagram: @theglobetrottergp

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! 

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

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! 

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

Inma Gregorio – A world to travel

Twitter: @aworldtotravel1 Instagram: @aworldtotravel
If there’s something I have learned since I started taking pictures is that practice makes perfect. YouTube tutorials, good equipment and stunning locations will indeed upgrade your game but if you don’t play the part and actually take lots of pictures, you won’t go anywhere in the photography world. Of course, carrying a camera with you at all times (even if it is just your smartphone one!) and being curious as a child helps too. That way you will start looking at everyday things from a different perspective, come out with interesting points of view and portrait things differently.
Slowly, that curiosity of yours will lead you to start developing your own photography style. So grab your camera, do not be afraid of acting silly and pointing it at the most random things, careful when photographing people, that’s a completely different story and one that deserves your utmost respect!) and start experimenting and trying random photography techniques as if there was no tomorrow.

Raksha Rao – The Roving Heart

Twitter: @TheRovingHeart Instagram: @therovingheart

Lighting is one of the important factors when it comes to photography. It can create a stunning photo or a crappy one. If you want to take a well-lit photo of yourself, or when you are taking someone else’s photo, always face the direction of sunlight to give you a maximum advantage. Light falling on you would provide a better lit photo, which would reduce the amount of editing needed.
Try different perspectives and play with light from different angles. Either taking pictures from ground level or top level always provides a very different perspective than taking pictures at eye level, which can drastically change the aesthetics of the photo.
Sunrise and sunset would provide the best lighting possible with a burst of colour. Remember to be prepared and keep your camera on you when travelling. When it comes to lighting, you can sometimes find that some parts of your pictures can be underexposed or overexposed. This is completely fine if you are shooting your pictures in RAW. RAW pictures have a lot more detail in them and whilst post-processing the quality and the details are retained.

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

One of the primary rules in elementary photography is to avoid shooting against the sun. But shooting against the sun if the backlighting can be controlled, can provide dramatic results, even enhancing the photo. In this case, the sun could be behind the subject, in the frame or outside the frame. Silhouette photography could add an element of mystery to your photos. In this case, have a subject with a clearly defined shape, switch off the flash if present and have more light in the background than the foreground. In order to have distinct silhouettes, make sure the frame is as uncluttered as possible.
Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

Jessica Norah – Independent Travel Cats 

Twitter: @TravelCatsBlog  Instagram: @independent_travel_cats

If you want to improve your photography, you should get a tripod if you don’t already own one. Then most importantly you need to learn to use it AND take it with you when you travel. One common problem is that people buy a tripod but then leave it at home. Getting a compact travel tripod can help make it easier to pack.
A tripod can help you get shots you can’t get without it such as taking photos in low light situations, doing astrophotography, long exposure shots, and time-lapse photography. They are also great for group shots and for making stable videos. Check out our guide to travel tripods for how to use them, how to choose the best one for your particular situation and budget, and a list of recommended models at various price points.
Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

Claire Martin – Claire’s Footsteps 

Twitter: @clairefootsteps

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.

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

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 

Twitter: @norealplan Instagram: @norealplan

I’m always meeting travellers who have lost their phones or cameras. Most are obviously annoyed at having to spend their money and time and effort on purchasing a new gadget. However, those that are devastated by losing their device, always have one thing in common. Not only have they lost their phone or camera, but they have also lost all their photos. So how can you prevent this? The best way is to always try and have a local backup copy and at least one online, stored in the cloud. This can be hard especially when travelling, and always on the go as the wifi can be temperamental. However, it is worth the effort.
Travel photography tips from travel bloggers
My advice would be at least once a week, find a place near you, with good wifi and upload speeds, and have a coffee there. It’s worth sitting for an hour or so if it means all your photos and videos from the last week are now safely backed up. Online cloud services I recommend for backing up are, iCloud for iPhone users, Google Photos for Android users, and Flickr for people with cameras, as they include 1000gb of full resolution photo storage for free. Having your photos stored online in at least two places is ideal, just in case, there are any issues in the future with one of these services.
Travel photography tips from travel bloggers
Online storage solutions also include sharing options, so you can easily send links to friends and family, and fellow travellers so they can see your photos and download if they so wish, (often at full resolution). This is great as it means you don’t always need great wifi to share your photos with people if they’ve already been uploaded previously, as you are just sending them the link, not the actual photos. It may take a few minutes to set up online photo backups, but trust me, it’s worth it in the end.
Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

Laurence Norah – Finding the Universe

Twitter: @Lozula Instagram: @lozula

My travel photography tip is to be sure that you know how you use your camera properly. Be it a smartphone, a mirrorless camera or a DSLR, to get the most out of your camera it’s really important that you know what all the different features are on it. The worst thing is to miss a shot because you weren’t quite sure how to set up your camera properly.

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

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!

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

Anjali Chawla- Travel Melodies

Instagram: @travelmelodies

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.

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

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.

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

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.

Travel photography tips from travel bloggers

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!

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Pip Jones
Pip Jones

Pip Jones is a UK travel blogger, freelance writer and travel contributor for BBC Radio. She has been shortlisted for at the Visit Holland Press Awards for Travel Journalism. Also shortlisted for a Vuelio blogging award and the UK Post Office Travel blogger of the year. She can normally be found drinking wine, typing an article and taking a selfie all at the same time.

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