Vacations, trips and travel adventures are worthwhile and memorable of you have something to show for them. Photography is the best bet for learning new things, meeting new people, and capturing spectacular views, landscapes, sceneries, and amazing people, while traveling. The more care you take with your photography, the more chance you’ll have of creating a photo worthy of being made into a canvas print and hung in pride of place in your home for all to enjoy.
Below are 10 tips on how to get the best travel photos.
1. Research and Prepare In Advance
For travel photographers, enthusiasts or anyone who simply desires to capture the best moments of their trips, preparation is undeniably the most important step in guaranteeing they take the finest images. The internet contains a mammoth of information on the best photography spots in all top destinations across the globe. Other useful resources include guidebook, image speeches on Google, direct contact with guides and locals in the areas you wish to visit. After gathering such information, prepare well, and then travel.
Preparation means you’ll waste less time making decisions, and see more on every trip! Tip and image courtesy of SmartTraveller.gov.au
2. Dress for the Occasion
Appropriate dressing is a critical success factor in travel photography. The scenes, culture, norms and taboos of a given location or community should guide a photographer on what to wear. Respect for local communities and their tradition is imperative, and dressing is a clear indicator of the attribute, or lack of it. Similarly, if you are photographing in extreme conditions such as steep terrain, or cold snowy mountains, wearing clothes that enhance safety and boost comfort can make the experience worthwhile.
Dress for the occasion! Even though France looks sunny, it can get very cold. A good winter coat is an essential. Tip and image courtesy of TheCanvasFactory.com.au
3. Engage Your Subjects
It’s not enough for a photographer to identify subjects, especially humans, direct them, and start clicking away. A long lens may save a photographer the trouble of interaction, but it may portray him/her as rude and insensitive. It also prevents one from making friends. It’s not a surprise that when photographers engage people on the streets, during festivals, on beaches, and in other settings, most of their potential subjects feel honored and even excited about having their photographs taken.
4. Introduce Yourself
If part of your travel involves visiting cities, local communities, or even cities within cities like the favelas in Rio, it’s wise to introduce yourself to the governing authorities and leaders of these areas. Take time to explain why you are there, and state your genuine intentions as a tourist and photographer. When the local leaders give you their blessings, it becomes more comfortable, safe, and encouraging to embark on taking photographs.
5. Travel Light
Do not carry excess and unnecessary baggage when traveling and scouting for locations. If you are a professional photographer, two lenses (a prime and a zoom), at most, should be adequate. Similarly, two camera bodies may come in handy, but are not necessary, unless events are happening so fast in particular spots. The light load will favor a photographer during strenuous activities such as hiking and trekking.
6. Master Your Equipment
If a photographer appears tense, anxious, or not in control of his/her equipment, people are likely to feel the same way. Knowing and mastering your equipment means that you have more than enough time to engage your subjects, relate to them, and boost their confidence in you. Be simple and avoid carrying sophisticated photography equipment if it’s not necessary.
7. Enjoy Yourself
In other words, have fun in all your photography adventures. Capturing the ultimate image may be important, especially if a photographer is on assignment, but amidst all the seriousness, concentration and keenness, it’s worth smiling, laughing, and having fun while at it. Always try to relax, enjoy the moments and be grateful for having the opportunity to capture the stunning images.
8. Be Keen On Lighting
Light can make or ruin your image. The golden rule of outdoor photography is to avoid shooting with the sun shining directly on people. Harsh light can make them uncomfortable and they may not wear their best expressions. You can simply find a shade away from the sunlight and compensate for the low lighting by using a flash to counter the shadows.
9. Avoid Distractions
Whatever subject matter you choose for your photograph, make it stand out in the final image. Photographers can achieve this by blurring the background, reframing the photo to eliminate unwanted elements, or zooming in to focus on the subject alone. A sharp wide aperture of f/2.8 – f/5.6 can assist in blurring background elements and distractions, depending on distance from the subject.
10. Choose Subjects Wisely
During travel expeditions, photographers, enthusiasts or ordinary tourists are likely to come across hundreds, if not thousands of beatify sceneries, breathtaking spots, and interesting people. Not all of them qualify to make great images. It’s best to consider your interest and what you intend to communicate in the image, before capturing it. Such considerations can help a photographer reframe the photo, take a step closer or further from the subject and capture the ultimate image.