How to Take Good Travel Photos? – 11 Useful Tips
Observation, intuitive composition and a sense of the moment are important components to take good travel photos. So, what do you need to think about before pressing the shutter button on your camera to take breathtaking travel photos?
Table of Contents
How to take good travel photos
Today anyone can take good travel photos on a smartphone. It’s amazing! But for a professional photographer this is rather a challenge – your shots should really stand out among the amateurs, so you should always strive to expand horizons your knowledge and skills.
Approach wisely to prepare your equipment before the trip. How long do you have to walk today to take good travel photos? How comfortable is your backpack? Will the equipment survive in the shooting conditions?
It seems as obvious things, but at the beginning of my career I packed too big and bulky backpacks. The extra equipment was only burdened, not particularly helping the creative process.
I believe that the trip was a success if I managed to find and capture an unique story and take good travel photos. And it doesn’t matter who or what I photograph – a landscape, a group of people or one person. But such pictures are not easy. It takes a lot of things to create really interesting photo stories. Sometimes to find a story has a long time to go abandoned trails, so I have to be sure that physically I can carry away all my equipment.
Travel-photographer should not dwell on the plan of the expedition: not all travel can be carefully thought out in advance and how to take good travel photos. My most successful trips were an adventures where almost everything was unpredictable.
1. Add text or story
Only few people are interested in watching “postcards” today. Internet is full of them now. People are interested in augmented reality, personal impressions and emotions included in the text. Judging by the content of successful bloggers, to take good travel photos is a combination of personal impressions, useful tips and beautiful photos. Photography should be an independent element, it should tell a separate story. However, the text is intended to complement the feeling, it may not be about the specific place on the photo, but simply contain the impressions of the trip.
2. Same style
If you use photo filters in mobile photo processing, try to choose a permanent set of 2 or 3 that meet your requirements and stick to them or don’t use any photo filters at all. This is important to ensure that the person viewing your feed can always distinguish your photos from others because they are uniform. The addictive effect will be stronger.
3. Better with real camera
Now there are many special lenses that will help your to take good travel photos that significantly expand the capabilities of the smartphone camera, but the lack of camera is fixed focal distance. In addition, the matrix is very small too so the detail level is too weak, which is ok for Instagram, but not for printing a large format. So. If you plan to collect a book or put a photo in a frame and give to friends, it is better to use the camera (which one is best? Read here). When you want to shoot landscapes on long exposures or with some special effects – without a camera it will not be possible.
4. Avoid large concentration of tourists
If you walk the tourist trails, you will constantly stumble upon places that have already been filmed million times and it will be almost impossible to find something original there and take good travel photos. To see the main attractions, especially if you are first in these places is necessary but you also need to diversify your routes. Remember that any such place requires several visits to understand and discover something new.”
5. Selfie stick
A selfie stick can significantly transform photos. It can be used not only to create a selfie, but to change the position of your smartphone. With it, we can lift up the phone and take good travel photos of what is happening from above. For example, you can get a very spectacular photo of the crowd, being in the flow of people on Dubrovnik, Croatia.
6. Unusual photo spots
It is always more unique to shoot from a height. Such points are often not available to us, so a photo taken from a difficult height will be impressive. Climbing on rooftops to is the coolest way to take good travel photos. Options to get there are different. Your success lies outside the comfort zone is it says. And that’s 100% true! To get a good result, you have to do something different from what others do.
7. Pay attention to details
Shoot large details of the object: doors, windows and so on… They perfectly convey the character of the place. The brain is so structured that we imaging what’s left behind the scenes. In theory, the viewer does not need to see the whole building to give an impression of it. It is much more interesting to snatch a part of the space and allow the viewer to dream up. It’s going to keep his attention.
8. Taking photos in public
In some countries it is forbidden to take photos of human in any form. Accordingly, they do not like to be photographed. This should always be taken into account by filming on the street in such countries. Of course, it is possible to do it covertly, but is it necessary?… It’s better to ask permission.
9. Two optimal times
It’s 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after dawn, 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after sunset two optimal times to take good travel photos. The catch is that when the sun rises high enough, the contrast of the sky and landscape becomes very large, the camera can not capture both at the same time. It always chooses – either the landscape is good but sky is too bright or the the sky is good, but the landscape is dark. In dawn and sunset light, the sky and landscape are illuminated in less contrast. The result is a very good picture. Plus, during dawn and dusk, the sun is close to the horizon, and the shadows lengthen, giving the image texture and volume.
10. Keep your camera nearby
To not miss and take good travel photos you need to be ready at any moment to take a photo. Always hold it in your hand or nearby. Use the volume/power buttons for shooting. Build a composition guided by intuition. And remember that you need to have a power bank, because the battery of the phone is not enough for the day of the walk. The extra battery will allow you to remain energy independent and take pictures at any time.
11. Put your camera away
We are so passionate about capturing everything and everywhere around us to take good travel photos that we forget to just live, stay and look around. To create a quality picture you need to be full of energy. First immerse yourself in the atmosphere, and after two or three days take your camera and start shooting. Of course, there are difficulties if your trip is only few days and bad time frames. But it makes no sense to shoot everything. Because by do it, you miss the most important thing. Photography is about observation, so you need to observe and be prepared for the time when “a perfect frame” comes.
I always try as much as possible to learn about the country and the area I am going to. It is the only way I can take good travel photos and bring home truly sincere photos, and the trip is considered a success.
By shooting in different parts of the world, I learned another important lesson: not all people saw a professional camera. Agree, a large lens, directed in the face, can be somewhat embarrassing. Therefore, you need to think in advance which lenses are more suitable in such conditions.
The essence of the art of photography is not only in a beautiful picture, take good travel photos – story is the most important here, and new is best. It is not enough to take a real photo to be considered a travel photographer. Success in this craft comes only to someone who shoots unique shots, exposing something unknown – the terrain, group of people or history.
In addition, to improve my skills, I constantly experiment with lenses and shoot from new angles, under different lighting, etc. With the right technique, I can improve my artistic skills and take pictures in my signature style.