We all want to capture our wonderful journey when traveling, that’s when travel photography comes into play. Most of the time, travel and photography go hand in hand, one passion igniting the other in a charming fashion. Yet the start of anything new is often challenging and quite stressful at times. Travel photography is a complex passion and if you wish to take amazing pictures from your experiences or even if you wish to have treasured memories of yourself traveling, there are certain things to consider. The most important things in photography are talent, practice, and learning, in whatever order you wish. Most of the time, if you are only passionate about travel photography and do not want to make it a profession, you can do it by just learning the basics of photography and practicing it whenever you travel. If you are just starting out and need a few tips that will greatly improve the quality of your travel photography, maybe you will find the following recommendations useful:
Good camera and lenses
You do not have to buy the most expensive professional photo camera in order to take good photographs. Nevertheless, you should consider purchasing something that will help you achieve your vision and a good travel camera should be reliable, light, and sturdy and with the specific features you need. While recent point and shoot cameras are pretty great, if you really wish to excel in travel photography, you will need a mirrorless or DSLR camera that came out in the last two or three years, as well as several lenses to go with it. While most cameras come with a kit lens, you should also invest in telephoto and wide lenses further along. Here are some great choices:
A good tripod
While traveling light certainly has many advantages, to take professional quality images you will also need a travel tripod. These are quite small and will make a great difference, especially if you want crisp images, long exposures, night scenes, or even when you wish to get into the picture. There are certain situations and creative scenes that can only be achieved with the use of a tripod.
One of the essential pieces of equipment that most travelers do not pay attention to is the backpack. While there are plenty of these to choose from for regular travel needs, if you are serious about travel photography, you also need a specialized backpack that will fit both your photo camera, and your lenses, but also other items.
The best trips are those that you spend a lot of time planning every detail, although there are still some cases when traveling without a plan has amazing benefits. For travel photography, it almost always pays if you take the time to plan ahead, choosing picturesque destinations and possible photo opportunities. While you should always be original and try to give each image your personal touch, you can also admire what other people have created in the destination of your choice. There are plenty of ways you can organize a photo trip, from finding the weather forecast to putting together itineraries and choosing the most photogenic sights.
If you are just starting in travel photography, you will soon learn that none of the above advice is useful if you do not have a strong foundation in photo composition. There are certain basic and more advanced rules you should understand before delving deeper into this activity. The good news is that they will be extremely straight-forward and easy to understand if you practice a lot, but you should always start by reading some photography books first.
Search for moments
While photographing landmarks and landscapes is certainly fulfilling to some degree, at one moment you will wish to add the human element to your travel photography. This is not as easy as it sounds, as the best images cannot be planned and you just have to be present and ready to find the best moments. It is often a question of waiting and watching a scene until something catches your eye or even getting right in the middle of the action and feeling the moments as they happen around.
The best light
Passionate photographers know that the best light is at sunrise and sunset, with certain situations where the more dramatic the weather, the better the photographs will turn out. You should plan your travel days accordingly, finding and taking advantage of the best light conditions, ideally photography before and during sunrise, as well as during sunset and the blue hour right after that. You can use the time when the skies are blue or overcast for traveling and relaxing.
Taking good selfies
Taking selfies with your phone all the time while on holiday certainly does not qualify you as a travel photographer. Yet you can still be part of the story is extremely creative ways if you wish to. If you have a tripod and set your camera to shoot after a few seconds, you can enter the picture and show certain things while doing so. Whenever you take these types of images, make sure that you are not the subject and only an element in the composition, showing things like the grandeur or beauty of a place.
Spare batteries and cards
One of the most overlooked aspects of travel photography is having extra batteries and memory cards. The last thing you want is to get to the most amazing place on Earth and realize that your only battery is half empty or you will have to delete some pictures to make room for others. These accessories are so cheap that it is simply not worth having a few in your bag whenever you travel. On the same subject, you should also think about taking a laptop or a tablet to edit and store your photos, as well as adapters or external batteries to charge on the go.
Last but not least, you should always stay alert while traveling with photo equipment, as this will often attract unwanted attention. Depending on the destination and situation, there are cases where photography is not recommended, whether being prohibited by the law or straight out dangerous. It is a good idea to always keep your equipment on your person and never leave it unattended, especially in less safe places.