Among the different categories of photography, traveling photography has always been the most appealing one. Be it for a professional reason or just highlighting your trip and to treasure the unforgettable moment in your expedition, learning a few skills to take the perfect snap never goes to waste. The traveling photography is also known to help viewers to feel the same level of experience and excitement as the traveler himself.
However, every one of us might not be that phenomenal to create an amazing masterpiece right off the bat. So, here are 23 few tips from the world’s best travel photographers that you put to good use in your exploration.
1. Do your research before heading out
Many of the best travel photographers suggest that you should do a thorough research of the destination you are about to visit properly before making the trip. Spending a few hours for the best stay in facilities as well as the best spots to take pictures always comes in handy; it is quite fine to wander on your own, however, knowing about the best vantage points for shooting does have its perks. So, let the internet and social platforms aid you in collecting information, there is nothing worse than leaving a destination and later noticing the magnificent spot.
2. Always travel light
Travel photography is indeed an inspiring and exciting profession, but, there is also a chance of you getting carried away while packing equipment to take with you. You might want to take all your kit to the exotic destination to capture the perfect, however, you also need to be mindful about extra baggage allowance and insurance of those kits, so, if possible you could rent the equipment on the arrival or opt-out a few gadgets that you can manage without. The experts recommend you to carry kits like a durable camera bag, flexible Gorilla pod, your selection of lenses, portable storage unit, flash unit, and a suitable compact unit.
3. Study the weather conditions
Everyone wants to excel in different kinds of photography, so, take into consideration what you want to capture on your lens properly and study the weather for the day. Studying where and when the sun rises and sets have some vantage points, further, the day with clouds is considered far better than the day with a clear blue sky. Be it capturing the rain droplets, taking pictures above the fog from a high altitude point in cold days, or clicking picturesque scenery amidst the snowy terrains, make sure you are planning for the right kind of weather to capture what your heart wants.
4. The morning time is best to capture the perfect shot
The most common issue for travel photographers is the crowded tourist attractions in the destination. ‘The early bird gets the worms’ is applicable pretty perfectly in these kinds of situations, although it may be a little hard for you to wake up early in the morning, the free space and photographs you can take in the morning light will be worth it. The picture without 100 tourists around and a few of them not taking space on your background will help you reflect the true beauty of the things that you appreciate.
5. Patience is a virtue
A lot of newbie photographers make the mistake of pressing the shutter too soon. Experts claim that photography isn’t just about seeing what is in front of you with your eyes only, but, also from your heart and mind as well. You may need to dedicate a lot of time, effort, and attention to capture the perfect shot, so slow down and become aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to small details of the region and decide for yourself which shot will satisfy your heart; good photography always takes time.
6. Learn to shoot manually
There tons of modern and advanced cameras that are smart enough to take the perfect shots on their own in the auto mode. But, it doesn’t mean it will capture all the small details you wanted to include on your shot or the way you wanted to showcase the beauty of things that you found fascinating. Thus, almost every best travel photographers suggest that you should learn to adjust the setting of the camera manually to have the full control and highlight the part you wanted. Taking charge of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO will help you adjust the noise of the image and take perfect shots in different lighting situations.
7. Don’t be afraid to wander around
Some of the best travel photographers suggest that you shouldn’t be afraid of getting lost and wander around the different locations close to the major attractions. You might find the hidden gems that are yet to be explored besides the crowded tourist spots, if you get comfortable exploring around the regions exploring the alleys, talking with the locals, and adventuring further than the convenient and familiar sites. It will be a lot easier for you to the rhythm of a place if you are likely to explore more than what just meets the eye, being more observant of surrounding certainly can be rewarding sometimes.
8. Try to do something unique
There will already be tons of photographs of the popular sites and you might be left without an option to do something different. In such cases, be observant of the surrounding, what is yet to be covered, what you can see that is different, and how you can tell the same story but in a unique way. The expert travel photographers suggest that thinking outside the box is the only way to keep pushing the envelope of your photography skill. Maybe a 90° bend shot will give a different angle? or stoop down and laid out-belly shot?; trust your instinct and decide what will work best.
9. Grasp the concept of light
Paying attention to the light in travel photography is the best way to capture an amazing shot. You might have seen some of the best sunrise or sunset shots that are taken by the photographers who are mindful of the light and the part they can highlight in their photographs. The expert photographers suggest that morning shots, the golden hours ( two times of the day right after sunrise and right before sunrise) are the perfect moment if you want to focus on landscape photography, and, a half-hour after sunset is the moment when the most vibrant colors can be witnessed.
10. Always back up your travel photos
In travel photography, frequently backing up your photos in both physical devices or on the cloud is pretty essential. Your passion for photography takes you to a different kind of exotic location that might damage or wet your storage unit; there is also the possibility of your items getting lost and in the worst-case scenario-- theft. So, as a photographer, you need to be prepared for every kind of circumstances, you can make a few copies of the photographs on other storage units or upload the photographs for online backups on a regular basis; this way your works will stay intact and you can wander around without any worries.
11. Take a lot of photos
After waiting for the perfect moment and clicking the shutter at the right time don’t limit your photographs to a couple of numbers. The experts in the field have opened about taking over two dozen pictures to just capture simple movement on their frame. This way you can choose the best photograph that looks perfectly artistic and that can portray the story you wanted to convey. So, trust your instinct and keep pushing forward even if you feel like you have captured the perfect shot, this way, you may even capture a better shot than what you were expecting; best travel photographers have acclaimed that few of the first and last shots are going to be the perfect shot you are looking for.
12. Try getting closer
Generally, the best photographers in the business will suggest you get closer to the object or the beauty you want to capture on your lens. You need to get in there when you want to take portraits or, animals in action and ongoing events, getting closer will certainly be worth it making your photograph a masterpiece in every detailed aspect. However, it is not recommended to get closer if it puts your life in danger like getting closer to the herd of wild animals or hanging around on a deadly cliff. Many of the best travel photographers also say that being an ‘in camera’ photographer and paying attention to the real-time framing will help you take amazing shots; you can also easily crop it later if you are a perfectionist.
13. Try being authentic
The best travel photographer always suggests that you should be authentic and honest about what you are doing. You have to focus on the photograph that really interests you and not just because you will gain profit from it. The photograph you take considering what really interests you and just to make some money out of it will have a lot of difference. The photographs are always not limited to technical perfection, your work also needs to touch the people and they should be able to understand the message you are trying to convey. If you are really interested to take a photo and you are emotionally invested towards it then it is definitely going to be a piece of art.
14. Always stay standby
In travel photographing, you will always have to be prepared with your photography gears and stay in a standby position. You might be in luck to capture an opportunity at the right moment, there are always a lot of things going on when you have set out on an exploration, so, you can utilize the moment if you witness a masterpiece in action. It doesn’t mean walking around turning on your camera, stay flexible so that you can move your hands around and capture the special moments on your lens.
15. Pick the right lenses
Travel photography is definitely one of the most fun and interesting professions; however, if you are not good with gadgets and have no idea for the right lenses, the results might not be that satisfying. Among the variety of camera lenses, the best travel photographers recommend that the fast zoom as an 18-200mm or 28-300mm are the ideal lenses that you should consider in your travel photography. Further, if you have more room, you could pack the wider range of lenses like a prime lens, telephoto, and wide-angle lens. The right gadgets will help you capture the beautiful moments as you have envisioned, and keep you motivated to keep going further and pushing your limits.
16. Keep upgrading your game
There is nothing in the world that can beat the experience, so never stop learning and keep upgrading your game with new tricks and techniques. You can spend some hours learning the photography tutorial if you are a complete newbie or take advanced courses if you want to make more impact on the photography sector. Even the best travel photographers believe that there’s always something new to learn and they also invest in online courses and photography books to keep improving their crafting skills. So, always be open to new things, you might learn new skills on the course of the journey or from other photographers in your expeditions, embrace all you can learn and put it all together to form a beautiful masterpiece.
17. Travel calmly
Time plays a vital role in life. If something is missed then it is rarely possible to get it back and neither can we change it. All the good stuff happens if you really take time to explore. You will learn about the activities that aren’t in your guidebook and meet people who are eager to show you around. Spend more time in fewer places because you will get chances to capture the best moment. Moving around too hastily won’t give you an opportunity to truly explore the destination, the potential vantage points that you could capture on your lens, so, make travel calmly and make your adventure a memorable moment.
18. Play with different compositions
Playing with different types of composition to find the perfect shot will certainly reward your efforts. Try taking pictures standing still or lay down on the grown, if it still doesn’t sit right with you, go a little higher climbing something close by or lower to see which one touches your heart. Besides these, the travel photographer experts also advise that taking a photo from different distances like taking a wide shot, mid-range shot and a close up shots will open opportunities for different kinds of ideas for the particular image.
19. Use the right mode
Choosing the right picture format can be a little tricky, shooting in JPEG or RAW will provide you the top-notch quality that you can use to your flexibility; however, it will also take up a lot of space on your storage input. Using other formats might not give you the quality image and produce noise on your photographs, so, the best travel photographers recommend that you should take pictures on the high-resolution format even though it consumes a lot of space, you can carry additional storage units with you or frequently back up your work every night to free space from the device for the adventure next day. It is also recommended that you take the double amount of storage units than what you expected that you would need.
20. The foreground, mid-ground and background element
Many experts suggest that the three-dimensional feel in a photograph helps to convey the scale of it drawing the viewer’s attention into every aspect of the photo. For this element to work, you have to categorize the element of your photographs in three equal parts either it is horizontal or vertical. Intersecting the points on such a level will naturally attract the attention of the viewers, like while taking a photograph of a sunset covering the two-third part with the sky covering the sunset, one-third with the landscape to make the perfect shot.
21. Put framings to good use
Framing doesn’t necessarily mean hanging a picture frame while taking your photographs; it is about what you can see that you think are suitable objects to frame your photographs. This trick is used by photography to draw the attention of the viewers to the scene. It can be a natural infrastructure or a man-made object, look around the location if you can creatively frame any objects nearby. Framing with objects like bridges, branches of trees, dense passage, vegetation, pass or massive gates, etc. are the most common framing used in travel photography.
22. Use the leading lines
Using the leading lines in your photographs will naturally draw the attention of the viewers to the main subject of the image. The use of leading lines necessarily doesn’t have to be natural geography, if you can visualize you can create the leading lines using other features as well. You can even use roads or trails to showcase the main object of the photograph; this is quite a unique way of portraying the object in the photograph and the meaning in it.
23. Finally, it’s not about equipment
Generally, people make travel photography an expensive hobby or profession where you need to carry a lot of expensive gadgets and cameras to take the perfect shot. But, travel photography cannot be defined like that, photography is a gesture of capturing the beautiful moments and objects that touch your heart, you don’t need very expensive tools to do that. There are so many types of lenses and objects that one will never suffice, so, instead of focusing on the tools, focus on the scenery and beauty that your instinct tells you to click. You can gradually upgrade your equipment if you can grasp the depth of travel photography and want to explore various sections of it.