8 Tips for Taking Awesome Travel Photos
Admit it – at some point of your life you thought of becoming a travel photographer. You dreamt of flamboyant festivals, serene landscapes, graceful wild animals in your viewfinder. Hold on! It doesn’t have to be only a dream.
Sure, travel photography is a competitive field, but it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in it. You just need a little self-confidence, a thought-out plan, and first-rate skills.
While we can’t actually help you with the former two, we are more than willing to aid with the latter. We come prepared with 8 surefire tips on travel photography that will help you take pictures that would be worthy of a National Geographic spread. Let’s dive right in.
Sure, modern cameras are smart enough to take decent pictures while in auto mode, but nothing beats the human eye and the photographer’s perception of the scene.
So shift away from auto and shoot only in manual mode, where you can have full control over ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. As for the file format, prefer RAW over JPEG if you plan to post-process your images. Granted, RAW files are much larger, but they give you more flexibility in later editing.
Remember the Rules of Composition
A shot with no attempt at composition is an average one at best. A shot with a well-planned composition is top-tier photography. So before you snap your first picture, make sure to study the composition rules and techniques. Then take your time setting the composition while shooting. Bear in mind that you can never go wrong with the Rule of Thirds.
Know the Best Time to Shoot
Even if you are only making your first steps in photography, chances are you’ve encountered such terms as the Golden Hour and the Blue Hour. Behind those poetic names lie secrets for a perfect shot.
The Golden Hour is the time in the morning when the sun is low and the light is soft. This warm light gives you an ethereal glow that translates well into pics.
The Blue Hour is the evening time when the sky is of a peculiar shade of blue. So if you are after a magical shot, up and early and go to bed late to be able to capture these fleeting moments.
Learn to be Patient and Observant
When shooting nature, you need to wait for the right moment to come. Minutes, sometimes hours. Some of the most breath-taking pictures are exactly that – a product of an excruciatingly long wait.
So do what all the best travel photographers do – set your equipment, balance your composition, then wait for the perfect conditions. You might be waiting for the right to hit, for a geyser to burst, or for the bird to fly – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you snap the shot when the time is right.
Research Locations Beforehand
Learn about your destination beforehand. Find out about weather conditions, the easiest routes, and any pitfalls that you might face in the place.
Next step is to scout it properly. Observe the place and take it all in. Plan your shots and take a few test pictures so that you come prepared with all your equipment and aspiration.
Take Only Essentials with You
Take on a habit of travelling light. The lighter you travel – the faster you are. The faster you are – the more locations you’ll be able to visit. But by travelling light we do not imply that you only need your camera and a change of clothing. Make sure that you have extra batteries and extra flash drives with you.
Get Yourself a Tripod
A tripod is a smart investment. This tool allows you to set your camera and keep it that way at all times. Besides, once your hands are free, you’ll have more maneuver in adjusting settings on your camera or playing with the compositions.
And the advice to get a tripod in no way contradicts our previous tip on travelling light. Luckily, there are feather-weight options on the market that will put no extra strain on your shoulders.
Be Hungry for New Knowledge
There is one essential thing that separates great photographers from average Joes. The former always strive to learn more about their craft. They strive to perfect it. So if your ambition is to become one of the best, never fail to learn more.
Study the works of your idols, talk to your peers, and take online courses. Educate yourself on new techniques and new equipment. Better yet, if you don’t want to spend too much money on a Photoshop subscription, get busy discovering new photo editing software. Try the likes of PhotoWorks, Luminar, or GIMP to find a reliable post-processing tool.
We hope you enjoyed our tips and found them useful. So if you still feel that urge to pack your backpack, take your camera and set off, we wish you the best of luck. Explore the world and show its beauty to us through your pictures.
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