Useful Travel Photography Tips For Improving Your Photography.
ravel photography is like a time machine, freezing memories from a journey that you can look back on and enjoy for years. Plus it can help others find new inspiration.Every travel destination has its own look, culture, history, people, feelings, landscapes, and stories.Learning how to capture these subjects through photos helps convey the spirit of a place to others, giving them a glimpse of what it might be like to venture there.
I never went to school for photography. And yet here I am now, making my living as a professional travel blogger & photographer who regularly licenses images to tourism boards, brands, and occasionally glossy magazines. I’ve slowly learned the techniques of travel photography over years of reading books, watching online tutorials, and regular practice to improve my craft. You can learn this way too if you put in the effort!Below you’ll find my favourite beginner travel photography tips to help improve your images during your next vacation!
Travel Photography Tips For Beginners
Wake Up Early, Stay Out Late
The early bird gets the worm. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase. Well, it’s also very true for travel photography. Light is the most important ingredient for great photography and soft, warm, morning light creates amazing images.
Sunrise isn’t the only time to catch good light. Sunsets are also great (check out these shots from Lofoten). The hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset are nicknamed “golden hours” because of their soft, warm tones and eye-pleasing shadows. “Blue hour”, is the hour after sunset (or before sunrise) when the sky is still blue, but city lights are turned on.
Pre Trip Location Scouting
Read travel guidebooks about your destination. Scour the internet for articles and blog posts to help give you ideas for photos. Talk to friends who have been there. Reach out to other photographers. Become more knowledgeable about which images will capture the essence of a place.
Once I know the names of potential photo locations, I’ll do more research. Which time of day has the best light? How difficult is it to reach certain vantage points? What time does an attraction open, and when will tourist traffic be low? What will the weather be like?
Talk To People Before Asking
Photographing local people in a foreign country is tough for many photographers. What if they don’t understand you? What if they say no? Will they get offended? It took me a couple years to get comfortable shooting portraits of locals, and even now I still get a bit nervous.
But I’ve learned the key is to talk to people first. Say hello. Ask for directions. Buy a souvenir. Compliment them on something. Chat for a few minutes BEFORE asking for a photo. It’s far less invasive this way.
Rule Of Thirds In Photography
One of the most basic and classic of photography tips, understanding the Rule of Thirds will help you create more balanced compositions. Imagine breaking an image down into thirds horizontally and vertically, so it’s split into different sections.
The goal is to place important parts of the photo into those sections and help frame the overall image in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.
For example, placing a person along the left grid line rather than directly in the center. Or keeping your horizon on the bottom third, rather than splitting the image in half. Remember to keep that horizon straight too!