8 tips for taking great travel photos
Bring home hero shots from your travels.
Being in a new and exciting place can be a sensory overload and it sometimes can be difficult to know what to focus on photographing, especially when you want to capture everything. To help you get the best out of your travel photos and to leave you with lasting memories, we’ve put together our top 8 travel photography tips.
1. The human experience.
It can be easy to get stuck behind the camera, and while some shots deserve to be on their own, ensuring you are in the photo will make the memories more personal. Don't shy away from getting your picture taken, as you'll create a blank in the storyline of your adventure that can't be filled in later on.
2. Setting the scene.
Along with capturing monuments, famous buildings and interiors, make sure you don't neglect the small seemingly insignificant things, like a stray cat on the street, a charming shopfront or roadside wildflowers. It's often these things that give a destination its personality and uniqueness. These photos can be used later in a photo book to punctuate your hero shots and will evoke just as strong (if not stronger), memories of your experience.
3. Move around.
When moving at pace, or when you have limited time at each location, it can be hard to ensure you get the best shots possible. Exploring different angles quickly—crouching down, moving closer or further back, or stopping to check the view from a higher vantage point are effective ways of getting a range of photos taken from different perspectives. This will work in your favor when creating a photo book of your trip, by providing you with more options to choose from.
4. Research locations.
It's easy to tick off main monuments and tourist "hotspots" but so often there are so many more beautiful places to be discovered when travelling (but often time is of the essence). Consider researching before you go. A great way to quickly find different spots is to use hashtags on Instagram to reveal the places others have discovered. That way you'll know the exact stops you need to head to when you land.
5. Look more than once through your lens.
Look, look again, and then look again. You'll pick up on things that may not be working compositionally and you can quickly correct before you snap. Think of a digital camera as a film camera so you take a more considered approach to taking photos—this will also make life easy when you return home, with no need to scroll through 20+ images of the same thing.
6. Aim for three dimensions.
Have you ever been frustrated that your images look flat and don't quite convey the rich scene you experienced? The issue could be down to perspective. You've likely captured the background and midground but neglected to add some point of interest in the foreground. When composing a shot—and when shooting landscapes—it helps to think in threes. Mentally tick off the foreground, midground and background of the scene you are shooting. You'll notice a big improvement.
7. A room with a view.
Consider investing in a room in a hotel located in pleasing surroundings, or one that has renowned views of the city or countryside. You'll be able to take amazing shots right from the comfort of your hotel balcony, poolside, or from other areas of the complex, and it'll likely improve your overall experience of the trip.
8. Ask a local.
After ticking off a few popular tourist spots, you may be curious about "off the grid" places where you can go and take photos. Ask locals for their tips since they know the area best—their favorite view, park, and neighborhood—perhaps even their favorite coffee shop. This will not only help you find some hidden gems but will create a sense of adventure as you explore the less touristy side of travel.