For budding photographers like myself, traveling is the perfect opportunity to flex those photography muscles. You’re going to see a lot of things you would never find on your front door step so it’s important to capture these moments whilst you can.
There’s an inherent stress that comes with travel photography. We’re often terrified of missing an opportunity in case we never see this part of the world again. This happens often to me and I find sometimes I miss what we are doing because my whole focus is on taking the picture. It is a fine line as photos are or only souvenirs but enjoying the moment is equally important.
Overall though, it’s important to get the most out of an excursion and with these five travel photography tips, you may do just that.
It is vital that you start each and every day prepared and with a clear goal in mind. Do your research before you head out: find out the opening times for local landmarks, plan your transportation, and pack everything you need. Make a day plan and then follow it through. Get up early to avoid the crowds and hit every single landmark you planned without getting pushed out the way.
Be sure that you have an extra battery and SD card available as well as some a cloth to clean the lens when needed. I also try and carry a waterproof bag with me in my camera case as you never know when a bit of rain will begin.
Try to get a feel for the place you’re visiting. Try the local food, learn about the culture, listen to some music and speak to people. Not only will you enjoy yourself, but you could get an eye-opening tip on a location you would never have known about. You can find some truly magnificent sights if you’re willing to go off the beaten track.
Before you go, make sure you know you camera inside and out. Every button, feature and accessory. Buying a new camera in time for your holiday is all well and good but if you don’t know how to focus correctly or take pictures in the correct setting you’re going to waste a lot of time. Make sure you read the manual! There are a number of great practical guides online from experienced photographers like Robert Caputo. His guide on landscape photography could be especially useful.
I suggest if you have a DSLR to try and get yourself off of auto. With a great camera you will see an immediate difference in quality of photos but getting out of auto and really getting to know all the bells and whistles you have available will leave you speechless as to quality!
Manage your Time
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of over snapping a particular landmark or subject. If you get too caught up in getting that perfect photo you’re not only loosing battery, but daylight as well. Yes, be methodical and yes, accomplish what you want to achieve, but don’t obsess over minor details. If you do, you may miss out on other opportunities. There are always editing tools to fine tune any aspect you may have missed.
Leave the camera at home
Wait, what? This may seem like a strange tip but trust us, you’ll need a break every now and then. A day away from travel photography can help alleviate tunnel vision and let you get down to just enjoying yourself. On a day off you may even spot a potential photo opportunity you can come back to the next day. If you miss out on the experience is the photo even worth it?? A key question I often ask myself. Trust me a couple outings without a camera and you'll feel like a new traveler!