8 Useful Travel Photography Tips For Improving Your Photos

Want to improve your travel photography? It took me 10 years to take photos from all over the world. This is my favorite travel photography technique for beginners.

Photography is like a time machine that freezes your looks and memories, and you can look back on the years before as if time was backward.

Each traveler chooses a purpose with its own thinking, culture, history, people, feelings, scenery, and story.

Learning how to capture these themes with a camera helps to convey the specialness of a place to others and convey the sense of adventure through your eyes.

I have never taken photography classes. But now I am here, living on a professional travel blog, going out regularly, writing travel journals and contributing to some magazines.

Over the years, I have improved my craft by reading books and watching online tutorials. Maybe you can also learn how to take the pictures you want!

1.Get up early

For travel photography, light is the most important element of good photography, and colorful morning light can create amazing images.

Getting up early also means you can reduce distractions from visitors and other photographers. It’s important to get up early for famous landmarks or natural landscape photos. For example Taj Mahal, Moscow Red Square, Eiffel Tower …? As long as you get there early, you will almost have a good location!

Sunrise is not the only good time. The sunset is also great. One hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. Because of the sun’s altitude, the sun is soft and warm, and contains multiple colors and pleasing shades.
Taking landscape photos at blue hours is also a good choice. “Blue hour” means half an hour after sunset (or before sunrise), when the sky is still blue, but the ground is dark.

In contrast, photos taken at noon on a clear sunny day may be relatively dull! Usually, I take some dark photos at noon one day, and the shadows are clearer when the light is the most abundant. This is helpful for taking portraits or rocks. Photos have a spatial hierarchy.

2.Survey destination before travel


Read travel guides for destinations. Chat with friends who have been there. Search the Internet for blog posts to help you think of photos.

My favorite travel photography research tools include Instagram and Google map. I use them to learn iconic locations.

Once the names of potential photo locations are known, more research will be done. What time of day is the brightest? When are the attractions open and tourist traffic? how’s the weather?

Traveling without a plan is not the act of a traveler or photographer. Preparing your research well beforehand can save time, so once you get there, you can focus on making great travel photography and making the most of your time.
Of course, if you just want to relax, you don’t have to do it, because it does feel tired.

3.Photographic composition


As one of the most basic and classic techniques in photography skills, understanding the rule of thirds will help you create a more balanced composition. Imagine breaking an image horizontally and vertically into two-thirds and then splitting it into different parts.

The goal is to put important parts of the photo in these sections. And set off the main part with scene, light or other ways, and then compose the complete picture.

Of course there are many composition techniques! Some stunning pictures don’t even conform to standard rules. So saying “beauty” is not something that can be accurately described.

By turning on the camera’s “grid” function, you can easily take a picture using the three-point method.

Now, before making a travel photo, you should ask yourself: what is the main focus of this photo? Attention to these details will improve the appearance of the image.

Don’t forget one more thing, remember to remove the lens cap before taking pictures.

4.Carry a lightweight tripod


I think more people should use lightweight tripods. With the camera fixed, you can take the time to arrange the perfect composition. This is most of the time. If you want to shoot stars, galaxies, and other subjects that require long exposure, then you need a heavier tripod.

Tripods give you the ability to shoot much slower shutter speeds (waterfalls, low-light, etc) without worrying about hand-held camera shake.

When using a tripod, you have more control over the camera’s manual settings.
For sharp landscapes, low-light photography, self-portraits, water lenses and sunset, tripods make a big difference.

5.Make photography a priority while traveling


Trying to take a quick snapshot as you run from one place to another will give you boring photos that everyone else has. Make sure to plan “proprietary photography time” in your travel plan.

If you’re traveling with friends who don’t like photography, it’s almost impossible to take good pictures. You need to rest for a few hours on your own, because when you think about composing, there is a voice “hurry up” in your ear. For this reason, I usually prefer to travel alone.

A better choice is. Travel photography trips in your own car. This allows you to control when and where you stop photos. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a tourist bus!

6.Take travel photos in manual mode


You might think that modern cameras are smart enough to take amazing photos on their own in auto mode. But that is not the case. Although they do a good job, if you want truly satisfying images, you need to read the camera manual carefully.

If you are not familiar with photography, you might use auto throughout. These include ISO, aperture and shutter speed. To get the best images, you need to understand the relationship between them and how to adjust these settings yourself.

To do this, switch the camera’s dial to manual mode. This camera mode gives you more control over the appearance of images in different situations. By manually adjusting the aperture, you will have more control over the depth of field of the image.

7.Always bring a camera


Get everything ready and always carry some kind of camera with you, because you never know what you will encounter, luck plays a vital role in travel photography. If you encounter something interesting without a camera in your hand, you Would feel sorry.

The difference between amateur photographers and professional photographers is that professional photographers are preparing for this, taking advantage of these special occasional moments that happen from time to time.

Remember to always keep the camera on your body, fully charged and ready to take action.

8.Don’t be obsessed with camera equipment


Wondering what travel photography equipment I use? Okay, let me show you. However, if you go out and buy all these things now, not only will the price be very cheap, but I guarantee it will be well worth buying.
Now,it is 2020. I use the equipment from 5 years ago. All cameras are second-hand goods.
I am a Nikon user! !! !!
The travel camera bodies I currently use are: D80, D7100, D800 and p900s

why? Because it is not an absolute condition for you to use fashionable photography equipment. Just like the type of paintbrush used by painters does not make them outstanding painters. Knowledge and creativity make great photographers.

Professionals use expensive equipment because it allows them to produce a wider range of images. For example, starry sky photography. Or wildlife photography.

Instead of spending money on new equipment, take the time to learn how to use your current camera settings. This is a good choice! If you are very rich, ignore what I said earlier.

Here are some photo references:

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