How to Take Better Travel Photos
When travelling, we want to not only have a good time but also to capture the special places and moment so we can remember them in the future. A photo is the best way to take home part of the place you have visited.
If quality is as important to you as the content of the image, read our tips below which will help beginners and amateur photographers take photos like the professionals.
Before we get started, you don't need to be a professional to earn money from photography, view our guide how to make money from your travel photos and start earning today - even if you are a total beginner.
Now, if you are a keen to capture better shots, check out our top recommended travel photography tips for beginners below.
1. Buy a Top Range Camera or Smartphone
Take a camera or smartphone with a high-quality lense and picture quality. You really don't need to splash out thousands for the best camera, there are lots of good value for money options available especially now with phone cameras improving every year.
Practice makes perfect and try to use every moment you have to improve your knowledge and skills. Go to a place near where you live in advance to experiment with angles and prepare camera settings. When choosing a photo format, select the maximum NEF or RAW. Never be greedy for the quality of the picture for the sake of quantity. HQ photographs are taken for better editing and a good finishing shot.
3. Research Before Departing
Before you go to a new country or location, explore the main attractive places in the city where you are traveling online. Speak online with locals, contact friends or relatives who have visited the place where you want to travel or even just use Google street view or Instagram.
4. Get Lost on Arrival
Having settled into your accommodation, take time to walk around and visit the sights that you have in mind. Most likely you will find that they are full of tourists because you aren’t the only one who has this idea.
Be curious and don’t hesitate to ask about unusual and little-known city locations. Wherever you go, be sure to seek out local places too, depending on what type of photopgrahy you are interested in. Trying to capture places off the beaten track can create more unique and different pictures than other photographers. For example, everyone has photographed the Eiffel Tower, but how many people have actually explored local neighbourhoods.
If you like art, visit not only large galleries like the Louvre in Paris or the Hermitage in St. Petersburg but also small exhibitions. Here you can get acquainted with local talents and immerse yourself in the artistic life of the city.
5. Consider the Timing
Think about the best time to photograph the place you have chosen. Early in the morning to avoid tourists, in the middle of the day when the locals actively entertain tourists, or at night in the dark? Also, think over the concept. You can just concentrate on an attractive location or add creativity and theatricality.
For popular tourist destinations, early in the morning is usually best. This way you will capture shots without the huge tourist crowds. Although waking up early on holiday can be a pain, it will be worth it when you get somewhere at opening and you have the place to yourself! This goes for even some of the most famous attractions in the world like the Taj Mahal!
6. Be Patient
When out photographing, be sure to be patient especially as you are unlikely to capture the perfect shot straight away.
7. Get Closer
Robert Capa was a Hungarian-born American war photographer and photojournalist who is considered by some to be the greatest combat and adventure photographer in history.
Robert Capa famously said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” So the the closer you get to your shot, the better the photo will be due to being able to see more detail.
8. Buy a Tripod
No one to photograph you with a friend? It often happens that you went on a trip with someone, but you don’t have a group photo as one takes and the other poses. The first way to fix this is to take a tripod. Set up the camera so that it captures the necessary background, your friend, and leave room for yourself. Use the auto start mode.
If you don’t have a tripod, feel free to ask a passerby to take a picture. You don’t need to know the local language or hope that a person knows English, just give him a camera and he will understand what you want. The disadvantage of this method is that you can’t hold a photographer for a long time. One couple of travelers said they needed a few strangers to get a good shot.
9. Use Photo Editing Apps and Software
Any photographer will tell you that all the magic of a perfect photo happens at the editing stage. Adjusting light, color, contrast, getting rid of the noise, removing unnecessary details like a group of people in the background, etc. are the key to success. The first advice is don’t think that it’s possible to fix or even perfect any frame. Filter potential good images during a photoshoot and don’t leave the place until you get a dozen options.
Photoshop is the most appropriate service for editors. But don’t expect that you will create a masterpiece the same day you purchase the program as it requires skills. You will find many resources including YouTube tutorials, thematic blogs, and forums for exploring Photoshop on the Internet.
Many travelers also use the Retouchme service, which is much simpler but has extensive functionality. The application interface is clear so just select what you want to change and adjust the settings.
10. Pack the Essentials
Apart from a camera, it is important you take other things too. Other things to consider include a lightweight bag, a lock, extra lenses, a laptop, wifi dongle, a physical hard drive, straps and more. Be sure to buy travel insurance before departing on any trip aswell, and get cover for your belongings just incase you are the victim of theft or an accident.
11. Set Up Online Cloud Storage
Google Drive and iCloud are two of the best online cloud storage websites where you can upload your photos and store them.
12. Watch YouTube Videos
There are so many famous photographers on YouTube with lots of helpful videos. Some offer tutorials and others advice about cameras, techniques and amazing locations to visit. This is an easy free way to improve your skills.
13. Join a Photography Course
There are online and also in-person courses available to take all around the world. Some companies and people also offer photo tours which are a great way to visit amazing places, meet like-minded people and also get tips from experiences pros.
Taking photos can be one of the highlights of travelling, especially as you will get to capture moments you can look back on for the rest of your life. Always keep your camera ready, because a beautiful shot can be waiting for you nearby.
Are you a keen photographer? Do you have any recommendations we have missed off our list? Let us know in the comments section below.