One of the afternoons we decided to jump on our motorbike and wander around Amed with the camera. After being in Bali for two months we already got so comfortable on the road, that roaming on the motorcycle became our favorite pastime. We drove down the narrow, bumpy and very curvy country road from the peak of the mountain where I took few shots of amazing rice terraces. I put my camera safely in the backpack and hold on to Greg. Suddenly we saw young lady coming from another direction and climbing uphill on a tiny scooter. She had so many plaid baskets on the back of her scooter that she took the whole width of the road. Very original and such ‘local’ view. Greg politely gave her the way while I frantically tried to retrieve the camera from my backpack. Damn, I did it again! Once more I missed the opportunity for a great shot!
Travel photography is a bit peculiar and calls not only for basic knowledge and specific gear, but also particular habits. It became such important part of my journeys that the camera and accessories are usually first things I prepare and pack before hitting the road.
Since it’s easy to forget abut things in the travel hassle and even the most experience travel photographers make mistakes sometimes, I decided to create this list of travel photograph quick tips. It should serve as a reminder to myself and those who are already familiar with those points. For newbies it can be a guideline where to start and what points to cover in order to improve pictures from their journeys.
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The tips are presented in no particular order. They cover points concerning transportation, photographing itself, editing and ethics.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY QUICK TIPS
1. Learn how to handle your camera. I know that nowadays people just don’t read manuals, but it is really useful to know where specific settings of your camera can be found. You will access them much quicker and spare yourself frustration. If you really don’t like manuals, just play with your camera to get familiar with it before you embark on your first trip together. This also concerns experienced photographers when they buy a new gear!
2. Learn basics of manual settings of the camera. You don’t have to be pro right away, but if ISO, aperture, shutter speed and exposure don’t ring a bell – start by studying the basics. You don’t have to shoot full manual, but it’s better to know at least those terms. Here are great places where you can start when it comes to photography basics:
- CREATIVELIVE – is a fantastic platform with many free photography courses and a lot of great affordable classes
- KelbyOne – I just love their free course Crash the Composition with Scott Kelby. Just register for free and check out how many cool stuff they have on their page.
- my free tutorial ‘Basics of photography with manual settings – explained easy’ – which you can download here.
3. Before you hit the road prepare your camera and accessories – that means make sure the battery is full, have a spare battery, have a spare memory card. Check if everything works before you hit the road.
4. During traveling you never know when the opportunity for stunning pictures will show up. Have your gear close at hand.
5. Protect your camera from damage or theft – when flying always have it in your carry on bag, never in the registered luggage.
6. Don’t just concentrate on the landscapes and landmarks. Local people and animals are as much important in travel photography as the places and monuments.
7. This point is connected with the one above. Be respectful and considerate. Ask permission before you take a shot, especially when photographing celebrations, working artists or stands on the markets. Remember, you are only the guest in their country.
8. Do your research before you go, learn what’s interesting to shoot in your destination. Check out local Facebook groups or bloggers posts. Pinterest is a great place to research.
9. For landscape pictures – buy and learn how to use UV filter. It makes phenomenal difference, especially for sky and clouds.
10. Play with the angles. Get low on the knee or even lay down. Get high above peoples heads. Experiment. Don’t be afraid you look stupid. Nobody cares!
11. Take as many shots in one place as possible and time allows, even if you think the first one came out pretty well. You’ll thank me later!
12. Shoot the same object from afar, shoot from close, get very close. The same thing can be admired from far away and up-close and you’ll see different things.
13. Don’t ever say: ‘Oh, this is a nice spot. I’ll come back later.’ You won’t! Shoot now!
14. Learn how you can compose various settings and objects. There’s always more than one way. This is a great place to learn and expand your perspective. (once you register look for Composition….. with Scott Kelby
15. Everywhere you are look for patterns and structures (especially in cityscapes and architecture). Once you get used to finding them, you will be surprised how many are actually around us.
16. Sunsets are not tacky! They give great light condition. Especially if you have some interesting object to shoot sunset can provide a beautiful background.
17. Try to plan your day, so that you can shoot the most interesting subject of the day during golden hour.
RELATED: Don’t forget to check my post about Where to learn Travel Photography – FREE & AFFORDABLE Travel Photography Courses.
18. If you want to avoid crowds in interesting touristic place get there early. Very early! You’ll also benefit from morning golden hour.
19. Use a good tripod. Low-light situations, sunsets, wind – all of those require tripod to get a sharp photo. I just love how this travel tripod can be adjusted to all surfaces. It’s also very compact.
20. Try to tell the story about the place you’re visiting with your pictures. Find a way to say what’s unique or peculiar about this destination or people. It may be funny story, it may as well be sad or scary. What do you think this pic says about Jamaican women? 😉
Did I forget anything? Would you like to add something from your own experience? Please share your thoughts in comments and I will add your tips to the list. Let’s support each other and take better pictures each time.
PIN it for later!