10 Best Travel Photography Tips

Nowadays, it’s difficult to surprise somebody with travel pictures since one out of two Instagram users is a food or travel photography blogger. However, there is always space for improvement. If you decided to join the ranks of Instagram travel bloggers, you absolutely need to follow these tips. Read the info below and learn 10 travel photography tricks that will help you take better travel photos.

1. Know Your Camera

In case you are not a professional shooter, it’s difficult to tell the difference between a photo taken on a good smartphone and that on a DSLR or mirrorless camera body. Present-day realities set their own rules. Travel blog photography does not require a professional camera, it’s enough to know the basic travel photography tricks and have a decent camera on your gadget.

However, if you are a lucky owner of professional shooting equipment, i.e. a DSLR, mirrorless, or the latest point-and-shoot camera, explore its functions and Manual Mode capabilities.

2. Choose Right Lenses

In case you have a camera (not a smartphone) and want to get better travel photos, choose appropriate lenses. This accessory may greatly improve your pics or, on the contrary, completely spoil them. If you are on a tight budget and can afford only one lens, buy a fast zoom one, such as 18-200 mm or 28-300 mm.

The focal point may be very close or far off in the distance. Mind that a variable focal length lens should start with a good wide-angle and follow through the telephoto.

3. Always Edit Photos before Posting

Traveling photography, as well as any other genre, can’t do without qualitative image editing and color correction. Modern photo editing tools really make miracles. There is no need to buy expensive photo editing apps, but mind that some programs are vital for travel blog photography. You may start with Adobe’s Creative Cloud Lightroom Photography Plan which costs only $9.99 per month or boost your productivity downloading free Lightroom landscape presets. It is a great opportunity to save time since you will edit your travel pics in one mouse click. If you don’t have time for that, address FixThePhoto image editing service and get color correction service for about $0.20 per image.

4. What Gear a Travel Photographer Needs?

Mind that travel photography involves minimum gadgets and accessories. You should necessarily take a compact camera, several memory cards, a portable tripod or even a Gorillapod which is very flexible and convenient, a handy storage unit, a flesh unit, necessary lenses, and a good camera bag to fit all these things. The bag should be convenient and evenly distribute the weight over your shoulders. Remember to buy the one protecting against rain, dust, and heat.

5. Research Places You Want to See

Do some research before you begin the trip. Search the web on your destination point, read the guidebooks, Instagram posts about this place, communicate with your friends who have already visited this area, get in touch with shooters who have pictures thereof ‒ it will help you get some inspiration and think of your own photo ideas. Focus on what will perfectly express the essence of the place.

Use Instagram and Google Image Search. These tools are perfect for traveling photography research since you may easily highlight the places worth visiting. Local postcards are also a great source of inspiration. Moreover, they will help determine potential photo locations, identify their names, and do corresponding research. If you prepare beforehand, you will know what the weather is, how to get to the photo venue, what time of the day is the best in terms of lighting, what the opening hours are, how many people usually visit this or that place.

I don’t mean that you should have a strict plan and follow it without violations. The thing is that it’s better not to waste time wandering around but devote it to amazing travel photography.

6. Follow the Rule of Thirds

Travel photography tips for beginners necessarily put emphasis on the Rule of Thirds. It is the basic composite method used to improve photos making them dynamic and interesting. These are, actually, nuts and bolts of modern photography art. Beginner shooters are taught this basic rule in the first class of photo courses. Mind this rule and you will get balanced travel pics. It is one of the basic nature photography tips.

According to the Rule of Thirds, you are to imaginary divide the frame by two horizontal and two vertical lines. You will get 9 equal squares. The objects that you want to highlight should be situated along these lines or on their intersections. It is easily done through the viewfinder or LCD display.

7. Use Google Maps to Mark Your Spots

Usually, some interesting points worth photographing come to your mind and it’s important not to forget them. Google Maps is a great tool to mark the places you would like to visit and shoot. It will help you create the route beforehand and then just follow it. You will also estimate the distance between your photo locations and see how much time you need to accomplish it. Use the “SAVE” option on Google Maps ‒ put the flag or star on a place of your particular interest.

8. Pack Wisely and Comfortably

You should take only the most necessary things. You must admit that no one enjoys carrying heavy bags full of personal things and equipment during a trip. If, however, it happened that you need dozens of equipment (for example, for video shooting), think of a convenient bag. It should correctly distribute the weight over your body. Remember to wear comfortable and durable shoes.

9. Experiment with Composition

You will never get a perfect shot on the first try. Experiment and you will definitely find the right angle. Firstly, take a picture standing straight. Then, lay on the ground to change the angle. If the conditions allow, climb something to shoot from above.

To get better travel photos, change the shooting distances. You may take a wide shot, then try a mid-range one, and finish with a qualitative close-up. Remember that the first idea is not the perfect one; the best photo ideas appear in the process of shooting.

Don’t forget about the foreground, midground, and background objects. For example, if you shoot a forested area, try to include an animal, flower or stone into the foreground. In such a way you will create a shot with 3D effect and highlight the main object of the frame. You should also remember about focal compression. It is a great travel photography technique. Use a zoom lens to make the viewer think that the objects are really close when in reality they aren’t.

10. Remember Patience Is Everything

The last advice from our 10 travel photography tips for beginners deals with your attitude towards the shooting process. Photography is not about looking for some extraordinary places to take an ideal shot, but about seeing the beauty in front of you. Feel it with your heart and soul. It’s not as easy as it seems since you have to concentrate and think everything over. Don’t be too quick to press the shutter.

Details are of great importance. Is the sky beautiful? Are there enough clouds for a nice shot? Will it change in 10 minutes? Wait till the photogenic object comes into sight. Then continue waiting since even better photo conditions may appear in several minutes. But don’t disappoint if it doesn’t happen. Be patient enough not to miss the perfect shooting moment.

Good travel photography requires some time. If you are ready to wait hours for a perfect shot, you will achieve success in this photo genre. Each professional shooter knows that patience will be rewarded.

Now it is time to learn about the best equipment to have for travel photographers.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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