Travel photography can be described in many ways, but for most people it simply entails getting memorable photographs of the things they experience as they explore the world. Travel photography includes such things as road trips, long vacations or trips within your own local area that require you to pack a bag and leave your house. Before you load up the car, take a look at these quick hints to help ensure your photographs turn out as great as your adventures.
Get the Right Gear
If you want to know what type of camera takes the most detailed and beautiful images possible it’s a large format camera. But if you want to go on a hike you’ll likely not want to pack an enormous 8×10 camera around with you for the day. Before leaving the house, take a realistic inventory of your gear and cross-reference it with your plans – anything that you won’t realistically need or that may become a burden should be left at home. For nearly every application, an SLR camera with one or two lenses and a backup battery should be more than sufficient.
Find Overlooked Beauty
So you flew all the way to Paris and you came back with pictures of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. But the problem is so does everyone else who has ever been there. If you’re really interested in creating memorable and unique photographs, you need to be willing to get off the beaten path. Take a tour of obscure landmarks, or ask locals for advice on where to find the best sunrise in town. The world is beautiful and photography allows us to capture its beauty, but there are many amazing photographs being missed if you’re not actively exploring. Try finding new places and try to get lost in every place you see and you’ll likely find the hidden beauty just out of view.
In addition to bringing backup batteries, you should also be sure to have a few rolls of film (or an extra memory card). Another good idea is to always bracket your shots. Bracketing means shooting three photos instead of one; the first is shot at the recommended aperture, then the second and third are shot one setting too low and one too high. Travel photography is unique in that many of the photo opportunities you have will never be available to you again, so bracketing ensures you have a lot to work with when you get back home.
Share Your Story
Every time you go somewhere you should think of yourself as an ambassador to the place you’re visiting. Picture that your photo editor has given you an assignment to tell a story with the photos from your trip. Every picture you take while you’re on your trip is part of a greater story of your overall vacation. Whenever you can, try to have every picture have meaning and represent a part of your trip. For instance, a good theme for shooting in the desert would be isolation, while celebration would be great for a place full of people. You should always have some kind of connecting line between your pictures.
Without a doubt, travel photography is one of the most fun photography niches to focus on. You get to work hard doing what you love and creating beautiful images, all while exploring some of the most interesting places on Earth. As long as you take pictures with a purpose and use the right gear, your friends will likely be admiring your travel photos for many years to come. Just remember to take a little time to enjoy the experience while you’re there; it’s easy to get caught up in the camera and completely miss the joy of the trip.