It’s fun to take photos when you travel, but with so many photographers traversing the globe it’s getting harder and harder to take unique shots. These tips for travel photography will sharpen your skills.
1. It’s not about the camera
With so many on the market, it’s very easy to get caught up in which camera to choose and believing you have to have the best camera for the best photos – not true. Remember that every great travel shot you see has in all likelihood been edited to within an inch of its life.
You don’t need a great camera to take great travel shots. Even an iPhone takes incredible pictures these days. Don’t worry about the camera you have, instead focus on the things you’re taking pictures of.
2. Be patient
Most photographers will tell you that they spend half their lives waiting. You often find yourself lurking around in corners just waiting for the scene around you to unfold and interesting things to emerge.
Patience is key to taking good travel photos, especially when it comes to things like wildlife or a city scene. As you’re in an unfamiliar place you never know how the things before you will shift itself. Give yourself time to wait and enjoy letting the movement around you flow and change.
3. Worship Golden Hour
Golden Hour is the time referred to by photographers that the sun is either in the process of rising or setting. These times in the early morning and evening are when the sunshine coats everything in a dreamy hue of gold, making it ideal light for stunning photography.
When you’re in a new place, look up the sunrise and sunset times, and aim to get out to take pictures around those times. The more often you take pictures at this hour, the more you’ll realise how magical it is!
4. Talk to people before shooting
People don’t want to be made to feel like tourist attractions. Taking pictures of people while abroad (or even at home) can be a touchy subject because no one wants a camera thrown in their face when they’re going about their daily business. There are some places where you’ll get shouted at for doing so!
If you want a good person or people shot, make the effort to talk to your subject first. Put your camera away and get to know them, then once you have a good rapport going you can ask for a photo. They won’t always say yes, but there’s a much higher chance they will if you speak to them first, and it’s a more respectful approach.
5. Get high
No, we don’t mean in that way! Climb as high as you can to look out over a place and get those incredible wide angle shots. Find a building that has an open top floor or hike up a hill.
Not only does this high altitude offer you the perfect perspective for taking breath-taking photos, it pushes you to explore a place in a way you may not have thought of had you not brought your camera. Lots of people travel to Hong Kong for this reason as it’s one of the most mesmerising cityscapes in the world. Photography opens up all kinds of ways of exploring!
6. Look for the little things
As there are so many people out there sharing and taking pictures every single day, it’s difficult to take a unique shot. By all means take those iconic photos, but also make the effort to look deeper into a place to take those unusual pictures.
Pay attention to the way people move or the light moving over a landscape. These minute features are the things that make that single moment you’re in that place exceptional – they are the things that change all the time. Focus on people’s hands or faces, or the way the trees are moving in the breeze. These are the little details that are different every single day.
What would you add to this list of tips for travel photography?