4 Tips to Improve Your Travel Photography


4 Tips to Improve Your Travel Photography

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As you get better with your photography, you would hope your vacation images would also improve. But often that is not the case. You get out on a trip and forget everything you’ve learned, returning with mediocre snapshots. Convert what you have learned in general photography into great vacation shots. This article discusses four tips to improve your travel photography.

Take a Tripod

Taking a tripod on vacation can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you are flying. But there are travel tripods that collapse small and light and can be stuffed into a suitcase. You can also check with your airline and the TSA site, as tripods are usually okay to carry on.

Using a tripod for your vacation images does three things:

  • It ensures you can use a small aperture for maximum depth-of-field.
  • It eliminates camera shake for the best possible sharpness.
  • It forces you to slow down and think about the composition.

Travel Light

This flies in the face of the previous tip, but if you need to travel light, travel really light. If you follow professional photographers, you know they will not only travel with a tripod but probably an extra body, multiple lenses, filters, and other modifiers. This is great for them, but you’re on vacation.

Take your best glass, preferably a prime lens and nothing else. Traveling light means you will be able to move about and grab different perspectives and views quickly. Using only a single prime lens will force you to think more about the shot and zoom with your feet. Moving around a subject will give you shots you never thought of taking.

Keep Moving

This follows on the previous tip. When you see a subject, don’t just raise the camera to your eye, snap off a shot, and move on. Move around the subject as much as you can. Look at, then shoot from different directions and angles.

Find a high perspective you can shoot from. Get down low and shoot upwards. Most cameras have flip-out screens, which makes it easier to get those low shots without actually getting down on the ground.

Include People

How often have you started to take a photo of some scene and a person walks into the shot? You wait, impatiently, for them to finally move on so you can get the shot. That’s fine, but go ahead and take the shot with them in it. Even better if they are obviously a local.

Capturing people in the image gives it character and can impart a local feel you can’t get with a sterile shot of some architecture. Also, when photographing your family on vacation, include some candid images. These will bring back memories much better than the standard shot of them grinning at the camera.

It’s one thing to study and practice photography skills at home. It’s quite another to remember and put all those skills to use when traveling. Follow these four tips to improve your travel photography.

Jill Hanley

Jill Hanley, the founder of LensHype.com, is a professional photographer living in Seattle, Washington. She enjoys traveling abroad, exquisite street food, a crisp IPA, and sharing her knowledge and passion for photography.

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