Monday, November 24, 2014

10 Tips for taking better Travel Photos

I get a lot of comments saying that people like to go on a photographic journey with me. Also, I get often asked how I take these travel photos that seemingly take you along. It's not easy when you are out and about. Especially on your vacations if you happen to visit places that get stormed by tourists. You want to come back home with images that make people who see them want to visit that place themselves.


You don't want to be one of the many, that takes the same shot from the same place over and over, that makes the obvious choice when it comes to framing etc. There are a couple of tips I go by when I'm on my travels, that seem to work out for me.

Today I'm sharing my 10 Tips for taking better Travel Photos. As with all rules or tips: make them your own and have creative freedom.


click on the images for a better view 

1. Choosing the right lens for your Camera

This is the first thing you need to take care of. You don't want to travel with your whole gear and dismount lenses all the time. I usually go with a wide lens (like the Canon 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6) that takes care of landscapes and cityscapes for me, and then my trusted Canon 50mm f/1.8 for close-ups and various other shots.


2. Work locals and visitors into your Travel Photos

This is an easy tip to remember. Don't shoot monuments, buildings, cathedrals and other sights just by themselves. Try to work in the people that visit these places. I agree, it's nice to have a shot of the building itself, but take comparison shots and you will notice, how much better your images are with people in them.


3. Know What to Shoot

This is where research comes in. I'm a big believer in planing your vacation and spots that you want to visit before you arive. I don't want the local tourist guide taking me along. I want to experience the place by myself. Search on the internet what other people have been shooting in that particular spot you want to visit and go from there. Often times, the best destinations are found that way.


4. What to shoot on Bad Days

So here's the thing. You had your vacation all planed out, and then rain starts falling or the sky is overcast and your images won't turn out that good. Don't you dare to pack up your photo gear! There are so many things to shoot on those days. Try close-ups for example. Details that otherwise would go unnoticed. Like walls, streets, street displays, interior shots.


But then again, if the clouds that are rolling in are dramatic, go and shoot those landscapes. There can be a lot of beauty with a sky like that!


5. The Magic Time of day for Travel Photos

If you want that great shot of the city you are visiting, try shooting at dusk. Just about 30 minutes after the sun has set often gives the best light to create a dreamy travel photo.


6. Shoot at Night

Often, you go out and shoot tourist attractions all day, and then you come into your hotel room to get ready for dinner and leave your camera in the room, because you think you have taken enough photos for that day. This is where you might be wrong. The city transforms at night, and often times, it's the darkness that yields the best travel photos. This is especially true if you visit a city during the holidays, and everything is lit up. But other times too, exploring the night can be very charming.


7. Get the "Famous Views" Out of the Way

If you travel to a famous destination, get the shots of the most famous landmarks out of the way first. These are the photos everyone expects you to take (and on one hand you should actually make). So make your way through the landmarks and get those shots, so that you can have more time to take the more unique shots.


8. Shoot the Food

Take a look at any travel blog or magazine, and you will encounter food shots as well. And why wouldn't you. Some places are known because of the food. There are two tips for shooting food. Use a very shallow depth of field (the 50mm f/1.8 comes in very handy here), and use lots of natural light. Simply place your plate next to a window with light and shoot away. The 50mm can handle low light great and you can get away without a tripod. Or shoot food that is in displays and out in the city. It's a good thing to have in your travel photo collection.


9. Don't use flash, and shoot RAW

This might be a personal preference (but then all of these are). Don't use flash when taking your travel photos. Rather get the 50mm f/1.8 lens that is super in low light and shoot with a high ISO number. Also if you are using a dslr, shoot in RAW, this gives you so much more control later on (but it also takes space away on your camera, so keep that in mind). I travel with my laptop and usually transfer the shots from camera to a hard drive to keep them safe.


10. Shoot your Travel Photos from High Vantage Points

The average visitor or tourist will take their photos from the ground level, and won't bother with looking for a higher point. But I like to look out for spots where I can take shoots from a high vantage point. This gets you more professional looking images, that immediately take you in. Also you can cover a much bigger space that way.



I hope that I could help with these. As I said, have freedom and explore. I'm sure there are lots of other things that are great to do, but these here usually work for me.

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to travel photos?


36 comments:

  1. Very many thanks for the wonderful tips you give us. I only have a bridge camera and am still getting my head round it as it is new. All you shots are magnificent.

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    1. They are great as well. Light and compact and those cameras have a lot of the same features as dslr cameras.

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  2. All your pictures are spectacular. I wish I'd read these tips when I was travelling.

    I have a little tale about photographing people. I wanted to capture our busy local mall on film and was about to take the shot when a woman shouted at me to stop. She let forth such a tirade of abuse I couldn't wait to get away. I gathered she objected to being caught on camera but I'll never know the reason why.

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    1. I think taking shots of groups of people in public places is fair game, and you don't need permission (because you are taking shots of the public place not specifically them). It would have been a different thing if you approached her directly to take a photo of her. Thanks for your visit Valerie.

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  3. Wonderful tips and suggestions, Mersad! Your photos are always a treat to see! Have a happy Monday!

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  4. Fantastic holiday images Mersad, they would have convinced me to visit :)

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  5. These are ALL great tips and I love #1. That was always a dilemma for me.

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  6. you always do a fine job of conveying the landscape and local flavor of the places you take us along to. :)

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    1. Thanks Theresa. So glad you like them.

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  7. Your captures are always superb and are such a delightful way to begin my day, Mersad!! Thank you so much for sharing, not only your wonderful photos, but the information as well! Hope you have a great new week! Enjoy!!

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  8. Gro├čartige Fotos! Und deine Tipps sind toll! Werde ich mir merken! :)

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  9. These are wonderful tips! I will use these tips on my upcoming Germany trip :)

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    1. Wonderful! Can't wait to see the results!

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  10. these are great tips, thanks... i don't travel, that is why i like traveling via your lens...

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  11. Odlicni savjeti; nadam se da cu nesto i zapamtiti za sljedeci put. Volila bih da su moje fotke sa putovanja bolje.

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  12. Thank you for all the good tips, Mersad. Your photos are simply amazing - what else can I say? You are the master of photography!!

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    1. Aw, thanks so much Mona. I really appreciate it. (but I'm not the master of photography) :)

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  13. Great advice, Mersad.. Very well presented. Love all the images!

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  14. Good tips, thank you for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome. Thanks for visiting.

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  16. Many good suggestions, Mersad. I think #2 is an important one. For years I waited until people left a scene before I took the photo, but I finally realized that in most cases photos with people in the scenes are far more interesting than sterile people-free photos. And, as to #7, there is a reason those views became famous. I don't shirk from taking their photos, nor do I rush through it.

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    1. I don't shirk from taking photos of them as well. I'm not saying you should rush through them either, just that you should get them, but then explore the city from new angels as well.

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  17. I am so enjoying your photo skill tips!! And taking them to heart and trying to remember them. Thank you for sharing your know-how.

    Beautiful photo too, by the way.

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    1. Thanks Anni. I hope I could help.

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  18. your photos are an absolute delight to watch. Thank you for the tips :)

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  19. Thanks for your good suggestions. Your photos are wonderful!

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  20. great tips Mersad. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Excellent tips! Great for travel pictures and applies well to every day pictures too.

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  22. Good tips. I think if one must shoot the iconic places, one should always try for a different angle or something original. Otherwise you are just duplicating the guidebook.

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  23. Wonderful advice! Thanks for this informative post, Mersad. I am a firm believer in research...you miss so much if you don't know what is available where you are going!

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  24. Thank you for the tips. These will come in handy for my next travel shots.

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