You’re about to set off on the trip of a lifetime and want to make sure that you capture your adventure and create treasured memories for years to come.
Here are some of my top travel photography tips which I’ve tried and tested over the years!
1. Research – before you set off, do some research on your destination and make a list of the types of images you’d like to take. Use Pinterest and instagram for inspiration. The list of possible subjects is endless:
Weather and skyscrapers
Activities and sports
Details and close-ups
Festivals and events
Culture (food, arts, traditions)
Photo taken at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand
2. Be organised – always pack spare memory cards and battery packs. There is nothing worse than having your camera battery suddenly go flat when you’re on the Great Wall of China, (believe me I speak from experience!). Carry a portable tripod if you have one and if not improvise and use walls, fences and trees to steady your camera. Have a waterproof bag of some sort easily accessible to protect your camera from the elements.
3. Make the most of the weather – if the weather isn’t great don’t be defeated. Dark stormy skies, foreboding clouds, mist and fog can all make for some really atmospheric shots so use them to your advantage.
4. Always be prepared – when you’re on the road amazing photo opportunities can pop up at any time. Have your camera where it is easily accessible rather than in a backpack. If you’re concerned about the safety of having your expensive camera visible, have your phone or smaller camera on hand for on the go shots that you need to capture quickly.
5. Beat the crowds – it can be really hard to get shots of famous landmarks when they are swarmed with people. Travel out of season, or get up early to beat the crowds. Trust me – it’s worth it!
Photo taken in Santorini, Greece during golden hour
6. Plan for the light – avoid shooting in the middle of the day. Wait for golden hour – usually during the first two hours of morning light and the last two of the afternoon when the light is soft and warm. This is especially great for landscapes.
7. Leading the eye – ask yourself what is the point of interest in the photo. What do you want to viewer to look at? Use paths, roads, fences, tracks, or rows of buildings to create a straight path to the point of interest. An example would be a path leading to an archway.
Photo taken in Wellington, New Zealand
8. Frame your subject – take advantage of doorways, gates, arches, windows, trees and fences to frame your subject. This adds interest and depth to an image.
9. Detail – don’t forget to take photos of the small details that you love about a destination. They help to provide a sense of place and tell the full story of your trip in years to come when you look back.
Photo taken at Alhambra Palace, Granada
Photo taken in Beijing, China
10. Change your viewpoint – we’ve all seen the same old shots of the Eiffel Tower and other famous landmarks. For a fresh take on a subject change your viewpoint. Get down low and shoot upwards or find a high viewpoint for a different point of view.
11. Foreground interest – colourful flowers, plants, shells and pebbles can all create interest in what could otherwise be quite a dull scene.
12. Protect your equipment – pack your gear well and if at all possible carry it in your carry on case to prevent damage or loss. Invest in a travel insurance policy that covers your camera and any lenses or other expensive equipment.
13. Do a walking tour – exploring a destination on foot allows you to get up close and take your time. You’ll see things you would never experience from a tour bus and will have some great photo opportunities.
14. People – Including people in your photos adds interest. If you want to take close ups always make sure you ask first. If you’re too shy to approach people include people from a distance, for example someone cycling past.
Photo taken in Old Stone Town, Zanzibar
15. Book a room with a view – if you can afford it splash out and book a room with a view. In a city it will provide a great vantage point for photos and if you’re by the beach, just think of the sunsets you can capture from your balcony!
You can follow along with me and my personal travels on instagram @gypsyrova