Everyone travels for different reasons, but most of us like to travel for the photos. It’s the photographs that will be able to capture the magical moments and unique people we meet along the way on our journey. So if you want to take your travel shots to the next level, here are a few tips for you:
Learn the basics
To be good travel photographer, you have to be a good photographer first. The first thing you will need to learn about is composition. A photograph with good composition is one that is able to capture the right patterns that please the human brain. Some rules of composition include the rule of thirds (where you break up an image into three equal parts and place your key elements in two-thirds); leading lines (where you use natural geography or other features to lead the viewer to the main subject of your shot); and framing (when you use the background to “frame” the subject you are trying to capture). These (and other) simple rules will not only make you a better travel photographer, but a more skilled photographer in general.
Think: people, places, things
When taking travel photos specifically, this is a golden rule. The best travel photographs include all three: people, places, and things. Let’s say you’re traveling to Paris. Of course you’re going to see the Eiffel Tower. And the Eiffel Tower will look perfectly beautiful in the traditional vertical shot with lots of sky in the background. But how much more interesting would your photo be if you captured locals picnicking on the grounds just in front of it?
Do your research
Of course, you are going to do your research on the place you will be visiting before traveling. You will need to know where to stay, what to see, how to get around. But if you want to take exceptional travel photos, use social media to research the most photographed places at your destination. Then, do the opposite of what you see. Find what’s missing in these photographs, what perspective hasn’t been used yet: that will make your photo stand out from the rest.
Beat the tourists
Some places, like New York City, come alive with locals and tourists bustling about. But others, like the Taj Mahal, really shine in the solitude of the early morning hours. So get up extra early and enjoy the empty streets and historical sites stripped of the busy tourist crowds. Plus, you might even catch Magic Hour – those beautiful few minutes right after the sunrise where the light is a beautiful golden hue.
Learn to say “Hello” in the local language
This will be of general use to you while you travel. But learning to say “hello” and a few other phrases in the local language will also go a long way for you when you’re capturing locals in their daily routines. A kind “Hello” may be all you need to leave your newfound photography subjects more comfortable and willing to be a part of your travel photo.