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Basic Travel Photography Tips – Be Smart On Vacation

By on February 21, 2013
Today we’ll be taking a look at a few basic travel photography tips, but in general, I try to never leave my house without my camera cause you never now what wonders may be waiting for you round the next corner.

We can never tell what’s coming our way and cameras can only help to preserve such moments, and really, pictures do serve as perfect reminders of our daily lives.

So, having my camera real handy is an every day priority, but when I travel, it becomes an absolute must have. As a photographer, I’m always searching for new things to capture to share and impress my family and friends. That’s one of the main reasons why I love going to new places, so I love to head out to new places, full of unseen treasures like culture, people, food, and breathtaking scenery which we can all take pictures of, but only if we are fully prepared.

Travel photography is like an adventure as we discover new things and capture new images as we go along with our travel, and so this article is about how to be a better and smarter photographer, with some of the best tips for taking amazing images in different situations and with different subjects. I’ll also share some guidelines on what you need to do before and during your trip.

travel photography tips Basic Travel Photography Tips   Be Smart On VacationLogical but smart travel photography tips

The first thing you need to do after deciding where to go is to research everything you can about the place, so Google is a good starting point. This will help you create a to-do list of sorts, a list of what you need to shoot and accomplish. This will save you a lot of time and will serve as your personal travel photography guide.

Speaking of being prepared, you also need to think ahead on what equipment to bring. You need to consider the weight of your equipment and the type / dimensions of bags that you can carry on the plane. You’ll also need extra high-capacity memory cards or, you can bring a laptop and transfer your files after a long day of clicking your camera. Regarding lenses, I suggest bringing a 10-24 mm wide angle lens, a 70-200mm telephoto, and a 50 mm portrait prime lens, which should cover all possible shots you need to take.

Essentially, everyone we meet on vacation are perfect strangers and often communication can be a problem. It can be exhilarating, awkward, and at most challenging to take images of people that we don’t know, so have the courage to approach people with a smile, show your camera and make a gesture that you want to take their picture. When anyone actually maintains eye contact it’s a sign that you have their permission. I suggest you just take a quick picture, and then smile as a sign of gratitude. Make sure that you have the right settings before you approach a person because if you fiddle around with your camera too much you will lose their attention.

travel photography accessories 300x199 Basic Travel Photography Tips   Be Smart On VacationWhile you are going around taking photographs of interesting people, you can visit the nearest tourist information center and ask about the best places to go for the best pictures for the things you have already made a list of. Ask for places which are not normally “tourist friendly” and inquire if you can be assisted by tour guides or other photographers present in the area. When you reach a certain place, take time to photograph anything interesting. Be patient, try out all of your lenses, and try different angles. You may never come back to this place so exhaust all your options before moving on to a new spot.

Discovering new places can be thrilling and overwhelming and we may disregard our safety because of all the fun we are having. Although most places are safe and people are friendly, I still suggest that you should always have a travel partner. Travel insurance is also recommended for both yourself and your photography equipment, and make sure you store your things in reliable anti-theft bags with extra strong locks. Don’t bring too much money and always have a mobile phone at hand in case an emergency does occur.

As I said in the beginning of this travel photography article, I always try to have my camera on me every day, but while traveling, you should have it by your side all the time. You never know when a chance to capture a perfect moment appears where the lighting is perfect and the conditions are just right. Wake up early to capture the sunrise and go out at night to capture the same view with a different light. From time to time move away from the tourists and begin your own travel photography adventure, and make use of today’s tips for best results.

About Mike Chase

One Comment

  1. Mary Buck

    February 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    When I travel I prefer to pack a light camera bag. I don’t go anywhere without my Canon 7D digital SLR camera. It also has video, so I capture short video clips from my travels. My favorite travel lenses are the 50mm 1.8 lens which is great for capturing a very shallow depth of field and for shooting in twilight and the Tamron 18-270mm lens. The 18-270mm has a lot of capabilities with its many focal lengths. Imagine photographing the panorama of the Grand Canyon and then zooming in and photographing a mule trek on one of the trails, all without changing lenses. Unfortunately, I always have the extra weight of a tripod. I cannot travel without it. I use it because I love shooting with slow shutter speeds when capturing waterfalls, sunrises or sunsets.

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