You want to impress your friends and family back home? You need some new pictures for your Blog? Or you just want to stick some nice pictures to your pinboard to reminisce?
Over the last years, I’ve taken a lot of pictures while traveling and I have slowly learned the Dos and Dont’s of Travel Photography. I’ve read books, watched tutorials and practiced to improve my skills. In this article, I summed up my top 6 tips for Travel Photography.
Keep in mind that one of the most important things is having fun while shooting and always bringing your camera with you. You also don’t need to have the latest gear or an $800 lens to get quality shots. If you are unsure which camera type fits your photography style the best, we recommend reading our DSLR and DSLM comparison.
1. Try to shoot while Sunrise or Sunset
I know it’s hard to shoot a sunrise. Getting up before sunrise is no fun at all, especially in summer when the sun is rising even earlier. But this little change will have a big impact on your pictures. Because the light during the day is harsh and hard to work with you should avoid mid-day shoots. At sunrise/sunset on the other side the lights is diffused, soft and easy to work with, this is also the time of the day where the sky looks the most vibrant. And well, if you are a late-riser you can still solely focus on the sunset. However, I do favor sunrises over sunsets, for this reasons:
- Fewer People, a big advantage at famous places
- Lower fog at sunrise
- You have a second chance at sunset if you didn’t get the shot you wanted
- It’s a great start to your day to get up early and be productive
Even if photographers do not agree on a lot of things, they all do on this topic. So it’s no wonder that these times of the day have their own names. The time after sunrise and before sunset is called “golden hour” due to the soft and warm tones. The “blue hour” is after sunset and before sunrise, because of the blue tones and the mood it creates.
2. Adopting to the Weather
This goes especially for snow. Shooting snow is tricky, the surrounding is very bright and it is also not easy to get the correct white balance. Use the exposure correction and do a manual white balance.
It is not necessarily a bad thing if there is a lot of fog or clouds. Use them in your composition to draw the viewer into the picture. When shooting landscape a cloudy sky or fog coming down the mountains can give the picture a very vibrant look.
Dont’t put your camera away when it’s raining! Search for reflections or capture the rain drops on a lake. The skies tend to be very moody when it is raining and help, use them in your composition.
3. Include an Object to Catch the Attention of the Viewer.
While shooting a plain landscape picture I often find the picture boring and that something is missing. Make sure to include an object or person into the picture to get the viewers attention. This can be a big stone in the foreground or someone sitting on a cliff.
Especially for sceneries like a huge waterfall or mountains you should ask a friend to get into the picture. This gives a better sense of scale and the objects you are shooting will look a lot more interesting. If you upload to Instagram you can compare what your viewers like more, and which pictures get the better response.
I realized that my pictures that include people and objects to put a focus on, performed a lot better than a plain landscape shot. Adding someone to a picture can help you to tell a story or add a special mood to the photo.