Everyone travels and develops travel photography for different reasons. For some, it is to paint a picture, to show a story that brings other people to that moment even if they are hundreds of miles away. For others it could be a means of expressing their own personal freedom. Capturing moments in time, to be able to have memories for later.
When traveling to a specific location to shoot travel photography, always remember to do your research before arriving. Know what cultural customs are in the area in order to not stick out like a sore thumb. Also what type of moments you will be capturing so you can plan accordingly and take the right type of equipment with you.
In this article we are giving some hints and tips on different types of travel photography. Keep in mind as a traveler you will have to be a jack-of-all-trades and know how to develop high quality images of all types of different styles.
Photographing Friends and Family Members
Whenever you go on vacation with friends and family around the world, you will want to capture these moments. It is a great souvenir to bring home with you but also a way to add more power to certain shots.
When photographic friends and family members remember that they are only a piece of the photograph. If you focus on them too much you will lose perspective of the location. On the other spectrum you don’t want them to be at such a distance that they become a spec in the background. Find some balance.
Also keep in mind you don’t have to take a specific portrait shot for someone to be recognizable.
From the Andes to the Amazons or The Saharan Desert to the Galapagos Islands; all landscape photography is different and very much set by the scene you will be shooting.
Landscape photography is not just limited to what you are seeing with your eyes. It is also a representation of emotion or the thoughts you may feel when arriving to a place.
When traveling to different destinations, it is a good idea to bring a small notebook with you. This will allow you to jot down some emotions you may have when you first arrive to a location. These notes can help a lot when editing photos later.
If you arrive to the rainforest in the thick of a storm capture that moment. Capture water funneling into ravines, trees stretching from the wind or animals scurrying for shelter.
Photography of Cities and Towns
Just like landscape photography, each city or town has features that make it unique or recognizable. There are three main things you will want to try and capture through photography of cities and towns. Landmarks the location may be famous for, the culture of its inhabitants and the general sense of the location.
You will often want to use a wide angled lens for this type of photography as to capture as much of the location as possible.
A great idea is to look in some tourist stores and check out what locations are on the front of postcards. This will give you some great insight as to good shooting locations
This applies to those of you that love shooting subjects such as the Golden Gate while entering San Francisco, or Machu Picchu from the Sun Rise Gate
When photographing monuments remember to use light and weather to your benefit. The Golden Gate Bridge may look best enveloped in fog while as Machu Picchu, you may find, looks better at sun rise as opposed to sun set.
With travel photography you often find yourself taking pictures of locals, sometimes by accident while capturing a background, or specifically to show their culture. Photographing natives from a city is one of the best ways to capture emotion in this location. You will see the expressions on their faces that share subtle insight to the on goings in that community.
In some instances you may find it appropriate to candidly take shots. However always remember to be respectful so that you are not invading personal space. Some cultures refuse to have their photographs taken and you may find yourself in a hostile situation. If you are not sure, just ask.
Also locals may ask for a small fee in order to take their picture. You will often find this in poor regions of the world and will by no mean break your bank account. Always remember, be courteous.
No matter what type of travel photography you are shooting the best tip of all is to take photos. Too many people wait for the perfect shot and miss numerous opportunities searching for perfection. Take photos, looking back on the memories you will see that all of the moments captured were worth taking.