Travel photography involves the presentation of an area’s customs, cultures, history, people and landscape. Travel photographers have to face numerous challenges in their endeavors since they have to shoot a wide range of subjects under different conditions. Here are a few tips that can help travel photographers.
Travel Photography Tips
1. Make your gear look worn-out
It is imperative that you protect your gear from thieves not only in developing countries, but in all parts of the world. Thieves know how much money they can get for your pretty-looking camera, so to deter them from making a move on you, make your camera look old and crappy. You can do this by wrapping your camera in duct tape and hiding all recognizable logos like “Nikon” or “Canon”. You can also carry your camera in a dirty backpack.
2. Beat the rush hour
The best light to capture most scenes is in the “magic hour” – when the sun is just above the horizon, either in the morning or evening, and casts a warm, golden glow on the scenery. So, get out of bed early while most other tourists are sleeping and capture these amazing photo opportunities. And since most people are still asleep, your shots will not be ruined by a dozen of people getting in the way.
3. Do your research from national geographic
Don’t leave anything to chance. Research as much as you can about the location you are going to visit by reading practical guides like National Geographic travel magazine and Lonely Planet. The internet is also an invaluable place to get in-depth information about not only the popular places, but also the remotest areas. You could go on a travel photography forum and read about people’s experiences of accessing difficult-to-photograph areas and the best time to go to these areas.
4. Choose the right lodging
Why should you make your life difficult by traveling to picturesque viewpoints when you can have a spectacular view right from your window? Staying in a room with scenic views or in the center of town can provide you with numerous wonderful photo opportunities.
5. Hire locals
Hire a local fixer and guide to get advice on good photo opportunities in their country. Involve as many locals as you can in your work. When you have locals helping you, other people you meet along the way are more likely to trust you and be photographed by you. You could even hire people you want to photograph so that they can better understand your work.
6. Pack a laptop and at least two hard drives as backup
The photographs you capture are irreplaceable. It is highly unlikely that you will get the same conditions again, especially if you manage to capture a rare sight. Therefore, you need to take good care of your photographs. Always travel with a laptop and keep at least two hard drives as backup. With your laptop, you can easily and quickly copy all your photographs in your hard drives. If you have a fast internet connection, you can even upload them onto an online storage system like Dropbox. Don’t forget to carry a charger or an external battery for your laptop.
Keep your hard drives in different locations, so if one gets stolen or lost, you have the other with you. For instance, you can keep one in your hotel room and carry the other with you wherever you go.
7. Pack only the essentials
Take only the things you will need at your chosen destination. With so many restrictions on airlines, it is imperative that you pack lightly. Therefore, pack only the essential clothes and items. For instance, if you are traveling to a desert, there is no point in taking a mosquito repellant with you. To save some space, you can roll your clothes. Doing so will also produce fewer creases.
8. Be insured
Make sure that you have travel insurance for the country you are traveling to. Some policies do not include high-risk countries, so it is important that you take a look at the places your policy covers. Also, be sure to cover cancelled flights because of ash clouds. In addition to yourself, make sure that your gear is insured worldwide or at least to the place you are traveling to.
9. Change your angle
Try to get at least one bird’s eye view picture of the location you are going to. It can make for a refreshing change in your photo series. Find a great vantage point that overlooks an entire town or city. You can also try shooting lower than the eye-level. You can capture great photographs of the same location from different angles.
By following these tips, you will be able to capture great travel photographs like the ones shown below.