If you love travelling, it’s only natural that you’re going to be snapping a few pictures to share with your friends. If you’ve just purchased a DSLR or mirrorless camera then you’re probably dying to get out there and start taking some quality pictures. Although selfies are compulsory, what does it take to snap excellent travel photographs on your digital camera?
Well, here is a beginner’s guide to travel photography, whether you’re using your smartphone, mirrorless camera or even a point-and-shoot, all these tips are applicable.
Take the right camera
Of course it’s always useful to have your smartphone ready but it’s important to have a good digital camera that’s both portable and easy-to-use. DSLRs are great cameras and they often produce incredible images if you spend enough money, but they can be bulky and heavy. Mirrorless cameras work in the same way as a typical DSLR but are much more lightweight and compact, making them the perfect travel companion.
Think about your audience
Who’s going to see these pictures? This probably goes without saying, but try to limit the pictures you take absolutely shit-faced downing a bucket in Thailand. We all know you’re out there to have a good time, and you don’t want this to backfire when it pops up in your boss’ feed. If you’re taking pictures for the ‘gram then make sure they’re worthy of being on Instagram so you can really rake in on those likes; some of my most liked photos have been while travelling.
Everyone has seen pictures of Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower. Don’t take pictures that everyone has seen before, of course you’re going to want to visit the famous sights, and by all means take a photo but try to be original with it. Get a different angle from the norm, apply some cool filters, originality is key. That brings me on to my next point….
Always have your camera ready
It’s no use just taking your camera out when you get to the tourist attractions, have it ready at all times because you never know what you might see. The best photos are down to being in the right place at the right time, so make sure you’re ready to capture those moments. If you see three cute Chinese kids waiting for their dinner, take a picture!
Find the perfect angle and elevation
Don’t worry about your friends, they can wait. The most important thing is you take the perfect photo for the ‘gram. If you’re taking a picture of a great giant Buddha, then make it look like a great giant Buddha, get down on your knees and snap that Buddha like your life depends on it. There’s no such thing as ‘taking too many pictures’, you can always go back and choose 1 out of the 600 you took.
With all of this said you must always respect the cultures and laws of the countries you are visiting; so no nude photoshoots in China, or pictures of you hitting a bong in Singapore. Always look after your camera as well. Buy the right accessories you need for travelling, like a neck strap, camera case etc. All of this is going to benefit you.
Of course don’t be afraid to ask fellow photographers for advice, asking questions is the best way to learn.
Enjoy your travels and happy snapping!
George Finlayson is an educator and professional writer with a BA in Creative Writing. He was born in London, England but currently resides in Shanghai, China. He has recently developed a great interest in photography and has began a new venture into writing about photography and videography for beginners, and related topics. With so many technical details in digital photography, George likes to keep things simple so that everyone can understand and feel a part of the ever-growing global photography community.
Follow him on Instagram for more travel photos: @georgefin