We can all travel and take a few snapshots, but what if you want to come home with artwork that stands the test of time? Here are my tips and tricks to capture images that will find a home among your walls and photo albums. Travel photography is a very deliberate art, so don’t forget to plan ahead of time.
Scheduling your day too tightly will lead to rushed photographs. If there is an area where you know you will want to stop, make sure your have time in between excursions or tours.
While planning landscape photos try to arrive early in the day or close to dusk. This will allow for the best lighting.
Your spouse or travel companions may not want to wait as you create artwork. Make sure they are aware of any time when you may be absorbed in your camera for a while. They just may choose to find a local coffee shop while you create your art.
The perfect spot, the perfect smile, the perfect light. While going about your day you simply may not get it all. It's OK. It's much better to have a sweet candid photo of your child in a memorable place than a forced smile, or worse that point where one or both of you hits the point of tears. Move forward with candid truthful memories.
You may have a whole arsenal of lenses and flashes at home, but do you want to carry it all? Pick one or two lenses to bring with you that will cover your bases. A wider pick such as a 17mm -55mm will have you covered for landscapes and city spaces. A standard 80mm fixed lens will give you some zoom without being bulky. A 50mm 1.8 will give you speed and versatility within an extremely light weight lens. Get to know your location. if you feel a longer zoom is needed a 70mm-200mm is a great versatile choice.
Packing light will help you to not be overloaded as you may want to keep your gear on your person at all times. If you do leave gear behind be sure to lock it in your hotel room safe. Call ahead of your travel date to ensure that any items you wish to bring will fit in this space.
We are lucky enough to not be held back by fear of wasting film. Change your angle. Get higher and lower. Play with your focus points and depth of field. You won’t ever regret having too many photos, but you may regret wishing your composition was just slightly different.
Headed to the beach? You wont want to take your removable lens off in any location with sand or high winds as you will risk damaging your camera’s sensor. Either stick to one lens or travel with a smaller point and shoot for days when a DSLR isn’t practical.
If you’re still using your cameras fully automatic functions you may want to consider a class as your prepare for your trip. Learning how to creatively control your aperture and shutter speed will give you the ability to create the images your desire.
Your camera’s auto mode is only looking to absorb the proper amount of light. Often times this leads to slower shutter speeds that you will not be able to hand hold. Not knowing how to control this could lead to blurred images that could otherwise have been avoided.
Best of luck with your travel photography!