Imagine yourself traveling, enjoying with your loved ones. You are photographing beautiful beaches and other amazing nature scenes. Everything must be documented because you want to remember it after many years. You are now at home, going through your photos but you are disappointed, because your photos don’t look like the scenes you saw and experienced. Photography advices that follow, will help you improve your photo memories.
- Don’t take too much gear
Before you head out traveling really think about what to take with you. Excess gear, which you have to carry will slow you down and make you think twice about taking photos. Make sure that your lens is versatile enough so you can photograph different situations. The best and smartest choice is lens with focal length between 18mm and 200mm.
- Don’t go without researching in advance
Before you go to your vacation, make sure you know where you are traveling, learn about the culture, what is acceptable and what not. This is really important if you are traveling to the countries which cultures you don’t know.
Learn all about the places you will visit. Don’t let your ignorance rob you of a perfect photo opportunity. Look for inspiration in guides like Lonely Planet or Rough Guides. Don’t forget, internet offers massive amount of information. I am sure that people already visited the places you are planning to visit and you can learn a thing or two from them. Make a list of places you just must photograph, that way you won’t come home without a photo of a popular sight. You can find inspiration on the local newsstand or in the store where they sell postcards.
- Hire a guide
Local guide, who knows every corner of his hometown will take you outside the main tourist zones and he will show you local events, restaurants and sights which other tourists don’t get to see. Your photos will be more authentic, because locals aren’t accustomed to tourists.
- Early bird catches the worm
Remember this. The best light for photography is in the morning and in the evening. Shadows are long and colors shine in gold tint. People are still sleeping so the streets will be empty. Photographing nature, cities and villages in morning hours will make you feel tranquil, peaceful and really connected to yourself.
- Use the right settings
Every DSLR and many other cameras have the ability to shoot in RAW mode. This means that files offer better post processing range, which means you can make your photos beautiful in post production. The only downside of RAW mode is it file size. Files are much much bigger than photos taken in JPG mode. JPG on the other hand offers a lot less post production possibility. My advice is to shoot in JPG, when you know you won’t be correcting your photos, otherwise I strongly suggest you shoot in RAW mode.
- Ask for permission
One of the biggest challenges for every travel photographer is the lack of self confidence. You would like to photograph local people, their environment and behavior, but you are afraid to do so and so you are satisfied with a photo from far away, which of course is not the same.
Think about it, what is the worse that can happen? He can decline your wish. So what! If he says no, thank him and walk your way. There is a big chance that the local will let you and you will have your photo. Take a few shots and then show him what he looks like. Both of you will laugh for sure. Even if you don’t know local languages use your arms to communicate.
- Be safe
Most of the countries are relatively safe, but there are some countries in which you have to be carefull. Ask about security in your hostel or hotel, if it is safe to walk around or if there are areas in which you should not walk into. You must know that you camera is worth more than some people make in a year if you are travelling in poorer countries.
- Be different
First take the “standard” shots, like pyramids in Egypt so that you won’t come back home without those photos. After you got those, relax and let your creative side blossom. Take photos from different perspectives. Lay on the ground, climb on a tower, put your camera on a fence and play with shutter speed. Play with composition and put your subjects on third of the screen. Notice how your photos improve when you follow rule of thirds.
Explore, be creative and enjoy yourself. Don’t forget, practice makes perfect.