It’s #TraveTuesday and today I, Dave Williams, am back! It feels like the world is slowly opening up again and it feels like it’s time to refresh my top travel photography tips. Let’s do it!
Get up early
Sunrise is an amazing time and often has amazing light to boot, but unlike sunset photography, it tends to be far more peaceful. Light is extremely important to us as photographers and in the early morning, the soft, warm light helps us to create some spectacular images. This tip is at the top of the list for a reason – it’s very, very important and sunrise totally beats sunset.
Stay out late
Now, although sunrise is better than sunset, in my opinion, that doesn’t mean we should disregard sunset. Some shots require the angle of light we get at sunset rather than sunrise, and some people just aren’t that good at getting up at the crack of dawn. At sunset in a city, we get better results for blue hour shots than we tend to at sunrise because the city lights are illuminated in the evening, but often they aren’t in the morning.
Planning is massively important. We need to know where we want to be and when we want to be there, so doing the research beforehand on maps, social media, and any other resource we like to use, will help us to no end. If we go with a plan, we’re far more likely to achieve success than if we don’t.
When our planning is done prior to arriving at our destination it helps to continue the planning by scouting where we can. This can be beneficial in working out terrain, light, the number of people at a location, the weather conditions, and all manner of other things. Combing our initial planning with our scouting can fully arm us and give us the potential to produce some amazing travel photos.
The best photographers in the industry never stop learning. It’s not the filters or presets that make the best images, it’s our knowledge as photographers. If we practice as often as possible, so we really get to grips with how our camera works and what it can do, as well as learning techniques and spreading our wings by challenging ourselves with personal projects, we offer ourselves the best chance of success. We can become more skilled and resourceful if we take the time to learn new techniques and skills, particularly if we broaden our horizons and have a go at other genres of photography.
As travel photographers, it’s important that we give consideration to the gear we’re carrying. Most of the time, we are literally carrying our gear on our backs and everything we add to the bag adds to the weight and size we’re carrying. Packing well and making sure every item in our kit bag adds value to our shoot will make us far happier and therefore more likely to turn out some great photos.
Composition is king. Having knowledge of compositional techniques and knowing when and how to apply them will give our images the edge over all the others out in the market, so make sure to think about this when shooting and when planning. It’s often a good idea to shoot the same subject with a variety of different compositional methods to show things in their best light. We’re often likely to choose the second or third technique on our final image, so never be satisfied with just one idea.
I hope these tips are useful to you. Be sure to apply them and take your time when shooting travel photography. Make sure the viewer of your images wants to be there in the scene, and take the time to get it right rather than rushing from one location to the next and risking having a bunch of photos that aren’t useable rather than a handful of great shots. If the clouds or the light aren’t quite right, maybe it’s worth waiting to see what changes. Be patient. Take the time to create better travel images.