Travel photography has quickly become one of the most popular forms of photography. Once upon a time, most people were limited to taking around 20 photos on a two week trip. Nowadays, thanks to digital photography and near unlimited photo storage on most modern platforms, people are able to take hundreds of photos on each and every trip. And generally speaking, people do.
That doesn’t mean however, that everyone is up to taking an amazing photo of a location. Travel photography is a serious skill, and being able to take a good photo of a place that you’ve never visited before is a challenge that can stretch even the sharpest eyed snapper. A good travel photographer will need to think of everything from the direction the sun is shining in from, to local transport schedules that’s could see a bus driving through your perfect photo at an inopportune moment.
Above all, any travel photographer is highly reliant on the weather. The vast majority of people want to see the destination either bathed in sunlight, or covered in snow. A slightly drab and cloudy day simply won’t cut the mustard. This can lead to travel photographers spending days in a particular destination, waiting (and praying) for 30 minutes when the weather will be just perfect for them to take the shots that they really need.
Of course, if you want to improve your own travel photograph skills to be similar to that of a commercial grade photographer, you’ll need months and years of practice and experience. Fortunately, however, there are a few tips that can help you to start making that journey, and perfect a couple of great shots the next time you jump on a plane going somewhere exotic.
One of the most important things that any good travel photographer will do, is to take a few minutes to plan their shot. Don’t just whip out your phone and start snapping away! Take a look around you and try to make sure that you’re getting a shot of whatever you’re looking at from the best possible angle. It’s also worth taking a few moments to look round and ensure that there are no buses or any other distractions driving through parts of your photos that you’ll only notice when you get home.
Think about what you’re going to use the photo for, and when you’ll look at it when you’re back home. Commercial travel photographers go to destinations with very specific briefs about what their client requires. They will be told that their photos have to include certain colours and objects, for instance. While you may not quite be ready to fulfill this type of brief, it’s still worth having a bit of an objective before you press the shutter button. Starting to improve your photography is much more a question of patience and planning, than raw skill or the quality of the equipment that you’re using. Taking just a little time to get it right will make a huge difference on your next trip!