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Although traveling has currently been discouraged due to the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps you’re already feeling that itch to spread your wings and fly to far-flung places. This is particularly true for travel photography enthusiasts who love to explore and capture the beauty of new terrains. On the other hand, you may also be an aspiring photographer who feels like it’s the right time to start equipping yourself for this dream.

Whether you’ve already had the experience of taking travel photos or you want to pick up on this hobby, it’s always good to learn more about the craft, especially through this cheat sheet for photographers. This way, you can be sure to produce captivating images that give places proper credit.

Man taking photo of mountains
Here are some tips to help you take amazing travel photos:

1. Know Your Camera Well

The first thing you have to do is to know your camera intimately. Regardless of whether you have a professional camera or are just taking pictures using your phone, you have to identify your equipment’s strengths and weaknesses so that you can take them into account during the project.

Determine the lenses that you have; if those are going to be enough for the vision that you have and the shots that you will take. If you’re going to invest in these peripherals, but only have a limited budget, you should opt for fast-zoom ones, such as 18-200mm or 28-300m, which are helpful for low-light conditions. You can also choose between portrait prime, wide-angle, and telephoto lenses.

Another factor you should think about is the preset modes that your camera has. Most devices have default modes that automatically adjust the settings for you. Of course, you can still configure the tool manually according to your needs and preferences.

Camera parts

2. Research the Place Thoroughly

Since you’ll have a limited time to achieve your desired shots, you should research the location and all its intricacies thoroughly. This way, you can avoid wasting time on factors that you could’ve managed beforehand such as navigating the place.

For instance, if you’re going to shoot a popular tourist spot, you should be familiar with the opening and closing times of the area. You should also determine the peak and off-peak seasons of the place and the time of day when it produces magnificent views. With this, you increase the likelihood of getting clean compositions and shots, which is one of the top travel photography tips you should remember.

a cup of coffee and a laptop

3. Maximize Map Apps

Make the most out of technology by using map apps to take note of possible routes. It enables you to plan out and take note of everything, including the estimated times and modes of transportation between destinations. Doing this will allow you to save time and energy while ensuring that you capture the best views of the area.

Map app

4. Stay Overnight or Longer

While you’re already working on a limited timeframe, give yourself some time to enjoy the place by staying overnight or even for two days if your schedule would allow. With this, you won’t need to rush about from one place to another just to get that perfect shot. Having an allowance of a day or so can help you prepare physically and mentally for the shoot.

This tip is particularly valuable for places where you have to cross different time zones. You should be patient with your body clock’s adjustment and to overcome jet lag so that you can give 100 percent to your project.

Morning from a hotel room

5. Schedule Your Trip Properly

Some sights are better photographed during early mornings when sunlight just begins to flitter through the clouds. Meanwhile, others are more vibrant at night, with the glistening lights that are perfect for those bokeh shots that are famous on social media. After researching about a particular place, you should be able to figure out the best time to arrive in the area, capture the best natural lighting, and get the perfect shot.

Man taking a landscape photo

6. Master the Fundamentals of Photography

The most expensive camera can’t produce a captivating image if you don’t know the fundamentals of photography. Basic knowledge and application of photography composition, such as the rule of thirds and leading lines, can help you produce compelling pictures that will grab people’s attention regardless of the shooting equipment that you have.

Rule of thirds for photographic composition

7. Research on Cultural Etiquette

If you plan on capturing the beautiful imagery of foreign countries, you should make sure that you research the culture of the place. Don’t be that obnoxious tourist who barges into new territory as if they own the place. You have to respect the rules of your destination so that you can get along harmoniously with the people living there.

Read up on an area’s culture through online resources. One of the things that you should determine, especially if you’re planning to take pictures of locals, is whether people would expect a bit of payment in exchange for the photo. In some developing countries, you may need to shell out a few coins for a few images. Younger subjects may be more appreciative of sweets though, so always keep a bag of treats in your backpack if you can.

When taking photos of people in their routines, you should use a telephoto zoom lens so that you don’t intrude on their regular activities. Additionally, don’t forget to include the landscape where your subjects are living or working to put some context into your image so that your audience can understand your message clearly.

Indian girl

Conclusion

Travel photography is an enjoyable hobby that can also double as a side hustle. The key to taking amazing travel photos is to make sure that you know your equipment well. You must also acquaint yourself with the geographical area, taking into account factors like climate and transportation. This way, you can consider them and make adjustments before you arrive at your destination as well as during your stay there.

You’ll also need to know about the fundamentals of photography to ensure that each picture you take makes artistic sense every time. Master the basics first so that you can improve the quality of your stills. Lastly, research on the culture of the place for a seamless experience, especially with the locals.

Author – Ray Washington

Ray Washington is a full-time blogger who publishes content about photography, and health on different online platforms. Ray regularly updates his blog with content, as well as sending articles to different websites.

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Man taking photo of mountain
Camera and for air balloons
Camera on tripod shooting ocean

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