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Photography Tip: Travel Photo Tips


Photography Tip: Travel Photo Tips

With spring in full swing and summer mere moments away, many of you no doubt plan on spending some time in the great unknowns of the world. Or maybe you’re going to hit the Jersey shore for a weekend trying to typify poor decision-making skills. Point being: you’ll be traveling. Whether you plan on hitting the French Riviera, the Amazon, or AC’s illustrious boardwalk, many of you will be shooting up a storm (of photos). Here are some points to keep in mind while you explore and travel:

1.  Shoot for you. You’re probably not in the postcard or coffee table book business so don’t feel obligated to reshoot The Colosseum from the end of via degli Annibaldi with a wide lens. You can find that photo on Google. It’s your trip, and ultimately your story. Let your photos express something about your perspective and find the moments that speak to you. Create an emotional connection to what you’re shooting and the photos will be better. In a few years, when you’re going through your photos, you’ll want to remember more than just the fact that a building was at the end of a street.

2. Don’t be afraid to shot some locals. In all likelihood, they won’t even notice. Just be respectful, because if they do notice you don’t want to enter an altercation that ends with you being featured on an episode of “Locked Up Abroad”. The fact of the matter is that any place is the fruit of the people within it, and your experience is affected mainly by them. At the end of the day, more memories, and more distinct, interesting photos will come from the people there, and all the things they contribute to the place you happen to be in. Unless they’re tourists. Also, animals count.

3.  Try telling a story with a hand full of shots. The world is a busy place with stories playing out all around you. One of them is bound to interest you. Shoot it. That’s what you’ll want to remember. Three photos of penguins building a nest on the Patagonian coast might just capture the essence of that day for you.

4.  Embrace the limitations of travel. Some of you might like to traipse about with a camera bag full of lenses and maybe even an extra body or two. Don’t. Necessity is the mother of invention, and invention is the mother of creativity. Roll with one body and one lens at a time. Leave the rest of the gear at the hotel or in the tent, or maybe even just home. Those limitations will force you to creatively solve technical problems. Mix that with an unfamiliar environment and a dash of intrepidity and you have a recipe for awesome. Besides, do you really want to miss a great shot because you’re switching lenses (and probably getting dust on your sensor to boot)? Lets assume not.

5.  Give yourself assignments. Wake up in a wonderfully unfamiliar place and say to yourself, “I will shoot every interesting door I see today… and it will be good.” Or maybe “signs in a language you don’t speak” are your thing. I once took photos of every drink I drank on a trip. They progressively got blurrier each day, but there were a few gems. The point is, figure out what you can get excited about shooting a lot of, and go for it. Use it as a loose parameter, and good things will happen.

A complete lack of rules is great, but keeping some basic principles on mind will help keep you focused enough to really get the most out of the limited time you have while you travel.

Remember: travel safe, shoot smart.



Other Photography Tips:

Shooting at Night

Tips for Shooting in Black and White 

Choosing the Right DSLR Camera

Using a Telephoto Lens

Focal Points

How to Use the Rule of Thirds

Tips on How to Shoot in Various Lighting

How to get More out of your Point and Shoot Camera

Basic Shooting Tips


These are just a few of Duggal’s suggestions and ideas to aid you in exploring the world of photography. There are many ways to approach photography and countless ways to capture the image you want.  Please feel free to share some of your own ideas and comments below!