Most people use a smartphone or digital camera to take pictures of their travels, but the results are often simple holiday snaps. Capturing the essence of a place takes a special approach, and a skilled travel photographer uses a variety of techniques. Travel photography involves recording everything from the people and traditions of a place to the food, colors and architecture. Successful travel photography shots should create strong emotions in the viewer and make him long to visit the location and experience it for himself.
The following tips will help you to get the most from your next trip and produce travel photography pictures to be proud of.
The best digital camera for travel photography.
Unless you’re planning to sell your pictures to a professional stock library, the best digital camera for a holiday or foreign trip is one you can operate with ease. Loading yourself down with a range of cameras and lenses can be a barrier to getting good results. A digital SLR with a lightweight zoom lens is ideal, but more basic digital cameras can serve equally well. Travel photography is often about capturing the moment, and you need a camera you can operate quickly and efficiently for this. If you spend too much time thinking about the best lens or camera settings, you may miss some great pictures.
Do your research.
The more you can find out about a place before you visit the better your travel shots are likely to be. Look for travel guides about the country or city you are travelling to, and read as much as you can on the Internet. Research the best locations and places of local interest, and make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to visit historic buildings, markets and other attractions. Looking at stock libraries is a great way to see the shots other photographers have captured at a location.
Include people in your travel shots.
Capturing the local people in a location is one of the keys to great travel photography. Nothing conveys the soul of a place more than the people who live and work there. Empty streets and shots of local buildings often lack character if there are no people in the scene. It’s important to respect local cultures and customs, so don’t upset or offend people by taking their picture without permission. A zoom lens can be a useful piece of kit for shooting pictures of people from a distance, but the results often look like surveillance photos. Most people will be willing to pose for a picture if you get chatting to them and build some rapport.
Time of day.
Shooting pictures of a popular tourist attraction at the busiest times of the day often leads to frustration and disappointment. Having a few locals in the shot can be a bonus, but crowds of other tourists will spoil most travel shots. Going out early in the morning or waiting until other visitors have gone home is an easy solution. Many tourists will avoid going out at the hottest times of the day, so this is another way to beat the crowds.
Look for the details.
Pictures of details can say as much about a place as sweeping landscape photographs. Pay attention to local crafts, food, clothes and other details that are unique to a location. For example, a shot of a market stall filled with exotic fruits could be an excellent way to capture the colors and atmosphere of a place.
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