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7 Tips for Better Travel Photography

Sunday, 01.31.2010, 09:01pm (GMT-5)

One of the great joys of travel is getting a few photographs of the local scenery. The problem is that when our friends and family see the shots they’re usually asleep within 10 minutes. These tips will hopefully show you a few ways to add some pop to your photos and make sure you don’t send your friends to sleep.

Get Closer – The single best way to improve your shots is to fill the fame with as much of your subject as possible. Usually this simply means walking closer to it so that the edges of whatever you are photographing are at the edges of the frame.

Arabian Eyes
Photo by Mnadi

Shoot in the Golden Hours – The best time of day to take photos is at sunrise or sunset. At those times you have a great golden colour of light that gives a beautiful hue to your images and it also throws your subject into shadow which can be very effective in a photo. The best times are half an hour before the sun rises or in the half an hour after it sets.

Golden Gate Bridge at Dusk, Dedicated to My Good Friend Robert Scoble

Photo by Thomas Hawk

Plan Your Shots – If you are taking landscapes or architecture, then you should be out scouting locations and potentially good shots during the day. Then note down where you think could make a great shot and head back there around sunrise or sunset to shoot those subjects at the best possible time.

Reflections for the day
Photo by Seattle Miles

Take Extra Memory – Memory cards for cameras are small and not so tough. They get lost, they get destroyed and so can your photos. It’s good to carry a couple of backup memory cards in case of any emergency. The good news is that they get cheaper and cheaper as time goes on so don’t skimp on this one.

Carry a Gorilla Pod – These little devices are awesome for making your camera as stable as possible and even a small one can do a great job with a bulky SLR. For travellers who are wary of carry heavy and bulky gear (like a proper tripod for example) a Gorilla Pod is a godsend. Awesome for when you want to get shots with a longer exposure time.

3654209240 4905100c9b 7 Tips for Better Travel Photography
Photo by Annso

Fix the Levels – I have never seen a digital photo that turned out perfectly the first time. Almost every shot you take could use a little bit of extra digital love and most pros head for Photoshop. For those of us who think that is overkill there is also GIMP or a great online service called Picnik which can be used to tweak the colour levels of your photos. It is well worth taking the time.

Shoot a Lot – The greatest thing about digital photography is that after you have bought the camera, the shooting is free. Use this to your advantage and take a heap of shot with slightly different settings. That way you are always sure to get at least one or two pictures that are great.


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