11 Best Travel Photography Tips for Beginners

Last Updated on July 12, 2021 | In Photography Tips by Stefano Caioni Leave a Comment

Looking for some effective travel photography tips? Stay on this page.

Traveling the world is in itself both a self-gratifying and an unquenchable experience. You get to meet new people, learn new cultures and discover new places that you’ve never imagined before. 

Each travel opportunity presents the ideal setting to capture some of the best and most unique moments. After all, travel and photography are almost synonymous. In essence, it does not make sense trotting the globe only to come back home without any photos of your escapades.

With that said, each travel opportunity presents the ideal setting to capture some of the best and most unique moments.

The ideal way to go about it is by carrying your camera during all your travels. Here are a few travel photography tips for beginners that might come in handy during your tours.

Best Travel Photography Tips for Beginners

Learn About Composition

Travel Photography Tips for Beginners: Composition

Good composition is the key to taking better photos that people will enjoy. It involves arranging elements, including subjects or objects, within an image to create photos that are pleasing to the viewer

The goal of composing your shots properly is to draw the attention of the viewer to specific elements within the photo.

Nevertheless, good composition is easier said than done. To compose award-winning photos, you need to know about the rule of thirds, framing, and leading lines.

The rule of thirds is a guideline that requires you to break your shot into three parts, and place key compositional elements into those parts. 

Framing, on the other hand, refers to placing your subjects strategically within a frame using natural elements such as trees and branches to draw the attention of the viewer to a specific object.

You should also use leading lines, such as a road, a trail or a river to lead the eyes of the viewer towards the main subject in the photo.

If you’re just starting in photography, you will benefit from this article I wrote about the most important things a beginner photographer should know.

The Importance of Storytelling in Travel Photography

The Importance of Storytelling in travel photography

Your audience does not have the background knowledge of your trip. Hence, it is up to you to tell them the story of your travels using your photos.

This is where the importance of storytelling photography comes into play.

Start by planning your message and then find shots that will not only evoke emotions but also resonate well with your audience.

Focus on the Golden Hour

Focus on the golden hour

In travel photography, one of the best moments to shoot an image is at the break of dawn, shortly after sunrise or late in the evening a few minutes to sunset.

This period is known as the golden hour. I was always shooting around this time during my last trip to Cinque Terre.

The soft, natural light from the sun throws in a warm, magical glow, allowing you to capture stunning shots and create spectacular, golden images.

You can also adopt a specific editing technique for golden hour shots.

Travel Photography Tips for Beginners: Equipment and Planning

You can also bookmark for later my Ultimate Guide to Plan a Photography Road Trip.

Travel Photography Tip: Travel Light

Travel photography tips for beginners: equipment and planning

You are better of hiring some of the essential equipment you need for your photoshoots, rather than carrying your kits when traveling abroad.

When you travel light, you have more freedom to explore interesting spots and unusual locations without the risk of damaging your cameras and photo equipment.

Research and Scout Your Locations First

research your travel photography location

I’ve learned this during my time spent photographing New Zealand.

Researching about your potential destination is another great travel photography idea that most beginners overlook.

By scouting your locations in advance, you will be able to spot interesting sites, beautiful landscapes and epic sceneries to shoot your photos.

You will also be able to find out when the city celebrates festivals and other religious or cultural events. This information is easily obtainable from the local guides or postcard stands that throng the city.

Travel Photography Tips: How to Shoot

Shoot in RAW

Road with leading lines

Your digital camera normally stores photos in different formats, depending on its settings. While the default image format is JPEG, you may also shoot in RAW as well. 

JPEG is essentially a compressed format that locks in all the data captured, including color and white balance, with the aim of saving on storage space.

With this format, you cannot edit your photos without the images losing their sharpness.

Shooting RAW saves all data as it is, allowing you to play around with the images without damaging them in the post-processing phase. 

Learn the Exposure Triangle

Exposure Triangle | Pixinfocus

The exposure triangle consists of three parts, including:

Learning about these three elements is a travel photography tip that will help you produce stunning photos.

In any case, each one of these parts affects how light reaches your lens.

The aperture refers to the size of the blades in the lens, while the ISO is a measure used to classify light sensitivity in your images.

On the other hand, the shutter speed simply refers to the duration taken by your camera to capture images. 

And if you are looking for a good travel photography lens take a look at my article here.

Include People in Your Shots

People dancing

We cannot ignore the human element in photography. In any case, travel photography is not all about capturing breathtaking landscapes and stunning topography only.

You ought to include people in your shots to make the story more captivating. However, to avoid any legal challenges or upset someone, you are advised to seek permission before taking any photo. 

Try Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photo Wanaka Lake

Long Exposure Photography is a fascinating technique that entails the use of long-duration shutter speed, in order to capture unmoving objects. while blurring moving objects in a photo.

Using this technique during your travels opens up all kinds of creative possibilities, allowing you to play around with images and using motion in different ways.

Post Process Your Images

Post-processed landscape photo

Post-processing is simply editing your images to improve exposure, contrast, lighting, and color.

Make use of Lightroom to enhance the dynamic range of your images and bring the best out of your RAW files.

Be Unique

Travel photography tips: be unique

Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, the essence of travel photography is to produce unique, never-seen-before images.

For instance, the iconic Taj Mahal has more than a billion images, considering that it is one of the most famous places worldwide.

However, this does not mean that you should capture similar shots. Instead, you can come up with your own unique strategy and introduce a different perspective in your shots.

The Takeaway

The beauty about travel photography is that you do not need to source for inspiration elsewhere.

The stunning landscapes and beautiful scenery, not to mention the people, are all you need to capture captivating photos.

The above-mentioned travel photography ideas can go a long way to help you produce epic images that not only tell a story, but also bring back the context of all your travels to life.

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