7 Tips for Great Travel Photos

Travel photographers often face unexpected difficulties: they try to avoid too many people in the streets, they lack the information about local culture and miss the best spots, they feel unsafe in a foreign country.


Whether or not you feel this way, with the right preparation and planning you will get the most experience out of it and come back head over heels about your adventure and with tons of awesome photos. So how do you plan your traveling adventure?



1. Travel Light

You don’t want to overpay your flight ticket, so pack light. Bring only essentials: camera, memory cards, a mini tripod, a flash fun, some lenses, and a storage unit. Besides the airline overcharging you for extra kilos, you will find it exhausting walking around and trying to get inspired while carrying a very heavy backpack.



2. Do Your Research

Before you start your adventure, go online, and read about this part of the world. Go on travel blogs, Pinterest, Instagram pages, and read informative articles to make sure you don’t miss out on anything important. Then mark all these spots on the Google Maps application so you never get lost.


Besides that, when you get to your destination, visit a local tourist information center to get more tips and ask any questions you have. Finally, if you are staying in a hotel or hostel, ask around – there will be lots of travelers like yourself who might have more expertise and give you awesome advice.



3. Ask For Portraits

Firstly, before traveling to the country of the destination, learn a couple of basic words, like hello and thank you, it will help you immensely to connect to local culture and meet people. And it will make it easier for you to take portraits – no need to do it secretly from a big distance, simply approach them and ask! What’s the worst thing that could happen? Right, they refuse, then you say thank you and ask someone else. The language barrier is hard to overcome, however, a friendly smile can say a lot.



4. Think About Composition

Have you heard of the rule of thirds? If not, you are missing out – it is a great way to take a harmonious shot and establish a perfect composition. Break your image into nine squares and align the most important parts along the sides of the central square. Additionally, look for patterns – we all are automatically drawn to patterns in clouds, buildings, forests.


Find the best spot, get steady, and start shooting, and you will take an amazing landscape shot. Finally, pay attention to the foreground as well as background. Having something at the foreground redirects viewer’s focus and makes the image three-dimensional and thus more interesting.



5. Consider Good Lighting

Another helpful rule for photographers is the golden hour. It’s this perfect time right before the sunrise and right after the sunset when the sky looks breathtaking and the subtle sunlight makes everything look magical and mysterious. Besides that, if you shoot during the sunrise, you will have all the spots for yourself and avoid huge crowds on your shots.


If you can’t make it during the golden hour, at least avoid shooting around noon when the bright sunlight creates unwanted shadows and overexposes your photos. All in all, plan your adventure ahead – arrive an hour or so before the photo shoot to find the perfect spot and set up your equipment.



6. Get a Photo Editor

Regardless of how awesome your images turn out to be, you will definitely require a professional photo editing software for post-processing. If you have high-speed internet, try Canva or Adobe Express – an online photo editor with myriads of pre-designed templates for social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter as well as many filters for Instagram. You can also check out small tutorials on designing and branding and learn a new and helpful skill.


If you want to use the program anytime from anywhere, get PhotoWorks – a photo editor for computer made for amateur and professional photographers and graphic designers. You can enhance the quality of your portraits in one click with Portrait Magic, replace the unwanted background with Change Background tool, as well as use content-aware improvement algorithms to enhance landscape shots. The program also contains Instagram-ready filters and 3D LUT corrections and for the experts out there PhotoWorks offers professional tools like Tone Mapping and Curves.



7. Practice, Practice and Practice

As with any other skill, photography requires a lot of practice – it is the only way to get better. Certainly, instead of making beginner mistakes, you should take into account the aforementioned advice and familiarize yourself with more travel photography tips, however, unless you take tons of photos and practice at least twice a week, you will probably not succeed.


In the nutshell, it’s all about patience, enthusiasm, and a friendly smile when you take photos while traveling. So, pack your best camera, get inspired by travel bloggers, obtain a professional photo editor, and begin your adventure.



About the Author:

Jennifer Anders is a freelance writer who has traveled extensively and enjoys exploring off-the-beaten-path locations around the world.

She loves hiking national parks, windsurfing, and photographing wildlife.

Aside from all those crazy activities, you'll also find her eating plenty of local street food. She is absolutely fearless when it comes to trying new things.