10 Tips to Improve Your Travel Photography Folio

Travel photography is one of the most exciting fields of photography. It’s because you can do both hobbies at the same time, so that’s hitting two birds with one stone. Travel photography is a genre of photography where you take shots and documentation of one’s place.  

You actually don’t need to travel far to take pictures. Every angle on your way to the office, back to your home, or on a holiday vacation, can capture pictures that depict culture and customs of your subject. The more you practice shooting, the more in tune you will be to your camera and equipment. In order for you to improve your travel photography folio, here are some tips for you. Read on.

1. Make Sure to Upgrade Your Gear

Aiming to be a professional travel photographer? Then its time to set aside your phone cameras and selfie sticks and go get a real camera. A piece of advice – invest on lenses if you want to try different shots. Camera lenses are very useful as it helps you capture a subject creatively. For travel photographers, wide angle lenses are perfect for stunning landscape shots. There’s also a fast zoom lens for shooting a subject that needs zooming. For very close-up shots, a macro lens will do you good. You need to buy them simultaneously, just invest one by one, depending on what type of a travel photographer you aim.

2. Choose the Right Lenses

Lenses also have its own characteristics. Prime lenses blurry your shot beautifully while keeping the main subject sharp. These will be typically in the 35mm, 50mm or 85mm range using a full frame camera.  Moreover, it gives you a lovely cinematic look that other lenses can’t deliver.

3. Research Your Destination

Before clicking out that airline booking for your next travel shoot, here are a few tips:

  • Read on the internet on what you’ll expect when you arrive at the place. Gather information about their people, the places, and the things that you’ll take pictures of. Learn about their culture, avoiding those that might offend their beliefs. That way, you’ll also be mindful of your behavior while taking shots.
  • For aerial shots and if you have drones with you, know their regulations regarding the use of it. Some countries might have restrictions on using aerial shots.
  • Lastly, check on their weather to equip you for the right clothes and protective gears to bring. Nonetheless, Its more challenging to take shots on inclement weather and your skills will be tested.

4. Practice Shooting Manually and in Raw

An important rule – do not take shots in auto mode. If you’re doing so you let the camera do its job rather than for you to discover different shots using a different mode. Moreover, auto mode just guesses the appropriate mode depending on the sensors. You can still get good shots, but you failed to explore creatively.

An example of it is on taking a landscape image on a sunny day. On auto mode, you will get underexposed land and light skies. If you take pictures at RAW, you can perfect your shot with just a right sharpness and depth of field.  

5. Focus and Highlight the Details of Your Subject

When taking a shot, focus on those with stories to tell or has intricate details waiting to be snapped. Look for interesting lines, patterns, and colors to enhance the look of your subject. Pay more attention to the details that cover the idea you wanted.

6. Frame Your Shots

To draw more attention to the lookers and viewers, frame your shots. Frame certain elements of a picture in such a way that will help the viewers creatively imagine what the destination is like.

7. Experiment With Some Composition Techniques

Photography has no rules, but there are some established guidelines to enhance the impact of a scene.  This will help you take appealing pictures, giving them a natural balance that draws attention.

  • Rule of thirds – position the most important elements in your picture at the points where they intersect. It will add balance and interest to your photo.
  • Achieve a balanced composition on a subject’s “visual weight” by including other objects of lesser importance to fill the space.
  • Symmetry and patterns catch the viewer’s attention especially in situations where they are not expected.
  • Overlapping partially obscure one object with another.

8. Establish a Story With Your Photos

Challenge yourself by creating a story on your shots. Focus on one interesting aspect the city or country you’re in.

9. Always Bring an Extra Camera

This will equip you to alternatively take shots depending on the depth of your subject. When exploring places, you might not want to spend your time switching lenses rather than taking more pictures. Consider bringing 2 cameras with different lenses that suit your photography style. An example is a wide angle lens on one camera, and a lovely 85mm prime for portraits on the other.  Bring protective bags also for your cameras – a handy and not too bulky camera bag.

10. Never Stop Learning

Photography is a never-ending learning process. Every shot gives you an opportunity for improvement and creativeness.  If you don’t want a formal education, there’s always an internet where photographers write blogs and tips. Also, several camera enthusiasts are spread all over, with various organizations and groups. Join this in order to learn more.  

Specific editing techniques and settings were not thoroughly discussed so you readers will be able to discover techniques independently. Enjoy life, enjoy travel, and most of all – enjoy keeping memories through the photos you take.

About the Author

Geraldine Mills works as an Outreach Community Specialist for Photography Institute, a leading photography school in NZ that offers home study courses using the advanced and comprehensive online learning techniques. When she’s not working, she’s at home sipping the best local wine while reading travel itineraries for more adventures.