To most people, travel photography involves taking memorable photos of the things you experience while on your vacation. Travel photography includes road trips, vacations, scavenger hunts to historic locations, and generally anything else that requires leaving your house and packing a bag. Before you load up the car, take a look at these quick hints to help ensure your photographs turn out as great as your adventures.
Get the Right Gear
Large-format cameras take some of the most beautiful and detailed images possible. But if you want to go on a hike you'll likely not want to pack an enormous 8x10 camera around with you for the day. Before leaving the house, take a realistic inventory of your gear and cross-reference it with your plans – anything that you won't realistically need or that may become a burden should be left at home. For almost every use, an SLR camera with a couple of lenses and an extra battery should be more than enough.
If you love taking pictures, then it should be no surprise that we take pictures of the things that leave an impression on us like going to Paris and taking lots of pictures of the Eiffel Towel and the Louvre. But the problem is so does everyone else who has ever been there. If you're really interested in creating memorable and unique photographs, you need to be willing to get off the beaten path.
Take a tour of obscure landmarks, or ask locals for advice on where to find the best sunrise in town. The world is beautiful and photography allows us to capture its beauty, but there are many amazing photographs being missed if you're not actively exploring. Challenge yourself to get lost in every place and see if you can find the beauty hiding just out of view.
Better Safe than Sorry
In addition to bringing backup batteries, you should also be sure to have a few rolls of film (or an extra memory card). Additionally, it is always a good bet to bracket your shots. Bracketing means shooting three photos instead of one; the first is shot at the recommended aperture, then the second and third are shot one setting too low and one too high. Travel photography often means taking pictures that you'll never see again so bracketing helps to make sure that you have enough images to work with once you get back home.
Share Your Story
Think of yourself as the ambassador for the place you are visiting. Picture that your photo editor has given you an assignment to tell a story with the photos from your trip. Every picture you take while you're on your trip is part of a greater story of your overall vacation.
Whenever possible, try give every photograph you take some sort of contextual meaning that applies to your trip as a whole. For instance, a good theme for shooting in the desert would be isolation, while celebration would be great for a place full of people. There should always be a connecting line between your photographs.
Without a doubt, travel photography is one of the most fun photography niches to focus on. You get to have fun doing what you love taking beautiful pictues while at the same time exploring fascinating new places. As long as you take pictures with a purpose and use the right gear, your friends will likely be admiring your travel photos for many years to come. Just remember to take a little time to enjoy the experience while you're there; it's easy to get caught up in the camera and completely miss the joy of the trip.