Travel Photography: 5 Tips
More than capturing memories, travel photography is about preserving a location's culture, heritage and personality. Photographers on the go yearn to be able to capture the views, the sights, and the unique features of places that they go to, but travel photography is not as easy as it may seem. It's not just a matter of going around and randomly clicking your camera; you have to be able to depict the essence of your experience. Here are 5 travel photography tips for those who are venturing out into this adventurous field:
1. Carry a Notebook
Sure you're a photographer, not a writer. But, carrying around a pen and paper with you is an absolute essential if you want to be a successful travel photographer. The moment you arrive at a place, you have to be able to remember the first impressions you got. These are essentially the emotions you will try to capture later on. Does the city seem dark and foreboding to you? Is it interesting and colorful? The longer you stay at a certain location, the more familiarization will make you forget about your first impressions.
2. Take Note of the Sunlight
In every country, the sun moves differently. Closer to the equator, you have very high sun at noon with barely a shadow in sight. Further into the hemisphere, you get a lower sun and longer shadows at different times of the day. Remember how the sun moves, and imagine the kind of lighting you would want to capture in your photos. The more light and shadow you can get, the better.
3. Go Wide
Don't be afraid to shoot from a wider perspective. You might be lugging around a fish-eye lens or wide-angle that would be perfect for those panoramic shots. Try a bird's eye view from atop a building. It's also good to be able to capture a location as a whole and have this broad point of view.
4. Capture People
The people are what makes a place come alive. Don't just focus on the tourist attractions; take notice of the locals and their interesting traits. It's tricky to photograph strangers from up close. Be sure to introduce yourself first and ask for permission if you may take a photograph. If they say yes, take a few test shots and show it to the stranger. This will make them more comfortable, and will make your future shots more natural and relaxed.
5. Think Outside of the Box
This is important for any photographer, but for travel photographers, it could spell the difference between a boring and interesting photo. A building is just a normal structure when you take the picture from a normal angle. But, if you tilt your camera a bit and take a worm's eye view, it becomes a looming and massive edifice. Use your imagination and don't be afraid to shoot from different angles. Travel photography is also all about freeing your imagination.