Improving Your Image Through Visual Communications

Journalist - Photographer - Writer

Saturday, 29 August 2009

5 tips for taking better travel photographs

By Darren Stones

When travelling, photography can be an integral part of your journey. Sure, we all enjoy savouring the sights, tastes and tourist hot spots, however travel photography provides opportunity to create and enjoy a memorable experience.

Here's 5 tips to assist you to take better travel photographs:

No. 1 – Use the golden hour for better landscape scenes

Serious landscape photographers utilise the golden hour to their advantage. Inspect the best landscape photographs, and you’ll notice that the sun is generally low in the sky. The first and last sunlit hour of the day produces a softer light for quality landscapes.

Even though photographing during these times can be difficult due to a busy travel schedule, make the effort and you’ll be rewarded with better quality images.

Dog Rocks, Batesford, Victoria, Australia IMG_4013-1_Dog Rocks

No. 2 – Photograph people

Taking photos of people is a vital part of travel photography. People like to know about people and they like to know what they look like. So, take people photos and expand your portfolio.

A city or town is about its people and culture – not just its buildings and scenery. Walk around with a smile, greet people as you pass them, and become part of the surroundings.

If you see someone engaged in an activity, approach them in a friendly manner. Introduce yourself and tell them you’re a visitor to the region. Tell them you’re a travel photographer who likes to take photos of people. Ask if you can take their photograph as they’re engaged in an activity. Go in close with a wide-angle zoom to create a dynamic portrait.

Candelo Hotel, New South Wales, Australia,  Bobby O'Brien, Nobby McMahon & Kevin Slater IMG_2253_Bobby_O'Brien_Nobby_McMahon_Kevin_Slater

No. 3 – Stick around for sunset, and linger a little longer

When travelling, most people don’t take photographs at sunset, preferring to dine and savour a region’s tastes. Take a look behind you when the sun is setting as it may be highlighting buildings or trees.

Sometimes the best photographs are taken during sunset. Stay for the afterglow, because this can assist in producing unique architectural shots. With fading light, and street lights aglow, it’s an ideal time to photograph buildings.

Beechworth, Victoria, Australia, bank IMG_9968_Beechworth

No. 4 – Image format

Some subjects look better in portrait format compared to landscape. If in doubt, shoot both formats. When you’re home analysing your photos on the computer decide which looks best. For instance: lighthouses can be framed tightly in portrait format, or, framed in landscape with interesting surroundings.

Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet, Victoria, Australia IMG_5300_Aireys_Inlet

Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet, Victoria, Australia IMG_5312_Aireys_Inlet

No. 5 – Less is more

I believe the best travel photos are uncluttered and simple in composition. There’s a tendency amongst less experienced photographers to try and fit everything in, with the eventual image becoming a lot of tiny objects.

I’ll share a method I use. At times, I’ll slowly walk around with the camera to my eye searching for a strong composition. Of course when doing this, take care of where you walk, otherwise you could end up on your backside or over a cliff.

Perry Sandhills, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia IMG_6322_Wentworth

Commence planning your next journey with the intention to create attractive travel photographs. Research the places you intend to visit via the internet, newspapers, magazines and travel guidebooks.

Sharpen your photographic eye before you leave by photographing in your local area or nearby region. Increase your chances of producing quality travel images by researching, preparing and skilfully executing.

Happy travels.

View the Darren Stones Australian Travel Photography video on YouTube.

1 comment:

  1. hey nice tips..can i add one more important tip..photographing the sign boards..this will help you to make the viewer guess the place n the laguages used where you have been..while capturing the sign boards capture the foreground..


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Darren Stones