10 Travel Photography Tips

By Geoff Harris

Ten tips to improve your travel photography.

Travel photography is a popular genre for good reason. Enthusiasm can wane when when revisiting familiar places for the umpteenth time. Travel involves seeing new places and new places means new visual stimulation, helping to revitalise your photography mojo. Here are ten tips for a smoother and more rewarding travel photography experience, whether you're jetting off to foreign climes or just to a neighbouring county.

Travel Photography Tips, Travel Photography, Holiday photography, online photography courses,

Travel provides the perfect excuse to shoot using an atypical style or subject matter.

1: Plan ahead

Use resources such as guide books or the Internet to plan your photography beforehand. Make sure you know local sunrise and sunset times as well as potential subjects.

2: Make a list

It's all too easy to forget some crucial piece of equipment (battery chargers for instance). Make yourself a list and check items off as you pack them. If you do forget something put it on the list when you get back so you don't forget it again.

Child in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Travel Photography Tips, Travel Photography, Holiday photography, online photography courses,

Ask permission, particularly when photographing children.

3: Leave the kitchen sink behind

Although it doesn't do to forget something crucial, you probably don't want to take every piece of camera equipment you own either. There's something to be said for keeping life simple.

4: Don't shoot the obvious

There are certain subjects that have been done to death from one particular viewpoint. The Taj Mahal is a good example. Try to find a new take on the subject either by finding a new viewpoint or by shooting it at an unusual time of day.


Wooden carving of a lion on the door to the city hall, Prague, Czech Republic, Travel Photography Tips, Travel Photography, Holiday photography, online photography courses,

Look for interesting details on your travels. They say just as much about a place as the wider scenes.

5: Be polite

People are usually very helpful wherever you travel. As long as you show respect to them that is. If you want a photograph of someone don't shoot surreptitiously. Ask permission. It may not come naturally but it's the honourable thing to do. If you're met with a refusal then move on and try someone else. Learning a few friendly words in the local language (such as hello, please, thank you) will go a long way for the minimal effort involved.

6: Get up early. Stay out late

Midday is often the worst time to be out shooting, particularly at the tropics. The light early in the morning or late in the afternoon is generally far more pleasing. Happily it's often cooler then too.

Food stalls in the Djemaa el Fna market place in Marrakech, Morocco, Travel Photography Tips, Travel Photography, Holiday photography, online photography courses,

Shooting in the late afternoon or early evening is a great way to round off your photographic day.

7: Make notes

Unless you have a GPS-enabled camera it's easy to lose track of which photo was taken where. Making notes (using the image file names as reference) will help you sort out your images when you get home.

8: Take care of your memory cards

The most precious piece of equipment you'll take isn't your camera, it's your memory cards. Each image you shoot is likely to be irreplaceable. If you're shooting Jpeg and have access to the Internet it's worthwhile backing up to a cloud service as you travel (shooting Raw is slightly more tricky thanks to file size). If you fill multiple memory cards make sure you don't accidentally re-use them (formatting them without thinking). If your card has a write-protect switch use that. Otherwise put a rubber band around the card to show that it's been used.

Repairing the neon signs above the streets of Chinatown, San Fra, Travel Photography Tips, Travel Photography, Holiday photography, online photography courses,

Keep your eyes open for quirky scenes as you travel.

9: Ditch the family

Families are great. They're really lovely people. But they do sometimes get in the way of a day's photography. Arrange some time to yourself if you can, so that you won't feel guilty about lingering over a particularly promising subject.

10: Variety is the spice of life

Travelling is all about getting away from the ordinary, every-day routine. So why not do the same with your photography? Try new techniques or shoot subjects that you wouldn't normally consider. It will help to refresh your creative thinking and perhaps even lead onto to new photographic interests.

If you would like to learn more about travel photography why not consider taking one of the following 4 week online photography courses?

City Break & Travel Photography Course

Holiday & Travel Photography Course

Safari Photography: Big Game Photography Course

Geoff Harris

I am a journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) - http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and Steve McCurry. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time. In addition I write about well being/personal development and antiques collecting for a range of other titles, including BlueWings, the in-flight magazine of Finn Air.

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