If you have a love for wanderlust, you probably also love to capture your memories of adventure. Travelling not just opens up your mind but also a world of photography possibilities. From stunning landscapes to once in a lifetime candid shots, each photo is unique and holds personal meaning. To bring out the best of your photos when seeing the world, there are a few factors to bear in mind that can help you bring out the travel photographer in you!
Choose Your Camera
First and foremost, what type of camera best suits you, personally? Camera phones are so advanced these days it can be worth it just relying on your phone (especially if you love to share your moments on social media), but that drains battery and you may need your phone for other things (emergencies, using a map, searching the best places for food…) I own a DSLR camera, which in a simplified nutshell are those that come with lots of mechanisms and functions to bring out the best photo for each moment. The cheaper ones are good for amateurs like me, and the more expensive (and we’re talking a few thousand pounds) are used by professionals. These cameras are great for possessing full control over your shots, and the quality is hard to beat. The downside is not just the cost, but the size can be too annoying to carry around when you’re travelling. Some people prefer a simple point and shoot camera for travelling, as these are easy to use and can fit in your handbag or pocket. There are even ‘bridge’ cameras which combine DSLR qualities with point and shoot simplicity! With so many options out there, it is always worthwhile exploring what best suits you and your travelling needs.
Choose Your Equipment
Owning a DSLR also comes with a huge range of accessories to use and have fun with. I sometimes use filters, and in particular the polarizing and UV filters are handy to have when shooting in bright, sunny locations to reduce glare appearing on the photos. I have toyed with the idea of buying a tripod, which will help shooting the perfect landscape shot or a group shot if your travelling with friends! However they will not be easy to carry around, so sometimes the extra equipment it isn’t worth it. For any camera, other things are important to bear in mind. Will you need an extra memory card or two? If you’re only going away for a long weekend, it might be good to charge your camera before leaving and leave your charger at home for more space, and less risk of losing it. Perhaps even a spare battery could come in handy if you really like shooting all day, every day! And don’t forget a decent camera case is a lifesaver.
Before you jet off with your camera, it might be worthwhile taking it out for a spin and have a few practice sessions – especially if it’s a new camera or you’ve just learnt a few new tips and tricks to maximise your photography potential. Practice in different light and weather settings to really get to know your camera, and it will essentially become your best friend. Then when the opportunity comes to snap, you can be confident the result will be brilliant!
Take Your Time
When out and about sightseeing it can be a problem trying to take that perfect shot when everybody around you also is. Hot spot tourist locations are popular for a reason, and it can be frustrating trying to navigate around everyone to get a shot that isn’t marred by strangers in the corner of the frame. Although often you are pressured to take a photo quickly and let someone else take over your shooting location, try as hard as you possibly can to take things slowly, and only snap when you’re ready. This way you are exploring your options before taking the perfect photo, rather than hurriedly snapping away without properly looking in the hope that at least one photo will turn out okay. A bonus of taking your time also means you can take in your surroundings more, and you truly get to enjoy your travels rather than just seeing everything through a lens!
Look for “Offbeat” Shots
Sometimes you want the photos you take to be personal, and mean something special to you, rather than looking like a postcard photo or something everyone has a photo of. One handy tip I once read is to look for unusual shooting viewpoints, perhaps zoom in on something in particular that catches your eye or choose a different angle. Instead of relying on posed photos maybe take lots of candid shots of your travelling buddies – they might even appreciate the profile picture possibilities! You want your photos to speak to you, so if something grabs your eye – capture it!
And most importantly- enjoy each moment! Travel and photography are passions, and the best photos are those that come with the best memories!