Most Creative Travel Photography Tips for Beginners

No one would believe you visited the Bahamas, or a remote village in India unless you show them thrilling pictures. Unfortunately, some of the travel pictures you see on your favorite travel blogs, and social media are products of quality photographic equipment and varying degree of skills.

Therefore, if you truly intend to take amazing pictures for your next trip, you might have to go beyond just swinging out a phone to point and shoot.We will be looking at some amazing tips, comprehensive and easy-to-apply to guide you in taking the kind of pictures you envy on your favorite Instagram handle.

Note that these tips are not hard and fast rules that cannot be broken nor should they be strictly adhered to. See this article as more of a guide for beginners interested in travel and like to do photography. Here is the list below of travel photography TIPS

  • Prepare ahead of time
  • Park the right equipment
  • Shoot early and late in the day
  • Be adventurous
  • Employ basic rules of photography
  • Shoot in manual mode
  • Include human element
  • Edit your pictures

Related Guide > How to Become Nature Photographer

What Are The Most Creative Travel Photography Tips?

01. Prepare Ahead Of Time

Great travel pictures are a product of proper planning. Except you intend to use your phone camera to routinely capture anything, you must prepare well. Do appropriate research on travel sites, and social media on the popular tourist attractions in the area you are traveling to. 

Alongside tourist attractions, study the history, people, and geography of your target destination. The more you know, the better prepared you will be. Of course, you cannot be fully prepared because onsite situations might differ to an extent from information gotten off the internet.

Finally, study the works of other photographers who have covered the same target you intend to work on. This will give you an idea of the major type of photography you will be doing, indoor, outdoor, architectural, wildlife, etc.

02. Park The Right Equipment

The photography instrument you need would depend largely on how heavy you can pack. A second factor will be the dominant type of picture you will be taking, the information you should have having done appropriate research.

DSLR Camera

You might get by with a point-and-shoot camera or camera phone for quick pictures of you dining at a local restaurant. However, for more professional pictures, you need a DSLR camera. The DSLR camera is a go-to camera in professional photography.

With a DSLR camera, you get to shoot your pictures in RAW format, which is required if you intend to edit the pictures. You can shoot in manual mode, thereby being able to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO of the camera to suit the condition in which you are shooting. 

A final reason why you should have a DSLR camera is because of its switchable lens. This puts you at an advantage to be able to shoot any type of picture. More of this is discussed below.

Lens

Imagine hiking, and just ahead of you is a small village with old buildings, unique for their strange architectural design. You would need a wide-angle lens to capture the beautiful scenery. A few moments later, a strange animal nibbling on a root catches your attention. Now, you have to switch to a telephoto lens. 

Picture taken during travels requires a wide array of lenses to able to shoot at will, the best pictures as the need arises. Even, your camera phone will come in handy for a portrait picture of a local sitting independently dressed uniquely.

As stated, you can readily determine the dominant type of picture you will take at a location by doing research. However, as much as possible, be equipped with a variety of lenses to be fully equipped to capture whatever comes your way.

Tripod Stand

A tripod stand might seem like too much, however, as you will soon later find out, it will be one of your most relied-on allies on the field. Some of your best shots will not be taken in a crowded street or at a festival. Your best shot will be of breathtaking landscapes, skylines, and the wonders of nature.

Consequently, taking these pictures will require stealth, balance, and patience, all of which can be made easy with aid of a tripod stand. You need to be able to focus on manually setting your cameras for the perfect shot without having to bother about stabling your camera with bare hands.

Hard Drive

You will be taking a lot of pictures, in RAW format. These are large files that you would need to save intermittently. Having a backup and extra space for saving all your pictures is very important. Consider backing up to the cloud if you can. The heartbreak from losing hundreds of pictures can be entirely prevented by having extra backups.

Laptop

Most of your editing will be done on your laptop. There are two ways to go about it. First, you get back from your tip and double down on editing a whole lot of pictures. A second and probably the best option is to edit on the go. The latter will only be possible if you have your laptop with you. 

Where you are not a skilled editor, you can send your pictures to professional editors as soon as you take them. In this case, you might not need your laptop.

03. Shoot early and late in the day

There are two prime sunlight conditions to shoot outdoor travel pictures. The first is a few hours after sunrise and before sunset, and the other a few hours after sunset. Both of these moments create unique lighting conditions that will transform your scene into something magnificent.

The hour after sunrise and before sunset are called “golden hours” because of the warm tone and magical effect on the scene. Also, the hour after sunset is called “blue hour”, thanks to the color of the sky which also has a breathtaking effect on your scene. As much as possible, avoid taking pictures in the midday to avoid the effect of the harsh sun on your pictures. 

04. Be Adventurous

Some f the best scenes you will come upon would be from the most unexpected places. But it might cost you a degree of adventure. You would have to go out of your way to search out these hidden gems. Make it a habit to explore the places you visit beyond the tourist attractions.

The biggest threat to being adventurous might be safety. However, move around with the card of the hotel where you are lodged, so you can call if you do get lost. Also, you can speak with a tour guide or one of the locals to move around with you. The best option might be to find a partner or a group of photographers interested in exploring more.

05. Employ Basic Rules Of Photography

The peculiarity of travel photography allows for the application of some of the fundamentals but a few, if applied well will help you take great pictures.

The rule of thirds in simple terms means dividing an image into thirds and aligning the subject of interest along lines, instead of simply placing them at the center. The concept is based on how the human eye perceives images. If you are using a DSLR camera, you can use the grid feature to achieve this.

Another important rule is framing. This is basic. Ensure the subject are entirely within frame. The last thing you want are details cut off. However, this might seem impossible when it comes to landscapes or huge structures. However, a way around it is to pick the most interesting part of such behemoth subjects and focus on it. 

One more basic rule to follow is to look for leading lines. Instead of simply snapping a subject, try to lead the eyes along lines that lead to the subject. The concept here is to compose the image in such a way that viewers are taken through a journey from one point on the photograph to the other.

06. Shoot In Manual Mode

To get the best out of objects, you must be able to shoot in manual mode. If you are a beginner and are not familiar with manually setting up your camera, then practice a great deal. You will eventually get a hang of things and once you are on the field, you will get better.

When it comes to manually set up your camera, there are three major areas you must get right. These include the aperture, the ISO, and the shutter speed. Each of these must be calibrated to fit individual shooting conditions. 

Always shoot with a large aperture in low light conditions, as your camera will maximize the available light to produce the perfect image. However, shoot with a low aperture in a well-lit condition. The shutter speed of the camera should be high when shooting moving objects, and low when shooting stationary objects. The ISO talks about how sensitive your camera is. 

07. Include Human Element

ofcourse, what’s a travel picture without some locals smiling at the camera. The environment is a complex product of man with his relationship with nature. Therefore the ability to showcase people and culture thorough your photography is very important. But how do you integrate the human side?

The most obvious way is to ask. Ask people if you could snap them, Some would enthusiastically comply, others would not and a few might ask for some sort of compensation. Irrespective, ask anyways. A more subtle way is to shoot your subjects from a distance.

08. Edit your pictures

Editing your pictures are important. Of course, we do not mean changing the compositions of your pictures or adding false details. Editing your picture includes balancing the color and working on white balance among others. We suggest hiring an editor if you are not yet skilled at post processing pictures.

Related FAQ’s

01. What style of photography is the best suited for travel photography

Lifestyle photography combines different styles of photography, including landscape, architectural and other types depending on where one travels to.

02. What is the best mode to shoot in for travel photography

It is advisable to set your camera to shoot in manual mode, so you can set it uo to suit each condition. Hence, a DSLR camera is preferable.

03. What is the best condition to shoot during travel

Shoot during the golden hour and blue hour of the day. This are hours before and after sunrise and sunset.

My Final Words

Travel photography is a very niched aspect of photograph that requires a lot f attention. Just like other aspects, it takes practice and patience. The tips that have been discussed in this article are great pointers to where to start from or improve on. With time, you will begin to develop your style.