Hey traveler, where you off to next?
Oh, the places you’ll go.
Travel is wonderful. It’s a trip. See the world, challenge yourself, meet new people, explore, wander, wonder. Whether you’re headed home for a family reunion or diving deep into the wilderness on safari, here are a few travel photography tips for your next vacation.
Before you hop in the car, train or plane, do your research. Read up about a place before you arrive so you have your best foot forward.
Follow the people, places, and things that inspire you. Observe. What are the sights, sounds and smells of your surroundings. Soak it all in. Now, pick up your camera.
Shoot the sights. Get off the beaten path. Capture stunning scenery—the urban cityscape, rolling hills, crackled salt flats, sandy beaches, majestic mountains…Get it all!
Get shots of the food. Get close. Closer, closer, there. Let the food fill the entire frame. Show us who’s eating! Experiment with different angles. Capture the action, see steam as it wafts up from the BBQ. Find color, the deep red tones of spicy kimchi. Cover texture, the flaky crust of deep-fried food.
Capture your adventure. Whether white water rafting or riding a rollercoaster, get action shots! Bring a waterproof camera like a GoPro or Sony Action Cam to capture high adrenaline moments. Attach it to the handlebars, your head, or grab a selfie stick to get the shot.
Interested in art? Architecture? Historic Sites? Culture? Get that too.
Now, sit back a moment and watch the people. Look at their faces. The expression on their faces. Who are they with? Is that their friend? Maybe their brother? What’s their story? Connect with people. Get candid shots. Introduce yourself. Learn their story.
Right place. Right time.
No matter where you go, no matter what you do, when it comes to travel, timing is everything! It’s a matter of fighting the crowds to see the Mona Lisa during the high travel season or having her all to yourself during shoulder season. Depending on the time of year and the time of day, many factors come into account when traveling. A bustling fish market showcasing a selection of seafood early morning doesn’t have the same WOW factor late in the day when stock is sparse. Showing up for ski lesson a couple months late could be the difference between epic powder days and mud season. From sundown to sunset, January to July, be sensitive to time as it plays a serious role when it comes to travel photography.
Of course, sometimes, things just happen! And when they do, be ready for anything! If you’re lucky enough to be in the right place, at the right time, it’s pure magic. Maybe you have an encounter with wildlife…or maybe there’s a spontaneous moment with a friend…have that camera at an arms length and be ready to have some fun. Sometimes, the best travel moments happen when you least expect them.
Power in Numbers.
Often times, when you get busy snapping away…you end up with a lot more photos than you know what to do with! Pick some of your favs and drop them into a collage. Harness the power of numbers! Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (Aristotle).
In general, it’s best to pick a theme. Try creating a food collage where you put all things edible all on to one canvas. Perhaps, limit your sample and pick a handful of shots from one activity, like a scenic mountain bike ride or day at the amusement park, and go with that. Maybe you’ll make a people collage, meshing a bunch of party pics all into one photo. Usually, it works best to choose photos taken with the same type of light. In other words, match daytime photos with daytime photos, nighttime pics with nighttime pics, and indoor images with indoor images.
Once you’ve got your theme, have fun and mix it up! Aim for variety. Let each picture tell your audience something new. Say you’re on a hike in the mountains, show us a posed shot of your family, next to a shot of the gorgeous view, next to a beautiful close-up of the wild flowers along the way. Ta da!
For people collages, experiment with number of people included in the photos—maybe go with a big group shot in one frame, and then an individual shot in another frame, next to a two-person shot in the next frame. Mix in close-ups of faces and wide shots that show the whole body, and you’ve got one super fun collage!
I like to get creative with the layout. Sometimes, I stick to a simple pattern, like placing three horizontal pics or three vertical pics on the same page–you can’t go wrong with three! Other times, I seek out more advanced layouts—like ones with geometric designs and nice lines. Be careful not to jam too many pictures into one collage. Avoid confusion for your audience by picking one photo as the key focal point and let the other images support it.
Another fun thing to do is to show a sequence. Capture two friends in a pie eating contest, snapping moments at the start, middle, and end—and voilà!
There are a number of apps for your phone that offer creative templates and designs to play with. The best ones allow you to edit the photos (crop, enhance, color correct) while also placing your images just so. I like Fuzel Collage, and Instagram now has a collage feature as well.
Wherever your next adventure may take you, have fun capturing your own travel memories and be sure to share them with the world.
With a camera in hand and pen behind her ear, Juliana Broste, is a freelance travel video journalist, always ready to capture the moment. Her filmmaking adventures have taken her across the globe. Come along for the adventure and follow “TravelingJules” on: