How To Get The Best From Your Travel Photography

Queenstown, New Zealand
Photo by Leea Gilmour

There have been many instances I’ve heard of where someone has got back from their holiday only to find their photographs have turned out quite different than expected. This can often be because they have not been there at a time when the light was at its best (i.e. best in the morning at 8am) or arrived just after a festival or a week too late.

Even though you can’t have entire control over weather, lighting, festivals or events (sometimes things are cancelled due to bad weather, in which case you can’t control that) you can be prepared in other ways so you get the best shot for your trip.

Busy Traffic in New York City, North America

A really good way to get the absolute best from your travel photos is to read the Lonely Planet’s Guide to that area if that’s possible. If that’s not possible then you can ask a travel agent about how to find some more local knowledge of the area before you go. I suggest asking them about a month or a couple of weeks at least, before you go, so you can prepare yourself as much as possible. One example of good preparation might be that if you are going somewhere in summer you might want to stock up on extra polarizing filters, or buy an extra lens hood to keep the sun out of your lens to reduce flare.

The Olgas near Ayers Rock, Australia
Photo by Leon Bidon

If you are just in the thinking stages of a trip and combining your love of photography, then check with a travel agent first about what time of year is best to go to that area. They will have access to more local information; very handy especially if you’ve never been before. They might be able to recommend website for you to look at to get an idea of weather, what things are best to photograph at night, where to get the best shot for a famous mountain or countries icon, what exotic animals are around to get beautiful photos for wildlife photography, etc. You get the idea.

Another great idea for your travel photography is finding out what customs the place has. For example there might be a religious festival that has certain restrictions on photographers being there. Don’t ask me to quote exactly when and where, but I do know that this does exist.

Views from the Great Wall of China, China
Photo by Webnut Shen

Another way to get fantastic photos is to look at professional pictures taken of that city or place. You can emulate the composition as much as possible. For example if you are planning to go to New Zealand then look at pictures of postcards on the net of the places in New Zealand you want to visit and make a list of all the things that impress you about that picture. If you can’t find any pictures you like, go to your trusted travel agent again and ask for brochures on the area and look at the pictures on the covers and inside.

The Pantheon, Greece
Photo by Simona Dumitru

Bad weather doesn’t mean bad photos. You may have planned your trip to a lovely tropical location in the summertime. In summer in the tropics there can be flash flooding and storms. But instead of cursing, you could try getting out there (as long as you are safe of course) and taking some beautiful black and white rain-on-a-city-street type of photos. You can also take advantage of rain by taking some beautiful macro shoots of rain landing upon different species of leaves and plants. Or perhaps you want might want to photo that storm coming in over the city or sea. You can adjust your aperture to a smaller number to get a greater depth of field if it’s a long distance shot.

Stonehenge, England
Photo by Sean Johnson

Much of your success overseas or travelling in your own country comes from getting local knowledge first. Local knowledge is important from not only a cultural aspect but from a environmental and physical aspect too.

About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time.

Comments (30)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Olivia says:

    Your article on travel photography tips is excellent.

  2. Thanks for your excellent article, I really enjoyed reading it. I’ve book marked your site as I don’t want to miss a thing you do Amy.

  3. Hello. Great job. I did not expect this this week. This is a great story. Thanks!

  4. refi plus says:

    Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

  5. Baker says:

    Great! Thanks for post

  6. Jackson says:

    keep up the great work!

  7. This really solved my problem, thank you!

  8. Thanks very much, what a fantastic website you have!

  9. Carolyn says:

    A cool post right there mate . Thank you for that !

  10. I would just like to thank you for the excellent site posting as well as a all round fascinating web blog (I additionally like the theme/design). I have bookmarked it and also subscribed to the RSS feeds.

  11. Richard says:

    This blog is extremely helpful. Thank you, I will come back soon.Good tips. I might add that practising at home and around the city is a great way to get spectacular travel shots for your overseas trip.

  12. Sandi says:

    I continue to read blogs like this, because I am trying to better my ability to write great content, this is an awesome example.

  13. Henry says:

    I am traveling to New York next month and found this article just in time. I love learning about travel photography. Thanks Amy.

  14. turu says:

    thanks good post

  15. Bud says:

    This is very valuable travel photography information.

  16. Kirsty says:

    Great! Thanks for post

  17. mutuelle says:

    This website is awesome. I constantly come across something new & different right here. Thank you for that data.

  18. kral says:

    wow great! thanks

  19. Rustah says:

    Excellent post! Thank you . I love digital photography.

  20. karolina says:

    Good advice, so true, there is no “bad” weather!

  21. Oliver says:

    Your concepts were simple to understand that I wondered why I in no way looked at it prior to. Glad to know that there’s a blogger out there that certainly understands what he’s discussing. Great job

    • Thanks Oliver, glad you are enjoying the site. I am a woman by the way. LOL :) And yes I do know what I’m talking about- been doing photography now for nearly ten years and I love to help others just starting out.

  22. Terri says:

    Very good article Amy. You go to great lengths to please your customers, I can see that.

  23. Barry says:

    Many thanks for getting the time to address this. I love learning about this topic. I have found it extremely beneficial

  24. David says:

    Excellent information Amy, thanks so much!

  25. Silvester says:

    excellent post, very informative. You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  26. Nadica says:

    Love your work. It’s great to see how talented some of the Wedding Photographers are here in Eugene Oregon and suinourdrng areas. What would be your one word of advice to a newly budding wedding photographer??Thanks!Jessica

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.