Travel opens a whole world of photographic opportunities for those of us who love to take pictures. Your travel photos can be dynamic, meaningful, and visually stunning with a little preparation before your trip and some new perspectives while you are on the road.
Research your destination: Start with the internet to find unique locations that will inspire beautiful pictures. Make a list of locations you would like to shoot, then ask yourself: What would you like to capture? Will you need a zoom lens? A wide angle lens? What is the lighting like? What is the best time of day to visit?
If you are travelling to a new city, try using the street view on Google maps. This will give you a good idea of angles that will capture the best shots.
Think ahead: Do a test run at a location close to home. Pack as much equipment as you can, and take the types of shots you expect to take on vacation—architectural, landscape, snaps of family, or close-ups. Take note of what you use. What can you leave behind? What did you forget? How many flash cards will you need?
Better Family Snapshots: You know the standard travel photo shot: your family stands square to the camera while a landmark looms in the background. It’s a common photo recipe, one that is very easy to change to add interest to your photos.
- Position your family differently: have each person stand up a stair of a lovely building, place them like a frame around the focal point, place them shortest to tallest in front of one another, have them sit cross-legged on a long bench.
- Position yourself differently: will you get a more dramatic photo if you are below your family, looking up at them with the focal point in the background? What will the photo look like if you move right or left, forward or backward? Professional photographers are always on the move, experimenting with new angles to get the perfect image.
- Think beyond the travel guide: Visual interest is created when something unusual happens in the photo. Shoot your loved ones blending in with the exotic background—buried in sand except for face and toes, wearing local clothing styles, shopping in a busy market. Alternatively, think of ways your family can stand out—standing up in a sea of sitting people, wearing bright colours against a hiking background of green and brown, eating hamburgers in front of a Parisian bakery.
Photographing local residents: Sometimes the best sense of a unique place is seen in the faces of the people who live there. Do not be afraid to photograph local residents. Ask permission first, and as you take the shot, think of your focal point. What is it about this person that embodies the culture?
Move beyond the postcard shot: When you are shooting a lovely building or a sensational landscape, limit yourself to a few standard shots. Then start moving: shoot from the floor, or shoot from above, if you can. Zoom in and pan out. Look for interesting elements in the foreground. Change your focal points, or try mounting your camera on a tripod and slow down your shutter speed to capture beautiful light.
Make your own travelogue: Photo books are a perfect way to memorialize your vacation. You can build a small book to take with you, or a large, 12 x12 coffee-table book to show off your stunning photos. Create your own photobook here.
Protect your equipment:
Sand and moisture can do considerable damage to your camera equipment. Make sure to get a weatherproof camera bag, and store your accessories in heavy duty Ziploc bags. This is particularly important if you are photographing in a wintery landscape, since melted snow can seep into the crevices of your equipment.
London Drugs carries accessories to protect your camera equipment, including rugged camera bags, lens filters, anti-fog products, SD card protectors and Ziploc bags. Visit our camera department and we’ll help you outfit your camera for the elements.