Travelling soon? This travel photographer shares how to have a picture perfect holiday
Capturing the incredible experiences and awe-inspiring landscapes of the places we travel is all part
of the fun of travelling. But how can you ensure you snap the best possible picture to encapsulate
your memories? As an avid travel photographer and adventurer, it’s safe to say I’ve picked up a few
tips along the way.
Here are my top five tips for taking travel photos.
1. Visit the place more than once
This may not be practical in your itinerary, but if you’ve got the flexibility (or you are in the planning stage), I highly recommend factoring in revisiting a spot to get that perfect shot.
The reasons being 1) visiting first to scout out the location, trial different compositions, and test which time of day will be the best lighting never goes astray; and 2) you may want to visit at different times of the day for a different mood – such as sunrise or sunset. I almost always visit a spot more than once, which generally means the second time around I get the shot I was after. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries for multiple visits, although if you’re like me and you have a Nikon Z5, the USB charging capabilities make it optimum for on-the-go travel – simply charge from the car during your road trip, from a portable battery, or easily at your accommodation.
2. Place a subject in the image
The word ‘travel’ in itself means there is movement; a journey to be had. Placing yourself or even your family within the image can evoke that sense of adventure and depict people experiencing a place, rather than just the place itself. If you are travelling alone or want to get every member of the fam (yourself included) in the photo, it’s always a good idea to use a camera with a self-timer feature. I always set my Nikon Z5 to a 10 or 20 second delay, giving me time to get into the frame before the photo is taken.
3. Learn to pose
If you’re going to place yourself in images, which I highly recommend you do in at least some travel photos for both the experiential shots and/or to show a sense of scale in a place, knowing how to pose can really help make a good shot great.
I find that whatever feels natural is often best, so move around a bit and don’t be afraid to try a few different angles and poses to find what works for you.
And don’t forget to have fun – you are on holiday, after all!
4. Avoid the crowds
Depending on the kind of travel photography you are into, you might want to avoid the crowds. For me, travel photography is about capturing beautiful and epic natural landscapes – from waterfalls, to natural pools, to gorges – so I really want to take photos of them when they are quieter. In some of the more popular tourist spots it can be harder to capture a shot without bus loads of people. I find if you visit outside of peak times such as school holidays and weekends, or get to a spot for sunrise, you’re usually one of the few people there, if not the only person there.
5. Approach wildlife slowly
Another fabulous thing about travelling is the different wildlife you encounter along the way. If you’re like me and you really enjoy seeing and trying to photograph wildlife, it’s imperative that you approach them slowly and with care and respect for the animal. My top tip here would be whatever you think is slow, slow it down another three times and then that’s probably the ideal amount. Always leave no trace, ensuring a place is exactly as you found it – helping to preserve it for years to come!