photo by deimagine via iStock
Heading out on the road? You might want to give these travel photography tips a look.
From gear recommendations to tips for packing, composition techniques to planning your trip, we’ve got what you need to get your trip off on the right foot.
Travel Photography Tip #1: Pack Light
photo by Nirut Punshiri via iStock
And I don’t mean to just pack light when it comes to your clothes and other personal items. You need to thin the herd when it comes to your gear, too.
The answer is no…
Having too much gear is not only uncomfortable to carry but it also causes you undue stress worrying about whether your gear is safe.
Here’s a travel photography idea: take one camera, a good walk-around zoom lens (i.e., a 24-70mm), and a small travel tripod (like this one!). With this small kit, you can photograph just about anything on your travels and not kill yourself trying to carry it all.
Travel Photography Tip #2: Carry Your Gear in Comfort
Speaking of carrying your gear, you want a camera bag that’s not only comfortable but also helps you keep your gear safe and organized.
When traveling, that means you need a small bag that’s big on features, and for my money, there’s nothing better than the Holdfast Fundy Streetwise Bag.
Designed for street photography, this little bag will hold a camera and several lenses along with all the necessary accessories like extra batteries, memory cards, your wallet, and so forth.
In addition to the comfort and organizational factors, this bag is unassuming. It’s small, lightweight, and doesn’t look like a camera bag. That’s a big deal because thieves will be less likely to target you because they won’t know you have expensive camera gear inside.
Speaking of the inside, this bag has multiple compartments lined with sheepskin that keep your gear cozy and safe as you travel. No bumps or bruises for your gear when it rides in this thing!
On top of all that, this bag can be worn as a traditional shoulder bag or it can be attached to the impeccable Holdfast MoneyMaker. That means you can customize how you carry the bag to suit your specific needs.
Either way, you have quick access to your gear so you won’t miss any shots on your travels. What’s not to like about that?
Travel Photography Tip #3: Bring a Polarizing Filter
By far, one of the best accessories you can have for travel photography is a good polarizing filter.
Typically used for landscapes to reduce atmospheric haze, boost contrast in the sky, and minimize glare off of water and other non-metallic surfaces, circular polarizers have other uses too.
For example, you can use a polarized filter when taking portraits to reduce glare off of people's skin.
A polarizer can also be used as a neutral density filter in a pinch as it will slightly reduce the amount of light entering the lens, allowing you to slightly blur movement of things like clouds or moving water.
I've been using Haida Circular Polarizers as of late, and I've been impressed with the results I've been getting.
The filters are well made and durable, so they can stand up to the rigors of travel photography.
With 10 layers of multi-coatings, you get superb protection for the filter glass while also reaping the benefits of reduced glare.
Likewise, the multi-coating enables improved beading of water and oil, so they're easy to clean.
These filters are also easy to use...
With side knurling that provides a textured grip, you can more easily and precisely manipulate the filter to get just the right effect.
The filter housing is slim as well, which means less chance of vignetting when using a wide-angle lens.
There are just too many benefits of having a good circular polarizer with you on your travels. Do yourself a favor and add a polarizer to your kit today!
Travel Photography Tip #4: Plan It Out (But Still Be Spontaneous)
photo by wundervisuals via iStock
It’s important to plan your travels well ahead of time so you’re sure to be in each location at the ideal time of day. After all, getting to that quaint mountain village in the north of Italy at noon isn’t going to get you the best photos under that harsh, midday light.
So, while you’re figuring out where to go, think about when to go too. It’s one of the most important things you can to do improve travel photography
photo by FilippoBacci via iStock
The when part of the equation might be more complicated than simply deciding to be somewhere at dawn or dusk.
For deeper intel on the locations you’ll be traveling to, ask around. Get with your photographer friends and see if they’ve been to any of the locations you intend to visit. Once you’re in-country, ask the locals for inside knowledge about where you should go and when.
That brings up the “be spontaneous” part of this.
While you should leave home with a solid plan in place, don’t be tied down to it. Some of the best adventures (and best photos) result from ditching your initial plans in favor of something else at the last minute! Being willing to be spontaneous is a critical part of being a travel photographer.
Travel Photography Tip #5: Add a Human Element
photo by piola666 via iStock
Sure, many travel photos will include people - portraits and street scenes and such.
But there’s a real opportunity to add more meaning and depth to your landscape photos by adding people or human elements to the shots.
Adding a person or a manmade object to a landscape is frowned upon by some landscape photography purists, but for me, doing so helps you tell a better story about that place.
photo by DieterMeyrl via iStock
Additionally, adding a familiar-sized object like a person to a landscape shot creates context and helps viewers understand the scale of the scene.
Likewise, human elements like roads and paths are perfect leading lines that help direct the viewer's eyes from the foreground to the background of the shot.
So, while beautiful, untouched landscapes are certainly worthy subjects, try adding a human element and see how doing so can make the shot that much better.
With these simple tips, you’ll end up with better photos and a more pleasant traveling experience. It’s a win-win!