First let me get this straight. I am not a pro traveler or a pro photographer or even a person who is always wandering to new places. With the growth of Instagram, the number of travel photographers also has grown humongously & so do the photographs and videos that depict travel. As fancy as it looks and sounds – ‘Travel Photography’ – actually doing it is not a cakewalk. I have been doing this for past three years so I have decided to put together my collective learning as ‘” Travel Photography tips ” for those who are willing to explore this niche. Especially the points where I terribly failed in my early days – like sharing a log of lessons I have learnt.
My initial days were like – Carry all the camera gears that I have and dump it into my backpack. And during travel, especially during hikes or treks go out of breath with the heavy big backpack that I was carrying – ask (actually plead) my friends to swap bags or carry some extra gear that I am carrying separately. This distracted me from doing several things like enjoying the sweet little moments of travel, see through the beauty of nature and look out for perfect frames or light and get tired very easily.
So I gradually started packing only the necessary gears for travel and landscapes. Also switched to a travel tripod that weighs much lesser than the previous ones that I had. At the most, try to make it one or 2 backpacks that will allow you to explore without much getting inhibited with the weight you are carrying and lose precious moments to photograph.
Interact with Locals for better travel experience
When you travel to a new place, the people who live there will know much much more than what Google does. So don’t rely ‘only’ on the information that you read on internet. Get to interact with the people, enjoy new culture, get to know the essence & history of the place, the authentic delicacies. Shoot everything that you find inspiring during travel – this will definitely step up your travel photography game.
Not just Landscapes
Travel photography is not only about the landscapes / cityscapes. It is about the people of that place, the food that you get there, the culture, the practices of people, the sports that the place is famous for, the cultivation and farming, the tall buildings, architectures and everything. So explore everything and grab all that the place has got to offer.
During travel, to keep your gear pack ready for all type of situations, climatic conditions & any exceptional cases is the most important thing. This can be considered as a general Photography tip however it possess grave importance when comes to travel. If you are in a remote place and your camera batteries run dry, you will end up shooting nothing. A handy travel tip – Be it power banks, solar chargers, extra batteries, figuring out a place where you can charge all of them before heading out needs a special focus. Make a list of all that you need to carry and check it up before heading out for your travel photography venture.
Be Safe during travel photography
Being adventurous, doing things for adrenaline rush is all fine. However being in good condition ensures you can make the experience more peaceful. Ensure you take risks for the shot very safely or don’t risk at all. Shoot from places where everything is intact and is considered safe. Don’t venture into restricted areas. At the end of the day, travel photography should be pleasant and add meaning to your experience.
Know about the weather
It’s a very good practice to read or check the weather before the trip. It helps you different ways. Firstly, you can expect what type of photographs you can shoot there. Next, pack clothes and gears that will help you protect you and your gears from the type of climate that is expected there. Though Nature is unpredictable – with some idea of what to expect can save your day.
Protect your travel photography gears
While on a trip, seeing some or any of your gears damaged is the last thing you want to do or the one thing that is enough to ruin your travel experience. So be it any tiny little thing that you would find to be useful – please carry it. Protect your gears.
Plan your travel ahead
Being on the go, go with the flow can all be exciting, encountering fresh moments can be fun. However to take travel photographs that are unique, planning to a certain level is required. Plan it well ahead since uncertainties can be a bit off putting at times. Planning is measure of tackling uncertainties in much better way which otherwise will end up in being disappointed.
Enjoy what you do during travel
Sometimes, going out for travel photography doesn’t really mean that you need to be shooting the entire time. Take time to first enjoy the views, place, people and things around you and then start clicking after a while. And this will definitely show up in the travel photos you shoot. So soak yourself in to the place first.
Keep it real
No offense, but there are lot of over edited photos to make it look really picture perfect. And it is very much grabbing attention these days in Social media. This can sound like a fair game. However, remember you are cutting down the flavor of the place you photograph and serving something different when you over edit your Photos. So when shooting places or landscapes, try to keep it real as much as possible. I do agree, that it’s a personal choice but take care not to retain the flavor of the place.
Also, in a tiny way I have tried to put together some moments in my travel which keeps me inspired to travel and click photographs here
Hope the lessons I have learnt across my journeys have given some insights to you guys. Do post your feedback or suggestions you got to offer in the comment box below. Thank you and Happy travels 🙂