Contributing writer George Finlayson shares some beginners tips on learning travel photography.
Travelling is a great way to discover and explore places, meet new people, and experience different cultures. Aside from that, it is also the perfect opportunity to gather material and inspiration for your photography.
Travel photography is quite an interesting hobby. For some, it is even what they are passionate about, and it is pretty easy to see why. Travelling and photography are like a match made in heaven, and in this social media-savvy generation, there is a growing interest to learn the ropes of travel photography.
If you’re a newbie, here’s a five-step guide to ensure that your first shot at travel photography is enjoyable and successful.
1. Define the purpose of your trip.
Some people travel because they want to have an adventure in an unfamiliar place, and photography just becomes second nature because they want to have something that will remind them of the whole experience. Others, on the other hand, travel not only because they love it but because their job is also tied with it — for instance, travel writers, bloggers, photojournalists, and professional photographers.
Your main purpose for taking the trip will definitely affect your approach to photography. It will have an impact on your behavior when taking pictures, and it will dictate to you what type of photos you need to capture.
2. Choose which camera and gear to bring.
Your objective will also determine the type of camera and gear you should bring for your trip. If you’re going for leisure or vacation, a handier camera should be your priority. This can be a smartphone, a simple digital point-and-shoot camera, or a mirrorless camera.
However, if you’re travelling for work, it might be best to take a DSLR with you. A mirrorless camera will do, as well.
Here’s some gear you might want to bring along:
- Different types of lenses
- Spare batteries and SD cards
- Cleaning kit
Make sure that you know the ins and outs of the equipment you’re going to use. Prior to your trip, try to practice using the different settings and familiarize yourself with them.
3. Research the place.
Your destination itself is another consideration when prepping your cameras and equipment. Are you going up a mountain, into the forest, or to a beach? Waterproof features might just have to be a priority. Will you be dealing with a harsh climate? Your camera should be weatherproof.
4. Shoot lots of pictures.
Don’t hesitate to take as many photos as you can. However, also try to forget about Instagram-worthy shots from time to time and just enjoy the beauty that’s in front of you. Live in the moment and not just in the pictures you’ve taken.
5. Enhance your photos.
Post-processing is okay, and sometimes it’s even necessary. There are times when photos register differently on camera LCDs, and you’ll only see the flaws later when checking them on your computer screen. By all means, crop or adjust the brightness or contrast to improve your picture.
Starting on travel photography can be intimidating especially with the abundance of really impressive travel photographers these days. But don’t let this stop you from trying out something that you might actually be good at. Use this as a chance to be inspired and challenged instead. Grab that camera and embark on your journey now.
George Finlayson is an educator and professional writer with a BA in Creative Writing. He was born in London, England but currently resides in Shanghai, China. He has recently developed a great interest in photography and has begun a new venture into writing about photography videography for beginners, and related topics. With so many technical details in digital photography, George likes to keep things simple so that everyone can understand and feel a part of the ever-growing global photography community.