10 Tips on Taking Better Travel Photos

Taking photo’s of your travels is easy, taking great photo’s takes a little more effort but the extra time will be well worth it. Its nice to have photographs of your trip but how often do you go back and look at them? If you are like most people not very often.
Here are a few tips to help you take good pictures in your travels.

The Louve Museum pyramid at night in Paris

1. Check it out
Get to know your camera read the instructions, play around with the features. If you no longer have instructions go online where you can print out new ones. Unless you are a professional there are probably features you never knew you had.

2. Time online

Go online to check out more info on how to take the best photo’s. Lynda.com is a great place to learn from the basics to professional photography. YouTube has easy to learn tips on taking travel photos, just keep a pen and notebook handy for your notes.

3. Pick up a book
Research your destination. There is more than just the major sights that all the tourists go to. Find a book that has a good map with all attractions in it. Parks in Europe tend to have fountains and statues almost as good as in a museum. Check to see what is outside the city that could have an award winning view or neighborhood maybe even some ruins that only locals would know about and travel guide writers. Have a plan before you leave.

Reflection on a Fountain at Schonbrunn Palace Gardens in Vienna Austria

Fountains are great subject matter

3. Where is that light coming from?
Know where the sun is. In most instances you will want to have the sun behind your back but play around sometimes the sun in front of you can give a nice silhouette effect.

4. It’s a beautiful morning

Have you ever noticed how vibrant the colors are in the morning? Just think what your camera can capture if you plan well. St. Mark’s Square in the morning light is stunning. Sunsets are equally beautiful with a good sunset you just might have a photo the magazines would buy. You should see Florence sunsets over the city, incredible.

A view of Florence Italy at night over the Arno River

Capture incredible colors morning and night like this one of the city of Florence, Italy. Reflections of city lights on water are captivating.

5. Early bird catches the worm
Although it is nice to have people in your photos to help understand the size of sights, early risers can get those amazing shots that are wall worthy. Not only that you won’t have to wait hours

6. Take me to the top
When booking your hotel check to see if has multi-levels. You can get panoramic views of the city you are staying at by asking for an upper level room.

7. Slow it down
Take your speed down when shooting rivers, waterfalls, and fountains for stunningly smooth photo’s. Make sure you have a good tripod with you. Night shots with slow speeds are very interesting in fact a fascinating tip, when you do this moving people will disappear who are moving in your shot. During the daytime you can lose the people and get the same effect by using a 10 stop filter (polarized filter).

Waterfall in the Cascade Mountain range in Oregon

Slowing down your shutter speed with a good tripod gives good flowing action

8. Come on get a little closer
Taking pictures from a distance is like trying to jump in a pool from inside a house. It may seem like a good idea but you don’t get the results you hoped for. If taking a photo of the Coliseum in Rome from Capitoline Hill you won’t get much detail unless you have a good zoom lens. Come up on your subject for best results.

9. Don’t be afraid of people
So many times when traveling we are trying to get the perfect shot of of sight without anyone in the picture. There have been times we have waited over an hour to do just that. Then when we got home to work on the photo we find it was better with people in it. It gave more depth and a sense of traveling to it. Sometimes it is worth the wait and sometimes its better just take the shot.

Man holding down large kite at kite festival in Lincoln City Oregon

Notice how big this kite is compared to the man holding it down. The colors against the sky and beach are complimentary

Taking photo’s of fireworks make sure you use a remote trigger setting the exposure on (bulb). Next open the shutter with your hand over the lens until the fireworks explode then remove your hand to get the burst. Then place your hands over the lens again until the next one goes off. Do this for each time they set off the fireworks. This is perfect for Paris during Bastille Day.

Perfect timing at its best

Perfect timing at its best

Look in windows, rain puddles or even metal signs or hubcaps for that matter and there just might be a winning photo there. Reflect on what you have learned

Look in windows, rain puddles or even metal signs or hubcaps for that matter and there just might be a winning photo there.

Just one more thought, have fun and let your creative nature come out, show off your personality. If you use a digital camera which most people do these days don’t worry, if you don’t like the shot just delete. Reflect a little on what you have learned on the photo’s you take.

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