Every travel destination has its clichés, particularly when it comes to photographs. However, that isn’t to say that you should not take a photo in those specific spots. It is just that you may want to find a way to make your photo different (and visually more interesting) from what every other person has taken.
If this sounds like the type of photos you would like to take, then read on for four essential travel photography tips to try out on your next vacation.
1. Know your basics.
No photography tip guide is complete without reminding you that you need to get to know your camera and the basics of photography and light before you move on to anything else. While it may seem complicated at first, the fact is that the more you practice, the more skilled you will become in handling your camera and the rest of your photography equipment.
Take the time to learn about lighting, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO and how they affect your photos, and you will start to see differences in your work. Not only will you develop your confidence regarding the usage of the manual mode, but you will also find that you have a lot more control than ever before over your photograph – taking photographs in manual mode is the only way to formulate the story you are ultimately seeking to tell.
2. Work with the light.
Without light, there is no way to capture an image – it is the precise element that is necessary for a photograph to exist.
For this reason, it is not only essential to understand how to use light, but it is also beneficial to know how to manipulate it so that you can get more creative. After all, if you want to capture travel photos that you are going to want to look back on, then you need to learn to get the lighting right.
If you are working with natural light (whether it is hard and direct or soft and diffused, reflected, window, dappled, or twilight), then you need to know how to work with what you are given. According to the top photographer in Dubai, by composing the light thoughtfully, you will be able to utilize it to communicate the story you want to tell through your images.
3. Research local customs.
In order to be able to tell a story through your travel photos, you need to know something about the culture and the country that you are attempting to capture. Therefore, if you want to take your travel photos to the next level, then you must spend some time researching and learning about a destination before you start snapping.
While researching, make sure to pay attention to local landmarks, impressive architecture, and any areas of natural beauty that you foresee being great subjects or locations for your images.
Additionally, check dress codes, local rules, and laws to reduce the likelihood of you offending locals. During this process, take the time to learn about the country’s religion and culture so that you are better equipped to know when and where it is appropriate to take photos.
4. Use food to tell more profound stories.
Some people are happy taking quick Instagram snaps of every meal they eat while traveling, while others are looking to capture something that states something more profound about their experience in a foreign destination. Food photography is one of the most excellent ways to share more intimate feelings and stories about your travels.
To be able to tell a coherent story through your travel food photos, you are going to need to spend some time focusing on what you want to say and how you can make the viewer feel or see what you intend for them to experience. Look to focus on what is different about the food you are photographing and use that curiosity to fuel your ability to create unique visual content.
What aspects of your travel photography are you trying to improve? Where do you have the most challenges? Do you have any advice for other budding travel photographers? Let us know your tips and thoughts in the comments below!
Stefanie Descheemaecker is the Studio Manager at Stu Williamson Photography at The Palm Jumeirah – Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. She has been with the company for almost 3 years and is the driving force behind the success of the business. A keen amateur photographer, Stef combines her natural creative eye with a strong business acumen to help Stu Williamson Photography become the most trusted and successful photography business in the UAE.