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9 Easy Travel Photography Tips and Tricks Anyone Can Do

Today, we have a guest post from James Miller and Photographer’s Touch blog. He writes about photography tips, mostly for beginners and since I don’t talk about photography techniques much here, I thought you would all love these simple 9 tips for better travel photography.

9 Tips for Better Travel Photos

Traveling around the world will bring you to places you’ll only see once in your life. You want to treasure these moments so that you will be able to relive them and share them with others.

Could you imagine being the first person to provide photographic evidence of a famous ruin, such as when Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu?

Here are 9 travel photography tips to help you the next time you will travel.

Travel Photography Tip #1: Travel Lightly

Taking your camera on a trip does not mean that you have to stow along with heavy equipment. Learning what to take and what to leave behind can make the world of difference for your expedition.

One option in lightening your load is to invest in a tripod with carbon fiber legs that has a ball and socket head.

You can also ease your load by carrying all the camera equipment in one bag. This usually includes one camera body, one lens, a tripod, a filter or two, an extra battery, neck strap, and SD or CF cards

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Travel Photography Tip #2: Be Prepared and Aware

True preparation takes place when a photographer thoroughly pinpoints the potential roadblocks and challenges that may present themselves.

Before hopping on a plane or train, research the heck out of the desired location. You can do this through skimming guide books, reviews, websites, and even fellow photographers who recall their previous experiences.

Taking the time to learn the area and all of the potential weather risks, hotspots, and sunrise/sunset times is key.

One quote to keep in mind is that the lack of preparation can squelch your success.

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travel photography by travel blogger Heather McKay visits the rock hewn ancient churches in Ethiopia's Lalibela region on a long layover in Addis Ababa airport.

Travel Photography Tip #3: Gain Insights from the Locals

Though it might seem daunting, photographing locals can be among the best ways to authentically encapsulate the culture of the area.

There are certain unwritten rules that must be adhered when taking pictures of such models. Among these include asking for permission, showing them the result, and an eagerness to be respectful of customs.

This video follows the journey of two photographers in Tokyo, Japan who are trying to accomplish the same task

Travel Photography Tip #4: Put in the Time (Even If You Lose some Sleep)

Life as a photographer can be anything but luxurious. Making the most of the blue and golden hour means early mornings and late nights.

Reasons for getting up early include fewer people out and about, sunrise lighting, and more time to get the shots you want.

Taking photos at night will be fun to experiment with by using blur movement, shutter speed, and lighting.

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Travel Photography Tip #5: The Waiting Game

Patience is one of the most desirable qualities that you can have as a photographer.

There may be times where you have the perfect setting but are missing an element of emotion. If you wait long enough, you can capture the so-called “decisive moment”. This generally involves you setting up for the best shot and holding your breath for the right subject to enter the frame.

And above all else, don’t forget to be patient with yourself.

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Travel Photography Tip #6: Experiment with the Focal Point

If you’ve been around a camera long enough, chances are that you’ve heard about focal points. This is the section of an image that is focused on to bring the eye of the viewer to the desired subject.

You can have fun experimenting with focal points through using the rule of thirds, altering the exposure, and shifting the subject that is being focused on.

For example, when you’re photographing a field of flowers with a dilapidated barn in the background, switch it up. Take a few shots with the flowers being the focal point while the next ones focus on the barn. This is a great way to hone your skills.

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Travel Photography Tip #7: Always Equip Yourself

This may seem a little obvious, but a trick to travel photography is to take your camera with you wherever you go. Sure, you may be on a vacation, but we’re positive that you’d rather have it along.

Taking your camera with you improves and develops your own skills as a photographer.

Many professional photographers will tell you about the shot that they could have gotten if they had their camera on hand. Don’t get stuck out in an amazing landscape with nothing to capture the moment.

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Travel Photography Tip #8: Become the Subject

Let’s say that you followed our advice and have a lightweight carbon fiber tripod. If that’s the case, then you’ll be able to implement yourself as a subject.

Other tools such as a GoPro, Selfie Stick, or a stranger can help achieve this if you’re traveling alone.

Putting yourself in front of the camera rather than behind lets you pose how you want the picture to look and to add a human element without troubling others.

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Travel Photography Tip #9: Play It Safe

One of the most crucial tips that we can offer for travel photography is to back up your photos.

Backing up your photos can be done through the use of memory cards, a portable drive, the Cloud, or any personal devices that you brought along on the trip.

Portable hard drives are among the most commonly used backup source for photographers as they can hold quite a bit of data.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to keep your hard drive or memory cards in a waterproof case so that they don’t get damaged.

In addition, don’t forget to secure your private equipment from hacking when surfing online and connecting to the internet.

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Being able to travel and take pictures sounds like the best of both worlds for many. As long as you take the time to fully prepare and equip yourself, then there’s no reason to have your trip ruined.

Just remember to have fun with it! 

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So what are your top tips and tricks for taking better travel photos?

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