Travel photography can be described in many ways, but for most people it simply entails getting memorable photographs of the things they experience as they explore the world. Travel photography includes such things as road trips, long vacations or trips within your own local area that require you to pack a bag and leave your house. Before you jump into your car for a fun vacation, check out these helpful hints so you can come back with a bunch of amazing pictures from your adventure.
Gear Up Properly
Large-format cameras take some of the most beautiful and detailed images possible. However, if you're planning a hike you may not want to carry an 8x10 behemoth around with you for the entire day. Before leaving the house, take a realistic inventory of your gear and cross-reference it with your plans - anything that you won't realistically need or that may become a burden should be left at home. For nearly every application, an SLR camera with one or two lenses and a backup battery should be more than sufficient.
If you love taking pictures, then it should be no surprise that we take pictures of the things that leave an impression on us like going to Paris and taking lots of pictures of the Eiffel Towel and the Louvre. But the problem is that everyone else who has been there takes the same photos. If you really want to create incredible pictures from your adventures you have to be willing to explore new areas. Try asking locals for suggestions on what to see or take a tour of less well-known landmarks. The world is beautiful and photography allows us to capture its beauty, but there are many amazing photographs being missed if you're not actively exploring. Try finding new places and try to get lost in every place you see and you'll likely find the hidden beauty just out of view.
Better Safe than Sorry
Besides just bringing a bunch of extra batteries, you should also remember to bring either an extra memory card or more film depending upon what you're using. Another good idea is to always bracket your shots. Bracketing is when you shoot 3 pictures instead of 1. The first shot is at the suggested aperture while the second shot is too low and the third is too high. Travel photography often means taking pictures that you'll never see again so bracketing helps to make sure that you have enough images to work with once you get back home.
Share Your Story
Every time you go somewhere you should think of yourself as an ambassador to the place you're visiting. Imagine you have been given an assignment by a photo editor to tell the "story" of a place with your photographs. Every picture you take while you're on your trip is part of a greater story of your overall vacation. Whenever you can, try to have every picture have meaning and represent a part of your trip. For example, a room full of people is best suited with a theme of celebration while a shoot in the desert makes a perfect isolation theme. There should always be a connecting line between your photographs.
Travel photography is by far one of the most satisfying niches of photography to work in. You get to have fun doing what you love taking beautiful pictures while at the same time exploring fascinating new places. As long as you shoot with purpose, pack the right gear, and try to stick to a theme, friends and family will admire your travel album for years to come. Just remember to take a little time to enjoy the experience while you're there; it's easy to get caught up in the camera and completely miss the joy of the trip.
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