Photography Tips Your Ultimate Guide.
Read Books and Magazines
If you are new to photography then the first thing you should do (after purchasing a camera) is to read books and magazines. You’ll learn techniques, see picture examples and start understanding just how to use a camera to capture a destination in an interesting way.
When I first realised that I needed to improve I purchased Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Photography (2012 edition) and read every page from front to back. This book was excellent, really well written and really set me on the right track.
I also subscribed to a magazine called Photographer World which was full of fantastic content, tips, interviews and inspiration.
Deciding what equipment you need can be a big decision. It really depends on what you will be using the images for and what kind of photography you are into.
For example if you are taking pictures that you want to sell for prints or license to agencies, then you will probably need a camera that takes very high-quality images. But if you want images for your blog or for personal use, then a cheaper camera should be fine. Before you go travelling think of all the equipment that you may need, such as a tripod, filters, lenses, waterproof housing etc.
To see my full equipment list head to Equipment recommendations.
To read an overview of different camera types head to What Kind of Camera do I Need?
Tips for Taking Photographs
Have some Default Settings
When I’m walking around I normally have my camera settings set on aperture priority and at F8. I also have my ISO on Auto and set a minimum shutter speed of at least 1/125. This is just my default settings which I will then adjust depending on the scene and what I am trying to capture. If you prefer you can also have your camera on auto as default.
You can read My favourite settings for Travel Photography to learn more about the settings I use for different scenarios.
Scout out Locations as you Explore
While you are exploring a destination, keep an eye out for the best spots for sunrise, sunset, blue hour and night shots.
As I explore I will constantly be looking for good vantage points based on where the sun may be. This was the case when I was in Dubrovnik where I spent a good couple of hours looking for the perfect spot to get a high vantage point of the Old Town at dusk.
Reflections will help balance your image and is a great way of framing for Instagram (as it’ll make it easier to make square or portrait images). You can capture reflections from things such as rivers, lakes, puddles, shiny vehicles, windows etc, to name a few examples. Note if there is strong wind you may struggle with rivers and other water features.
Framing your Picture
A good way to draw a viewers attention to certain elements of a picture is to frame it. You can do this with foliage and other elements in the scene. Framing in such a way will also make the image that much more interesting and will help the viewers understand what the destination is like.
Blue Hour and Night Photography
At night many cities light up their buildings and skyline. This can look incredible in photographs and often adds a wow factor to the image. This is one of my favourite times of day to go and take photographs.
I often find that my night photographs tend to do the best on my Instagram account too. Reflection shots on water generally look better at night and you can also capture light trails from moving vehicles.