Travel photography tips and tricks

Published On: November 29, 2019 09:26 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

Taking amazing photos that showcase your trip in all its glory
Travel and photography have become almost synonymous in today’s world. Taking pictures to document your travels has become a norm, so much so that cameras have become a travel essential just like your passport and ticket. As each place we visit has its own culture, cuisine, and traditions, you need to be able to capture the uniqueness of the particular place that you are visiting. And, Instagram fanatics will agree, taking a good shot is never easy. But there are few tips and tricks on how you can take stunning pictures to capture the essence of the new place you are traveling to. Here we share our favorite five.

Wake up early or stay out late
Whenever you visit a new place, you probably go to tourist spots, heritage sites, and popular landmarks, at least for the first few days. These places tend to be crowded during the day and you might not get a chance to really take the time to come up with a good shot. Also, the throng of people in the area might take away from your photography. Every time you think you have a good shot, there’s someone looking like he/she doesn’t belong there. So, it’s best to wake up early and visit the place when there are little to no people there. Moreover, photographs come out best during the golden hour, that is the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset. If waking up early during holidays sounds horrendous, try to find a slot of time when a place isn’t busy. This might mean having to wait for a while once you get to your destination.

Scout for locations beforehand
It’s important to do a little research before going someplace new because you wouldn’t want to waste your time without knowing where to go after having gone all the way there. This is especially relevant in terms of photography. Read travel guidebooks about your destination, scour the internet for articles and blog posts, to help give you ideas for photos. You can also talk to friends who have already been to the place you are headed to. It’s useful to become more knowledgeable about which images will capture the essence of a place. After you settle on a location that you’ll visit and photograph on a particular day, do a little more research like at what time does an attraction open, when will tourist traffic be low, what will the weather be like, etc. to ensure everything goes as planned.

Experiment with composition
According to, composition in photography can be defined as positioning the objects in the frame in such a way that the viewer’s eye is automatically drawn to the most interesting or significant area of the capture. One of the easiest ways to do that is by using “the rules of thirds” which can help you create more balanced compositions. The rule says to break an image down into thirds horizontally and vertically, so it’s split into different sections. The main goal is to place important parts of the photo into those sections and help frame the overall image in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. Make sure your camera is leveled and as steady as possible while taking a shot. This way you can come up with good compositions in photographs. 

Patience is key
Photography is more skill than talent. Good photographers have been taking pictures for a long time, constantly experimenting with colors, compositions, etc. to finally find their signature style. So don’t get disheartened because your photographs don’t look like that of a NatGeo photographer. Be patient while taking your pictures. It takes around 50 to 100 shots to get that one single shot that’s perfect. And so, never be satisfied with your first view of a place or the first frame you snap. It’s always possible and usually likely that you can come up with something better. Get closer or go farther to see which one is better. Try different angles and use different lenses. Wait for the light, wait for the crowd and never be in a hurry to get somewhere else. Photography is more than just capturing what’s in front of you, it’s also about capturing the feelings and emotions that are attached to the particular situation. And this requires dedicated time and attention. So, slow down and make a conscious effort to become aware of your surroundings before pressing the shutter.

Get lost on purpose
Many of us are tired of the same styles of photographs (in Nepal, it’s the shots of children, old people sitting in a “pati”, the same temples, etc.) because just about everyone (from professionals to novices) is doing it. If you want to get images no one else has, you need to wander more. The best way to do this is on foot – without knowing exactly where you’re going. Just grab a card from your hotel so you can catch a taxi back if needed, then pick a direction and start walking. Wander down alleys or sit in cafés and watch life pass by. Don’t eat where the tourists do, but go where you see locals. Set off down the street and see where it leads. Get away from the crowd. This way you are challenging yourself to move drift away from your comfort zone and that will make you more aware and observant about your surroundings and, in turn, you will be able to take some pretty good photos.

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