Top 10 Travel Photography Tips

Wondering how to get that perfect photo blog out of your last trip? Or, feeling sharp pangs of envy at all those facebook photo uploads of a friend’s vacation? Well, photography is part science and part art. The more time you spend fiddling with your shots, thinking over a good composition, the better your travel photography would be. 


Call it a cheat sheet or a quick fix, here are the 10 best travel photography tips for you. Simple, easy ones. 


Never skip the golden hours

Photo Courtesy – John McTarnaghan

If you are irked by other travellers becoming blots in your picture postcard landscape photographs, wake up. Yes, literally. An hour before the sun rises and an hour before the sun sets is the best pick. A full-frame shooting option available in many of the Canon DSLRs is of great help for nature and wildlife photographers.



Choose your stay wisely

Photo Courtesy – Artyominc

Imagine having this view from your hotel room! Well, though Christ the Redeemer isn’t possible this way, a lot of other gorgeous views around the world are. So, pick your stay wisely, some place that opens a window to the star attractions. Quite literally.


Feel the destination

Photo Courtesy –

Take away Tea from Darjeeling and you lose it. Or, biryani from Hyderabad. Or, Taj Mahal from Agra. Or, Tulip Garden from Kashmir. My point is, feel the place. Smell the street food, feel the wind, stay up for a sunrise, talk to the guy who plays guitar by the stairs and you’ll know where the best of photo stories are.


Be the bird 

Photo Courtesy – ISS Crew Earth Observations

Remember S Paul’s epic tree photo? Looking more like a spider’s net with kids stuck in meshes, it changed future and history of travel photography. No travel photographer’s collection is complete without that bird’s eye view. Canon 7D is among the most famous cameras for clicking a panoramic view. Be the bird. Scale that altitude. 

Let the landscapes speak through people

Photo Courtesy – Wiki Commons

While Mt Everest certainly looks astonishing in those panorama shots, imagine a human figure there. A travel photographer’s portfolio stays incomplete without any human element. Choose that fruit vendor or the guy selling colourful balloons, the lone trekker or the guy in the single yacht afloat in the sea. You’ll find the pictures speaking.



Go light while choosing equipment

Photo Courtesy – Wiki Commons

Having an array of lenses feels good, but taking all of those around doesn’t. With their sheer weight bogging you down, you will be better off without many of these. Most of the times, you’ll be needing one zoom and one prime lens. Plus, take one of those easy to carry, portable tripods that are a rage (and rightly so) online. My personal favourite is my Canon DSLR as it is lighter in weight and offers many amazing features. Travel easy, travel light.


Get away from the “lack of money” excuse

Photo Courtesy – stevehuffphoto

We know you swoon over those huge branded cameras that you see on TV and magazines, you wish you had one of those. Swooning is fine as long as you don’t start believing that you can’t click right or great if you cannot spend a bomb on those cameras. Some of the most inspirational work in photography was done by $1 still cameras, camera phones and regular point and shoot ones. If you can compose a great shot, nothing else matters.



Photo Courtesy – SteveMclaren Blog

I know RAW mode results in bulky files. But then, those are the best ones too! The sooner you start loving RAW mode for shooting, the further you’ll be on your way to a great portfolio. Settings like White Balance and the original shooting conditions are recorded while shooting RAW images that can always be edited and re-edited. In many of the EOS digital cameras offered by Canon you can click both RAW or JPEG file format simultaneously. 


Don’t Avoid the Sun

Photo Courtesy – miriadna

Having the Sun at your back is good. But, not always. Shoot a photograph that has the Sun playing on tree tops, or catch it through a waterfall’s stream or mid-air water drops and you will know what I mean. Adhering to rules is not good, not always. 


Take Breaks

Photo Courtesy – Luca Galuzzi

A tough as it might sound, do leave the camera behind rather than lugging it everywhere. To make it easier, take it out one way on a journey; the return journey (or vice versa) should ideally see it packed and resting. It’s more important to live those moments than to just relive.

About the author

Shikha Gautam loves to play with steering wheels, roads, words, flute and guitar among other things. Not necessarily in that order! You can contact her on twitter @ShikhaGautam