Top 10 Tips for Great Travel Images (part 2)

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For travelers that love to photograph their trips, we had a Part 1 of Travel Tips a few months ago. Here’s the second half of the Top 10 Tips!
Text and images ©Stuart Dee


6. Get lost. Sometimes, it’s best to get rid of the maps, guidebooks, GPS, etc, and just get lost around the streets or drive around aimlessly. Some travel photographers advise to research the destination to death—look at everything and a million sites to see what everyone else has shot. I have done the complete opposite to challenge my vision. Rather than seeing thousands of images done before and trying to emulate them, go with a blank slate, and create original images completely your own. In Trinidad, I wandered the streets with no destination, and chanced upon this dog sitting in front of a weatherbeaten door and walls.


7. Vary your focal length and subject distance. There are many Instagram accounts that have wide angle views of everything. It gets repetitive and boring. If you vary your focal lengths and subject distance, you can alter the visual depth, size relationships and apparent perspective. For this image of a single lotus flower, I used a Canon point and shoot to get up close and make it look gigantic in relation to the background.


8. Welcome the rain and inclement weather. Like most photographers, I tend to stop shooting when it’s raining or when the weather is bad. Nowadays, I force myself to go out, and take advantage of the situation. In Paris, I walked the streets in light rain, and captured a couple crossing the street awash with reflections of the cafe’s lights and awning.


9. Never shoot “night” shots at night! Best to shoot them just after sunset, when there’s still a glow in the sky. Building lights are switched on, but there’s still a warm or cool tinge from the sky and gradation in the sky. This is a more pleasing than a black void, and the buildings, trees, and other features retain shadow details and separation from the sky instead of becoming a black blob. In this “night” shot of the Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Peak, I shot just after sunset at twilight. Note that the buildings have the blue cast from the sky and warm tones from the lights that contrast and make the image vibrant and the buildings are all sharply delineated from each other.


10. Stay up and shoot until night, or dawn! With todays high ISO capabilities, and/or long exposures, you can great great shots 24 hours a day. Who needs sleep when you can create a great masterpieces all night?? And if you stay up till the wee hours, you can go directly to your sunrise shoot without having to go to bed!! Remember Tip number 1??  In Boracay, instead of putting my cameras away after sunset, I walk the beaches to find interesting images at night, like this long exposure image of the firedancers.


To see the first 5 tips, click here!

Stuart Dee is a travel photographer/writer who has tried his best to get lost in 50+ countries. His work has been published worldwide. Follow him on Instagram at @travel_shooter, to get inspired to travel more and create better travel images.




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