Travel photos seem to be the eye-catcher in social media nowadays. If you are reading this article, perhaps you are planning to get deeper into photography. You are off to a good start since travel photography covers much as everything under the sun. Generally, travel photography is much like every kind of photography, from capturing images of landscape and people to documenting history, culture, and customs.

Here is a step-by-step guide for you that will help you get the best photos during your vacation, or your very first shots that will build your portfolio as a photographer.

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Get Prepared

First things first: Before traveling, make sure you know information about the area you are going to. Do your research on travel guidebooks, talk to people who have previously traveled there, and get the most out of the internet to gather related information.

This will help you familiarize yourself with locations you may want to take pictures of. Also, take note of potential changes in circumstances, such as weather, tourist traffic, and travel accessibility.

Doing this pre-trip location scouting will help get you prepared so you can maximize your time to capture amazing travel photography.

Next, prepare your gear. Make sure you travel with light baggage as weight could slow you down during the trip, but make sure you have what you need. If you are still in the stage of purchasing your equipment, from cameras to their accessories, make sure to buy reliable camera equipment and accessories that will suit your needs.

Know Your Best Lighting

The sunrise and sunset may be two of the most captured scenes in the world because of their beauty. Taking photos in the warm and soft lights during these times do not create harsh shadows. For this reason, this can be the best lighting for your travel photos.

Getting up early and staying outdoors later in these “golden hours” will illuminate the sceneries with the picture-perfect lighting from the rising and setting sun. Moreover, being up early also means you’ll have to deal with fewer tourists. Staying out a bit more after sunset is also a good time for photos. This is when the sky is still blue, but city lights are turned on.

Have Good Subject / Elements

This is the reason why we take photos. This is the core of your photo. This is something that grabs your interest. When you travel to a new place, you may find many interesting things to take photos of. Your subject can be anything that can tell a story to your viewers.

Adding a human element is also an effective technique in making photos to relate to your viewers. One technique to do this is to pose the subject in a way that they become anonymous (not showing the subject’s face). This way, viewers could feel that they’re the ones in the photo. A human element can also give a better sense for scale. This works effectively for distant shots such as landscape photographs.

Tell a Clear and Simple Story Via Your Photos

Having many objects in your photo may confuse your readers. Too many elements in a single photo will look crowded, and your viewer will not know which object to focus on. Your photos should have a clear and simple story to tell.

You can know a good photograph when, within seconds of a glance, you clearly grasped the message of the photo. As compared to videos, a photo is just a single moment in time. With that, photos are not able to deliver too much information.

Experiment with Composition

A general rule in photo composition is to ensure that the main subject will be easily focused upon, before moving on to the rest of the photo. These other elements are environmental information that supports the image. When taking your photos, only include the elements that support the story to avoid confusion.

Add Life, Emotion, and Drama to Your Photos

You can set the mood of the photograph using natural elements. Things like cloud, rain, and mist can bring life to the photo and give a dramatic effect. Also, even dust and smoke can give a different feel for the viewers.

To add life more effectively, you can use several techniques. Taking photos of events can be more effective when you capture movement in the photo. You can capture a windblown cloth, splashes of water, and a rushing car to make the story more compelling.

An intriguing photo is a good photo as it grabs more attention and invites the viewers to think and imagine. You can make this work by taking photos intentionally leaving off some details and will entice the viewer’s curiosity for the additional details.


These tips for travel photography would help propel ideas for your travel shots. It’s not just the tips, however, that will make you a better photographer. It will be your character that will mold you. You’ll need the patience to get the perfect shot, dedication to enhance your skills, and motivation to show people how you see the world.


Sumit is a Tech and Gadget freak and loves writing about Android and iOS, his favourite past time is playing video games.

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