Article and images by Don Mammoser from www.PhotographTheWorldNewsletter.com
It seems as if everywhere I turn, I see lists these days as a way to showcase the good, the better, and the best. So, if I was asked to name 5 simple photography tips to help people get better travel photos I would answer:
Tip Number 1
Do some research about the place you are visiting so that you know where to be for an early morning shoot, and then force yourself to get out of bed and get there before the sun rises.
Mornings are wonderful because 90% of the people visiting a place will sleep in, and if you are there, you might have a place all to yourself at sunrise. But a lack of crowds is a secondary benefit. The main reason for early visits as a photographer, is the chance to capture photos with the "magic light" of dawn. The stillness of morning often brings fog, mist or other atmospheric effects, which can add something truly unique to your photos.
Morning fog in an old growth forest. Olympic National Park, Washington, USA.
Tip Number 2
Know your equipment and how your specific gear will perform in all conditions. For example, cold weather zaps battery power much faster than warm weather does, and some camera batteries might only last 5 minutes on a very cold day. Also, do you know how to use your manual exposure mode or at least your camera’s exposure compensation mode in case the scene isn’t showing up as bright (or as dark) as you wish? These are things to have in your knowledge base before you get to the morning reflection spot.
Tip Number 3
Travel to the morning’s shoot (or on the trip as a whole) with the right amount of gear for you. Don’t worry if the next guy has 3 cameras, 8 lenses, 20 filters and 2 tripods, just bring what you need. I normally teach that less is more and you should make full use of everything you carry rather than having so much stuff that it becomes overwhelming. For my travel photography, I normally carry just 1 camera body, 2 lenses, a tabletop tripod and 2 filters - a polariser and a Genustech Eclipse variable neutral density filter
. I can create all the photography effects I need with just these items.
Denver, Colorado skyline taken using a Genustech Eclipse variable neutral density filter
so that the car lights became colourful blurs.
Tip Number 4
Shoot a lot and then shoot some more. Not every traveler can return to the same destination again and again, so while you are at a new place, take shots of everything.
Shots to capture include:
Overall scenes with a wide-angle lens
Medium views that show how two elements relate to each other
Small detail photos
Combine good shots of all three, and you’ll be able to really showcase a destination that you had the privilege of visiting.
Detail shot of a pencil artist at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
Tip Number 5
Travel and do your photography with an open mind and a positive attitude. Whenever we travel, remember that we are mere visitors, but certainly other people live there, and a smile or a kind gesture goes a long way.
Here are some quick lists that we at Photograph The World Newsletter
put together to show just some of the amazing places we'd recommend visiting with your camera and lens:
Our Top 5 Most Photogenic Cities:
Hong Kong, China
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Our Top 5 Out Of The Way Places:
Bolaven Plateau, Laos
Ranthambore National Park, India
Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
Sepilok, Borneo, Malaysia
Our Top 5 Cultural Gems:
Photograph The World Newsletter
Taj Mahal, India
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Saint Peter’s & Vatican City
Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
have a collection of inexpensive, informative photo-guides to many of these places so that you can gain the knowledge you need in order to be able to take advantage of the limited time you have while on holiday. Visit www.PhotographTheWorldNewsletter.com
for more information.