“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs”
But a little bit of homework can always help us in producing good photographs. Here are some of my travel photography tips for beginners, which I learned over the years.
Before traveling to a place always google images of that location. Images can give you a fair amount of ideas in selecting lenses, time of visiting the location & equipment. Time of visiting a location is a very important factor in photography. The position of Sun can make or break your photograph, sometimes we visit a location when the sun is backlight at that time images will not come very good. Selection of correct lenses & equipment will help you in traveling light. Underwritten are few pointers which can help you in producing good traveling photographs.
1. Research your location. Before visiting a location try to do some research about the location, like what is the best time to shoot that place, closing timing of that place or any festival or any other activity happening at the place.
2. Travel Light. Advance research about the place will help you in planning about lenses & equipment.It would be fantastic to take all of your kit, but the weight of kit can be an issue with baggage allowance & very tiring when you will be roaming around.
3. Look at the scenario from a different angle. You see some interesting scenario, your first reaction will be to shoot that scene. That is a correct reaction. But alter your angle of shooting & opt for a more creative angle. By doing so your image will be different from the others & it may appear more dynamic.
4. Choose the correct lens. Travel photography gives scope to shoot different genre of photography. We can shoot portrait, architecture, landscape, action & many more. Selection of correct lens is very important for these.
5. Switching off the on Camera flash. When we travel we encounter a different kind of lights like daylight, candlelight, neon & many other types of lights. All these lights create mood & ambiance to the shot if we will keep flash switched on it ruin this & produce the flat photo.
6. Selecting the right mode. While shooting select correct mode of your camera. If you are shooting action then go for higher shutter speed & in case of architecture or landscape photography go for more depth of field. All these can be achieved by selecting right camera mode.
7. Shoot in Raw. Always shoot in Raw, if your camera does not have raw then shoot in fine Jpeg. Raw gives you more flexibility during post-production.
8. Freeze frame.When shooting action shots of motor racing or any other event, take lots of shots in succession. On every camera, there is a continuous shooting mode. This way you will get lots of amazing shots of that action.
9. Attention to detail & offbeat shots. Develop an eye for offbeat shots & details. Like you are traveling in a garden, then clicking close up of a flower or in marketplace close up of some artifact etc.
10. Play with the light. Most of the time we try to shoot with the sun on our shoulder. Sometimes we can create beautiful shots shooting against the sun like beautiful silhouette using the backlight from sunset.
11. Following the composition rules. Many people place the subject in the middle of the shot. But that does not do justice to photograph. Always try to add foreground & background in the shot. Try to follow the rule of third.
12. Experiment with shutter speed. Sometimes using slow shutter speed can produce superb effects in moving objects. It will take your photographs into a different league. With slow shutter speed, one can use pan effect etc.
13. Depth of field. Aperture controls how much light will enter through the lens. By changing the aperture size one can manipulate depth of field in the shot. Manipulation of depth field produces amazing effects in photographs.
14. Experiment with exposure. By shooting in manual mode you can experiment with exposure. Sometimes the camera does not produce a correct exposure. Like snow-covered landscape will always come dark in your shot & Dark scene will always appear extra bright in the shot. For desired results try using manual mode or exposure compensation.
15. Take Notes. After the shoot, take some notes about the location. This will help you in the description of the place, action in the picture and in keywording.
Photography is a way of living & learning is an ongoing process. For producing extraordinary images it requires lots of practice & patience. You also need to be lucky to be at right place at right time. I am sure these basic travel photography tips will help you in producing some good quality pictures.
Enjoy & have fun with photography!