Travel photography acts as a time machine. It freezes the pleasant memories from the past that you can look back to and rejoice. Each travel destination is unique for its culture, landscapes, people, and history. Capturing all these aspects in photos allows us and others to have a glimpse into that world.
Travel photography is not just a hobby. It can opt as a professional career line as well. There are a lot of successful travel photographers making big. They are mostly known for their travel photography blogging and top-selling albums. They are also featured in glossy magazines, tourism brands, and TV shows.
However, for the beginners, it can be challenging to find a firm footing in the start. They might struggle with numerous aspects among the most common is buying, maintain, and using a camera. It can be pretty hectic to find a suitable camera for yourself. Once you somehow do so, then using the camera properly to the fullest is yet another hurdle.
Here in this article, we have collected for you the necessary tips to start with your travel photography. You will be guided on how to select a suitable camera for yourself. Also, you’ll be provided with a brief introduction on how to use them. As a bonus, we will also let you know how to motivate yourself to become a better photographer by following some essential tips.
- Select a camera
Starting photography certainly needs you to have a camera. Looking for a camera in the market makes you realize soon that they are quite expensive. Also, there are several options of cameras for you to buy. They range from beginner’s level to pro and semi-pro. Their price varies accordingly. However, don’t stress over it too much. Cameras may cost once, but they last for a long time. Moreover, they will provide you with a lot of memories and magical moments. Therefore, they are worth spending money on.
You’ll be relieved to hear that the sometimes difference between an expensive and moderately priced camera depends upon the person behind the lens. So, you should always choose a camera that matches your caliber and budget. Besides, it is not compulsory to ever buy a brand new camera. You can also opt for a second-hand camera after making sure it is not defected or anything.
It is all up to you. However, if you are a traveling photographer, its easy to decide what kind of camera is suitable for you. A mirrorless camera should always be considered for travel photography. Whatever type of camera you buy, make sure it is more durable than average cameras for casual use. You can either look for it to the nearest store in your locality. Also, almost every well-known brand cameras are available in online stores.
- Why a mirrorless camera?
The best camera for tourist or a traveler photographer is known to be the mirrorless camera. It has several advantages over the DSLR in the mobility department.
To start with, mirrorless cameras weigh less than the DSLR. So, when you are walking around under the bright Sun, you don’t sweat buckets. It can be somewhat challenging to cover the considerable distance with a heavy load on your shoulders. Therefore, mirrorless cameras are comparatively easy to carry and walk with. They are almost half the weight and size of the DSLRs.
Portability and versatility
Furthermore, mirrorless cameras occupy less space and readily fit in your gear bag. Unlike DSLR, you can carry them everywhere due to their lightweight. Another advantage this trait offers is that a mirrorless camera seems more casual looking due to its size. Meanwhile, a DSLR gives the idea of more professional photography. Therefore, mirrorless cameras better to use in streets, market, and localities.
Focus speed and performance have significantly increased in the latest mirrorless cameras. Some of the models seem to have surpassed even the DSLRs. High-end lenses of mirrorless cameras produce a vibrant quality picture as compared to the DSLRs. Moreover, mirrorless cameras are the latest innovation in the market. They have a better ergonomic design among its competitors.
Though mirrorless cameras cost more, they are worth it. Especially for traveler photographers, it is the ideal choice.
- Know the camera
Finally, when you’ve got yourself a camera, the next step is to get familiar with it. Whether you have a DSLR, mirrorless, or point-and-shoot camera, make sure to know the most about it. Take time and understand its functions, settings, and configuration. Also, learn about all its buttons and modes.
In this regard, it is best not to use the camera in automatic mode. Utilizing a camera in manual mode lets adjust the settings according to your desires. In return, you get a better understanding of how to improve the camera in different lights and conditions. Therefore, try to get an in-depth knowledge of focus, speed, exposure, metering, and ISO.
Also, go through the guide/manual provided with the camera. Carefully reading the manual may prevent any unfavorable damage to the camera. You may look for tutorial videos on the internet for your camera. Once you figure out its features, converting mere photos to meaningful pictures won’t be much of a challenge.
- Packing your gear
Preparing a gear for your expedition is relatively significant. Jumping around with only a camera in hand is never recommended. You need to have gear with the entire necessary camera’s luggage in it. Following are the basic yet crucial equipment that you’ll need as your gear.
Bag: Obviously, you’ll need to carry around all the stuff in a bag. Get yourself a nice durable gear bag with ample space to store all your equipment. The tiny pouch that comes with your camera is not enough.
Lenses: While on the journey, you may come across varying conditions where a single lens might not cover all. You’ll need multiple lenses for different situations. For instance, getting a close-up of the animals or capturing vast landscapes. Under such conditions, you’ll need several lenses such as zooming or wide-angle lens to do the job. They may be cost much but are surely worth it.
Tripod: One of the most vital pieces of any camera kit is the tripod. Long-hours of photography might leave your arms trained. A tripod stand not only provides support but is useful for various other purposes as well. Film recording, family’s photo, and night photography use a tripod for the best output.
Extra SD cards: Running out of memory isn’t an option for traveling photographers. Also, there is a chance that the card might somehow stop working or even severely, gets lost. Therefore, you should always have two to three spare memory cards whenever going out. You never know when you might need them.
Extra batteries: Loosing up all the battery could be painful, especially when there is something worth photo shooting in front of you. To avoid such situation, carry at least two spare batteries when out.
- Invest more in a good lens
Lenses come in various distinct focal lengths and shapes. They contribute more vitally to the final quality of the product than the body of the camera. Therefore, when buying a camera, try to purchase separate lenses as well. The primary kit lens that comes with the camera is not enough. The type of lenses you should be looking for depends upon the kind of photo you plan to shoot. In this regard, the wide-angle lenses, telephoto lenses, and prime lenses are the most commonly used.
When shooting for landscapes, tall architectural structures, and vast sceneries, a wide-angle lens is what you need. It will allow you to cover more view and ground in one photo. Therefore, it is ideal to use for natural sights like rivers, landscapes, or mountains.
Prime lenses are perfect for capturing portraits. Also, there produce excellent results in low-light. Therefore, it is ideal to use at night time. Prime lenses have just one focal range. As a result, zooming in or out is not possible. However, you’ll love its sharp in between and blurred bordered pictures.
Telephoto lenses are made for nature lovers. They have a very high focus range to zoom way into the details. These lenses are commonly used by safari-goers, sports-photographers, and wild explorers. Although they might be a bit pricey but are great for long-distance photo shooting.
- Protecting the lens:
It is always best to use UV filters to protect the lens from getting scratched or damaged. UV filters are available in fairly-cheap prices but provide durable protection. Your camera might be subjected to long hours of use in the face of dirt, dust, and bright Sun. Lenses are quite expensive, and you would not want to get their glass scratched. Therefore, it is recommended to use UV filters to avoid such conditions.
- Best time for photography?
Now that you ready and all-packed with a camera, it is time for some actual photographing. As a traveler, you might have a limited time to spare in your destination. Therefore, try to make the most of every moment available. The best time for outdoor photographing is when the Sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. That is when you’ll get to see the changing patterns of Sun and beautiful colors in the sky. Also, the light is the best during these times.
Firstly, try to aim for the golden hour when the Sun gradually rises in the morning. The Sun, at this point low and forms a beautiful golden warm glare in the sky. Similarly, when the Sunsets in the evening it produces the same yellow glow. Therefore, a good golden hour picture is an epic addition to your album.
Another suitable time for photo shooting is during the blue hour. It is the twilight period either during morning or evening. The Sun is below the horizon, which in return produces a captivating blue hue in the sky. The glowing city lights underneath the blue sky look good, especially when captured in the lens.
Therefore, while on your journey, you’ll have to compromise on sleep. Set the alarm to get up early. Make sure to be ready with your camera before the Sun appears. At daytime, you might not get to see any eye-catching scenery to the photoshoot. However, that should not stop you from keep on exploring for uniqueness. Sometimes cloud might arrange in attractive formation or sky lights up in vibrant colors.
- Dealing with the light
Light, either natural or tube, has a direct impact on the quality of photo produced. A good lightening can significantly enhance the vibrancy of the picture. Likewise, negative lightning can ruin visibility and vividness. You may have to deal with the bright sunlight on the way.
Learn which ISO is preferable in bright sunlight and when to use night mode. Using a flash is relatively essential in this regard. Flash can add an extra glare to the photo if not used correctly. Therefore, learn when to use it. As a tourist or traveler, your journey might extend in days or nights. You’ll face to face the ever-changing patterns of the light. So, get ready for it.
The best advice for the amateur traveler photographers is to keep on practicing. Try getting inspiration from the life of other famous photographers and copy them. It is one of the quickest ways to learn. There are many famous photographers to whom you can follow on social media.
In this regard, you should go out and talk to more photographers. Get to know about their side of the story. And by the knowledge gained from elsewhere, try experimenting with the composition of your camera. This will eventually profit by producing better photos. Also, invest as much time as possible in photography. Get up early in the morning and stay out late as much as possible. This will let you have greater exposure to the outside world.
Keep on taking pictures and learning new skills on the way. You’ll eventually achieve the milestone that you seek. Spend time going through the tutorials available on the internet to sharpen your abilities. Keep on practicing until you get there.