Take Better Travel Photos

Perfect photo of mother and daughter in village marketHow often have you taken a fabulous trip only to come home boring or blurry, out-of-focus photos? In this article, award-winning Australian photographer Ewen Bell gives you 10 easy tips that will elevate your snapshots and turn them into real travel photographs.

The Top Ten Photography Tips for Travelers

  1. Get Closer. The easiest way to improve your photography is to get closer to the subject. The world changes when you are closer to it.
  2. Go Slow. Take your time and you will take better photos. Rushing about gives you lots of shots that you might not want to keep, so maybe it’s better to go slow and enjoy the travel.
  3. Shoot Wide. Get a wide angle lens and get more into the shot. Many compact cameras shoot the equivalent of 24mm wide, and that’s good.
  4. Look for the Light. Cameras shoot light not objects, so you have to practice seeing the light as your camera does. Lovely light makes for lovely photos.
  5. Ask first. Show respect for other people and ask permission before shooting. It avoids offending strangers and gives you a chance to better connect with the locals. Getting local is what it is all about!
  6. Get Details. Take photos of the little things along the journey, not just the big ones. The texture of a place can be revealed in detail photos.
  7. Review Your Shots. Every night, have a look through your photos for the day. It helps you to appreciate the effort you put into them, and can reveal some missing subjects that you can work on the next day.
  8. Creative Control. Try taking control of the camera instead of letting the camera determine your photo. Exploring the craft of photography is about cultivating your own ability to be creative.
  9. Shoot for Love. We fall in love with places as we travel, so let your passion for a place guide your photography. Ask yourself: what is it about the place that makes it special, and do my photos reveal that quality?
  10. People Matter. Travel is about people, and so should your photography. Your most treasured memories of a place are usually the people and their character, so try to get a little of them on film.

Ewen Bell is an award-winning photographer from Australia who leads photographic tours across Asia. He is also a contributor to the travel media in Australia, and publishes a website with free advice for photographers who enjoy travel. He’s a regular contributor to realfoodtraveler.com. You can find more detailed discussions of how to improve your photographic expression and guides to specific destinations on the website: www.photographyfortravellers.com.

Wide photo of bay

Shoot wide. Photo: Ewan Bell

Glass on tray with two spoons

Learn to see light as your camera does. Photo: Ewen Bell

White and yellow flower up close with leaves

Capture a memory. Photo: Ewen Bell

Up close shot of in-scents burning

Old woman sitting with large yellow hat

People are the heart of travel. Be respectful — ask first. Photo: Ewen Bell

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