How to improve your travel photography

Not many years ago we used to bring our analogue camera with film to our holidays, we developed the photos and dumped them in a box under the bed and they were never seen again until many years passed. Now we’re all carrying a digital camera in our smartphones and more of us are using the digital cameras like DSLR or mirrorless cameras for traveling. We post these pictures on social media, on websites and they’re more likely to get used than the printed ones under your bed. The technology might have made it easier to take pictures but did it really make us to better photographers?

How to take better travel photos?

1. Bring your camera instead of only smartphone

I would always recommend people to bring a separate camera to the smartphone, even if they seem to take nice pictures it will be a big difference if you ever want to publish them. I went to some trips with only a smartphone to photograph with and even if they’re good for low resolution purposes like Instagram it becomes clear of the quality difference when I enlarge the photos.

I would also recommend to always shoot in RAW instead of JPEG and that’s both cameras and smartphone if your phone support it. The camera will also make it much easier to zoom and find new angles compared to a smartphone

2. Rule of thirds

One of the most important rules of composition is the rule of thirds which you probably have heard about. The rule of thirds is basically about breaking an image intro three equal parts where you’re supposed to place the key elements.

To make it easier to achieve this I always activate the grid function which makes it much easier to place the elements.

When shooting a sunset you would compose the sky to be 2/3 and land 1/3 or the opposite. Avoid splitting the image in half as it usually won’t look as good.

3.  Think about the lightning

If you have a main attraction you want to capture, plan your visit after how the sun is standing. The hour around sunset and sunrise is without doubt the best time to take stunning travel pictures. It can be very hard to take good pictures during peak summer when the sun is giving us strong shades during noon. If you want peoples faces to shine, put their faces so they get the light to their face or use a reflector to get rid of the shades.

4. Look around and compose before you take a picture

Before taking a picture I always step back for a moment and think about what I want to capture in this picture. I also look around and see whats going on around me, if I find something interesting I compose and then I take the picture. There is often a chance that you will miss something interesting happening around you if you just focus on the main attraction.

5. Wake up earlier

When traveling I always try to go up earlier than usual to catch the sunrise and capture the city or landscape before anyone else is awake. The lightning is much better and you will be able to see the destination from another perspective than during peak hours.


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