Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Take Better Photos on Vacation - Your Photo Tips

I'm so excited about my upcoming trip to Miami (one week to go!) We love going down there and just lying on the beach, having Cuban food at some of our favorite places, shopping and just generally relaxing. I often make big plans to go out and take photos when we're down there but during our last few trips down there my camera just collected dust. I'm not sure why - I guess the idea of knowing that I'm going to go back soon motivates me a bit less to get out and take photographs. But this time I'm feeling the itch to get out and go take some photos. Perhaps because I haven't been taking as many photos as usual here at home during the past few months I'm feeling the urge to dust my Nikon off and get to it. Whatever it is, I'm ready!

I often turn to Your Photo Tips for great photo stories, advice and pretty much everything else photography. I never want to stop learning and reading about what I love and I think that this article about getting great photos while traveling is a helpful reminder for pros and amateurs alike. Here is the text and be sure to take a little visit over and visit my friends at Your Photo Tips:

one little life
Taken in Misiones, Argentina

Air Dry
Taken in Rome, Italy

Every year you make plans to go somewhere new and get some stellar photography out of your trip. Every year you leave wishing you had done more, gotten better images, or simply had more time.

Here are some tips to help ensure you get better pictures in new places.

Research – Research is probably your biggest key to getting better photography out of your next trip. Doing some quick and easy research on your photographic destination will help give you an idea of what that area has to offer.

Visit libraries and bookstores looking at travel guides and photo books of your destination.

The Internet is your friend. So is geo tagging. Use it. Just searching for your destination and clicking on images will help give you an idea of what other photographers have done in that area. Don’t forget to check out tourism sites for that location as well. They’re sure to have some great photographs and beautiful destinations for you to focus on.

Taken in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

At your destination it’s a good idea to look at postcards and brochures. You’ll find those at airports and hotels.

Taken in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The idea of the research isn’t to copy what the other photographers have done. It’s about seeing how they captured that place and how you could do it better or differently. It’s about getting ideas.

Time is probably the most important investment you’ll make in getting good travel photographs. Use it wisely and you’ll find you have more of it.
When you get to your destination spend some time scouting the area. This could mean driving, hiking, or biking to different locations looking for great vantage points.

Life on a River
Taken in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Alone in the Afternoon
Taken in Paris, France

In the Urban Summer VI
Taken in the West Village, New York

Always carry a compass. It’ll help you figure out where the sun is going to set and where it will rise. You’ll be able to imagine what the scene may look like in relation to light and shadow at different times of day.

Different lenses have different effects on travel or landscape photography. Are you looking to compress the scene with a long lens or get a wider shot? Use different lenses to get good variety.

Taken in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Ancient Wonder
Taken in Chichen Itza, Mexico

Make a shooting schedule. Where will you be at sunrise and where will you end up near sunset to get the shots you desire?

Check the weather forecasts and have an alternative plan just in case the weather turns really lousy.

Cycle Afternoon
Taken in Vienna, Austria

Welcome to Hollywood - What's your dream?
Taken in Los Angeles, California

the only pain is to feel nothing at all
Taken in Chiang Mai, Thailand


One thing that is very important and that I think that they left out is to just have fun! Some of the best photographs that I have taken on trips were when we were sitting having drinks in the middle of the afternoon or simply walking down a random street exploring. For me, the most important thing is to just get out there , not think too hard about it, and just enjoy yourself. Of course there are "must-have" images of big sites that I want to get but really I just want to get out there and shoot and try new things. Sure, I can get some good ideas from doing research or looking at postcards but I want to be better and more creative than that.

What do you think? Do you have any tips?

A Quarter and a Half
Taken in New Orleans during a trip to Jazz Fest

History in Some Bottles
Taken in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Taken in Paris, France

Certain text via Your Photo Tips.

All of the photos posted here are my own from various trips I've taken.

Taken in Siena, Italy
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