Whether you’re trying to escape the winter blues and jetting off to the tropics, or you’re an adrenaline junkie that’s venturing into the cold and ready to hit the slopes, travel fills us with excitement and a sense of adventure. It’s the perfect chance to capture photos of new, unique places or experiences. We’re often more aware of our surroundings when we travel, so don’t miss the opportunity to pull out your camera and take captivating photos.

Travel photography is a genre of photography that captures the culture, people, and landscapes of a specific location. It can be used to document a trip, or to create a narrative about a place, and every click tells a unique story.

If you aren’t sure where or how to begin, these travel photography tips will be a good starting point.

1. Invest in a camera that suits your aesthetic and is easy to carry with you
2. Plan your shots
3. Get creative with the composition to help your image stand out
4. Tell a story—this makes an impact and ensures the image is thought out
5. Use leading lines
6. Search for the details
7. Shoot in RAW
8. Use a tripod for stability
9. Incorporate the local culture
10. Edit your photos

Now, let’s dive more into detail for each tip.

Invest in a camera

Your device of choice doesn’t need to break the bank—we hope it doesn’t! When making your choice, think about the functionality that you are looking for. For example, if you’re an experienced photographer, you might want a newer DSLR with advanced settings that lets you shoot in manual mode and make the most of a diverse range of lighting scenarios.

Another thing to consider, is the weight of your device. Gone are the days when bigger meant better when it came to your camera. Mirrorless cameras are a great alternative to a DSLR, as they don’t compromise quality but are lighter, and easy to travel with.

Plan your shots

As the saying goes—if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. The saying applies to photography, as there are many variables to consider when capturing a moment in a place you know, and they are doubled when in a new place. Don’t panic though, the unknown is half the excitement of travel photography!

When planning your shots, consider the time of day and what the light will be like, how busy the location will be, and what gear you might need to get the architecture or people from the right angle with the best framing. As you start to shoot, you will be grateful that you planned, and were prepared for the new terrain.

Get creative with compositions

Experiment with angles. Try shooting from the ground up to capture a tower’s soaring height, or get an aerial view from a nearby hill. These tactics will help your final image stand out from the clichés, whether you’re capturing the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt or La Sagrada Familia in Spain. It’s all about how you see it.

Tell a story

Your photos should convey a narrative or evoke emotions. Try to capture the atmosphere, mood, and the essence of the place you’re visiting.

Use leading lines

Direct your viewer’s eye with leading lines. Look for things like roads, railways, rivers, etc. Anything that leads the eye towards your subject will work to create a path for your viewer to follow.

Search for the details

Get up close and personal with your subject, or use objects in the foreground to add detail and dimension within the frame. When you pay attention to details in travel photos, it can take your image from boring to amazing by adding depth.

Shoot in RAW

When you shoot in RAW, you’re giving yourself more wiggle room for post-production. This will be a huge help if some of your images turn out to be over or underexposed.

Use a tripod for stability

Nothing ruins a good picture quite like a shaky hand.

Capture the culture

Photograph local people, customs, and traditions. Ask for permission before taking photos of individuals, and try to capture candid moments that reveal the essence of the culture.

Edit to perfection

Experiment with your editing software to push your images to new levels. The goal is always to achieve perfect lighting and sharpness in the camera, but sometimes, it’s that extra tweak in post-production that gets us to that level of perfection.

Have the travel bug and want to check out more articles?
[Travel Photography] A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Travel Photography
Seven ways to create wanderlust in your travel photography
What’s Trending in Licensing: Travel photography and the freedom of solo travel

Not on 500px yet? Sign up here to explore more impactful photography.