Most people enjoy taking photos of their vacation, something to remember the good times. If you're a photographer, these go beyond simple snapshots. There are multiple factors to consider if you want to capture travel photography images that will captivate a viewer. Here is a list of travel photography tips and planning you should be doing to ensure you don't come home with subpar pictures.
Wake Up Early, Stay Out Late
Travel photography is just like every other form of photography; Light is the most important ingredient for great photos. Shooting at dawn or at dusk will give you that soft, warm light to create amazing images.
I share 10 helpful tips on how to make beautiful and impressive photos of architecture in my article 10 Helpful Tips for Striking Architectural Photography.
Plan Your Trip (to an extent)
There is a huge difference between planning to take photos on your travels, and traveling to take photos. This will be clear in the images you make. Spend time researching your destination and different areas that may be potential shoot locations. You don't have to go everywhere you planned on, but it will help you narrow down your options.
Check out more images from my Cuba Trip in my article Cuba Travel | An Indiana Architectural Photographer's Point-of-View.
Make a Shoot List
What locations do you want to shoot? Are there any historic landmarks or architecture you want to visit? This will keep you more focused since it can become overwhelming in a new country with so much to see.
Talk to People
Some of the best destinations I've shot were ones not even on my shoot list, simply because was unaware of their existence. Talking to the locals not only gives you a sense of the culture, but they know where the "secret spots" are. We would never have discovered the Belizean waterfalls pictured below if we didn't talk to the people, so don't be shy!
Get Lost on Purpose
Travel photography shouldn't be all about making lists and sticking to items on that list. Trust me, you will get lost! Thats's why being flexible is essential with travel photography. So when you find yourself in a part of town and have lost all sense of direction, take a moment, concentrate on your breath for a minute, then just go with the flow. Chances are good you'll discover amazing light right around the corner.
Learn more about San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as well as 2 other historic Mexican cities in my article Driving Through Mexico | Exploring 3 Gorgeous, Historic Mexican Cities.
I carry a small notepad in my camera bag at all times. It comes in handy when I spot a potential shot, but the light isn't right, too crowded, etc. I can jot down to come back at a certain time of day when the light will be better for my purposes.