Do you want to improve your travel photography? Here are 5 easy tips that will help you improve your travel photography. These tips aren’t complicated and can work for almost any camera.

1. Use Interesting Composition

One of the most important and easiest ways to improve your travel photography is by taking your time and thinking about your composition. Taking a well-composed photograph will make your image look much more interesting and powerful. A few things to think about includes:

  • Using Leading lines Leading lines draw a viewers eye into the picture. For this technique frame with your subject in the background and use a foreground element that starts in the foreground and leads to the background.
  • Framing your subject You can use trees, architectural features and other elements to frame your image. This is especially helpful when you have boring skies as it will then become less noticeable.
  • Using Reflections – By using reflections you will create a well composed and beautiful image. These types of images do very well on Instagram as it makes the image a lot more balanced.
  • Making use of foreground elements and creating depth – This step involves making use of everything in your scene. You may use rocks, flowers, grass and other objects in the foreground with the main part of your image in the distant.
  • Using the rule of thirds – Which involves splitting an image into 9 squares and then composing so that interesting elements are on the intersections.

Read more on composition: Photography Basics – Composition

Landscape Photography - Reflections
Landscape Photography – Reflections

2. Take Pictures During the Best Light

Most photographers love to take photographs in the Golden Hour. This is around sunrise, sunset and the blue hour, and taking pictures during this time can create images with wonderful colours.

I always use www.timeanddate.com to find out when sunrise and sunset is, and when taking pictures at this time, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to the location. If possible it’s also worth scouting out locations in advance, as you’ll be able to spend more time making sure your equipment and settings are all ready, as opposed to wandering around trying to find the perfect spot.

Learn more: Photography Tips – Shooting in the Golden Hour

Toronto, Canada at sunset - Travel Photography
Toronto, Canada at sunset – Travel Photography

3. Take Photos at Night Using a Tripod

One of the best ways to take beautiful pictures of destinations is by taking photographs at night. Many cities light up their buildings and landmarks, and as a result, they look fantastic in pictures.

When taking pictures at night you should use a good quality travel tripod, low ISO and long exposure whenever possible. This will allow you to create the highest quality image. By taking pictures at night you may also:

  • Capture light trails from vehicles going past
  • Make water appear flat and smooth
  • Create interesting skies (when taken during the blue hour just before it gets too dark)
  • Potentially capture stars in your pictures
  • Blur out people in the photo
  • Add a wow element to your image

Learn more: Photography Tips – Cities at Night

Royal Ontario Museum at night
Royal Ontario Museum at night

4. Research Locations Before Travel

Before you go on your trip research good locations for taking photographs, such as reading blog posts on good viewpoints, looking at images from photographers on Instagram, reading books and looking on Google Maps for potential locations. By doing your research in advance it’ll help ensure you don’t miss any key photo spots.

Instagram Feature Account
Instagram

5. Edit Your Photographs With Lightroom

Lightroom is one of the most powerful and easy to use photo editing applications out there. The software is designed in an intuitive way and packed with great features, allowing you to quickly edit your pictures in minimal time. Lightroom is available for both desktop computers and as an app for your smartphone, although I prefer using the computer version.

Read more: How to Quickly Enhance your Travel Photos in Lightroom

Editing Examples - Bled Lake - Basic Adjustments
Editing Examples – Bled Lake – Basic Adjustments

Conclusion

These are 5 easy ways for you to start improving your travel photography. For lots more tips and techniques head to my page on Travel Photography.

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5 Easy Tips To Improve Your Travel Photography

13 Comments

  1. The Thrifty Campers

    Great tips! These will definitely come in handy. Thanks for sharing🙂

    • Mike

      You’re very welcome, thanks for leaving a comment! 🙂

      • What exposure will you recommend for 50mm f1.8, in the night scenes for cities? 15-20”, or higher?
        Btw, good tips! 😀 looking forward to try them in Rome, next month.

        • Mike

          Hey Andrei,

          Thanks for your comment. If you were using an f1.8 aperture your exposure time will be shorter than say f8. If you use aperture mode (AV/A) then your camera will automatically do the exposure time for you. You should try that and see what results you get. If the image comes out too dark then you can add positive exposure compensation, if it’s too light then you can add negative exposure compensation.

          You could also adjust your aperture such as to f8 rather than shooting at f1.8. This will mean your camera needs a longer exposure time to capture the image. It will also increase your depth of field making it easier to get an image that is sharper throughout.

          If you were going to shoot manual then you need the meter reading on the LCD to be in the middle. Does that make sense?

          In terms of actual exposure time it will vary a lot depending on how dark it is when you take the photograph. So if it’s pitch black then you would need a longer exposure time, whilst at the beginning of the blue hour you will need a shorter time. Check out my post Photography Tip – Cities at Night for some more info.

          I hope this helps and you capture some awesome pictures in Rome.

          • Mike,

            Thank you! I don’t want to take pictures with f1.8, I just want to explain myself that the lens is 1.8 50mm not 1.4 50mm 😀

            Anyway, I will try on AV also, with f8-f11 to see what I get, but also I’ll try manually.

            Thanks again for your tips!

          • Mike

            No problem and you’re very welcome. Have a great trip and make sure you try the Risotto Balls! They are incredible! 🙂

  2. George Minton

    Nice tips! They are really inspring me to enhace my photography skill.

    • Mike

      Fantastic, thanks George. I hope they help.

  3. Very informative indeed! Just to add up, don’t spend your entire trip looking through the lens. Enjoy your time just traveling and enjoying the ride.

    • Mike

      I totally agree. Enjoying the destination rather than just trying to capture it is definitely very important.

  4. Thank you, Mike, for this post! I just came across your blog and I will definitely follow you in the future, because your posts are very useful and well written. Thank you! 🙂

    • Mike

      Thanks so much Clara for your awesome comment and amazing support! 🙂

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