If you've ever met me, you know I’m ALL about some sight-seeing. Every opportunity I get to travel, I do. Travel photography is tricky though. It seems like the photo never does the experience justice, does it? So how do you really capture what you're experiencing? What you’re seeing? What you’re feeling? Here are some tips to help you achieve that.
1. Get up Early
Yes. You heard me right. Listen, if I’m telling you to get up early, you know it must be important. There are two reasons I tell you to shoot early.
One: the light. The light is just more beautiful in the mornings, let’s be honest.
Two: the crowds aren’t out yet. Especially in touristy areas, the stereotypical Americans in their t-shirts and visors can ruin an otherwise perfect photograph. In the mornings, it's just you and the locals.
So get up early! Take a nap in the afternoon when the sun is too harsh to fight and the tourists are reigning. In the mornings, however, take advantage of the golden hour without the crowds. It can’t get much better than that.
2. Reflections, Reflections, Reflections
Want a new outlook on your shot? Reflections are your friend! Take advantage of them because they are an easy way to automatically give you a new perspective.
Puddles are a great way to add reflections. They can take an already-massive scene and make it twice as massive.
3. Capture the Culture
You will want to remember things about the culture when you leave. How did the people dress? What unique foods did you try? What was the architecture like? If you remember to look for these things in your photos, you will capture more than a photo. You'll capture an experience.
Bonus tip: Adding a person in the shot can do wonders. It gives the viewer a sense of scale and gives the image a focal point.
4. Change Your Perspective
STOP SHOOTING THE SAME SHOTS EVERYONE ELSE GETS. Find a new perspective that makes your pictures stand out from everyone else’s! That means finding an angle that nobody else thought to get.
Note that a good landscape photo has 3 layers: the background, the middle ground, and the foreground. It gives depth to a photo!
Lastly, pay attention to your surroundings! Look for interesting colors, patterns, or things that don't usually belong there. In the shot below, it took a split second for me to notice this red balloon on its way up beside the Eiffel Tower. Some moments happen that fast, and if you're watching, you'll catch them!
I literally caught these horses out our car window. . . The same split second that we drove by, the sun peaked through the clouds and the horses ran across. Maybe that was luck, or maybe it was just me being observant. Pay attention and capture amazing moments!