10 Travel Photo Tips
Here are 10 tips for great travel photos to keep in mind when going on that vacation to make sure you come back with great travel photos of your holiday.
Travel photo tip 1. Travel light - A point and shoot automatic camera or camcorder will be enough. Take enough film or tapes according to the amount of days you will be away. Don't forget batteries and the charger. No need to bring bulky stuff like a tripod, lenses etc. It's a real bother keeping an eye on it all the time. Unless you are a professional photographer on a paid shoot these things just end up just sitting in your hotel room.
Travel photo tip 2. If you are travelling by plane keep the film and camera in your hand luggage. Checked baggage is put through an X-Ray machine. The strong magnetic field of the machines usually spoil the film or wipe out the memory card of a digital camera. Checked baggage also has a high chance of getting delayed or lost in transit.
Travel photo tip 3. Research the Destination - search the Internet and read guide books on the places you'd like to visit. Especially look out for Interesting monuments, festivals or parades that may be on during your visit. Plan ahead, else you'll end up with pictures of just the airport and your hotel room.
Travel photo tip 4. Make a Photo Story - take photos of family/friends and you in different moods at different places. Like - annoyed at the airport - curious in the taxi - relieved as you check in the hotel - joyous on the ski slopes - or drunk at dinner.
Travel photo tip 5. Take pictures that prove you are in a different place from home. Most folks spend thousands of dollars on a dream destination but end up with boring pics of them lying in bed in a hotel room or sitting in the grass, snow or sand that could just as easily be their own backyard. Here are some ideas of what you could include in the background behind the subject that would give a feel of being in a new place.
(a) Road Signs - which show your location, especially those in a different language or script like urdu or chinese. The weirder they sound the better.
(b) Food - pictures of you eating exotic dishes in restaurants with local decor.
(c) Street Scenes with local folks using different modes of transport. eg. a doubledecker bus in London, an autorickshaw in India or a thuk thuk in Thailand.
(d) You can pose with cops in different uniforms, police cars or cars with different license plate numbers.
(e) Local people of other races in traditional costumes. Most people may be suspicious or shy and not want to pose even if you pay them or ask nicely. In this case, click a shot of your family with the local people moving about in the background.
(f) Local markets - colourful stalls and beautiful artifacts being sold always make for great photographs. Look out for shops selling something unique like spices, dry fish or religious items.
(g) A local animal, bird, flower or tree native to the place visited like the Lotus flower in India, Gazelles in Africa or Coconut trees in the Carribean. Its obvious from the picture on the right that this girl is in Australia because of the kangaroo she is feeding.
(h) Local Architecture - if there are no famous monuments in the area you can take a photo of you with any other house or building in the area that looks old and traditional like this photo of a chinese house.
Travel photo tip 6. If you see something you really like and can't buy because its either too expensive, bulky or not for sale, Just take a photo of yourself with it like the lady on the right.
Travel photo tip 7. If you need to give your camera to someone else to click a photo of yourself make sure that you can run faster. Remember, a camera is a very resellable item and thiefs loiter about looking for such chances. Give your camera either to a fellow tourist or a person wearing high heels, visibly lame, fat, unfit or elderly. Don't trust touts who keep following you and asking if they can help. Many people insure their camera for this very reason.
Travel photo tip 8. While taking a photo of a famous monument like the Effiel Tower or Taj Mahal make sure the full building fits into the frame behind the subject. If you are too close, you'll get a background with just indistinguishable bricks or pillars like the lady in the second photo.
Travel photo tip 9. Keep the film/tapes you've finished with either in different bags or in your hotel. Just in case you lose your main camera case and film you will still have some of the photo memories in a safe place.
Travel photo tip 10. Be extremely careful when photographing religious places, veiled women and government buildings - especially areas like docks, railway or military areas. There may be no readable signboard that photography is prohibited but officials or annoyed family members may confiscate or break your camera. However, if you are a woman you may get away with it but try not to take risks.
These tips will get you those awesome holiday photos that you can show off to your colleages in office. For tips on Avoiding Common Photo Mistakes click here.
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