Tips for Travel Photography

Shinjuku, Memory Lane, Tokyo, Japan


My travel photography tips

1 Take video also- something I have not been doing enough of and always regret

2 Prepare- research all the locations in advance and opening times and maps and all that stuff in advance, there is never time enough to that when we get there

3 Get a local sim card.

4 Learn the history and some of the language, and local customs- it will make the experience richer, and again will probably not have enough time to when you get there to read about the history etc. Please and thank you in the local language  and a nice smile can go a long way.

5.High traffic touristy areas are great places for getting people shots as you can go largely unnoticed with your camera.

6. To get nice flattering light and no squinting for yourself or travel companions, know where to stand. If you are shooting with a DSLR stand in the shade close to the edge of the shadow where you have some sun reflecting off the ground to  get great results. Or with the sun behind you and expose for the face, which will produce nice even light on your face with a nice rim/hair light, try some fill flash if necessary during the day you want to see the building in the background. Or wait until the sun is low, sunset time, golden hour will be more flattering light

7  When asking a stranger to take your photo- pick a tall one!

8 The midday sun is a great time to visit the indoor sights as the direct overhead light creates harsh shadows outdoors, so plan your day that way if photography is your priority. Outdoor shots in the morning and late afternoon. If it is bright out take multiple exposures.

9 A gorilla pod is my favorite thing as a tripod is a bit much to carry all day if you are out all day and know you want some evening shots and you can also use it most places where tripods are not allowed.

10 Something I always mean to do, but forget to-  cover your camera make with tape, and make it look a bit scruffy, add tape and a different strap if you have an expensive camera to deter thieves. Also, you might want to add your name on it and contact info to your gear- if you leave it somewhere,  you might get it back . I once left my laptop on a train in Japan and I got it back, my name was on it which made it easier. I also always wrap my camera strap securely around my wrist when taking photos.

11 if you are shooting through a window rest your lens right on the glass to prevent getting unwanted reflections in your shot-  a scarf might come in use to block some of the indoor light hitting your lens.

12 Wear clothes with pockets ( more relevant for the ladies). I particularly like this James Perse shirt in black for traveling, easy to wash and try, and I like to keep my cards etc in the pockets where they won’t fall out.

13 Personally, I always shoot in manual and take multiple exposures most of the time, depending on the light. I did use Av/ Aperture priority mode for the first couple of years when learning photography which was good and speedy, and I would recommend, but once you go manual it is hard to go back.

14. When taking shots of architecture spend the extra few minutes to line up everything symmetrically- these shots really take me the longest time as I want to get them perfect as I know I will regret is later otherwise.

Natural History Musem London.

15. I almost always wish I had taken more pics, and more food pics, and detail pics and people pics, especially if you plan on turning it into a blog or article.

16. Extra memory cards, and then some more. Back up your photos every evening and charge your batteries every evening!

What else? any tips to share below.

The above pic I took with my Canon T3i and Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6

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