Travel Photography Tips from Pro Photographers

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While browsing through my old travel photos, multiple times this thought has crossed my mind – ‘Damn, I wish I knew more about photography back then.‘ Every destination that you visit, has its own particular look, character, and ambience. If we want our travel photos to stand out, they should capture all of these qualities and their details. But unfortunately, more often than not, many of us fail to do that, and we realize it only after we are back from our travels. Well, that’s why we decided to interview some of the top photographers in the business and ask them for some amazing tips to enhance your Travel Photography skills.

Just to give you a perspective, improving and mastering the art of travel photography takes time, patience, research, experimentation and learning from them. Nat-Geo photographers spend a lot of time doing research. This helps them figure out what’s there — what the place is about and what subjects they need to cover.

Don’t miss out on our blog-post about The Fundamentals of Travel Photography and also check out some of the top cameras for Travel Photography (updated May’20)

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Travel Photography Tips from Pro Photographers

Sachin Negi – @_sachinnegi_

Let’s start with one of our favourite landscape and outdoor photographer – Sachin Negi.
Sachin’s IG – _sachinnegi_

Please tell us about yourself.
This is Sachin. I am into travelling and like to take a lot of pictures of my travels, especially outdoor and landscape shots. I have been travelling for 5 years now, but I wasn’t much into photography earlier. I have been doing it for 2-and-half years now.

What sparked your interest in Travel Photography and for how long have you been doing it?
It’s been only 2-and-half years. I always used to click pictures of my friends during travels and this is how it all started. I was always the one holding the camera 😅. But then I started liking it and used to get up early to shoot alone so that I don’t have anyone to disturb me. That was completely my time with the camera and my association with that place. That’s how it all began and I started liking it.

Which particular type of Travel Photography do you like the most and why?
I mostly like to take landscape shots and also have interest in astrophotography but haven’t been able to shoot the milky way on my recent trips as it has always been a moon night. I have always loved hiking and being in the mountains and capturing them was just about for myself.

Please share 2-3 tips to enhance the type of Travel Photography that you love the most.
Well, honestly I don’t consider myself a photographer, and will always maintain that. But if I have to share a few tips that would be the following: when you are travelling always have your camera ready. I click most of my shots while on the move. Get a window seat and look ahead what’s coming. You can analyze for the subjects and as soon as I see some, I start shooting on continuous mode with an understanding of the frame. I have taken and posted many shots like this.
Don’t wait to reach to a place and then take your camera out to shoot. You are going to miss out on many beautiful pictures.
Other than that while hiking I am always ahead or behind my group. So that I can shoot them as a subject especially if I see some cool location. I love shots where we have small human subjects with mighty mountains dominating in the frame.
Never miss the opportunity to shoot during sunrise and sunsets. You will get the most dramatic shots in this time frame.

What is the best tip that you have received (in your early days) that has taken your Travel Photography skills to such wonderful heights?
I didn’t own a camera until some 18 months back and never studied any of the rules. I still don’t follow any rules of photography. Neither I had any group where people were into photography. But I have seen a few videos, especially about night photography. That was after I started liking this.
And editing is as important as shooting these days. Shoot on RAW. Always go for that and see the videos and tutorials on how to process your images. That makes a huge difference in my opinion. And I learned this myself after I developed an interest. So much content is available on youtube. You just have to be patient here with the results. Keep practising and implementing what you are learning.

According to you, which is the one mistake to avoid for all who are starting Travel Photography?
When getting into this, you can always plan ahead and read the photo blogs & other posts of the places you are going to visit. This will give you a fair idea about how you can frame and shoot. But I have never done that. For me, it has always been my connection with the place and I always click what I like.
We always make mistakes and then only we can learn. Don’t be too concerned about the rules, keep on experimenting and always shoot what you like.

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Avishek Patra – @thewanderingchubbies

Next, its time to welcome my college friend and an avid travel-and-lifestyle-photographer – Avishek Patra (IG: thewanderingchubbies)

Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Avishek and I live in Germany with my wife, Snigdha, and our 3-month old daughter, Shayari. Professionally, I am an Automotive Engineer and Consultant. Born and brought up in West Bengal, India, and living in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh through my adolescent ages, I moved to Germany in my early 20s for my studies and live here since then. We, as a couple, share a huge passion for travel and photography. Over the years, we – the ‘Working Nomads‘ as we call ourselves – have mastered the art of managing our full-time professions (Snigdha is a Marketing Manager) with our passion for exploring and making memories throughout the world. Travelling is the true passion for us, from which over the years, we have also developed a love for photography and videography, and we regularly share our travel experiences on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

What sparked your interest in Travel Photography and for how long have you been doing it?
Inspired by my traveller-photographer parents at an early age, I have been wanderlust at heart and a keen student of photography since my school days. Having travelled across India – from mountains of Ladakh to sandy beaches of Pondicherry with my parents – I developed my initial appetite for travel. I was always experimenting with my father’s camera until I got my first DSLR camera – a Canon 550D – in 2010-11. Soon after, I moved to Germany for studies, and also for the love of travel. Since then, my passion for travel and photography has only increased. I believe my second phase in photography only began in 2018 when I attended a workshop by renowned Travel-Photographer Brendan van Son. Over the last decade, since moving out of India, I have travelled to and photographed in 37 countries around Europe, Asia, North America, and South America. So, in short, I have been travelling extensively for 10 years now, but have been photographing properly for about a couple of years 🙂

Which particular type of Travel Photography do you like the most and why?
As a travel photographer, it is difficult to answer that. For me, travel photography encompasses several aspects – cityscape and landscape photography capture the grandeur of new lands, whereas street, food, architecture, and people photography bring the details out of the grandness. Having said that, I always have had a tad bit of a soft corner for cityscape and landscape photography – the view of a city from afar or the frame with majestic mountains always appeals to me greatly.

Please share 2-3 tips to enhance the type of Travel Photography that you love the most.
I would recommend the following to all travel photographers: For landscapes, I often travel to exotic, natural locations. In such untouched parts of the world, one has to respect the nature and the surrounding. No good photograph is worth any harm done to nature when taking the picture. Travelling to new countries also often means that the way of life in the destination we have travelled to, is different from ours. Cultural differences should be respected when you photograph. In simple words, I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping decorum and following rules such that your actions do not harm or affect the surroundings you are in.
From, purely photography point of view, there is no substitute for composition and good light. With my images, I try to make sure there are subjects of interest in the foreground with interesting mid-ground and background. Once the elements are there, one can frame the image following any rule of photography – rule of thirds, golden ratio, etc. But if the elements are missing, no rule can make a good image. Same goes for the light – without good light, especially in landscapes and cityscapes, only brilliant compositions cannot set your work apart.

What is the best tip that you have received (in your early days) that has taken your Travel Photography skills to such wonderful heights?
I think there are quite a few technical tips I have received from my father that always – like any classic movie or literature – remain true. Most importantly, he would always say that nothing substitutes good composition and good light. It took me ages to understand this, but now I know the importance of this statement. Another point about something that I have learned myself (not really a tip received, but something that I do always follow) is that at any point one starts to take a passion and starts looking at it for anything else but for the joy of the passion, it no longer brings you joy and happiness. This is very relevant in today’s world with high penetration of social media and the hunger for instant validation. The moment I try to think if people would like my image or how many would watch my travel videos, I am dissatisfied and forget the fun I had all the time making these memories. And this is a tip I would like to share with your audience. Don’t try to cash in on your passion, just remember why you are doing it in the first place.

According to you, which is the one mistake to avoid for all who are starting Travel Photography?
I think one mistake to avoid purely from a photographic point of view is to fail to plan. Especially for people like us with a limited amount of time, planning is of paramount importance to be at the right place at the right time. Generally, I try to plan my landscape and cityscape images during sunsets and sunrises, street, portrait, and architecture photography during the day. Even if you plan well, things can go wrong. For example, in case the light is not right – which it often will be – try and get a good composition to compensate for the bad light. So, plan, plan and plan. Another mistake to avoid is not to get lost in the grand picture of a scene. People are often so mesmerized by a wide-view city- or landscape that the beautiful details in the scene are lost. So, if one has to make images out of the common, look for the details.

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Jitendra Singh – @jeeteraho

Moving on, we have Jitendra Singh from India. One of the things that I personally love about Jitendra’s photography the most is the artistic use of silhouettes.
Jitendra’s IG – jeeteraho

Tell us something about yourself.
I am Jitendra Singh, born and brought up in Jaipur (Rajasthan), one who on a gradual journey of life found his love in teaching and capturing moments around.

What sparked your interest in Travel Photography and for how long have you been doing it?
The love for diversity, witnessing different cultures, landscapes, architectures, people their life stories, a mind seeking constant change are the things which keep me in deep love with travel photography. I have doing it from past 2 years.

Which particular type of Travel Photography do you like the most and why?
I love capturing human stories, moments and architecture while I travel.

Please share 2-3 tips to enhance the type of Travel Photography that you love the most.
The best thing in this blend of street and travel photography is one gets to live many lives, learn from their life stories. while shooting strangers try to stay genuinely humble, have a smile on face and first try to befriend with them with a respectful interaction.

What is the best tip that you have received (in your early days) that has taken your Travel Photography skills to such wonderful heights?
I feel learning the basics of photography and a keen interest in human stories have been the two most significant tips that have helped me in capturing the travel moments more effectively.

According to you, which is the one mistake to avoid for all who are starting Travel Photography?
Don’t expect too much too early, also try to enjoy the journey while you travel, learning and living in the moment are equally important than any material success.

Do things out of love, recognise what u are good at genuinely and do your part for inner contentment, material success will follow.

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Asif Ali Yousafzai – @asifgraphy

And now its time for our Dubai based photographer Asif Ali Yousafzai.
Asif’s IG: asifgraphy ; and FB: facebook.com/asifgraphy/

Tell us something about yourself.
I am UAE Based Marketer by Profession and landscape and Portrait Photographer as Passion. I belong to Pakistan and currently living in UAE

What sparked your interest in Travel Photography and for how long have you been doing it?
Photography is satisfying to my soul, and whenever I see clouds over the horizon, then it is impossible for me to stay indoors, whether home or office.

Which particular type of Travel Photography do you like the most and why?
I mostly do Landscapes and Cityscapes. This is mainly because I love to capture city light with moving clouds during sunset or sunrise

Please share 2-3 tips to enhance the type of Travel Photography that you love the most.
Always invest more time in framing the shot and acquiring best light ( especially, for sunrise and sunset shots).

Also, always publish your best work and don’t upload every day or every photo – quality matters over quantity. This is because if a new person sees your work, then so he/she should stay and explore your work.

What is the best tip that you have received (in your early days) that has taken your Travel Photography skills to such wonderful heights?
Always capture in RAW,
Shoot Cityscpe in Bluehour,
Search for the best frame,
And, edit your best image.

According to you, which is the one mistake to avoid for all who are starting Travel Photography?
Invest in a good lens and tripod as these two things will give you the best results. So please don’t compromise on at least one good lens.

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Mainak Biswas – @placesinpixel

In the end, we thought of including a few of our own tips about travel photography. I am sure that you would already know most of the things about us, so let’s jump straight to the tips.

Which particular type of Travel Photography do you like the most and why?
When I started with photography, I always loved capturing landscapes and cityscapes. But over time, I have also started developing a keen inclination towards long exposure photography and the set to trying to tell stories through pictures.

Please share 2-3 tips to enhance the type of Travel Photography that you love the most.
Although most of the important tips have been already covered above, I would to like highlight the importance of preparation.

What is the best tip that you have received (in your early days) that has taken your Travel Photography skills to such wonderful heights?
I have always been a keen and ardent follower of Auditya Venkatesh from audiphotography and during one of his interviews (back in 2015) he had mentioned about the significance of taking a moment to observe the view and frame the shot in your head before actually pressing the shutter. This is something I believe has been a great tip for me. Prior to that, I simply used to shoot whatever I saw. But after that, I started to visualize and frame the shot in my mind before clicking it.

According to you, which is the one mistake to avoid for all who are starting Travel Photography?
In my opinion, the majority of those starting out today are looking for instant fame and insta-success. This, I believe, curtails one’s learning of the basic skills of photography like – compositions, lighting etc. Trying to avoid this will actually be beneficial in the long run.

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Summary…

In the end, we would like to conclude with a quick summary of travel photography tips from our experts:

  • While travelling, always keep your camera ready – you might get a great frame at any moment.
  • Keep experimenting and implementing your learnings.
  • Learn the basics and fundamentals as early as possible – Digital Photography School is something that I recommend everyone. They have great information, all for free!
  • Never miss out on great sunsets and sunrises – golden hour gives a dramatic look to your photos.
  • There is no substitute for composition and good light.
  • Don’t expect too much too early; and living in the moment is more important than any material success.
  • Invest in a good lens and a tripod. (you can check out some of our recommendations here)
  • And, most importantly, enjoy what you are doing!

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