Photographer Richard I’Anson has traveled in more than 90 countries, creating beautiful travel images and best-selling photography books.
In this article over at Adobe he gives us his best tips on how to achieve pictures that are truly worth a thousand words. There is a high demand for travel photography out there, so if you make sure you’re prepared well and practice your photography skills before the trip, you could soon be selling your photography to fund your next trip.
Learn the Technical Stuff
No matter what camera you use, make sure you play around and get to know the ISO, shutter speed and aperture controls so that the mechanics of taking a photograph become second nature. You’ll then be able to concentrate on, and enjoy, the creative side of travel photography. When you come across interesting subjects and great lighting, you’ll have a much better chance of capturing those fleeting moments and expressions that make unique images.
Compose for Impact
Make sure your photographs have a clear point of interest. This is usually the thing that caught your eye in the first place and should be the element around which your composition is based. Focus carefully on the subject to ensure it is sharp and aim to place it away from the centre of the frame. Don’t assume that your eye level or the first place from where you see your subject is the best viewpoint. A few steps left or right, going down on one knee or standing on a step can quickly improve a composition.
Study the Light
The ability of light to transform a photo from the ordinary to the extraordinary is one of the most powerful tools at the photographer’s disposal.. The keys to the right light are its colour, quality and direction. As you settle on a potential subject, note where the light is falling and if it enhances your subject. There is an optimal time of day to photograph everything, so you may want to wait or return at another time if you can’t find a viewpoint that works. As a rule of thumb, most subjects are enhanced by the warm light created by the low angle of the sun in the one to two hours after sunrise and before sunset, so plan to be at the most important places early or late in the day.
Back Up as you Go
Cameras are prime targets for theft. Ideally, you should always have two copies of your images on separate external storage devices and keep them in separate locations. If you don’t want to carry a laptop and external drives you can upload your images to online backup and storage facilities.