Before, during and after you go on a trip, there are a few things to consider to improve your pictures as a photographer, no matter where the place is. Why do some people seem to get crappy shots, others seem to have loads of postcard shots while some people take off to the beaten path with creative shots? How can I get those iconic shots while still maintaining creative control on what you shoot? Without saying more, here are some ways to improve your travel photography.
Packing for any trip is a trip in itself. Clothing aside, figuring out how much gear to bring can often be the most challenging because it factors into your carry on. We’re sure you know, but it’s worth mentioning that gear (read: cameras and lenses) is not something you’d want to leave in your checked luggage, and keep in mind that some airlines have downsized carryon limits. So, with your carry on bag, how much gear are you going to pack?
Though a tripod can be an invaluable tool for producing sharp images, you may not enjoy hauling it around especially when traveling. If you want sharp images, but not the burden of a large tripod, there are alternatives. To achieve sharp images in low light or long exposures, here are some products that may prove a better alternatives to the traditional legs and head.
Of all the things that could ruin a vacation, there is nothing worse for a photographer than losing images. Though getting pick-pocketed or being rained out can certainly put a damper on time away from home, there is nothing more devastating than realizing that you’ve lost days’ if not weeks’ worth of images. Credit cards can be replaced and you can still enjoy a rainy day, but the loss of images can feel like a sucker punch that’s hard to recover from.
I’ve experience just such a loss in the past and so I adhere to the following practices to ensure that I return home with all the images that I captured during my time away.
During two trips to Europe, I’ve decided to shoot primarily with a fixed focal length. During my first trip to Paris, I mounted a Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens on my Canon 60D and shot virtually all our travels with the equivalent of a 50mm focal length. For this trip to France, I have been shooting with a Fujifilm X100s which with its 23mm lens sports the equivalent of a 35mm focal length. Though I initially focused on the potential disadvantages, the reality was that working this simply has its benefits.
Each year involves travel for my family. For me, that includes a great opportunity for photography. But even before I’ve arrived, I have to be as careful about what I’m taking with me as I am about our itinerary.
It’s easy to focus just on the camera and lenses, which are undeniably important, but here are some other things that I have found are essential for a successful vacation which includes photography.