There are a number of things to consider before setting out on a trip – lodging, money, luggage, etc. – and for photographers, taking pictures is very close to the top of the list. If you’re visiting a city you haven’t been to before, it’s wise to do a little research before you go in order to get a sense of the place and know what to bring. If you’re starting out, here are some things to keep in mind ahead of your trip to a new metropolis.
Pack light. More gear means more to worry about on the go.
Don’t photograph for the first several days.
Look at work other photographers have done there.
One of the best ways to prepare is to look at the work other photographers have done before you. By studying the works of others, whether it’s in galleries, online or in books, you’ll have a sense of what’s possible, and you’ll also have a sense of what to look for. Yet, do your best to not fall into the rhythm of shooting like other photographers in the same way that writers fall into the rhythm of writing like their favorite authors.
Decide what focal length you’ll shoot with, and stick to it.
Dedicating yourself to a focal length, particularly a wider one around 28mm or 35mm, will do wonders. Not only will it take up less space in your bag, but it will force you to interact with your new surroundings. Yes, you can comfortably shoot wide all you want, but do your best to fill up that frame by getting closer.
Study the architecture to see how you can frame your images geometrically
Architecture is one of myriad things a city can be known for, and it’s one of the strongest indicators of the types of images you can shoot. The manufactured environment can help guide your eye and anchor your composition, giving your images a strong sense of geometry.Find spots that interest you visually, and go to those places to see what kinds of photographs you can take. They can be symbolic, too, depending on what you’re going for.