Travel photography just looks like fun, doesn’t it? Why sit opposite a cathedral on a park bench when you could be zooming in and comprehending the angles and architectural nuances. You even have the option to order a customised photo collage of your work – just click the link. However, there are a few things you need to consider before you get going…
Get up. Early. Trust me.
Travel photography comes with one major hassle. Tourists. They get everywhere. They get up close to things, they stand next to things, they eat their lunch and shout at their children and consult maps on top of things … it’s an eternal nuisance. Now, if you’re getting into photography, it may behove you to look into a photo editing course in Photoshop – tools are available to stitch together a photo using multiple shots to cut out any tourists that got in the way (obviously anybody sat in the way for a long period can’t be helped, but if they move, you have your chance).
The best advice is to get up early and beat the crowds. You might think that, in certain hotspots, this wouldn’t make any difference, because tourists are a 24-hour pain. But you’d be wrong. Tour groups and sight-seeing-families are rarely in full flow before about 9AM-10AM.
The rule of thirds is a rule for a reason
The rules of thirds is perhaps the most misunderstood rule in photography. Imagine two vertical and two horizontal lines, splitting your viewfinder into a 3×3 square grid. Got it? You now have 9x squares. But forget the squares. You’re not aiming to put the focal point of your image inside a square. The squares are not what’s important. The truly important part is where the lines of your grid cross. You have four of these points inside your imaginary grid, forming the corners of the central square. THESE FOUR POINTS are what we are talking about when we talk about the rule of thirds.
Simply place the most interesting focal points inside your picture at these points (you don’t have to use them all) before you snap your photo. Why? This ensures space, a border, movement, and balance. Head on photography is compelling but too direct and confrontational. Use the rule of thirds to spread things out and let the eye drink it all in.
Lastly… go lightweight or live to regret it
Tripods are light, right? So, it doesn’t matter which one you get? Wrong. Carrying anything around all day is going to take its toll, and something like a three pronged telescopic perch that doesn’t fit in any bag or pocket is going to really make its presence known. Be kind to yourself. Shop around. Go lightweight.