The number of international tourist arrivals has more than doubled since 2000. Before you hop on a plane, make sure to look into cameras for travel photography. Quality images of your trip can ensure the journey lasts a lifetime.
Here are 11 beginner travel photography mistakes to avoid during your trip. Learning to avoid these mistakes will ensure an eye-catching vacation photo collection.
1. Lacking Research
One of the biggest mistakes you can make before even getting on a plane is neglecting to gather research. Researching your travel destination can help you make the most of your adventure. You can determine where you want to get photos and even the right time for each shot.
Start gathering research by looking at photos other travelers have already taken of your destination. You can visit 500px, Flickr, Instagram, and other photography sites to get started.
Consider watching movies or reading books about your destination as well.
Make a list of the locations you want to visit and photograph.
Before the trip, make sure you know how to use your camera, too. Look into the top-recommended cameras for travel photography if you don’t have one. Consider purchasing an extra battery or two if you’re planning long days.
Don’t forget to take extra memory cards along with you.
Download the camera manual onto your phone in case you have any issues using your camera.
During the trip, have your camera ready at all times. You never know when you’ll encounter the perfect shot!
Invest in a camera strap to hold onto your camera comfortably. Keep it safe with its own case before you shove it into your bag or suitcase.
2. Bringing Too Much
Don’t purchase too much gear before your trip. Chances are, you won’t need every piece of camera or photography equipment you purchase.
Limit yourself to the gear you actually intend to use. If you’re new to photography, plan a day trip. Make a note of which pieces of gear you used the most.
Pack those pieces for your trip.
3. Relying on the Camera
Your camera is only a tool. Investing in a high-quality camera doesn’t always guarantee you’ll get a good shot. Instead, make sure you understand the basics of taking quality photos.
You can learn how to do it (along with other helpful tips) here.
Consider taking a basic photography course before your trip. Otherwise, learn from other experienced photographers. You can even watch a few video tutorials to begin building your skillset.
Remember, you’re in control! Think about the image you want to capture before taking the shot.
You’re also not limited to your DSLR camera. Sometimes, the best shot is with your phone!
4. Bad Timing
Timing is everything! However, you can’t always wait for the perfect time to take a photo. Instead of settling for one perfect photo, take a few different shots from different angles.
Don’t postpone shooting by waiting for another day or a different hour, either.
Even if your travel photo lighting is wrong, take the shot! You might end up with a beautiful image after you edit the photo. However, you’ll never know if you neglected to take the shot in the first place.
5. Remaining Static
Avoid remaining static when taking your travel photos. You won’t always get the best shot from eye level or where you’re standing. Instead, move around to find the perfect angle for your shot.
If you’re a static photographer, you’re likely settling for the easiest or most obvious shot. Play around with angles! Remain active to capture different points of view.
6. Not Connecting
If you’re not connecting with the scene or subject, you might get a lot of meaningless photos. Think about the story you’re trying to tell through your photography. Imagine showing someone your photos and what they’ll see through your eyes.
Failing to connect with the place you’re visiting can leave you with dull or obvious shots.
Observe and connect with your environment before capturing a photo.
7. Sticking With the Group
If you’re traveling with others, try to break away from the group. Otherwise, the people surrounding you could affect your photos. Let your creativity and curiosity guide you.
Breaking away from the group can help you find different angles, scenes, or shots that you won’t get when standing alongside others.
Give yourself time to be alone. Remain patient and find that creative flow.
8. Not Choosing a Subject
If a photo’s subject isn’t clear, the entire photo won’t work. Again, don’t remain static. Instead, look at the scene before you and choose a subject.
Then, make sure your subject stands out using proper composition.
Choosing a subject before you take the shot will help you become a dynamic photographer.
9. Focusing on the Big Picture
Instead of focusing on the big picture, consider focusing on the smaller details. Small details can give more context to your photos. Look for unique or interesting details during your travels.
Then, give them the attention they deserve with macro shots.
10. Converging Verticals
Converging verticals can make buildings look like they’re toppling over. Adjust the perspective using your in-camera editing options. Otherwise, you might notice your photo subjects appear stretched.
Step back or zoom out to capture the subject without awkward angles.
11. Never Editing
Give your photos a little aftercare. A few small edits can have a major impact on your photos. Editing can help your travel pictures stand out from others.
After your trip, take the time to edit your favorite photos. Start culling your photos, too. Some shots are only improvisations, exercises, or practices for the real thing.
Choose photos with care to create a vacation photo collection that tells your desired story.
Avoid These Beginner Travel Photography Mistakes
Don’t let these beginner travel photography mistakes cost you the perfect shot. Instead, plan ahead and take your time. Learning to avoid these mistakes will leave you with stunning images from your travels.
Become a talented photographer with these tips today.
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