An interesting subject matter is one of the secrets of a great photo. As a result, many photographers turn their lenses to travel photography, looking for unseen places and civilizations. Still, finding a great subject isn’t easy even if you’re in an exotic place. Moreover, you need to know how to choose the best perspective to capture its story and convey the right message.
Becoming a master of travel photography takes time and knowledge. Here are the best tips to help you start your path as a travel photographer.
Take time to observe
Be a wanderer. Allow yourself to see the world outside the viewfinder and understand its flow. Engage deeply with your subject because the uniqueness of your pictures lies inside you. However outstanding a subject can be, your greatest pictures display your personal reflection of the things you see. So take time to embrace every new place you visit.
Visit a place at different times
Every place has its mysteries and reveals itself at different times of the day or of the year. You’ll be surprised by how many differences can be between morning and evening, spring and summer, weekdays and weekends. Every moment has its own dynamic. A travel photographer is an observer, always present, always listening.
Avoid tourist attractions
While tourist attractions are easy to spot and impressive (otherwise they wouldn’t be attractions), it’s better to keep a safe distance. First of all, they are crowded with tourists, souvenirs, and posters. Secondly, they get photographed a lot and it’s hard to find new perspectives and angles. Last but not least, they are charged with a special energy that can differ a lot from the rest of the place. For example, ancient Greek ruins are quite different from the reality of nowadays Greece.
Study local culture and history
You can understand a lot about a place or a people by studying its history books. What happened during its history has a strong influence on how it looks or feels today. Many Western photographers are attracted by Asian cultures because of their special traditions and customs. But the difference is only a matter of historical context and in order to tell the right story, you need to read a few books.
Travel photography is more than framing aesthetical scenes. It’s more than using a smart camera and a fancy image editing tool. Travel photography is about discovering the world as it is and telling its stories with honesty and kindness. It’s about tolerance and love. Moreover, it’s about growing and discovering who you are.