Would you like to learn more about travel photography? In this article, I will share some travel photography basics and great resources to improve your travel pics immediately!
What do you need? Equipment recommendations
Do you take all your travel photos with your phone or do you prefer a real camera? The cameras on mobile phones are quite good and they get better every year. But do you really want to immerse yourself in travel photography, use all the possibilities and take even better photos? Then it is wise to invest in a good camera.
This is my favorite equipment to take great pictures while I’m traveling:
I have been very happy with my DSLR camera for years and I have taken a lot of beautiful photos with it during my travels. The downside, however, was that it was quite big and bulky, heavy, and it was pretty hard to put it away in your regular travel bag.
In 2018, I made the switch to a mirrorless camera and that is one of my best investments ever! I own a Sony A6000. This is one of the most popular mirrorless cameras among travel enthusiasts, it’s lightweight, it has many possibilities and you can take beautiful pictures with it.
Although the standard lens on the Sony A6000 is fine, it is sometimes nice to change lenses to take even better photos. I myself have the Sony E 55-210 mm f / 4.5-6.3 OSS – Zoom lens because I like to photograph wildlife and do not want to get too close.
Would you like to take beautiful pictures of the small details? Then it is wise to purchase a good macro lens, such as the Sony FE 50 mm F2.8 Macro.
I don’t always take an extra lens with me on my travels. I try to travel as light as possible and I check per trip whether I need an extra lens or not.
One item that I take with me on almost all my trips is a tripod. It’s very convenient if you also want to take pictures of yourself! In addition, a tripod is also good for keeping your camera as stable as possible while taking a photo. I myself have a small Joby GorillaPod. This is very flexible and you can also clamp around things.
In addition, there are a few small extra accessories that are also handy to take with you:
- Filter: you can screw a filter onto your lens. This protects your (expensive) lens against dirt and dust. In addition, your photos become even more beautiful. I use this UV filter from Hama.
- Extra battery: nothing is more annoying than a battery that suddenly runs out. So, bringing an extra battery is always a good idea if you are going out with your camera for a day.
- Extra SD card: you don’t want to see that message: No storage. That is also very annoying, so it is always useful to bring an extra SD card. After all, they weigh almost nothing!
How to take better travel pics
Whether you have a great camera to take your photos with or just take them with your mobile phone, these are a few tips to make your travel photos even more beautiful.
The rule of thirds
Have you ever heard of the rule of thirds? This is a useful way to improve the composition of your photo. You can divide a photo into nine areas. If you put the subject in the center of the picture, it wouldn’t be that interesting. But if you put the subject left or right, it will immediately be a lot more interesting to look at!
Sometimes you just have to wait a moment to get the right shot. Consider, for example, a busy tourist destination or a beautiful building on the other side of the street with a lot of traffic rushing past. At a certain point, it gets quieter and that’s the moment where you can shoot your perfect photo.
Take photos at the right time
You can of course take great photos throughout the day, but there are two times when your photos become just that little bit more beautiful! That is just after sunrise and just before sunset, this is called the golden hour. The light is much softer and that makes your photos more beautiful.
Play with sharpness and depth
It’s also fun to play with sharpness and depth. Sometimes it gives a really cool effect by focusing on a point and blurring the background. This is very easy to do on your phone by tapping on the screen where you want to be in focus. With a mirrorless camera or a DSLR, you can press the shutter halfway to bring the correct depth into your photo.
If you keep taking pictures from your point of view while standing or walking, they will get a bit boring at some point. Go crazy and take pictures from a different angle! Stand on a table or sit or lie on the floor. It immediately gives a different effect to your photo.
Editing your travel photos
You have taken a lot of pictures during your trip, but when you get home some pictures are not quite as beautiful as you thought they would be. Maybe there are some spots on the pictures thanks to dust on your lens, the horizon might be skewed or the colors in your picture are a little off.
Would you like to improve your pictures? Then I recommend editing them. I do this myself with Adobe Lightroom and I pay about € 9 per month for this. I think it’s totally worth it because it’s super easy to use (both on mobile and desktop) and my photos really look great! I am especially happy with the easy way you can remove spots from photos. It saves so much time!
What to do with your travel photos?
What are you going to do with your beautiful travel photos? Whatever you want! A couple of recommendations:
- Make a photo book of your trip. Besides a book, you can also use your pictures for making beautiful calendars, wall decorations, and cards with your travel photos.
- Put them on your blog! One of the reasons I take so many travel photos is because I want to share them with you in combination with fun travel tips. Text alone is so boring!
- Share them on Social Media. Especially Instagram is very suitable for this. Before you know it you will have a beautiful feed full of travel photos. Are you already following me on Instagram? I share my favorite travel photos three times a week.
Sell travel photos
Did you know that you can also easily earn money with your travel photos? There are many different platforms where you can sell your travel photos. I myself sell my photos through these websites:
- Shutterstock: a well-known stock photography website. The earnings are very low, but you can sell several photos quickly. View my portfolio.
- Adobe Stock: this is also a well-known stock photography website. The earnings per photo are a lot higher than with Shutterstock, but you are less likely to sell one. View my portfolio.
Books on travel photography
Many books have been published on travel photography. These are some of my favorites:
More practical travel tips
Do you want more practical travel tips for your next trip? Then you might also like to read these articles:
- Save money for travel: the easy way
- This is why you should use a VPN for travel!
- What’s in my pack? Day hike packing list
And for even more tips you can sign up for my newsletter, because then you will receive the ebook 30 awesome travel tips for free!