Sunday, May 22, 2016




Learn how to make your travel photos
more exciting, more fun to look at,
more artistic:

So, it's getting that time of year to plan on vacations.  What are you going to do this summer?  Where are you going?  What should you bring?  What types of pictures do I want to take?  Do I take time to take the kind of pictures I really want to take?  So many questions come to mind as you plan your vacations.  So, here are some tips that should help you to make your vacation plans easier, and plan your trip to include the right equipment and plan how to take better photos.   Every time I go on an adventure, I think in my mind that I am just going to take some photos of the most incredible scenery, or run into the most incredible wildlife, and if I don't plan for that, I will miss the photo opportunity of a lifetime.  You will be in places that most people don't go.  Or if you are going to a tourist destination, how can you take  photos that are different than everyone else's.  Every time I go to, say, Disneyland or some resort like that, they have "Photo stops"  or places to take the photo that everyone else takes.  Not me.  I want to take the most incredible photo someplace else that they aren't going to tell me I have to take.  That is my first goal.  If I go hiking in the mountains, my radar is up looking for the way light goes through trees, the opportunity to see wildlife, to have the camera ready in case that happens.  So, here are other tips on photography that are standard rules that we all need to just keep in mind as we travel:


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In general. You can’t expect to become a successful travel photographer, I’Anson says, if you’re unwilling to sacrifice the time, finances, and comfort necessary to make photography your number one priority during your travels.
“Nothing gets higher priority than being in the right place at the right time all of the time —not food, not sleep, not comfort, not family, not friends, nothing,” said I’Anson. “This is because it’s one thing to take the occasional good photo, but it’s quite another to take consistently creative images day after day in all sorts of environments [and] in all sorts of conditions.”

 castle tourist attraction landmark change perspectives viewpoints

If you choose to photograph a popular tourist attraction or landmark, don’t stand where the trigger-happy tourists are standing. Think outside the box. Change viewpoints to get a higher or lower perspective, revisit the location at a different time of day, or set up camp and wait for something out-of-the-ordinary to happen. I’Anson believes that it’s always possible to “defy automation” and set your images apart if you’re willing to put in the work to create something unique.
“Great photos… are unique moments in time captured by photographers who can see, select, and organize the elements before them into a visually cohesive and unique composition and then translate that vision onto the sensor,” said I’Anson. “You need to work through a series of decisions regarding exposure, composition, and light… [this] produces unique images and allows individuality to shine through

bird wildlife photography selecting gear choosing camera equipment

Savvy travel photographers pack fairly lightly. Bring enough gear to ensure that you can shoot effectively in any situation, but not so much that you become burdened down or draw too much attention to yourself.
“You can expect to be out and about for hours at a time, all the while watching and waiting for that great shot,” said I’Anson. “So unless you have specific aims that demand a truckload of specialist equipment, I recommend that you keep your gear simple, accessible, and manageable.”


 smoke festival prayer tradition community special event

One of the keys to successful travel photography is being in the right place at exactly the right time. Performing meticulous research in advance of your trip will prepare you to navigate your destination effectively, make you aware of photo-worthy locations and special events in the area, and greatly enhance your ability to predict where you should be and when you should be there.
As you research, create an ideal “shot list” of all of the areas and landmarks you want to visit and photograph during your trip, and plan your sunset and sunrise shoots. This will make it easier for you to organize your priorities according to the length of your visit.
“Research and planning go a long way to getting you to the right place at the right time more often than not,” said I’Anson. “The more time you have, the more opportunities you give yourself to photograph subjects in the best light… sometimes just a few extra minutes can make all the difference.”


 tea men travel portrait drinking

While creating your photography itinerary, be sure to dedicate time windows to exploring the city without any particular agenda. Visit landmarks you’re interested in seeing, browse through shops and markets, and talk to locals. During this time, you’re bound to stumble across photogenic moments and discover locations that you should to revisit in better light.
“I always know where I’m going and what I’m photographing in the couple of hours around sunrise and sunset when the light is at its best,” said I’Anson. “Having said that, I always allow time just to wander and discover new things for myself because very often, the most satisfying photos come on these unstructured walks".
grand canyon sunset landscape photography national park natural area landmark

One of the key characteristics of successful travel photographers is that, when they identify a promising photo opportunity, they’re willing to wait with infinite patience for the right time of day or the right circumstances in order to capture the most visually appealing and dynamic images.

As you explore your destination, incessantly analyze your surroundings. Try to predict when photogenic moments might take place, and if things don’t line up right then, be willing to wait around or revisit the location when the situation improves.
“Very few really good photographs are the result of random machine gun fire technique or accidentally being in the right place at the right time,” I’Anson said. “If possible, wait… whether it’s a matter of seconds for an action to occur, a couple of hours for the weather to change, or revisiting a location at the best time of day, the quality of your images will improve dramatically.”
wildlife photography siberian tiger

      I’Anson emphasizes the importance of knowing your gear so well that you can get ready to shoot in a matter of seconds. Practice quickly adjusting ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, operating your flash, changing lenses and filters, setting up your tripod, mounting your camera, and attaching your shutter release cable until you have the process down to an art.
“Many photo opportunities don’t repeat themselves,” said I’Anson. “Missing the moment because you’re trying to figure out how the camera works is frustrating and avoidable.”

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Understanding and mastering the basics of photography, such as how ISO, shutter speed, and aperture work together to determine an image’s exposure, clarity, and compositional effectiveness, will allow you to create engaging images with full creative control.
“Get to know your gear so that the mechanics of taking a photograph become second nature,” said I’Anson. “Use the settings as creative tools that control the mood, quality, and feel of the photograph rather than just as a technical necessity.”

rule of thirds

Each time you compose an image, imagine a two vertical and two horizontal lines that break the image up into nine sections. In most cases, placing the main subject onto one of the points where these gridlines intersect will result in an effective composition.
“Aim to place the point of interest away from the center of the frame,” said I’Anson. “If you’re taking a portrait, for example, the subject is the person’s face and the point of interest would be his or her eyes. In the landscape, the point of interest may be the peak of a mountain, [so] place the peak on one of the intersections".

shop merchant store plates ceramic dishes collectibles main subject draw attention

The goal of every composition should be to draw the viewers’ eye to the main subject, whether this is a face, the peak of a mountain, or a person wearing a vibrant red jacket in a sea of blue clothing. Varying your point of view or camera orientation, using the rule of thirds, and eliminating distracting elements through your focusing choices are all effective ways to guide viewers to focus on your main subject… assuming you know what your main subject is.
“Successful images have a point of interest,” said I’Anson. “It’s probably the thing that caught your eye in the first place. Good compositions leave no doubt as to the subject of the photograph.”


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If you want to succeed as a professional travel photographer, you need to be shooting in RAW if you want to leverage the full capabilities of your equipment. This becomes especially important if you’re planning to display or reproduce your work in large formats. Since RAW files require significant post processing, it’s also important to learn how to utilize your image editing software to its full potential.
“Being proficient with image editing software is a vital skill for the photographer,” said I’Anson. “Your investment in time, software, and computer equipment will be rewarded with the ability to bring your images to life and have total control over how they look.”


 architecture city cityscape building ceiling right light exposure time of day sunset sunrise

It’s not enough to understand how to operate your equipment. If you want to have any hope of commanding perfect creative control in all circumstances, you must understand light itself — namely, its direction, color, and quality. This is why many photographers gravitate toward shooting in the hours just after sunrise and just before sunset; at these times, the light is soft but potent, and its warmer tones flatters most subjects.”
“There’s light and then there’s the right light,” said I’Anson. “To be able to see light and to understand how it translates onto the sensor and how it impacts on your compositions is the final step in creating striking images.”


 portrait man flower eyes focus

As you learn how ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and other equipment settings affect your photographs and master your image editing software, you should start noticing patterns in the way that you compose and post-process images. If you hone these preferences effectively, you’ll begin to develop a unique style that will set your photographs apart from the work of others in your niche.
“There is no one single or correct composition for any given subject or scene and it’s often worth trying several different compositions,” said I’Anson. “Experience and practice will teach you how to create striking compositions quickly. Along the way, you’ll develop your own preferences and style.”


 alligator crocodile backyard florida

The best travel photographers honed their skills through practice and you must do the same — but you don’t have to travel to exotic locations to gain experience. Learn compositional techniques and get to know your equipment by photographing birds in your backyard. Roam the streets of your city asking locals if you can take their portraits. You’ll encounter the same types of lighting situations and circumstances as you would while traveling abroad.
“Planning and executing a shoot of your own city is a great way to practice your research skills, test your camera equipment, perfect your technique, develop your eye, and get a feel for changing light,” said I’Anson. “You’ll quickly get an insight into just how much walking you can expect to do, how many locations and subjects you can expect to photograph in a day, and how manageable your equipment is.”


 lake ocean water reflection mountains boat fishermen fisherman net

Whether you’re culling through the images you created during your professional travels or during a practice shoot you conducted in your hometown, be sure to study the photographs that don’t work out before you trash them. Critique these images objectively to figure out what you did wrong and don’t be afraid to ask a trusted third party to provide honest feedback if you need help identifying your mistakes. This will help you to avoid failure the next time you go out shooting.
“If you want your pictures to stand out, a disciplined assessment of your photographs will give them the best chance of catching people’s attention and being appreciated,” said I’Anson. “Study them to see what you did wrong and what you did right… [then] you can eliminate the causes of your failures and concentrate on the things that worked.”
While there are countless other viewpoints on becoming a stronger travel photographer, we think that I’Anson is on to something here with these 15 tips—especially his emphasis on fully committing to travel photography, rather than just taking photos while traveling when it’s convenient. Here’s to many amazing travel images to come!

I think this has been a very complete and special presentation on the "15 Valuable Secrets to Successful to Travel Photographers".  This has been originally presented and written by REBECCA BENNETT, with a lot of ideas from Richard I’Anson.  The photographs in this article were also by Richard I'Anson.  For more details about being the best travel photographer check out this link:
Also, thanks to PictureCorrect for their endless talent in providing these articles.

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