Traveling is a good way to explore and experience the scenery, culture and people of places different from where you grow up; and to all photo lovers it is also a chance to take great pictures. Being in an unfamiliar place, it requires good preparation prior to your trip to take in the beautiful scenery with your camera. This article will share the travel photography tips you need to know from three aspects – equipment, skills and attitude, aiming to help you get well prepared for your next photo trip!
Bring a Compact, Lightweight Camera and Lens Combo
A wide-angle prime lens can be used for shooting landscape and architecture (e.g.EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
; while a large aperture prime lens (e.g. EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
is good for subjects in the city, such as portraits and interior. Bringing too many lenses is a burden to your trip, which ends up losing the fun to shoot. The worry about the lack of lens variety to use can be easily overcome by making the most out of the lens you bring, or simply moving around to achieve the desired composition.
If you are not accustomed to using a prime lens, a standard zoom lens (e.g. EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM [Link to: http://eflens.canon-hk.com/lenses/ef-24-70mm-f28l-ii-usm]) would be an ideal substitute. The focal range offered by this lens can cover most of the subjects you will come across when traveling, ranging from portraits with landscape background, scenery, architecture to slightly macro shots. Its f/2.8 large aperture can also facilitate shooting in low-light indoor environment.
Recommendation for Camera and Lens Combo
The EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
) lens mentioned above is recommended for travel use. For camera body, full-frame camera with a relatively lightweight body such as the EOS 6D
is a good option for those who demand high image quality. Besides, this camera features a built-in Wi-Fi function which is very useful for instant photo uploading, as well as an in-camera GPS function for recording the geographical information.
Don’t Force Yourself to Bring a Tripod
A tripod is not necessary concerning about its weight as well as the rare chance (than you might expect) to actually use a tripod to shoot. If it is really necessary, remember to check whether the closed length of the tripod exceeds the flight limit prior to your departure. If it does, you will need to detach the tripod head or bring a shorter one.
This kind of mini tripod is good for travel
Be aware that these mini tripods cannot support lenses that are too heavy or long
Other Photographic Accessories Bring some spare memory cards so that you always have cards to use in the event of card loss or damage. In destinations with extreme climates, battery life may become much shorter. Therefore, you are advised to bring a couple of spare batteries, and don’t forget the charger and adapter.
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Don’t be Afraid to Take Portraits
You will certainly come across with different people and culture in addition to scenery when traveling. These make the perfect subjects to shoot, especially portraits in a foreign place! Just do some research before you go as people in some remote locations may charge you for the shooting. Sometimes even at the scenic spots in developed countries, street performers may ask for money after you take a picture of them.
Take Photos of Your Friends, and Yourself It is always nice to travel with friends, though this may not always be the case. When it does, remember to take a couple of group photos. These can help you recall all the memorable moments in the future.
Use Wide-Angle Compositions with Proper Trimming
This wide-angle shot has an unsatisfactory proportion between the subject and sky
After trimming, this photo can lead the eyes of the viewers to focus on the stone statues
Here is a useful shooting habit to share: use wide-angle composition. This can not only accentuate the sense of space between the architecture and landscape, but also bring out the relationship between your subject and the environment when used in portraits or street snapshots. What’s more, with the ultra high pixel counts of today’s digital cameras, like the EOS 5DS / EOS 5DS R
with 50.6 megapixels, it gives us the freedom to “re-frame” a shot by trimming it in post-editing. Of course this will inevitably affect the image quality and cannot achieve the same shallow depth of field effect as a telephoto lens, but shooting in wide-angle can give you the flexibility to alter the composition later on.
We may only visit a certain place once in a lifetime, so we have to take photos the safest way, such as using shutter-priority mode. A blurry photo due to camera shaking is definitely harder to fix than an under-exposed photo during post-editing. That’s why we suggest to use shutter-priority mode and set the shutter speed equal to or faster than the safe shutter speed (i.e. 1/lens’ focal length or faster) to ensure sharp images without any hand shaking.
Don’t Delete Photos Rashly When you review the photos just took, some of them may not look good to you at the moment and you may probably delete those right away. We have to know that a photo is not only about aesthetics, it also contains memories; and some only show their meanings and emotionally connect to you after years. So as far as the photos are okay, keep them. Besides, since we may not have the chance to revisit these places again, deleting photos is like deleting part of your life!
Leave Some Time to be Alone' It is fun and nice to have a travel companion, but photo enthusiasts have their own pace of shooting. So talk to your friends, and find some time to go alone and take pictures out of your itinerary. When separated, pay attention to your safety and communicate your contact methods in advance.
Relax and Take Your Time Maybe it’s because traveling is a luxury in terms of time, we sometimes just try to visit as many places as we can using the shortest time. In fact, slowing down while traveling can help you see more and discover something interesting, making your trip a more memorable one.
Show Your Courtesy People get excited while traveling and will be beside themselves sometimes, showing lack of courtesy towards the local people and culture. For example, we may take photos at places where photography is prohibited, take photos of someone with a telephoto lens and flash at close range etc. Please remember that your behavior represents your country. Show your courtesy and respect.
Enjoy Your Journey Don’t just focus on your camera and the shooting. Enjoy your journey to the fullest!