How to Take Travel Photos You'll Be Proud to Show Off Back Home

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You've spent days flying, driving, ferrying, boarding trains, or maybe even a combination of all of these modes of transportation to reach your destination. And now you're finally here, the place you've always dreamt about, told friends about, and bragged to your coworkers about, so of course you want to capture it in all its glory on your smartphone or your fancy digital camera . But when you do, you realize the images simply don't do it justice and you're stuck with nothing to show for your journey of a lifetime.

But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, travel photography can be not only easy, but fun. All you have to do is listen to the experts.

On a recent excursion to Havana, Cuba , we were lucky enough to spend a little time amongst some of the best in the travel photography business, including Renan Ozturk , a photographer for the likes of National Geographic and athlete with North Face; Elisabeth Brentano , a California-based photographer who spent nearly a decade in newsrooms around Los Angeles before trading it in to live on the road in search of the perfect landscape shot; and Chelsea Yamase , a Kauai-based adventurer and photographer whose photos will make you want to learn to free dive right this second.

Here's are their best travel photography tips that anyone from beginners to experts will appreciate.

Renan Ozturk: Chase the light

"My biggest travel photography tip is something really simple, which is just to shoot in the good light," Ozturk said, explaining that good light can be found during "sunset or sunrise. It also extends into the pre-sunrise and post-sunset."

To Ozturk, timing truly is everything when it comes to both taking photos and enjoying your time while adventuring around the globe.

"Stay out a little longer than most people," he said. "That will give you better photos and will help you beat the crowd for your food and your photos."

Lastly, the photographer and documentarian suggested would-be travel photographers learn how to use a few editing apps, like Lightroom Mobile . "It's really going to make a big difference," Ozturk said.

Chelsea Yamase: Snap the candid shots

"I think the best photos evoke a sense of place and let you get lost in a particular moment; vacation photos are no exception," Yamaze said. "The three rules I use: lighting, composition, and connection."

It's clear with one glimpse at Yamase's wildly popular Instagram account that she abides by these rules religiously, which helps her followers feel like they are traveling right alongside her as she free dives in Hawaii or camps under the stars at Yellowstone .

And like Ozturk, Yamase believes that getting up early truly pays off.

"In general, shoot in morning or evening light, tropical ocean scenes can sometimes look nice midday when the color of the water is the most vibrant," she said, adding that spending just a few extra moments walking around an area will help you set up the perfect snap.

"Get low or high, and take a few from each spot. A breeze, a slight change of angle or posture can make a big difference," Yamase said. "You can always go back through and delete the ones you don't like."

And beyond the technical, Yamase explained that the "connection" is the most important part of taking any photograph.

"What does it feel like to be here and how can I portray that emotion," Yamase asks herself while clicking down on her camera's shutter. "I see so many vacation photos where couples or families stand in front of a viewpoint, all pose and smile. Totally nothing wrong with those (they make great Christmas cards) but beyond showing that 'Hey we all made it here!,' there isn't much of a story."

Instead, she suggested people try to move and interact with the environment around them, which she said "will be inherently more interesting."

Yamase noted that often the best photos take real moments ("maybe your friend blissfully laying on the beach") and refine them just a touch. She suggested directing your subject to move a certain way ("perhaps asking her to lay 15 feet away where the sand is undisturbed and you can get the water just touching her toes") to help you not only capture a beautiful image, but also capture the feeling of that very moment.

"Overall, I've been in some of the most beautiful places in the world and my favorite photos are always the one I have the most connection with," Yamase said. "The candid, awkward, inspiring, excited moments you can't really plan for. So keep that camera out and don't be afraid to snap candid captures along the way."

Elisabeth Brentano: Talk to locals

"If you want to come home with a truly memorable photo, treat it like a piece of art and take your time," Brentano said.

Like Yamase, Brentano said it's crucial you take a few minutes to walk around an area to find the perfect composition. "Don't be afraid to come back again and try for better light, if you have that option," she said.

Brentano explained that when you're not rushed, you have time to think and try new things with your photography. "You can still shoot the same spots as everyone else, but try to put your own creative spin on it, whether you're shooting or editing."

Brentano added that searching for a unique foreground element, like flowers or rocks, will add impressive depth to your photo. Moreover, she said, don't be afraid to do a bit of research or ask around with the locals about amazing sunrise and sunset spots. "Your efforts will almost always be rewarded," she said.

And if you want a photo of yourself but there is no one around to help, be sure to master the art of the tripod selfie. "You can easily set a 10-second timer on most cameras, and don't be afraid to give it a few tries — I'm certainly not a one-take wonder."

For more advice on taking the perfect vacation snapshot check out our guide to photographing sunsets here.

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A Look at My 20 Top Travel Photos of 2021

The clock is beginning to run out on the year 2021 and that means it is about time for my annual post on my Top Travel Photos of the year. To be completely honest, when the year started, my hope was that this post would be filled with wonderful pictures from my autumn trip to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. However, the COVID-19 curse put a dent in my travel plans once again and left me scrambling to change my travel plans this autumn. As frustrating as it was to have to push back my trip, I was extremely blessed to be able to go on several incredible adventures this past year. From those adventures, I was able to capture several great photographs that I am very happy with. The purpose of this annual post is to share these photographs with you in the hopes that it inspires you to plan your next big adventure.

Top Travel Photos

However, before I introduce you to my favorite pictures from my travel adventures this year, let me remind you that you can still go back and review my favorite photographs from previous years in case you missed them. This is a yearly exercise that I have been doing for several years and I have linked to the previous editions of my yearly Top Travel Photos showcase for you to review below.

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If you are a fan of my travel photography and you would like to know a very easy way to support me in my quest to keep bringing you travel and travel photography related content, you can give my Instagram account a follow. I post unique travel photographs and travel experiences to my feed at least twice a week and your support would mean the world to me. Like I said, it is a quick and easy way to support me without having to do too much!

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Elephant Seal Vista in California

Top Travel Photos

The travel year began for me with a trip to Southern California to visit my brother and his family. I love getting to see them, but I also love my visits because there are so many incredible things to see and do in Southern California. One of my favorite stops, when I am down there, is the Elephant Seal vista North of Santa Barbara. Seeing these huge and incredible creatures up close is remarkable.

Bull Elephant Seal

Top Travel Photos

This year when I visited, I was lucky enough to visit around mating season, so there were a lot of huge bull elephant seals on the beach. You really have no idea just how massive these seals are until you see them in person. This guy was doing his best to protect a prime piece of beach that he had staked his claim to.

Pinnacles National Park

Top Travel Photos

One of my favorite stops on my California trip this year was to a national park that I have been trying to find time to visit for years. Pinnacles National Park is one of the newer parks in the United States, and it is also one of the smallest. However, what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in beauty. I think this shot of the jagged rock formations in the high hills of the park perfectly showcases the beauty of this incredible park. If you would like to learn more about the park, I have linked to a visitor guide I created for you to review below.

Condor Landing at Pinnacles National Park

Top Travel Photos

Without a doubt, some of the top travel photos that I took this past year were of the incredible California Condors at Pinnacles National Park. If you haven’t had an opportunity to see these incredible birds in person, you are really missing out. If you think the size and beauty of bald eagles are impressive, wait until you see these kings of the sky.

Condor in Flight at Pinnacles National Park

Top Travel Photos

If I had to narrow down the favorite of my top travel photos from this year, it would be very difficult to not choose this shot of a California Condor in mid-flight at Pinnacles National Park. Seeing this picture brings back such fond memories of seeing these amazing birds in person and just sitting mesmerized as I watched them soar above the park.

Beautiful Santa Barbara, California

Top Travel Photos

Ever since I first visited my brother and his family in Santa Barbara, California, I have been in love with the city. If you love outdoor adventure, the city of Santa Barbara couldn’t be a more perfect destination for you. With close proximity to some incredible surfing spots and the Sierra Nevada range only a short way away, there is always something to do outside. Not to mention, it is the gateway to the Channel Islands, which is one of the most incredible and underrated national parks in the United States. There is some of the best whale watching in the world off of the islands. I took the picture below from high up on the bluffs behind Santa Barbara. In the distance, you can actually see the Channel Islands off the coast. So beautiful!

Beautiful Sunset in Ventura, California

One thing that you can always count on when visiting California is experiencing some of the most vibrant and brilliant sunsets imaginable. This was certainly the case when we visited Ventura, California. The sunset off the beach was so incredible that I was able to capture a number of amazing photographs. This sunset photo is definitely one of my top travel photos of this past year. You can see the surfers trying to get in as many waves as they can before the sun sets behind the horizon.

California Sunset Dreaming

Top Travel Photos

This is another photograph that I took of the same sunset that I am equally as proud of. You can see the young family at the bottom of the screen out on the beach enjoying the incredible view. If I had the time, I would try and spend every evening chasing sunsets as it often produces some of the top travel photos and most memorable shots. If you would like to learn how to predict when there will be an amazing sunrise or sunset to photograph, I have included a guide that you can review below.

Exploring the Porcupine Mountains

Top Travel Photos

As the calendar year turned to Summer in the Midwest United States, it was time for me to head to the Great Lakes to embark on what has become a yearly tradition for me. Each summer, I try and seek out some of the best kayaking destinations to explore. This year, one of the destinations that I chose to explore was the beautiful Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. These rolling hills (I wouldn’t actually call them mountains) are absolutely beautiful and have some really fantastic hiking trails for visitors to explore. I love this shot that I was able to get that shows the mountains with Lake Superior in the distance.

Beautiful Bond Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Top Travel Photos

One of the best parts about the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is all of the incredible waterfalls in the area. One of my favorites to visit when I am in the area is the beautiful Bond Falls, which is located just outside of the park. I was able to capture this beautiful photograph of the falls with the reflection in the water on my visit this past summer. Such a beautiful place.

Breathtaking Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Top Travel Photos

Without a doubt, the hallmark of my summer kayaking trip was a visit to the infamous Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If you love to kayak, then Pictured Rocks is an absolute must-visit destination. It is home to some of the best big freshwater kayaking in North America. It is also where I took some of my top travel photos of the year. The huge rock cliffs that highlight this spectacular coastline are amazing to explore from the water. You can also hike along the top of the cliffs to get a bird’s eye view of this dramatic coastline. I absolutely love this shot that I got when I hiked the Mosquito Beach and Chapel Beach loop this summer.

Kayaking Fun at Pictured National Lakeshore

Top Travel Photos

While there might be some wonderful hiking trails at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the claim to fame for this coastline is the spectacular giant coastal cliffs. One of the most popular ways to see and experience these cliffs is to get out on the water in a kayak and explore the coastline. That is exactly what I did this summer, and the experience is one that I will not soon forget. This photograph of our group kayaking thru the large archway on the coastline is one of my top travel photos of the year for sure. For more information on how to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and get out on the water and kayak this amazing coastline, please see my Definitive Pictured Rocks Travel Guide linked below.

Pictured Rocks Kayaking Adventure

Top Travel Photos

While the kayaking at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was cool enough, having the opportunity to do so around sunset just added to this magical experience. As I have mentioned many times on my blog, photographing around sunset or early morning around sunrise are my favorite times of day to take pictures. This shot that I got on the back end of my Pictured Rocks Kayaking adventure is one of my favorites because the soft light of the evening gives the picture a warm glow. What an amazing moment to capture!

Exploring Leprechaun Canyon

Top Travel Photos

My last big trip of the year was to Southern Utah and without a doubt, this trip ended up delivering some of my top travel photos of the year. Southern Utah is such a magical place, which is why I keep getting drawn back there to explore and photograph. On this trip, I was determined to discover some of the lesser-known spots in Southern Utah and explore them so that I could share them with you. One of these places was the beautiful Leprechaun Canyon Slot. I have explored several breathtaking slot canyons in my travel adventures, and Leprechaun Canyon ranks right up there with some of the most beautiful. However, the best part about Leprechaun Canyon is that it is not nearly as busy or crowded as some of the other slot canyons in Southern Utah. As you can see in this photograph of me, we have the canyon all to ourselves.

Exploring the Amazing Goblin Valley State Park

Top Travel Photos

While Southern Utah’s five national parks may get most of the attention, the area is also home to some truly spectacular state parks for visitors to enjoy as well. Without a doubt, one of the most incredible state parks to visit in Southern Utah is the beautiful Goblin Valley State Park. Much like the nearby Bryce Canyon National Park, the Goblin Valley State Park is known for its incredible canyons filled with amazing rock formations. I love this photograph that I took in Goblin Valley because it showcases both the area’s vastness and beauty.

The Beauty of Goblin Valley State Park

Top Travel Photos

Like most places in Southern Utah, the beauty of Goblin Valley State Park is only enhanced as the sun starts to set. I absolutely love the glow in this photograph that I took of the breathtaking rock formations in the valley that make Goblin Valley State Park such a treasured destination. It almost feels like you are walking on the planet Mars when the sun starts to set and the red rock formations in the valley start to glow with the setting sun. It’s a stunning time to see the park!

A Monument Valley Sunset at Forrest Gump Point

Top Travel Photos

Not only is this photograph of Monument Valley one of my top travel photos of 2021, but it is also one of my favorite photographs that I have ever taken in Southern Utah. If this landscape looks familiar, it is probably because it has been showcased in a large number of movies throughout the years. Most famously, this exact spot was showcased in the 1990’s classic “Forrest Gump”, starring Tom Hanks. If you don’t recall the scene, this is where Forrest Gump abruptly stops his cross-country run and decides to go home. It is a beautiful viewpoint of a breathtaking landscape. I love the glowing sunset sky in this shot I was able to capture at Forrest Gump Point this past autumn.

The Beautiful Alstrom Point in Glen Canyon

Top Travel Photos

This photograph that I took of the incredible Alstrom Point in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Southern Utah could have made my list of the top travel photos of 2021 for me simply because it is a destination that I have tried to reach at least a handful of times in the past and failed. I simply never had enough time and the correct vehicle to reach this viewpoint before. This past autumn I was bound and determined to get there, so I set aside a large portion of an afternoon and made sure I had a high clearance 4×4 vehicle with me. Needless to say, getting there still wasn’t easy and involved white knuckle driving on an unimproved road at night, but I was able to finally capture some long-desired photographs of Alstrom Point like this beauty here.

Posing for a Picture at Alstrom Point

Top Travel Photos

This sunset photograph that I was able to take of myself at the incredible Alstrom Point in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is one of my favorite self-portraits of all time. I am absolutely obsessed with the breathtaking viewpoints in Southern Utah and Alstrom Point is one of the most beautiful and difficult to reach. The fact I was able to make it there this year and get this photograph makes me so very happy!

An Amazing Sunrise at Reflection Canyon

Top Travel Photos

For years, the favorite photograph that I have ever taken was one that I took early on in my adventure travels of the incredible Morraine Lake near Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. While I still absolutely cherish that photograph, I may have a new all-time favorite picture. Never before in my adventure travels have I had to work so hard to get a photograph. To get this beautiful sunrise shot of Reflection Canyon in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Southern Utah I had to drive 2.5-hours a mere 50-miles down an unimproved road, hike roughly 18-miles on an unmarked trail thru slot canyons and deep washes, and camp out overnight in 28-degree Fahrenheit temperatures to be ready to capture this photograph. After seeing how it turned out, it was so worth it!

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Published by Josh Hewitt

Avid traveler and photographer who loves to see new places, meet new people, and experience new things. There is so much this world can teach us, we just need to explore! View all posts by Josh Hewitt

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9 comments ›.

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These are great photos!

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Thank you so much Laci!! 😄

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That Sunrise At Reflection Canyon is one of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen. And what an amazing place.

Thank you so very much Coral!! You made my day!! 😃

  • A Look at My 2022 Travel Adventure Bucket List January 5, 2022 • 8:31 am

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Best photos.

Thank you so very much!!!

  • A Look at My 25 Top Travel Photos of 2022 January 25, 2023 • 12:01 pm
  • A Look Back at My 20 Top Travel Photos of 2023 December 18, 2023 • 8:23 pm

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How to Take Travel Photos: A Complete Guide

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Travel photography is one of the most exciting types of photography you can pursue. Combining two of life’s great pleasures—exploring new lands and taking photographs—is a thrill any photographer would enjoy. 

While travel photography is open to anyone with the drive to get up and hit the road, there are a few things you need to learn. That’s why we’ve compiled this in-depth article containing everything you need to know about travel photography. We cover everything from camera settings to the best travel gear, so keep reading to find out more. 

Great pyramid at Chichen Itza, Yucatan Mexico

What Is Travel Photography

Travel photography is simply taking pictures of different places around the world. But good travel photos are not mere holiday snaps. Travel images should show a location in a new light so they’re interesting even for people who have already been there.

Travel photography involves many different styles and techniques. You can incorporate landscapes and portraits into your travel photography. You can even use more advanced techniques like time-lapse and long exposures.

A travel photographer needs to show more than the obvious. They need to explore each location at a deeper level and look for elements that make that place unique and interesting. It isn’t enough to take pictures of the famous landmarks. A travel photographer needs to look deeper and go beyond. 

Far-flung exotic locations often hold the most romance for travelers, but you don’t have to go far to practice travel photography. Venturing to new locations is always exciting, but you can also photograph places you’re familiar with. Using your familiarity to your advantage, you can give viewers a deeper view of these locations.

Anyone can shoot travel photography. The first thing you need is a desire to explore the world, which is something you probably already have. But continue reading for everything else you need to know about travel photography, from techniques to gear.

Mastering Travel Photography

While travel photography is open to anyone with an adventurous spirit, mastering the art does require practice, knowledge, and skill.

Firstly, you need to understand your camera and its settings. You might be tempted to take the easy road and shoot in Auto mode. But you’ll get far better results and more interesting and unique images when shooting with semi or fully manual settings. 

You should also experiment with composition, and you can try both color and black-and-white photography. These are stylistic choices that’ll give your travel photography a personal touch. You also have to consider specific types of travel photography so you’re ready for anything when you’re on the move. 

The following sections cover mastering the art of travel photography. Click the links in the text for more information on each topic. 

Camera Settings

When it comes to camera settings for travel photography, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, make sure your camera is set to the right aperture and shutter speed for the type of photo you want to take. You’ll also need to adjust your white balance and ISO as you move through different locations.

To learn more about camera settings for travel photography, check out camera settings for travel photography .

camera settings for travel photography

A travel photography shot list helps you plan and capture the best photos on your trip. Research the location thoroughly, including famous sights, experiences, geography, and lighting conditions. Look at existing travel photos for inspiration, but aim to create something unique.

Use a spreadsheet to organize your shots by day and time, considering factors like sunrise, sunset, and harsh midday light. Include a mix of portraits, environmental portraits, cityscapes, daily life moments, religious sites, festivals, food, transportation, landscapes, close-ups, architecture, night scenes, and wildlife.

Remember to be adaptable and respectful of local customs. With careful planning and a detailed shot list, you’ll be well-prepared to capture stunning travel photos that transport viewers to your destination. To learn more about creating a travel photography shot list , check out this in-depth guide.

travel photography shot list

Composition

Good travel photography composition captures the beauty and essence of a destination. Use the rule of thirds by placing important parts of your photo on the intersecting points of the grid. Or take advantage of symmetry by centering the axis of symmetry in one direction.

Direct attention with leading lines, using elements like paths or fences to guide the viewer’s eye to your subject. Frame spectacular views with windows or arches to provide context. You can also use bold colors to lead the eyes or balance the composition.

Change your perspective by moving around, kneeling, or shooting from a rooftop. Get close to fill the frame with your subject or step back to include surrounding context. Play with scale by including familiar elements like people to convey the impressive size of large spaces.

To learn more about travel photography composition , check out this in-depth guide.

travel photography composition

Black & White

Black-and-white travel photography can be a powerful way to capture the essence of a place. By removing color, you can focus on the light, shapes, and textures that make a scene unique.

Pay attention to contrast and tone in your black-and-white photos. Look for strong shadows and highlights that create depth and drama. Texture is also important in black-and-white photography, so seek out interesting surfaces like rough stone or smooth water.

Most importantly, use black-and-white photography to connect with your subject and tell a story. Whether it’s a portrait of a local person or a landscape that captures the mood of a place, aim to convey emotion in your images.

By developing your own style and vision, you can create compelling black-and-white travel photos that stand out. To learn more about black-and-white travel photography , check out this in-depth guide.

black and white travel photography

Unique Perspectives

Taking unique photos of famous places can be challenging, but with some creativity and planning, you can capture stunning images. Start by researching the location and scouting out potential spots for your shots. Arrive early to avoid crowds and take advantage of the soft, golden light.

Look for elevated views or unusual angles to create a different perspective. Use composition techniques like the rule of thirds to emphasize the landmark in an interesting way. Including people in your shots can add a sense of atmosphere and tell a story.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques like light trails or time-lapse photography . If you encounter photography restrictions, think outside the box and find creative solutions. To learn more about capturing unique photos of famous places , check out this in-depth guide.

unique photos

Documentary Photography

Documentary photography captures real-life events as they happen. It’s a form of visual storytelling that depicts the world around us. Documentary photographers often work on long-term projects to tell new stories through their images.

You don’t need to travel far to find good documentary photography ideas. Look for interesting subjects in your family or community. Focus on the people involved to help viewers connect with the story. You can also tackle big topics by photographing small, local stories related to them.

Visit and scout your locations before the shoot. Get comfortable with the basics of photography, like camera settings and composition. Keep your story personal and critique your work as you go.

If you want to learn more about documentary photography ideas , we have a detailed guide to help you get started.

documentary photography ideas

Train Photography

Train photography offers a diverse range of subjects, from historic steam engines to modern bullet trains. To capture excellent locomotive photos, research train routes and schedules to find the best locations and times. Use natural light to your advantage, with side or backlighting to highlight steam and texture.

Longer focal lengths can compress the scene and show the train in its surroundings. At stations, photograph details like wheels and logos to create atmosphere. Adjust shutter speed for sharp images or creative motion blur, and slightly overexpose for more detail.

For more insights on capturing stunning train photography , check out our full-length article.

train photography

Backing Up Photos

It is important to back up photos while traveling, and an external hard drive is a great option. They are compact, durable, and have large storage capacities.

Smartphones and tablets can also be used to manage photos on the go. With the right accessories, they can connect to external storage devices. This allows you to back up and edit your photos without a laptop.

For the best results, use multiple backup methods. This could include an external hard drive, a USB thumb drive, and cloud storage. By having multiple copies of your photos, you reduce the risk of losing them. If you want to learn how to back up photos , check out our in-depth article.

way to backup photos

Making Money from Travel Photography

Becoming a travel photographer takes hard work and dedication. You need to learn a wide range of photography skills for shooting everything from landscapes to portraits. Building a strong portfolio of your best travel images is key to attracting clients.

To get your name out there, create a travel website or blog to showcase your work. You can also sell your images on digital platforms like stock photography websites. Selling physical prints of your photos is another great option.

As you travel, look for photography work with local businesses, such as hostels or tourism boards. Capture great travel content and consider offering tours or workshops for extra income.

To learn more about how to become a travel photographer , check out this in-depth guide.

Travel Photography Jobs

Travel photography jobs can be an exciting and rewarding career path for those with a passion for photography and adventure. However, it’s important to understand the challenges that come with the job. You’ll need to have exceptional photography skills, business savvy, and the ability to handle tough physical conditions.

To succeed, you’ll need a strong online presence, including a professional website and active social media accounts. You’ll also need reliable gear that can withstand the demands of travel.

There are many ways to make money as a travel photographer, such as selling prints, licensing stock photos, writing for publications, and teaching. The key is diversifying your income streams and constantly looking for new opportunities. With hard work and creativity, finding paid travel photography jobs can be both fulfilling and profitable.

travel photography jobs

Get Paid to Travel

Getting paid to travel and take photos is a dream for many photographers. There are several ways to make this a reality. Selling prints of your travel photos through print-on-demand websites is one option. You can also upload your best images to stock photography agencies and earn passive income from sales.

Entering travel photography competitions is another way to earn money and gain prestige. Winning contests can help you promote your work and attract potential clients.

Building relationships with travel magazine editors can lead to regular paid assignments. Learn what they want and deliver high-quality photos to make their jobs easier. To further your success, get paid to travel and take photos by marketing your photography services to people who have the budget to hire you.

get paid to travel and take photos

Sell Travel Photos

Selling your travel photos can be a great way to make money with your photography. To get started, ensure you have high-quality, well-lit, and properly composed images. They should also be free of technical errors like chromatic aberration and noise.

There are many ways to sell your travel photos. You can sell them through stock photography agencies, directly to clients, or as prints. Each option has its own requirements and markets, so consider your goals before deciding which path to take.

Actively promoting your work is key to maximizing sales. Use social media, email lists, and other marketing strategies to reach potential buyers. If you’re working with a stock agency, ask them what types of images are in demand so you can plan your shoots accordingly.

Learning how to sell travel photos takes time and effort, but with persistence and a willingness to adapt, you can turn your passion into a profitable venture.

how to sell travel photos

Gear for Travel Photography

When packing for a travel photography trip, it’s important to bring the right gear. A lightweight and compact camera body is essential, along with one or two versatile lenses like a wide-angle and a medium telephoto lens.

Don’t forget a sturdy tripod that fits in your luggage for sharp shots in low light. Filters like a circular polarizer and strong ND filter are small but open up creative options when traveling.

Cleaning supplies, extra batteries, memory cards, and rain protection round out the must-haves. With the right travel photography gear , you’ll be ready to capture amazing images anywhere your adventures take you.

Traveling with Camera Gear

Traveling with camera gear can be challenging, but there are ways to make it easier and safer. Use padded cases to protect your equipment from bumps and knocks. A shoulder bag is a good option for keeping your camera close and secure while walking through busy areas.

Always carry your gear in your hand luggage when flying. Most airlines understand the importance of this and are lenient about the weight of your carry-on bag. To deter thieves, hide or remove any camera branding using black duct tape.

Insuring your gear is crucial in case of theft or damage. Take down all the serial numbers and make sure your equipment is fully covered. By following these tips for traveling with camera gear , you can have peace of mind and focus on capturing great photos during your travels.

travel with camera gear

External Hard Drives

An external hard drive is an essential accessory for travel photographers. Memory cards fill up fast when you’re traveling, and you don’t want to carry a bunch of them around with you. It’s best to take an external hard drive to keep all your photo files in one place.

You’ll need something durable yet compact, which is why we recommend the LaCie Rugged Mini for travelers. It’s an easy fit for any travel camera bag. You have storage options up to 5 TB, and it’s the most durable external hard drive on the market. 

See more of the best external hard drives in our full-length article.

LaCie Rugged Mini

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Cameras for Travel Photography

The Canon EOS RP is a great mirrorless camera for travel photography. It’s lightweight, easy to handle, and has a 26 MP full-frame sensor that captures high-quality images in any situation.

The camera’s autofocus system is fast and accurate, even in low light. It also offers eye-detection AF for portraits. The EOS RP can shoot 4K video and has convenient Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

This camera is ideal for most travel photography needs. If you want to learn more about the best travel cameras , check out our detailed guide.

Mirrorless Cameras

The best mirrorless cameras for travel are compact and lightweight, but still capture stunning photos and videos. Our top pick is the Nikon Z50 . It has a compact body that fits easily in any camera bag. The 20.9 MP sensor produces bright, vibrant images with excellent low-light performance.

The Z50 is also great for travel vlogging. It records 4K video at 30 fps and has an articulating screen for easy self-recording. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth make it simple to share your adventures with friends and family back home.

If you want to learn more about the best mirrorless cameras for travel , check out our in-depth guide. We cover a range of cameras for every type of traveler, from beginners to professionals.

mirrorless camera for travel

Compact Cameras

The Sony ZV-1 II is a pocket-sized camera packed with features for modern travelers. It has a high-resolution 20 MP sensor and a versatile 18-50mm zoom lens. The f/1.8-4 aperture provides solid low-light performance.

Vloggers love the ZV-1 II’s 4K video at 30 fps and the special Cinematic Vlog Setting. A built-in mic and wind muffler make capturing audio easy. Real-time AF with face and eye detection keeps subjects sharp.

The Sony ZV-1 II is the ideal compact camera for travel vlogging. It’s a worthwhile investment for creating exciting content abroad. But we have more options in the link above. 

compact camera for travel

Lenses for Travel Photography

The best travel lenses give you a wide focal range in a compact size. Zoom lenses like the Nikon AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 are very popular. It has vibration reduction to reduce camera shake and improve low-light performance.

Prime lenses are another good option. They are usually smaller and lighter than zooms. The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM is a great example. This pancake lens is ultra-compact but still gives you a versatile focal length.

When choosing the best travel lens , think about the size, weight, and focal length. You want a lens that is easy to carry but still gives you plenty of options. The lenses on this list are all fantastic choices for your next adventure.

Canon Lenses

The best Canon lenses for travel photography are lightweight, versatile, and capture stunning images. Our top picks are the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM . These nifty-fifty lenses are compact, affordable, and great in low light.

Other top choices include the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM for its wide zoom range and the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM for landscapes. The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is a popular all-in-one zoom for DSLR users. It has a constant f/4 aperture and weather sealing.

No matter your camera type, there’s a perfect travel lens for you. Look for a lens that’s light, has a useful focal range, and fits your budget. Canon lenses for travel photography help you capture amazing images around the world.

Canon RF 50mm F/1.8 STM

Nikon Lenses

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S and Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G are the best Nikon lenses for travel photography. The Z 50mm f/1.8 S offers sharp images and a durable build. It’s great for low light with its f/1.8 aperture.

The AF-S 50mm f/1.8G is compact and lightweight. It also performs well in low light. The 50mm focal length is perfect for street scenes and portraits.

Both lenses are very popular with travel photographers. If you want to learn more about Nikon lenses for travel photography , we have a detailed guide that covers the best options for Nikon mirrorless and DSLR cameras.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm F/1.8 S

Sony Lenses

When choosing the best Sony lenses for travel photography, consider weight, versatility, and image quality. Our top pick is the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS PZ , offering a wide zoom range, constant f/4 aperture, and effective optical stabilization in a compact design.

For APS-C cameras, the Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS is a great low-light prime lens. Its wide f/1.8 aperture and built-in stabilization help capture sharp images in dim settings. The Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 is an affordable and versatile prime for full-frame cameras, ideal for portraits and everyday shots.

Other notable lenses include the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS for its all-in-one zoom capabilities and the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN | C for its fast aperture and compact size. To learn more about the best Sony lenses for travel photography , check out our in-depth guide.

Sony E 18-105mm F/4 G OSS PZ SELP18105G

Travel Tripods

A travel tripod is a must-have for any photographer on the go. The best travel tripods are lightweight, compact, and easy to set up. They also need to be sturdy enough to support your camera gear.

Our top pick is the K&F Concept Lightweight Travel Tripod . It weighs only 2.4 lb but can hold up to 17.6 lb of gear. The aluminum ball head gives you great flexibility for positioning your camera. And the included carry case makes it easy to take with you anywhere.

If you want to learn more about choosing the right travel tripod , check out our detailed guide. It covers everything from key features to look for to our top recommendations in different price ranges.

K&F Concept Lightweight Travel Tripod

Travel Camera Backpacks

When choosing a camera backpack for travel, protection and comfort are key. The best bags are well-designed, roomy, and easy to carry.

Our top pick is the Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader . It’s sturdy, spacious, and versatile. You can use it as a backpack, duffel, or sling. And it has access from the front and both sides.

The Wandrd Duo Daypack is another great option. It’s made from quality materials that protect your gear from the weather. It has ample storage and the main zipper allows quick access to your camera.

If you want to learn more about the best camera backpack for travel , check out our detailed reviews. We’ll help you find the perfect bag for your next adventure.

Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader Backpack

Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader

The Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader Camera Backpack is a top choice for photographers. It has a sturdy design and plenty of space for your gear.

The backpack is comfortable to wear, even when fully loaded. You can easily adjust it to fit your body.

This bag is perfect for any photography adventure. It’s a worthwhile investment for serious photographers looking for a reliable way to carry their equipment. To learn more about the Manfrotto Pro Light Multiloader, check out our full review .

manfrotto pro light multiloader

Think Tank Airport Essentials

The Think Tank Airport Essentials is a camera backpack specifically designed for air travel. It has a smart design, useful features, and fits as carry-on luggage.

This backpack offers secure storage with an efficient use of space and a special lock. The lifetime warranty makes it a one-time investment for years of use.

While it lacks some versatility found in other bags, the Airport Essentials excels at storage capacity, protection, and style. Photographers who want a Think Tank Airport Essentials for their travels will find this bag a great choice.

think tank airport essentials

Weatherproof Backpacks

Protecting your camera gear from the elements is essential. Weatherproof camera bags offer peace of mind when shooting in unpredictable conditions. They feature robust materials and coatings that keep water out, even in sudden downpours.

Our top picks, the Wandrd Prvke , Wandrd Duo , and Lowepro Freeline , have impressive exterior materials that don’t need a separate rain cover. The Prvke’s roll-top design is commonly used in waterproof bags, while the Duo and Freeline include waterproof zippers to secure even the weakest points.

When choosing a weatherproof camera bag , consider not only its water-resistant abilities but also its functionality for your photography style. Look for features like easy access points, ample storage, and comfortable carrying options that suit your needs.

Wandrd Prvke Backpack

A camera hard case is the best way to protect your photography gear while traveling. The Pelican Air 1525 is our top choice, with its tough exterior and foam-padded interior that keeps your equipment safe and secure. It’s spacious enough for your camera and accessories without being too bulky.

The Vanguard Supreme 46F is another excellent option, especially for adventure travel. It’s waterproof down to 16.5 ft (5 m) and can withstand temperatures as low as -40 C. The customizable Pick ‘n’ Pluck foam interior ensures a snug fit for each item.

For convenience, the Nanuk 935 is hard to beat. Its retractable handle and wheels make transportation a breeze, while the padded dividers keep your gear organized and protected. If you’re looking for a camera hard case that combines durability and ease of use, the Nanuk 935 is a great choice.

Pelican Air 1525 Carry Case

Travel Apps

Travel apps can make your photography adventures easier and more enjoyable. Snapseed is a powerful photo editor with a wide range of tools, from basic adjustments to creative effects. It’s free and available on both iOS and Android.

VSCO is another popular editing app that offers a simple, streamlined experience. Its presets are based on real film stocks, giving your photos an authentic vintage look. You can also use sliders to fine-tune the exposure and add fade or grain effects.

When you’re ready to share your travel photos, consider using Spot. This app helps you find picturesque locations and share your own discoveries with other photographers. With detailed maps and tips, it’s one of the best apps for travel photography .

Editing Travel Photos

Editing your travel photos can take them to the next level. There are many techniques you can use to improve your images, from simple adjustments to more advanced processes.

Cropping is a quick way to remove unwanted elements or zoom in on important parts of the photo. Sharpening will make details pop, while noise reduction can clean up high ISO shots. Straightening the horizon line is also important for a polished look.

Other useful techniques include adding a vignette to draw the eye, adjusting saturation and contrast, balancing highlights and shadows, and using digital blending for challenging lighting. For an extra level of refinement, you can even remove unwanted objects.

With practice, you’ll learn which editing steps work best for your travel images. Check out our in-depth guide if you’d like to dive deeper into editing travel photos .

Location Guides

Whenever you’re heading off somewhere new, it’s always best to do some research before you go. Your preparations will be more thorough and more specialized when you have a better idea of what to expect. That means you can hit the ground running when you arrive, and you’ll get better results. 

We have a collection of location guides for some travel photography hot spots. These posts give you a head start when taking pictures in these locations, helping you get unique shots in popular places. 

Let’s drop in on a few of the hottest locations in Europe, Asia, and the US. 

European Cities

Europe is a photographer’s dream, with its stunning architecture, charming villages, and beautiful countryside. From the centuries-old buildings to the cobblestone streets, there’s no shortage of photo opportunities.

Some of the best European cities for photography include Amalfi, Italy, with its medieval stories and dainty houses; Venice, Italy, known for its canals and seafood; and Dubrovnik, Croatia, a seaside location with picturesque houses and Game of Thrones filming locations.

Other notable cities include Prague, Czech Republic, with its historic buildings and Gothic churches; Oia, Greece, with its stunning white buildings and sunsets; and Amsterdam, Netherlands, full of incredible art and historical monuments.

Whether you’re interested in architecture, landscapes, or street photography, these European cities offer endless inspiration. To learn more about the European cities for photography , check out this in-depth guide.

european cities for photography

Paris is a photographer’s dream, offering countless opportunities to capture stunning images. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the charming streets of Montmartre, there’s no shortage of beautiful subjects to photograph.

One of the best spots for photography in Paris is the Trocadero, which offers a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. The Champs Elysee and Arc de Triomphe are also must-see locations, with the latter providing a great vantage point for capturing the city’s skyline.

Other notable photo locations include the Louvre, with its striking glass pyramid, and Notre Dame Cathedral, which offers both interior and exterior photo opportunities. It’s still striking even after the fire damage. 

For a taste of modern Paris, head to La Defense, the city’s business district filled with skyscrapers and unique architecture.

To learn more about Paris photography , check out this in-depth guide that covers the best locations, tips, and techniques for capturing the city’s beauty.

paris photography

London offers plenty of photography opportunities, from cityscapes to street photography and architecture. Some of the best locations include the Palace of Westminster, where you can capture iconic photos from Westminster Bridge or the south bank of the Thames. Tower Bridge is another well-known site, offering great angles for traffic light trails and sunrise photos.

The London Eye is a newer addition to the skyline, perfect for creative shots like zoom bursts or portraits inside the capsules. Don’t miss the photogenic wrought iron roof at Borough Market or the beautiful exterior of St Paul’s Cathedral.

For stunning views, head to The Shard, the highest skyscraper in the European Union. Buckingham Palace is a must-see, especially during the Changing of the Guard ceremony. If you’re interested in photography in London , these locations are sure to inspire you.

photography in london

Rome is a photographer’s dream, with stunning architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture around every corner. From the iconic Colosseum to the beautiful Trevi Fountain, there are countless opportunities to capture breathtaking images.

Don’t miss the Vatican Museum, where you can photograph the famous spiral staircase. The Pantheon’s exterior and interior are equally impressive, especially during the blue hour. St. Peter’s Basilica offers great views of the city and a chance to capture the Pope if you’re lucky.

The Tiber River provides picturesque views, particularly from Ponte Sant’Angelo towards St. Peter’s Basilica. Piazza Navona and Piazza del Popolo are perfect for street photography and capturing traditional Roman scenes. To learn more about the best spots for Rome photography , check out this in-depth guide.

rome photography

Venice is a photographer’s dream, offering endless opportunities to capture its unique beauty. The best time to avoid crowds and oppressive heat is during the low season or early morning. Sunrise at Academia Bridge provides a stunning view of the Grand Canal, while Piazza San Marco is best photographed before tourists arrive.

Don’t miss the iconic gondolas along the waterfront near Piazza San Marco, especially during sunset and blue hour. For a different perspective, head to San Giorgio Maggiore island to photograph the church and Venice’s skyline at golden hour.

Explore the backstreets of San Polo and Dorsoduro districts for charming piazzas, decaying architecture, and canal scenes. Murano and Burano islands offer colorful buildings and glassmaking demonstrations perfect for photography. To learn more about Venice photography , check out this in-depth guide.

venice photography

Budapest is another fantastic city for photographers, offering endless opportunities to capture stunning images. From the grand architecture of the Hungarian Parliament Building to the thermal baths of Széchenyi, there’s no shortage of photogenic spots in this beautiful city.

One of the best places to start is the Fisherman’s Bastion, a neo-Gothic terrace with breathtaking views of the Danube River and the Pest side of the city. Nearby, you’ll find Matthias Church, a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture that’s perfect for capturing intricate details and beautiful stained glass windows.

For panoramic views of the city, head to Gellért Hill, where you can capture the entire skyline from the Citadella fortress. And don’t miss the iconic Chain Bridge, which looks particularly stunning at night when it’s lit up against the dark sky. To learn more about the best spots for Budapest photography , check out this in-depth guide.

budapest photography

Japan is a brilliant destination for a photography trip. From stunning landscapes to interesting architecture and fascinating culture, there’s no shortage of inspiration for your travel photography.

Capture the vibrant cityscape of Minato, one of Tokyo’s special wards. Improve your food photography skills at Japan’s many cafés and restaurants, where every dish looks like a work of art. Take adorable photos of tame deer in Nara Park or sharpen your landscape photography in Hakone, with its hot springs, views of Mount Fuji, and gorgeous lake.

Don’t miss the breathtaking cherry blossoms in Japan’s parks during the Sakura season, usually from January to April. Visit the magical Blue Pond in Biei, go on an adventure in Kyoto’s Bamboo Grove, or document the commercial side of Japan in Shinjuku. For more inspiration on Japan photography , check out our in-depth guide.

japan photography

Tokyo is one of the world’s most vibrant locations, offering a diverse range of subjects to capture. From the bustling streets of Shinjuku and Shibuya to the traditional temples of Asakusa, there’s no shortage of incredible hot spots to explore.

For those seeking modern architecture and vibrant city life, the Tokyo Skytree and Roppongi Hills Mori Tower provide stunning views of the skyline. Harajuku, the heart of Tokyo’s youth culture, is perfect for street photography and capturing unique fashion trends.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tokyo photography , check out our in-depth article to help you plan your trip and find the best spots to shoot. With its mix of old and new, Tokyo is a city that will inspire and challenge you as a photographer.

tokyo photography

Etiquette in Japan

When taking photos in Japan, it’s important to be respectful and follow proper etiquette. Always ask for permission before taking someone’s photo, especially if you plan to share it publicly. If you can’t get permission, blur the person’s face to protect their privacy.

Be prepared to show your photos to the police if asked, and avoid using selfie sticks in crowded areas to prevent injuries. In cafés and restaurants, ask the staff for permission before taking photos of your meal.

At night, skip the flash and use a higher ISO and tripod to capture vibrant neon lights. Avoid taking photos in no-photo areas, of children without parental consent, geishas, people on public transport, and those in the middle of prayer. For more tips on photography in Japan , check out this in-depth guide.

photography in japan

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a street photographer’s paradise. From the colorful Venice Beach boardwalk to the iconic Griffith Observatory, there are endless opportunities to capture the city’s unique character.

The Santa Monica Pier is a must-visit spot, especially in the evening when the lights come on. Echo Park offers stunning views of the skyline, particularly at sunrise or sunset.

Downtown LA is full of hidden gems like the Bradbury Building with its intricate architecture and the bustling Grand Central Market. For a taste of old Hollywood glamor, head to Union Station or the Hollywood Bowl Overlook. Places for street photography in Los Angeles are as diverse as the city itself, so grab your camera and start exploring.

places for street photography in los angeles

New York City remains one of the most popular locations for photographers, with countless iconic locations to capture. Central Park offers a variety of scenes, from the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain to the Alice in Wonderland statue. The Brooklyn Bridge is another must-see, with its stunning suspension cables and brick towers.

Grand Central Station and the Chelsea Market are great for street photography and architectural details. Rockefeller Center provides both street-level interest and panoramic views from its observation deck.

Of course, no trip to New York would be complete without photographing the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. For breathtaking cityscapes, head to Brooklyn Bridge Park or find a unique vantage point to capture the Manhattan skyline. Don’t miss the Flatiron Building and the vibrant energy of Times Square.

To learn more about the best spots for New York photography , check out our in-depth guide.

new york photography

Photography Road Trip

Planning a road trip for photography involves choosing the right vehicle, deciding on accommodation, and mapping out your route. Your vehicle should be safe, comfortable, and suitable for the terrain you’ll encounter. Living out of your vehicle, like an RV or camper van, allows you to stay closer to photo locations and immerse yourself in nature.

When planning your route, prioritize the locations you want to photograph. Research potential spots using apps and websites like Pinterest, 500px, Flickr, and Google’s My Maps. Plot your route, campgrounds, points of interest, and photo locations to make the most of your trip.

Electricity is essential for photographers on the road. Ensure you have reliable power sources, such as a dual battery system, solar panels, or a 12v inverter. Always carry a power bank as a backup. To stay connected, use local SIM cards with data or take advantage of Wi-Fi at cafes and fast food outlets.

By planning your shots in advance and considering factors like lighting, crowds, and unique perspectives, you can capture stunning images that tell the story of your road trip photography adventure.

road trip photography

Inspiration from the Best Travel Photographers

Travel photography captures the adventures and locations you visit during your journeys. It involves many genres like landscape, architecture, street, and environmental photography. Travel photographers often tell stories through their images, focusing on special moments and atmospheres.

There are many approaches to travel photography. You can focus on people, take self-portraits, emphasize landscapes, or try aerial photography. Mixing these approaches can result in a unique style and help you gain recognition as a travel photographer.

If you’d like to learn more about travel photographers , we have an article that goes into greater depth on the topic.

Travel Blogs

Travel photography blogs are a great source of inspiration for your next adventure. They feature stunning images from around the world and provide useful tips for capturing your own travel photos.

Some of the best travel photography blogs cover a wide range of topics, from destination guides to photography tutorials. They showcase the work of talented photographers who have explored every corner of the globe.

Whether you’re planning your next trip or simply looking for some armchair travel, these blogs are sure to inspire you. To discover some of the best travel photography blogs to follow in 2024, check out this list of top picks.

travel photography blogs

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Wedding invitations, 21 travel photography tips and checklist for your next trip.

Written by  Shutterfly Community Last Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Planning your next vacation? Document your trip (big or small) with photos that will allow you to remember and share your experiences long after you return home. Whether you want to capture picture-perfect spots in NYC or head west to embrace scenic spots in San Francisco , you don’t need to be an expert to get genuinely beautiful shots.

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Whether you decide to use a nice camera or a smartphone, there are plenty of photography tips and tricks that will help you know how to take the perfect photo . Make sure the equipment you use is familiar to you. You don’t want to spend the whole trip reading your camera manual.

Once you decide on what camera you’re bringing, the photos will come naturally. In case you hit a photo block and aren’t sure what to photograph, we’ve created a travel photography checklist that includes what to bring on your trip and photo ideas. Simply read through the travel photography tips, print the checklist and you’ll be ready to go!

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  • Travel Photography Tips

Travel Photography Checklist

22 travel photography tips and tricks.

iphone photo of paris

1. Do your research

While planning your trip, make a note of destinations that are beautiful. Find out if they are easy to get to and what sort of transportation you’ll need. Will you need a permit for the area? Figure out the logistics ahead of time so you don’t run into problems after you’re already there.

2. Get inspiration from others

The best way to learn is through others. Look at other photographer’s blogs and social media to see if they’ve been to the location you’re visiting. As you look at photos, create a bucket list of places you’d like to photograph while exploring. And make note of the composition and angles to capture.

3. Practice at home

You don’t need to travel far to practice your travel photography skills. Look up local attractions and go visit them with your camera. Learn how the light works in natural settings compared to more industrial ones.

camera on a map

4. Travel light

You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) bring every camera accessory you have with you on your journey. Not only will they be heavy to lug around, but there’s a danger of losing or forgetting pieces behind. Bring only the key items such as the camera, a charger and memory cards.

5. Charge Your Equipment The Night Before

Make sure everything is charged and ready to go before you set out for the day. Bring along 2-3 extra charged batteries for your camera and external flash.

girl in front of eiffel tower

6. Learn a few words in the native language

If you’re going to a foreign country where the language is not your own, try learning a few phrases. Things like “hello”, “thank you” and “Can I take your photo?” will go a long way and might lead to a better photograph.

7. Listen to the Locals

Ask the locals where the best places to shoot are. Ask about their favorite photo spot and they’ll likely be excited to share the wonders of their home. Be sure to be respectful of their space and leave them alone if they’re not interested in talking with you.

8. Follow Basic Photo Rules

If you’re a beginner photographer, take some time to learn the basics. When taking photos, keep in mind guidelines like the rule of thirds and your depth of field. Learning photography terms will help you take better quality photos.

little girl plays in ocean

9. Get Candid Shots

Not all your shots should be posed and planned out. Try a variety of angles, capturing candids. Take photos of everything, the one you least expect may be the one that ends up the best.

10. Give Yourself Time

When shooting, make sure you give yourself plenty of time at the location. A time crunch will lead to blurry and rushed photos. Leave yourself enough time to set up, learn what setting your camera should be on and find the right light. This may mean starting your days earlier than normal.

11. Embrace Golden Hour

Lighting is everything. Make sure you know the different sunrise and sunset times of the location you’re at. Even places only a few hours away can differ. It may also be helpful to know what direction the landmark is facing that you’re trying to photograph so you can plan to be there when it’s in full light.

view of a city through chain linked fence

12. Get a New Angle

If you’re visiting a place that’s been photographed thousands of times, try a new angle. Find hidden details that aren’t always noticed like paintings on the ceiling. Shoot through an alleyway that frames the photo or move around and try to find a new vision.

13. Stay in the Moment

Don’t overthink the shot. Stay in the moment and go with the flow. Don’t be afraid to switch around your schedule to get a good photo.

14. Take Notes

Bring a small notebook with you as you travel and when you take photos to make sure you’re noting the place and your camera settings. This will help you later on as you go back to see what worked and what didn’t.

colorful buildings in snow

15. Be Wary of the Weather

Look at the weather forecast if you’re shooting outdoors. Remember, just because it’s raining or snowing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. Sometimes a foggy backdrop can reflect the light and make for an even better photo.

16. Bring Secure Bags with Locks

You’ve probably invested a lot in your camera and accessories, so make sure they are kept safe. Bring a camera bag with you that has a lot of padding and can be locked.

17. Backup Your Photos

Every time you return to home base, whether that be a hotel or friend’s home, make sure you backup your photos . This will free up space on your camera and will keep your images safe.

person holding camera

18. Always Bring a Camera When You Can

Bring your camera with you wherever you go. The perfect shot could be where you least expect it. This will also let you document your whole trip, not just parts.

19. Be Respectful of Your Environment

You may be visiting this place but to others, it’s home. Be respectful of the people and animals you meet along your journey.

20. Get Lost

Get out of your comfort zone and a venture off the beaten path. Try finding something unique to photograph. Get a little lost.

photo book on table

21. Share Your Work

Once you’ve returned from your trip, make sure your photos don’t just sit on the memory card or computer. Share them by creating a photo board on your wall or styling a travel photo book .

22. Print Everything Ahead of Time.

Before you start your travels, don’t forget to print your boarding passes, itinerary and other documents just in case your phone isn’t working properly. By printing everything ahead of time, you do not have to wait in any lines, worry about the digital kiosks in the airport or lack of wifi connection

travel photography checklist

Click To Download Travel Photography Checklist PDF

Travel photography is a fun way to document your trips. It allows you to take your stories home and share them with friends and family. Try creating a collage with a photo collage app and sharing your experiences on social media.

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21 Simple Tips for Better Travel Photos

By Author Jurga

Posted on Last updated: May 27, 2024

21 Simple Tips for Better Travel Photos

Are you looking for simple travel photography tips to help you take better pictures? In this guide, we share some easy, actionable tips and tricks that will help to improve your travel photos with very little effort. No photography course or fancy equipment needed – find out!

Travel photography has become an essential part of any trip and any vacation. We all want to capture those special moments of our travels, keep them for later, and share them with our family and friends…

But how often do you find yourself in a situation where you feel that your travel pictures just don’t do justice to all the amazing things you saw and experienced?

With ever-improving technology, it’s now easier to take good travel photos without much effort than ever before. However, by preparing well and applying a few simple tricks, you can easily transform your travel photography from good to great! And no, you don’t need a professional camera or any special knowledge for that.

So if you looking for travel photography tips to improve your vacation pictures, this guide should help you do just that. In this article, we share some simple photography tips, but also some important travel tricks.

These tips will not only take your travel photography to the next level but will also help you have a more unique travel experience. Find out!

Travel photography tips for beginners

How this article is structured. First, you’ll find general tips for travel photography, followed by simple photography tips that will help you take better pictures without much effort. Further, you’ll find some useful practical tips and things to consider when preparing for your trip (with photography in mind).

Take a look!

These are our best travel photography tips:

1. Get to Know Your Camera

First, let me make one thing clear. You do not necessarily need expensive camera gear in order to take really nice pictures. Smartphones and entry-level point-and-shoot digital cameras offer quality that’s more than good enough for a family album, social media stories, or even a print to hang on the wall.

However, no matter what kind of camera or smartphone you use for travel photography, it’s always good to take some time and familiarize yourself with it. After all, you don’t want to miss some unique photo opportunities because of the time it takes you to set up your camera.

Each device has somewhat different settings and a wide range of possibilities. Even if you use just a few of those settings once in a while, you’ll improve your photography skills and get better pictures.

Travel picture of African elephants at sunset in Etosha National Park in Namibia

2. Do Some Research for Trip-Specific Photography Tips

Now that I told you that you don’t need any special gear, I also have to add that some types of travel photography might indeed require some special equipment or knowledge.

For example, if you are visiting Nordic countries in winter, you’ll probably want to learn the basics of the Northern Lights photography . You may want to research if there are any special aurora photography apps for your phone. However – if you want some decent pictures – you’ll definitely need a good tripod and a somewhat better camera with manual settings for this type of travel photography.

This is also the case for a trip where you are planning to take pictures of wildlife. Often, your smartphone and cheaper cameras will just not be sufficient for really good pictures. So if you are planning a safari in Africa, you may want to research what kind of cameras and lenses you need for wildlife photography .

Picture of northern lights

3. Experiment with Camera Settings

Don’t be afraid to exit the ‘auto’ mode of your camera and experiment with the settings. Even something as simple as switching off or forcing the flash, can make a huge difference already.

If you are using a smartphone, you probably just use the standard photo and video settings. But if you look a bit deeper, you’ll see that there are other options as well.

Most smartphones also have panorama mode (great for wide panoramas in the mountains or cityscapes), selective focus mode (nice for portraits), or even one for food or night photography. Usually, there’s also a ‘pro’ mode where you can play with different white balance settings, etc.

If you have a DSLR camera , you may want to learn just a little bit about white balance, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Change the white balance and your pictures taken on a grey rainy day will become warmer. Change the shutter speed and you have a silky waterfall. Change the ISO sensitivity and you’ll be able to take pictures in low light without the flash…

Travel picture of a waterfall photographed at slower shutter speed

4. Look for Different Angles

Standing in front of a landmark you visit, you suddenly realize everyone around you is holding cameras and smartphones, taking the exact same pictures… Sounds familiar?

Do you want your travel pictures to be different? It’s easier than you think! All you have to do is simply use your legs. 

Sit down, kneel down, even lie down if necessary. Or try to climb somewhat higher. Get closer to your subject or move further away. Go left, go right, go behind… You get the picture. Literally – you get a better, more unique picture just by changing the angle.

Photography tips - Sagrada Familia picture from a unique angle

5. Try Different Compositions

One of the easiest ways to improve your photography skills is by learning how to make a good composition. Sometimes by simply recomposing your shot just a bit differently, you get a picture that tells a more powerful story.

Most people take pictures with the subject right in the middle. And while sometimes it can result in a beautiful shot, more often you get an ordinary image. Often, you can really bring your pictures to life by simply moving your subject away from the center.

You may have heard of the famous  rule of thirds . Divide your picture frame into 3 imaginary lines and 3 columns and place the subject at the intersection of those lines. Take a look at the sleeping koala picture to see what I mean.

Travel photography tips - rule of thirds example

Shooting landscapes? Put your horizon at either top or bottom third of the photo. Also, use natural lines, such as a forest path or a twist in the road to help guide the viewer through your photograph.

Taking pictures of people or animals? Try to also place your subject in such a way that they are looking towards your picture and not away from it.

Travel photography tips - rule of thirds and natural lines in the landscape

6. Explore Deeper

Some of the best travel pictures are not those that are taken right in front of famous landmarks. For more authentic travel photography, try to get just a bit off the beaten path.

If you are walking around the city, don’t stick to a plan or try to follow the map exactly. If you see an interesting side street or an alley, turn in and check it out. If you are road-tripping and stumble upon some interesting roadside attractions or local events, stop and check it out…

Also, ask locals or other tourists for some cool spots and hidden gems. You’ll be surprised at how many incredible locations are not mentioned in any travel guides. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and ask for some tips.

We have had some amazing travel experiences just because we talked to people. And even if it doesn’t always lead to the best photo spots, you might find delicious local food, quirky shops, or some interesting street art.

Photo of Saint Dunstan in the East, a hidden gem of London

7. Include People or Objects

Another easy way to improve your travel photography is by including people or objects in your pictures. Not only do you get better and more unique photos, but they also tell a story.

Look around for  something or someone you can include in your picture to give it a different feeling or perspective .

Think of people (locals, kids, really old people – don’t forget to ask for permission!), animals, flowers, tree branches, road signs… For a more personal perspective, try including your own arms or legs, etc.

Even just including a few wildflowers in your composition can make your landscape pictures stand out. You can also frame your images using tree branches and leaves. You can show the size of a building or a tree by including people or cars in that same image.

There are so many ways to be creative; often you only have to look around with different eyes!

Photography tips - include people to show the size of something

8. Look for Colors

When traveling, always  keep an eye out for bold, vivid colors . Pictures with strong colors are often more powerful and bring the place back to life in your photos.

It can be anything from colorful buildings (focus on details like walls, doors), to cars, buses, bikes, or scooters. But also local markets and traditional clothing often give you a chance to take some unique colorful travel pictures.

TIP: If you are traveling to a place that isn’t really known for being colorful, wear some bright clothing yourself. A bright jacket can make all your gloomy vacation pictures so much more special.

Travel photography tips - use bright colors in the landscape

9. Look for Details

For more interesting travel pictures, try to look for some interesting details everywhere you travel. It can be something local, something unique to that place, or maybe a special detail in the architecture of a building.

Also, get close, really close to your subject. Very often, details tell a stronger story than the whole!

Sometimes you get frustrated because you can’t fit the whole building into a picture. Or you are at a colorful lively market, but your pictures don’t portray any of that special atmosphere… Remember that often less is more and concentrate on a few details rather than trying to capture everything.

Travel pictures - close-up of traditional pancakes being baked at a local market in Tyrol Austria

10. Have Your Camera Ready

Some of our best travel pictures are often taken unexpectedly, without any planning. It’s especially so with trips that involve wildlife . You just never know when you’ll get to see animals or what they’ll do, so you should always have your camera at hand and ready to take a picture.

Of course, pictures that you take unexpectedly will often not be perfect in composition, or maybe even a bit blurry. You can often solve it with some post-editing afterwards. But at least you got the shot!

Another example of the importance of having your camera ready is when you’re taking a picture of something that you only do once and it moves fast (like in our picture on the fun zip-line experience in Switzerland – see below). You have to be ready to take a picture and it helps if you put your camera in continuous shooting mode. That way, you can take lots of pictures in just a few seconds, and afterwards keep the best ones.

Bison on the road in Yellowstone National Park in the USA

11. Do Something Fun

It’s impossible to get spontaneous pictures of the whole family if you don’t have a photographer following you around the whole day. So if you want to take some fun vacation pictures, the best way to go about it is to actually do something fun.

If you are taking pictures of your kids or your travel companions, simply ask them to do something and actually pose for a picture.

We all want candid shots, but they hardly ever happen, especially when you want to get several people in the same picture. But if you make an effort, you can easily take some really nice vacation pictures of you and your family.

Fun travel pictures - vacation in the snow

12. Be Patient & Take Your Time

Travel photography is what you make of it. You can just take a picture and move on, but for the best pictures, you need to take your time and be patient.

Often, you don’t have much time when we travel, and you find yourself running from one place to the other. But even if you slow down just a little bit, even if you wait just a few moments, you might be able to take a much better picture.

It might mean waiting for the perfect light or for another person to move away from your composition, but it usually pays off.

Photo of the Tulip Stairs in London

13. Just Take That Picture!

Sometimes, you see a beautiful place, but you have no time to stop for a picture, or the light is not perfect, or the weather isn’t ideal, or there are too many clouds… So you swear to do it later or on your way back.

But then the weather changes for even worse, the mist comes up, or something else happens, and you never get a second chance.

This happened several times to us. So now we always take a picture when we see an interesting opportunity. Even if it’s not perfect, at least you got the shot. And if you do come back and the conditions are better indeed, you can always take another picture.

And sometimes, you get some really interesting pictures that way.

Beautiful travel pictures - scenery near Olpererhutte in Austria

14. Travel Light

It’s always so tempting to pack the perfect camera or lens for all the possible situations you might encounter on your trip. But that also means that you’re always carrying so much unnecessary gear. Not only is it expensive to buy and heavy to carry around, but it also limits your flexibility. Not even to mention that expensive camera gear can put you at risk in certain places you visit.

Often, having more photography gear to deal with might actually lead to you missing the best photo opportunities. You may find that you are constantly switching lenses trying to get that perfect shot while your travel companions are simply enjoying the scenery.

So pack wisely, considering what kind of pictures you think you’ll be taking. My personal rule is to never pack more than two lenses for my DSLR camera. If we visit cities, I usually just go with one lens. For nature and wildlife, I pack a good telelens as well. Sometimes, it’s a tough choice which lenses to pack, but you also learn to be more creative that way.

TIP: If you are not a professional or a semi-professional photographer and don’t absolutely need a DSLR camera for your travel photography, simply get a really good point-and-shoot camera with a good optical zoom (something like this ). That way you always have the right ‘lens’ with you. There are so many versatile cameras nowadays that offer great quality. So don’t make your trip more stressful than necessary.

Beautiful vacation pictures - Dolomite Mountains in Italy

15. Pack a Tripod

Now that I told you to travel light, I also have to say that – for some trips – you really should consider packing a good tripod . It can be bulky and heavy to carry around, but it is also unmissable for certain types of photography.

If you are planning to take pictures early in the morning or late in the evening, if you are photographing waterfalls or Northern Lights, a tripod is a must. But even if you simply want to have the whole family in one picture, it’s often useful to have a tripod. And yes, you can also ask other people to take a picture, but we all know how those pictures usually turn out to be…

There are many different kinds of tripods and you should get one that can steadily hold your camera. For the smallest cameras or smartphones, you can use something like a GorillaPod . For heavier DSLR cameras, we recommend Manfrotto tripods – they are available in many different sizes and models.

My experience shows that for travel photography, the more compact and lighter the tripod is, the more you’ll use it. Just make sure that it can hold the camera and the lens that you have.

Rozenhoedkaai in Bruges at night

16. Pack Enough Memory Cards & Extra Batteries

Always, always pack more memory cards than you think you’d need. They are really not that expensive anymore and as the camera quality gets better and the picture size larger, you may run out of space on your memory card. So always have a few extra cards.

Also, get memory cards that are fast so that you don’t need to wait for the camera to save a picture before you can take a new one. If you are traveling to places with extremely hot or cold weather, make sure that you have quality memory cards that can work in any conditions.

We use and recommend Sandisk SD Extreme and Sandisk SD Extreme Pro cards. They offer an excellent price-quality ratio.

Always pack at least one backup battery set (and make sure that it’s charged) and carry it with you. There’s no use in having a set of extra batteries in your hotel room or in the car; they should always be at hand.

If you are using your smartphone for photography, take a power bank and a cable so that you can easily recharge your phone during the day. In any case, a good light and compact power bank is a must for any trip these days!

Puffin with fish, Faroe Islands

17. Be Respectful & Be Careful

One of the most important things any traveler should remember is to be respectful. Respect other people, nature, and local rules and regulations. Also, just use common sense and don’t do things that you wouldn’t want others to do to you.

Don’t go trampling wildflowers even if there are no signs asking not to do that. And definitely don’t go past the signs asking you not to – there’s always a reason for that, even if it might not look obvious to you. Don’t go on private property and try to always ask people before taking a picture of them. When in doubt, don’t take the shot.

Also, don’t go jumping at the edge of a cliff just because it looks cool or you saw someone else post crazy pictures like that on Instagram. Too many accidents happen every year because people are trying to get some perfect angle for their picture and misstep too far… No picture is worth it!

Having said that, we also have quite some pictures taken at places that look quite dangerous. But in our case, it’s more about finding the right angle to make it look more special. We are always extremely careful and we do our best to always stay on paths and never cross the line or a sign asking not to do it.

Travel picture of the Alentejo coast in Portugal

18. Get up Early & Stay Late

Photography is all about the light, and it’s not a secret that the best times for pictures are at dawn and at dusk. Photographers call this the Golden Hour . So one of the best travel photography tips I can give you is to make an extra effort and get out of bed early in the morning and stay up late.

Not only will you get better pictures this way, but you will also experience some incredible sunsets and sunrises that will make your trip more special!

Another advantage of getting up early is that you can explore even the most popular travel destinations without the crowds. Most tourists never get to their destination before 9-10 AM, so those few hours in the morning will not only help you get better travel pictures but will also make your travel experience so much more unique.

Unfortunately, this is not really the case at sunset at most destinations, because many people love to stay up for sunset. However, you’ll still have more beautiful light and more special colors for your pictures. Also, some destinations that are popular with day-trippers, are very quiet in the evening. So if you can, book accommodation very close-by and stay longer! This brings me to the next two points.

Early morning photo of an umbrella street in Ravenna city in Italy

19. Book Your Accommodation Wisely

This might look like a strange tip for travel photography, but the location of your accommodation can have a huge influence on your trip and on the pictures you’ll be able to take.

Spending a night at a popular day trip destination will allow you to explore the place without the crowds of day-trippers. Staying close to a specific landmark might give you unique opportunities to photograph it in a different light and at different times during the day.

Staying inside a national park might mean that you’ll be able to explore it from dawn to dark and even at night. You might be able to photograph incredible skies at night or get to see wildlife just at your doorstep at dawn. Even just booking a room with a nice view can give you chances to take pictures you’d never be able to get otherwise.

So keep this in mind when choosing your accommodation. Some of the most special travel experiences we had during our trips wouldn’t have been possible if we had chosen another accommodation.

Some of those include watching whales from our hotel in Ilulissat, Greenland , or exploring the fairytale castles of San Marino at sunset with hardly anyone else around, or watching wildlife at dusk and in the dark in Etosha National Park in Namibia … And these are just a few examples.

Kangaroos at our accommodation in the Grampians, Australia

20. Research the Best Photography Spots and Locations

If you want to take some really nice pictures while traveling, it’s helpful to do some research in advance. Once you are on a trip, you hardly ever have the time to scout the best photography locations. It’s very easy to overlook some nice places or special angles when you’re visiting somewhere for the first time.

One of the best ways to research the best locations is by checking images of your destination online. Just type in your destination name on Google Image search, and you’ll see what kind of images come up. You can then try to find their exact location and potentially even mark it in your Google Maps account.

Another good way to find some of the nicest photo spots is by looking on Instagram. However, this also often leads to ‘Instagram tourism’ and everyone taking the exact same pictures of the same ‘instagrammable’ places…

For some places, it might be important to research when the light is best for photography. This usually highly depends on the direction of the sun. Which brings us to the last tip…

Beautiful travel pictures - Pulpit Rock in Norway

21. Don’t Forget Why You Travel & Enjoy Your Trip

If you are on vacation, it will be impossible to always be in the right place at the best possible time. Also, the weather will play a role and some unforeseen circumstances. So no matter how much research you do or which camera gear you have, often, you simply won’t be able to get the best pictures.

Remember that those perfect images that you see in the travel brochures were usually taken by professional photographers. Usually, they stay at the same location for at least a few days, scout out the best times and angles, and go back to the same place a few times in order to capture that perfect light and composition.

So unless photography is the main goal of your trip, don’t stress about it. Remember why you travel in the first place and enjoy your vacation instead of trying to get that one perfect shot!

Travel picture of kids enjoying the view at Schynige Platte in Switzerland

So, these are some of the basic travel photography tips that I wanted to share with you. As you can see, most of them have nothing to do with the camera you have or the settings you use. It’s more about being creative, looking for different angles, doing something fun, or catching the perfect light. It’s also a matter of practice. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.

I truly hope that our tips will help you get better travel pictures. But I also hope that these tips will help you have more special trips and create better memories.

Explore, take your time to look for little details, get off the beaten path, and once in a while splurge for some well-located accommodation. Trust me, it will be worth it!

READ ALSO: Our Favorite Destinations Worldwide

If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

Simple tips for better travel photos

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Wednesday 13th of April 2022

Do you have any tips on how to present the photos and videos that you take on your travels? For instance do you create photobooks or videos that include video clips and photos?

Tuesday 19th of April 2022

@Jurga, Awesome, thank you very much. :)

Thursday 14th of April 2022

Hi Vanessa, yes, we sometimes make a photo book with our pictures and my husband also makes a nice video of each bigger trip too. It's all more meant as a nice memory for the kids and they loved watching older photos/videos of themselves :). We don't usually mix the two though - so pictures and videos are separate.

Michael Anthony Cicchi

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

You make gorgeous photos 🙂

Wednesday 21st of July 2021

Thank you, Michael!

Saturday 26th of December 2020

Great general tipps & some beautiful shots there! keep it up :)

Monday 28th of December 2020

Thank you, Lisa!

Michael Cicchi

Sunday 13th of December 2020

A very nice article, Jurga! Great tips.

Thank you, Michael! Always such a loyal reader!

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30 Travel Photography Tips: Take Better Travel Photos (and Look Good in Them Too!)

Whether you are a traveler extraordinaire who hopes to take better travel photos, you want to explore the world of posting on social media, you are a mom who snaps pictures of her family wherever you go, OR you want to UP your adventure photography game, learning a few of basic tips will help to improve your photography skills AND the quality of your photographs.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

30 Simple Tips to Take Better Travel Photos

As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This page may contain affiliate links. I would love your support through clicking on the links. Read the full disclosure here.

Costa Rica travel tips and answers to your FAQs

Here are a few simple tips to follow as you are traveling and learning how to take aesthetic photos —especially when you visit sites that are popular and everyone else wants to visit at the same time as you!

Aesthetic definition : (adj) concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. Examples of beautiful objects are:  landscapes, sunsets, humans and works of art .

1. Avoid Visiting Popular Sites at Popular Times

Maybe this isn’t the “popular” answer, but it is the obvious one.

To avoid visiting popular attractions at the busiest times, this tip might mean waking up early in the morning before crowds gather or visiting a popular site in the early evening when crowds begin to thin.

Not a morning person? Sometimes sacrifices have to be made to capture the best pic and take better travel photos!

Other busy times you may wish to avoid visiting popular sites:

  • During holidays
  • In the high season
  • On a local holiday
  • Around noon
  • On the weekend

That being said, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and recognize that your shots might be full of 500 of your “new” best friends!

2. Avoid Crowds and Tour Groups if Possible

One of my golden rules for dining while traveling is to wander about five blocks away from the main tourist area and crowded dining options to find out-of-the-way restaurants where the locals might pop in for lunch or dinner.

The same can be said for learning how to take aesthetic photos. If you find that the main tourist areas are completely overrun with tourists AND with tour groups following a guide holding a brightly colored selfie stick, wander away from the crowds and discover the photos that show local life, Friday morning markets, and beautiful architecture.

You will be amazed at your ability to take better travel photos when you can slow down and enjoy the scene in front of you.

3. Be Patient

Have you ever looked at a photo on Instagram and wondered, “ How did they manage to take a picture without any tourists in it ? When I was there it was so crowded I could hardly keep track of my family!”

Patience, my friend. Patience.

…And having your camera ready to go the moment the last tourist walks out of your frame. That’s another idea for learning to take better travel photos.

Again, patience may not reward you with a tourist-free shot. Sometimes you just have to be okay with that.

>> Related : Romantic Instagram Quotes for Couples Who Love to Travel

4. Have Your Camera Settings Dialed In and Act Fast

Having patience leads to this tip: As you are waiting for a photo opportunity, make sure that you have ALL of your camera settings ready to go. Take a few test pictures while the crowds are milling if needed so you know that your shot will be perfect. Adjust for light, change angles, or zoom in.

Act fast once your frame clears.

This spot in front of of the General Sherman tree in the Sequoia National Park in California is often besieged with tourists wanting a memento in front of the giant sequoia tree and the sign.

Take better travel photos at tourist sites such as the General Sherman tree

To capture a “tourist-free” photo of the tree, be ready for the break in the crowd and then snap away. You may only have 2 seconds. Again, have your settings ready to go so that you know the shot will turn out the way you want.

>> Related: 20 Epic Outdoor Adventures in Yosemite National Park

5. Have Your Smartphone Ready as a Backup

This may take a little fancy handwork, but have your camera open on your phone and easy to reach if you are switching between a DSLR. If you find you just can’t get the lighting right or need to shoot from a higher angle to take better travel photos, use your phone’s camera.

Don’t be afraid to use your phone for pictures.

Cameras on newer phones offer sophisticated and advanced technology for all of your travel and adventure photography.

6. Edit Your Photos Later

Edit, edit, edit.

There are free apps for your phone or even desktop options such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom where you can crop and remove people from your photo. A little bit of magic to help you take better travel photos.

If you have never used the Adobe products, there is a learning curve associated with those programs.

My tip : Straighten your photos. This is especially apparent if you are taking photos of the ocean. Be sure to straighten the horizon before posting online.

7. Stand So People in the Background are Hidden from View

Sometimes it will be simply impossible to wait for all of the people to clear from your shot to take an amazing travel photo .

If you can, place your subject (you, a family member, friend, or travel partner ) strategically in front of people in the distance.

Voila! It looks as though the street is empty AND that you have mad photography skills!

8. Take Day Trips to Less Popular Destinations to Take Better Travel Photos

The touristy experiences in the bigger cities, such as Rome and Venice and Paris, are great so you can say, “I’ve been there!”, but sometimes getting outside of the city and away from the crowds is awesome.

Day trips to smaller, out-of-the-way towns and villages, such as Orvieto in Italy or Riquewihr in France, can be just as magical and picturesque.

>> Related: 7 Instagram Worthy Villages in the Cotswolds

9. Simply Ask People to Move

You will find that most people will move when they see you waiting with a camera in hand to take a picture.

Sometimes you’ll just have to ask people to move and they are happy to do it. Other times, there’s no rushing some people and they are going to stand in that spot for as long as they want. Dang it! (If this is the case, you can go back to the “ be patient ” point, you can change your angle, you can try again later, or you can just move along.)

10. Use the Crowd in Your Shot to Take Better Travel Photos

Tips to take better travel photos

Recognize that sometimes you just aren’t going to get the “tourist-free” shot of your dreams when you are planning how to take aesthetic photos of a destination.

For example, the Piazzale degli Uffizi in Florence outside of the Uffizi Museum is often overcrowded with tourists. You may wish to have all of the tourists move out of the way for you to capture the amazing architecture in the foreground and the buildings in the background, but sometimes wishes don’t come true.

Take the picture anyway.

>> Related: Best Things To Do In Florence, Italy

Tips for Looking Awesome and Taking Pictures of YOU!

11. wear colors that pop.

Young girl biking in Shark Valley

Do you know what colors look best on you?

Choose bright colors that enhance your skin AND make your photos POP with color when you travel.

It may be as simple as wearing a brightly colored scarf.

Consider your destination and make color choices based on it. For example, if you’re at the beach, wear something besides blue so that you stand out from the color of the ocean.

>> Related: 27 Instagram Worthy, Insanely Colorful Destinations Around the World

12. Learn How to Pose to Show Your Best Side

  • Move to good lighting
  • Slightly push your butt out behind you to show a slimmer torso
  • Bend your arm to create space between your arm and your body
  • Turn your body 45 degrees toward the camera
  • Turn your face so one ear is closer to the camera and slightly tilt your chin down
  • Lean forward from the waist just a touch
  • Stand tall, don’t slouch. Watch your posture. Sit up to elongate and slim your waist
  • Put one foot forward—put most of your weight on the foot in the back
  • Show movement—walk, twirl, look away from camera, grab your sunglasses, tuck your hair behind your ear
  • Be confident
  • Take candid shots
  • Use props and have some fun

Plan a trip and a Girl with pink umbrella in the gardens at Versailles

13. Use a Tripod

While not one of your essential photography gadgets, you may find that a tripod for your camera or your iPhone comes in handy for family photos, still shots, selfies and travel and adventure photography.

Joby GorillaPod flexible versatile tripod

The  GorillaPod  might be a great inbetween tripod if your camera and lens fit the 6.6 pound weight specification.

14. Use a Selfie Stick to Take Better Travel Photos of You!

In a world with camera phones, it is a simple task to ask your travel partners or even a stranger to take your picture.

If you go on vacation and return home without a single photo of you, hand over your camera next time or consider investing in a selfie stick .

How to Take Aesthetic Photos: Follow the Rules of Composition

If you are a new photographer and are feeling a little overwhelmed as you learn to master your camera and take better travel photos, take heart. It takes a lot of practice. The amazing thing about digital cameras is that you can take as many photos as you like , delete as many photos as you don’t like, and continue learning each time you venture out with your camera to take better travel photos.

Following a few rules of composition will enhance your photos.

15. Consider the Light

Use natural light as much as possible in your photographs. Natural light generally refers to any light created by the sun (or the moon).

While it would be nice to say, “Avoid the sun at midday,” sometimes you just can’t as you are traveling. What can you do in such a situation?

  • Use a lens hood
  • Try to find shade
  • Make a point to come back to the spot in early morning or early evening
  • Have your subject turn their back to the camera
  • Take advantage of the shadows cast by your subject and be creative
  • Shoot from a different angle

Good lighting is essential to your photographs when you are trying to take better travel photos.

Quick Tip * Do you ever wonder where the ideal position is to have your subject stand in relation to the sun? Have them stand so that when you as the photographer are facing them, you see their shadow between you and them.

16. Use the Rule of Thirds To Take Better Travel Photos

Imagine that your screen (view finder) is divided into a grid of 9 equal sections when you frame your shot. For the most dynamic and natural photos, move your subject away from the center of the photo and place them along one of those vertical lines or where the points intersect.

Rule of thirds to take better travel photos

You can turn ON the “GRID” option in your camera app or camera settings to visually see the grid as you take pictures. After practice, you will naturally begin to use the Rule of Thirds in your photos and take better travel photos.

North Carolina Fall foliage

Now, this is not to say NEVER CENTER YOUR PHOTOS! There is a time for centering your subject when you wish to create symmetry. But to generally achieve a more natural-looking photo, learn to use the Rule of Thirds.

17. Try Not to Have Objects Sprouting Out Of Your Subject’s Head

sure travel photos

Photography skills 101: If you look at the composition of your photo and notice that there is a flagpole or a sign or an architectural feature that extends smack above your subject’s head, have them move a little to the left or the right.

18. Use Natural Frames

Young girl looking out window of barn

Framing is a compositional technique in photography that draws the viewer’s eye to the most important feature in your photo and creates a frame around the subject. Using frames adds more dimension to your photo.

You can achieve this framing technique using windows and doors, an arched entryway, trees and bushes, a tunnel…even an umbrella.

Once you start finding objects that can create a framing effect, you’ll begin to see them everywhere.

19. Find Leading Lines as You Compose Your Photo

East Inlet hikes in Colorado

Using leading lines to take better travel photos is where you basically use lines from a feature in your photo to direct the viewer’s eye toward the main story, subject, or intent within the photo. Leading lines moves the attention from one element to another.

Examples of leading lines:

  • Railroad tracks
  • An aisle in a church
  • Architectural feature

>> Related: 25 Best Hikes in Colorado Near Denver

20. Shoot from a Creative Angle

Different point of view to take better travel photos

The effort to take better travel photos may simply mean taking a picture from a different perspective. This may involve shooting up from a lower angle or looking down from a higher vantage point.

Move away from always trying to see your subject eye to eye. Crouch down to a child’s level, stand on your tiptoes, or hold your phone above the crowd to capture a new perspective.

If your children are playing at a play park, try standing under them as they climb the structure or above them as they as play below.

21. Try to Capture a Reflection

Some of the coolest photos come from capturing a reflection of your desired subject.

Did you know that some photographers travel with a water bottle for this very purpose? They create a puddle on the ground in front of an architectural tourist site and take a shot of the reflection in the water.

You can also look for reflections after a rain shower, in a river or body of water, or even in a pair of reflective sunglasses.

man gazing at the sky with clouds reflected in his sunglasses

22. Focus on the Eyes

Think back to the Rule of Thirds compositional tip. An important point when photographing people is to make sure that the subject’s eye that is closest to you is on one of those points. That is where you camera focus should be as well.

Focusing on the eyes ensures that the viewer engages with the eyes, after all “the eyes are the window to the soul.”

23. Make Sure Your Focus is Spot On

How many times have you taken a picture only to find later that it is out of focus or focusing on the wrong thing? Practice. Practice. Practice.

Wrong focus on hand

24. Look for Contrasting Colors

Fall bucket list adventures around the world with stunning pops of red and orange.

If you are visiting the beach, wear a color that pops against the color of the ocean. If you are in the mountains, zoom back a little to capture some of the bright blue sky to add extra dimensions. Even fall color pops more with the contrast of a little blue in the sky.

Adventure Photography Skills to Take Better Travel Photos

25. learn the basics of your camera.

If your goal is to improve your adventure photography skills AND take better travel photos, find a course that teaches the basic principles of photography. Find someone that teaches in a style that resonates with you.

Understanding ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed and how they all work together sometimes takes effort to wrap your head around.

Many professional photographers encourage you to get away from shooting in Auto Mode and “focus” on shooting in Manual Mode. That’s where understanding ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed is essential.

If you are traveling and moving from one scene to another, one tip is to shoot in Aperture Mode and let your camera figure out the Shutter Speed. This helps when you are on the go and want to be able to compose a shot quickly.

You can still achieve some nicely composed and focused shots.

Click to check out Live Snap Love’s “Auto to Awesome” Course to learn the basics

26. Practice

There’s nothing like good old fashioned practice to improve your skills over time. Practice on your family. Practice on your friends. Practice on inanimate objects in your garden. Practice with each trip you go on to take better travel photos and improve your photography skills.

Study photos that professionals have taken to discover the angles they shoot from, where they focus and how they use light to their advantage.

27. Take a Course to Learn the Features of Your Camera

The all access bundle for live snap love photography courses

If you are looking for a comprehensive course that starts at the beginning, Audrey Ann from Live Snap Love has some amazing photography courses to take.

PS. She offers some FREE cheat sheets too!

  • Free Manual Mode Cheat Sheet
  • Free Lightroom Starter Kit
  • F ree Aperture Cheat Sheet
  • Free 90-Day Starter Kit
  • Edit Like a Pro in Lightroom Classic
  • Get Organized in Lightroom Classic
  • Auto to Awesome

Want to learn more about these courses? Discover the 5 Best Travel Photography Courses for Beginners .

28. Study Other Photographers

Eiffel Tower in Paris France in black and white offering great reasons to visit Paris as romantic getaways for couples

One of the best ways to improve your photography skills is to study other photographers.

Follow some of your favorite photographers on Instagram and discover the Instagrammable places they shoot around the world. If you know you will be traveling to the dreamy villages outside of Florence , see what others take pictures of.

  • What time of day did they take the picture?
  • Did they stand from above or below?
  • Did they include people in their photograph?
  • What creative angle did they use?

29. Research Instagrammable Places in Advance

Sunset over the winding road with cypresses in Tuscany leading to small towns in Italy near Florence

If you spend time on social media or Pinterest, begin to take note of particular destinations and the Instagrammable places where people take pictures. Search for “ Instagrammable places of… “

Captions for Travel Photos

Once you have captured the best travel photos, you may wish to post them on Instagram. Here are a variety of posts showcasing the best captions for travel photos:

  • 75 Romantic Instagram Quotes for Couples Who Love to Travel
  • 70 Inspiring Instagram Captions for Travel
  • 65 Awesome Travel Quotes for Instagram
  • 300+ Instagram Content and Travel Caption Ideas for Bloggers

10 Captions for Travel Photos that Combine Photography and Travel:

  • “You can always take a great photo—no matter what the conditions.” – Steve Davey
  • “The whole point of taking pictures is so you don’t have to explain things in words.” – Elliott Erwitt
  • “Travel photography is really a way of life: a way of traveling.” – Steve Davey
  • “Having a camera around your neck gives you a good excuse to be nosy.” – Martin Parr
  • “The most valuable things in life are a man’s memories. And they are priceless.” – Andre Kertesz
  • “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”
  • “I think of myself as an explorer who has spent his life on a long voyage of discovery.” – Paul Strand
  • “Never stop looking, no matter where you are, everywhere there are good photographs.” – Art Wolf
  • “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” – Jim Richardson
  • “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

30. Book a Photography Tour

There are plenty of walking tours around the world, and many have options for photography tours as well.

My Favorite Camera Equipment

If you spend any time on social media, you may encounter people who are passionate about their brand of camera. There has long been a debate about which camera brand is the best—Sony, Canon, Nikon, etc.

The answer?  Whatever camera you have with you !!!

Point and Shoot Camera

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III Digital Camera

Underwater Camera

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Mid-range DSLR

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Just remember, you don’t have to travel with ALL of your photography equipment. Pack lightly. Take only the essentials. That may mean your camera body and one possibly two versatile lenses and a few accessories. Here are a few ideas for you to consider.

Button for linking to my Amazon favorites

A go-to lens for the Canon T8i is the  Canon EF-S 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6   with image stabilization. It is perfect for all of your domestic AND international adventures. The Canon T8i (in the Canon Rebel Line) is a perfect beginner’s camera.

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 with Image Stabilization Lens

If your skills have improved and you are looking to upgrade from a T-series camera to a Canon 6D Mark II or similar DSLR, note that you will also need to upgrade your lenses from the EF-S line to the EF lenses such as this lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens  

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon

Upgrading is an important consideration, as the photography hobby comes with some expensive photography gadgets and equipment!

The good news, the relatively inexpensive Canon “ nifty fifty ” lens—an EF lens—works with both camera bodies. (Be sure to pick the nifty fifty lens suited to your brand of camera).

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens Nifty Fifty

Nowadays, with the advances in smartphone camera technology, the best camera might just be in your back pocket!

sure travel photos

There are tripods that are small and flexible for travel, but if you are traveling solo (or even with a group), you may wish to have the added benefit of the  Fugetek selfie stick  in your travel gear .

The selfie stick a handy gadget complete with an iPhone and Android compatible camera stand. The stick can extend in height with an easy click-in lock and comes with a removable remote for easy one-step operation. The tripod features non-skid feet for your selfie stick to become a stand alone device.

The  Canon Wireless Remote Control  is a handy photography gadget that is lightweight and small. It allows you to take “selfies” with your DSLR!

Canon wireless remote control

Or, if your hands are full holding reflectors or if you are using a tripod, you can easily set up your camera on the remote setting and enable the remote control. 

There is a specific camera setting ! 

Don’t forget to change the setting on your camera!

There is a debate in the photography community as to the need or value of Lens Filters. For certain types of photography, filters are essential in achieving a specific look and feel to your photos. 

UV Protected lens filter

A  UV Protected Lens Filter  can be a protection to your more expensive lenses.

Be sure to purchase the correct size of filter for your lens.

While you often hear about the “golden hours” in photography, it isn’t always practical to only shoot at the first light of the morning or in the waning hours of the evening for the best light.

lens hood

As you travel, you are shooting and sightseeing all day long and need to account for the sun as best you can. A Lens Hood  can help you to take better travel photos during the daytime hours.

The lens hood blocks the direct sunlight from hitting the lens and allows you to take better travel photos in the bright light of the day.

Again, be sure to purchase the correct size for your lens.

Extra Memory Card

Be sure to have sufficient memory in your  SD Cards . If your travel extends for an extended length of time, invest in a card with enough space for all of your vacation photos.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 256GB SDXC UHS-I Card

Having a backup card isn’t a bad idea either.

Camera Battery & Charger

Powerextra battery for canon camera LP-E6N

Not only should you have a back up SD card as part of your photography gadgets, but having a back up  Camera Battery  along with your  Battery Charger  is a good idea.

Canon LC-E6 Battery Charger for Canon

An improvised backpack rain cover fashioned from plastic bags may work to cover your backpack and keep your camera and photography gadgets dry in a pinch. Invest in a Waterproof Backpack Covers  for future rainy days.

waterproof backpack cover

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a great travel photo.

Anyone can take a nice picture of the Eiffel tower. To elevate your photography skills and take great travel photos, you will need great light and excellent composition. Learn those skills to give your photography skills an edge.

What is a good quote of traveling and photography?

“Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter. ” ~ Ansel Adams

Is a smartphone good for travel and adventure photography?

Yes. Your iPhone may just be your best travel camera. “While the image resolution and quality might be higher on a DSLR or other high-end camera, the iPhone wins hands-down on portability and convenience.” iPhonephotographyschool.com

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Tips to take better travel photos and look good in them too!

Final Thoughts on 30 Travel Photography Tips to Take Better Travel Photos and Look Good in Them Too!

This is a brief overview of how to take better travel photos. The key, really, is to practice, practice, practice .

There is so much more to learn if you wish to master the features of your camera, and especially to move away from shooting in Auto .

All in the hopes that you will be able to take better travel photos.

And when you arrive home from your excursions, find creative ways to display the amazing photos you took on vacation.

You may also love…

  • Travel Photos: 12 Creative Ways to Share and Display Them
  • 15 Popular Photography Gadgets
  • 20 Instagram Worthy Beautiful Lakes Around the World
  • How to Best Journal Your Travels and Your Life
  • 10 Great Reasons to Visit Paris
  • Long Airport Layover? 30 Creative Things You Can Do To Pass the Time

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I’m a Colorado-based travel blogger with a passion for exploring the world, enjoying family time, and taking fantastic photographs. I am also a book writing, creative thinking, detail loving, frequent flying, comfort loving mom of three girls and wife to an amazing guy. Discover More .

44 Comments

Great tips! I definitely try to avoid popular spots at popular times, because I am definitely not an expert at editing people out of my photos. I also really would like to start taking photos with a camera and not just a smart phone, I think that’s a great way to step up my photography game!

This is a super helpful guide! I try to use a lot of these techniques when I take photos too, but you also taught me something new with the use of the grid on your phone camera – great idea! I also swear by my selfie stick/tripod; it really comes in handy for those couple shots. Xx Sara

This is such a useful guide! I definitely need to work on my patience more as I’m not an expert at removing people from shots with software. Even using a grid, I always end up with focal points in the centre, but I guess that takes practice to break that habit. Also, love the tip on the lighting shadow direction!

Great tips Jolayne! I agree with all of these – and above all, be patient haha! Avoiding group tours is another big one for me, where possible! I’m a huge fan of Adobe Lightroom for editing. Thanks for sharing!

Patience is a virtue, especially when traveling.

Interesting idea to use the grid to take photos! Patience is definitely key when you’re trying to get photos in busy spots. We always get at least one person walking into the photo who doesn’t seem to notice we’re taking photos.

This is a fantastic post! I think so many of us are looking to up our photography game and guides like this definitely help 🙂

Thanks so much. I know I can always use helpful tips.

These are some great tips! I’m always looking to take better travel photos so I’ll be sure to test out your suggestions! And it is a good reminder that I need to spend some time getting to know my new camera too! So far it is stuck on manual mode! Thanks for the great guide!

Love all these tips! I use the Grid on iPhone camera all the time – it really helps!

It is pretty handy even if it is just a reminder.

I wished I could just ask people to move aside sometimes, but I’m so socially awkward I almost always NEVER say anything hahahah.. I like the tip about just working them into your composition though! Definitely a creative alternative way to just make the situation work for you and I’m gonna keep that positive attitude with me the next time I’m out there!

These are some great tips! I always try to get to touristy spots during off-times exactly for this purpose. I’m not a professional photographer but I can at least try to not have a bunch of people in my pictures haha

So many great photo travel tips! I especially like the ones for take better photos of yourself!

So sorry for your loss. Keep practicing on the photography and editing and you will find improvement.

A really comprehensive post, very useful. I’ve definitely suffered from photo frustration, where my mind- and even my eye- can see the capture I want but I can’t master my camera/ timing/ settings to quite get it. Practice for progress, I suppose!

On a different note, I’m glad to see the humble selfie stick getting a mention. I think they got a bad reputation at one point but used with consideration- a great tool.

WOW! This is a very comprehensive list with tons of great advice. Would be useful for everyone regardless of their skill level.

These are some great tips! I especially like the ideas for posing and wearing colors that pop.

We all want to look fantastic in our pics right?

Great tips! I am a big fan of avoiding crowds and shooting early in the morning when possible. I also love the idea of wearing items that pop – it’s great to think about contrast when shooting.

Haha i love the bit about be patient, but also simply ask people to move. So true!

Patience is a virtue as a photographer.

This guide was SO helpful! Thank you! I really appreciated the tip about shadows.

Thanks. I always love to learn more about photography.

Wait, you mean people DON’T like to see things coming out of their heads in photos?! Just kidding, but truly, that was a tip that I used to never think about, LOL! Great ideas, and beautiful photos.

Wow! Some great tips here. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks so much.

I love your photos! I have to start using my selfie stick!

Thanks. I am photography junkie. Just can’t help myself.

Love this post! I love taking photos and slowly but surely getting better at doing so over the years has been so rewarding. Great read <3

I like the rule of thirds– I have started using this recently and the composition is so much better!

It is where you eye tends to focus

Thanks for these helpful tips, Jolayne! Will have to try putting some of them into practice ?

Lots of great advice. I love taking photos when I’m traveling, I just need to practice with not making them on auto. We had the general Sherman tree without others since we visited at the end of April. There was another couple and we took pictures of them and they of us.

Very useful guide as I have a trip coming up! I was especially interested in the lens you recommended. Thanks!

Very helpful tips. Thanks for sharing your favorite camera equipment. That’s very helpful!

Great tips. We are constantly taking blurry pictures while running. Advice for being patient is definitely key.

Great Post! I bought myself a camera as a Christmas present a few years ago and I’m scared to death of it. So many settings to navigate through. I definitely need to take a class to get some of the basics down. Lots of great information here. Thank you!

Really some great and some easy-to-implement tips in this post! Thank you for putting this together.

Great post. Mastering photography is on my to-do list.

So many great tips here! And I definitely need to start practicing how to take better photos of myself, LOL!

Great and detailed post. This will definitely help our followers!

Great post! Definitely will give this a closer read later. I consider myself a decent amateur photographer, so really appreciate all the info and great tips!

You have some lovely photos on this post. I find these tips very useful and will try to remember them the next I am out and about. Thanks for sharing!

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The Alpine Pursuit

Photography

Are you a photographer who loves traveling? Well, adventure photography is your niche. The mix of people and stunning landscapes is the perfect combination to create some incredible photos. However, it can be hard at the beginning. These are the 30 best adventure photography tips to get you on track to creating stunning travel photos.

The people, exotic locations, and thrilling activities are just a few of the reasons to start capturing these crazy moments.  Every travel destination has a unique charm. Adventure photography takes more gear, time, and precision than other types to master. So, if you are ready to up your photography game, you must take some time to prepare. Adventure photography takes time to learn.

A camera is only as good as the photographer behind the lens. Once you know the basics of your camera, it is time to dive deeper into creating stunning travel photos. Use these adventure photography tips to improve your travel pictures on your next trip!

What is Adventure Photography?

Adventure photography focuses on capturing extreme activities in exotic locations. Dramatic landscapes, aerial views, and extreme sports are all part of adventure photography. Extreme activities range from skydiving to backcountry skiing.

Adventure photography requires a much different skill set than other areas. First, the photographer has to enjoy being outdoors, usually participates in the activity, and can handle risk for getting the right shot.

Many difficulties are present in this field of photography. Harsh weather, early mornings, and lugging camera gear up mountains can be quite a challenge. However, these are all worth it for the incredible views and photos!

Hang Va Cave, Vietnam

30 Adventure Photography Tips

The following tips are perfect to start your journey to becoming an adventure travel photographer. The tips are broken into five categories to help you stay organized. Everything from your before you leave, to after you get back. First, let’s start with some tips to help your planning part of adventure.

Adventure Photography Tips: Pre-Trip Checklist

Adventure photography tips: Always take the time to do some planning for your trip.

1. Adventure Travel Photography Requires Research of Your Destination Prior to Arrival

Capturing the right picture requires knowing your destination. When at home, you should begin to create a list of possible locations to shoot. These destinations include the top spots for sunrise or sunset, vantage points, and the local landmarks.

Browse the internet before leaving for your adventure. The use of blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, and travel guides. All of these sources can provide the top areas. Use as many as you can to get a complete picture of the location. If possible, you should try to talk to someone who has been there before. Also, you can reach out to other photographers through social media for suggestions.

Read as much as you can. Always be thinking about photography opportunities. The best list is one mixed of famous locations and hidden gems.

On your list of locations include directions, best time of day for lighting, what time an attraction opens, or how much time it will take to reach a specific vantage point. The creation of a plan is usually helpful when traveling. Best transportation there and how long will it take? Does your location require specific gear to get to? Do you have to get physical? Best time to shoot at that location?

2. Find Unique Shooting Locations

Famous locations are great to have, but start searching for more unique spots. Do not only head after the same picture you have seen a thousand times! It is okay to grab a few but never only seek the shooting locations everyone else does.

The worst part of shooting travel photography is arriving at a stunning location to photograph an epic sunrise with twenty other photographers. Sometimes all it takes is an extra 10-minute walk down the path to capture a shot completely unique.

And if unavoidable, just shooting the subject from a slightly different angle. Your shooting angle and foreground are crucial to capturing the right image. It can make all the difference. Remember, get creative and think outside of the box. Do what you have never seen before.

sure travel photos

3. Dedicate Time to Adventure Travel Photography

The right image usually does not just come by chance. You have to be willing to work for it. Laziness will lead you to the same pictures as every other travel photographer. The last thing you want is to have the same boring photo as everyone else.

You must set aside time for your travel photography. It takes a solid commitment to creating amazing photos. Your trip will be filled with early mornings, long days, and grueling treks.

Travel photography is not easy. Keep this in mind when planning trips with others. Many will not understand the amount of time you must dedicate to capture incredible photos. Never let this take away from your mission!

4. Always Buy Camera Insurance For Adventure Photography

Here is a huge adventure photography tip: get insurance. Gear is expensive. Anything can happen out in the wild. Cameras get dropped, stolen, and soaked in moisture with the elements.

You can buy insurance at the time you purchase you gear, or you can use a company like Professional Photographers of America .

Whether you are traveling by air, sea, or land, unfortunately gear gets stolen while traveling. Always pay attention to your gear. Expensive gear should never leave your side. Discrete bags and hiding your camera in dangerous locations is a must.

However, gear does still break and get stolen. Register your products and keep receipts organized to speed up any insurance claims. For tracking stolen gear, use the serial numbers with this system to track down your stolen camera .

Hard drives are essential for adventure photography.

5. Back Up Your Travel Photos in Multiple Places

Pictures need to be organized and in multiple areas for safe keeping. Technology is not always reliable. Especially when you account for the extreme weather you will experience as an adventure photographer. You never want to lose all of your photos because you only had them saved in one spot.

If you do not want to lose all of your footage you must backup your photos as you go on your trip. There are several different options: online cloud storage, external hard drive, or dual memory cards. The key is for organization.

In fact, you should be able to easily locate all of your photos. Otherwise, you could spend countless hours searching for a particular image, or worse never finding it again. Organization will help you backup your photos like a pro.

Adventure Photography Tips: Camera Gear

6. get a travel bag that can fit all of your gear.

Elements can create a huge challenge with camera gear. Adventure photography requires a compact, durable, and waterproof backpack. A bag that keeps everything securely packed away and dry.

The worst is to lug around several bags. You need one bag that fits all your essentials. This is one of the best purchases you will make for adventure photography. The 35 – 42L McKinnon Camera Bag is perfect for every adventure.

7. A Light and Compact Tripod

A travel tripod is the perfect addition to your gear to avoid blurry shots. It is a requirement to get the most out of your camera. Tripods can be a life saver for low light, long exposure shots, better photos of yourself, and night photography.

If you want to capture better travel photos, then a lightweight and durable tripod is a must.

8. You need ND filters

A neutral density (ND) filter is placed over the lens to reduce the amount of light entering the camera. ND filters work as sunglasses for your lens. Thus, you can shoot at slower shutter speeds, in brighter conditions, without overexposing your photos. However, just make sure to have a tripod if slowing down too much to avoid blurry photos.

ND filters are a crucial piece of camera gear that should be in every travel photographer’s bag. An absolute must if you are planning to take any pictures during the brightest hours of the day.

ND filters can create incredible effects to your images at any time during the day. These are a must for creating unique travel photos. A 10-stop ND filter will work great as a travel photographer.

Investing in a solid set of neutral density filters is one of the best ways to upgrade your adventure photography instantly.

sure travel photos

9. Get a DRONE!

Aerial views are awesome. Drones allow for some impressive shots, otherwise impossible to obtain. The unique angles can completely change the aesthetics of your photo.

Different compositions are able to tell a creative story. Remember, photography is all about telling your own story. A drone is a great way to capture a location in a new manner.

You can easily learn to fly a drone. So, do not let that stop you from adding this piece of equipment to your list of gear. Also, make sure to get your FAA Part 107 license for commercial use.

Adventure Photography Tips: Camera Settings

10. shoot in raw.

If you plan to edit your images, you must shoot in RAW. A RAW image is minimally processed and uncompressed. RAW images keep all the necessary data for maximizing your post-processing edits on your computer.

Otherwise, you are able to shoot in JPEG if you do not plan to edit. A JPEG is a compressed file, much smaller, that is easy to take from in camera without the editing process. However, you compromise on quality when shooting JPEG over RAW. But if you do not plan to edit than JPEG is the way to go.

It is okay to start shooting in JPEG. As you become more comfortable in your photography, you can always switch over to shooting in RAW.

11. Always Shoot in Manual Mode

You can shoot in AUTO or MANUAL mode. Auto mode is great for beginners. The camera will be in control of the settings. However, it will significantly limit your ability to create a spectacular image.

If you want to take your adventure photography up a level than you must shoot on manual mode. With this mode you are able to control a variety of settings on your camera. You should be proficient with ISO, aperture, and shutter speed . If you want to take the best images, you must understand the relationship between the three.

ISO is the artificial light added into an image. ISO must be kept as low as possible to reduce the amount of noise in the photo. Noise causes graininess in the image. The normal range of ISO is 100 to 3200. As you continue to climb upward, the image becomes too noisy.

Next, aperture is the amount of light entering the camera. Low apertures allow the most light into the image. Additionally, the lower apertures cause blurring of the background to create a depth of field, or bokeh.

The last major control is the shutter speed. The shutter speed is in control of adding light to the image, as well as creating a dramatic effect to motion. Fast shutter speeds are required for capturing quick movement. On the other hand, slow shutter speeds are used to create motion blur, like when shooting waterfalls.

12. Shoot with Your Edit Style in Mind

Always take your pictures with your edit style in mind. The best way to produce the image you want is to do as much as you can within your camera.

As you get more into adventure photography, you will begin to acquire your own style. For example, you could enjoy a light and airy look, or more of a dark and moody vibe.

The difference between styles will require you to change the way you shoot your subject from the beginning. If you like a dark and moody look, you will have to underexpose all your photos while taking them.

Keep your end goal in mind. This will require a different group of settings to get the aesthetics of the image you are wanting to create. The creation of the image you have in mind is best done in camera at the time of shooting. There is only so much that can be done on Lightroom , or any other editing software.

Hot springs in the mountains of Colorado with trees in the forground. Choosing your foreground is one adventure photography tip that can help you create stunning photos.

13. Choose Your Foreground, Subject, and Background Carefully

The subject, background, and foreground need to be properly placed into your photo. In terms of landscapes, make sure to take the picture at the right angle and distance to avoid cutting off certain portions of the subject. The worst part of a photo is to miss a portion of your subject, or background by accident.

Additionally, you can add a little foreground into your image. A small amount of leaves, or a little bit of rocks, directly in front of you can add depth to your image. Always be thinking about changing the combination of the three to create a unique perspective to your photography.

Another key point is to think about the purpose of the photo. Always try to leave some buffer room if you are planning to share your photos on social media. Different social medias have their own ideal dimensions. Additionally, if you are editing your photo and you realize the mountain is not straight, than this could cut off a portion when trying to fix it.

sure travel photos

14. Strategies to Create Beautiful Composition

Always shoot from different angles to get the right image. Several composition ideas to put in your photos include leading lines, rule of thirds, and the right foreground into your photography. However, these are just suggestions. The best part of adventure photography is that it is an art. So, always be open to finding your inner creativity.

Leading Lines

Use what is in your environment: roads, bridges, rivers, and trails are perfect for leading lines. Leading lines help to direct your viewer’s attention to the subject of the photo, whether it is a mountain or your travel partner.

Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds help for you to create balance in your photo. First, break down your picture into thirds, horizontally and vertically. The breakdown helps to place your subject.

Adding grid lines and a center point to your camera screen are other adventure photography tips to upgrade your composition. These boxes will help with placing your subject, and keeping the picture straight.

Foreground can add depth of field, color, and contrast to your image. A powerful foreground has the ability to add a creative touch to your background. It is not always about just the background. For example, if shooting a mountain range, try to add a colorful flower to the mix. The use of different foregrounds can create an incredible amount of contrast and 3-dimensional feel.

You do not always need to just take a picture straight on. Try getting low, or climbing up a nearby structure to shoot towards the subject in a different way. Drones are also a great addition for creative aerial shots.

sure travel photos

15. Take a Mix of Far, Mid, and Close-up Shots

When taking travel photos, make sure to include a variety of shots. Never settle for your first idea. In fact, you could decide a different type of shot fits the image so much better than you initially thought.

The best way to tell the story of the trip is to capture everything from a close-up of your friend’s face to the wide shots of an entire mountain range. All of the different shots help to tell your story.

A variety of distances can completely change your photography. Often, small details are missed when traveling. Thinking about a range of shots could spark a new creative twist to your travel photography. Capturing the beauty of a location involves a mixture of close, mid, and wide shots.

Adventure Photography Tips: While on Your Trip

16. always bring your camera.

Prepare for the unexpected. You never know what opportunity will arise. Even when you think you will not use it, it is still better to have it on you. Being ready for anything will pay off.

Always be ready to capture a special moment. You may stumble across an incredible travel photo opportunity when you least expect it. The best way to create stunning photos is to always be ready for them.

Additionally, keep your camera accessible. If it is hard to take your camera out of your bag, than you are less likely to go through the effort. This can be very common when out hiking, or doing anything active. Make it as easy as possible.

17. Fill Your Memory Card

Do not worry about filling up your memory cards. Your goal should be to take as many photos as you can. After all, it is very easy to delete bad photos. However, you cannot go back to take more photos. Although it may be annoying to have more photos to go through, not taking enough can lead to missing the perfect shot.

Adventure photography tip: tell a story with all of your photos.

18. Always Tell a Story With Adventure Photography

Telling a captivating story is one of the best adventure photography tips to create stunning photos. A great photo can share the emotions of an experience.

Storytelling grabs the attention of the viewer. Unlike just a simple image, a story inspires people and makes them feel emotion. While it can be a challenge to create these moments, it can have a powerful impact. As a result, you begin to connect on a deeper level with your audience.

With this in mind, leave some room in your photos for the viewer to ask questions to themselves. For example, lead your audience into wanting to know more about your photo. This will lead to more interest in your photography and is a great way to set yourself apart as a travel photographer.

19. Get Lost Off the Beaten Path

The best part of adventure photography is to capture your own version of a destination. Yes, some photos at the popular spots are acceptable. However, the real magic happens when you search for the undiscovered locations.

Make sure to explore. Is that not why you love to adventure anyways?

Getting lost off the beaten path on purpose is something everyone should be doing. Just pick a direction and start. If you really want to discover the true culture of a foreign place than you need to observe the locals. The locals will show you the hidden gems of any location, where few tourists often visit.

Skip the crowds and discover what lies underneath the hype. You will be thankful you took the time to discover something new.

20. Capture All Parts of Your Journey

Adventure photography tips include capturing images from your entire journey. You should never forget about the small moments. Often, you are so excited to reach your destination that you forget about the story leading up to it.

Your audience loves to see the “behind the scenes” action that lead to reaching an incredible landscape. Make sure to photograph all parts. The mix of the small moments, emotion, and difficulty all are just as important as a beautiful as a beautiful landscape.

What may seem uneventful can add a ton to your overall story. When you look back, you will be very happy you paid attention to documenting everything.

Timing is essential when capturing adventure photography.

21. Timing is Essential to Specific Shots

Sunrise and sunset are great lighting opportunities for adventure travel photographers. However, other times throughout the day provide opportunity to create an incredible photo. It all depends on your subject.

For example, the mid-morning brighter sun is great for popping the blue in Caribbean waters, or reducing the dark shadows from an aerial shot of a tropical rain forest. Always be thinking about your subject and what lighting situation would be ideal.

Timing is essential for creating the most stunning travel photos.

22. Make Sure to Wake Up Early and Stay Out Late

Sunrise and sunset are typically the best times of the day for adventure photography. The mood, location, and weather will determine which is best for you.

The time before sunrise and after sunset is called the blue hour. The colors are cool, usually a mix of blue and purple. And the time after sunrise and before sunset is the golden hour. At this time the colors are warm and the shadows are filled with soft light. Once you start shooting during these times you will find it hard to take photos at any other time of the day.

Which do you prefer? Light is everything for great photography.

Either way, the real tip for adventure photography is to wake up early and stay out late. These ideal shooting times will make for some long days. However, you will definitely not regret this time spent to improve your adventure travel photos.

23. Get Ready the Night Before for Sunrise Shoots

Timing is everything. You need to make a plan. Sunrise shoots will lead to some of the best pictures on your trip. However, if you are not ready and plan accordingly, it is easy to miss out.

Sunrise photography, especially when in a remote location, will take some time to reach the perfect spot. Everything from directions to packing your bag should be done the night before.

When waking up, you will be ready to walk right out the door. You will never miss a sunrise shoot again. Instead of being rushed, you will have all your gear neatly packed, directions ready, and extra time for an occasional wrong turn. Another adventure photography tip is to always check your batteries.

Adventure photography tips include getting to popular attractions right when they open for the best photo opportunities.

24. Get to Popular Attractions Right at Opening

Popular attractions will be busy. If you want a great photo you must plan to arrive prior to the other tourists. Surprisingly, many people avoid waking up early. You miss the chance to have all the popular locations to yourself.

A little extra effort can make all the difference with your travel photography. Do what others do not want to do. You will be rewarded for your efforts. Arriving at popular locations at the time of opening can drastically cut down on the crowds.

25. Take Pictures of the Locals While Traveling

Photographing locals is often missed by adventure travel photographers. It can be intimidating to ask while on your trip. However, you should start doing this whenever you are in a foreign country.

Just break the ice to ease your way into photographing the locals. The best way is to start with a hello and strike up a conversation. Try asking them questions about the local area. Or check out some of their art work and hand-made goods. There are so many opportunities to make a friend. Many locals love to get to know tourists.

Prior to your trip, you can research the local language. Locals appreciate the effort. Either way, many locals are very welcoming to photographers. In addition, you can always tip them for their involvement, or find some way to help them out as a thank you.

The worst scenario is that they say no. Then, just thank them for their time and move on. Rejection is not too bad. It becomes much easier the more you ask.

26. Respect Other Photographers

Many photographers take their work super serious. As you should too! However, you must be friendly and respect the work of other photographers in your environment.

Do not be the adventure photographer that no one else wants to work with. Adventure photography is a great community to be a part of. Make sure to do your part to make it an enjoyable place.

Treat other photographers the way you would like to be treated. It is very simple. Share popular destinations, practice patience, and be aware of everyone’s shot around you.

Adventure Photography Tips: Invest in Your Skills

Adventure photography tip is to be patient when trying to master your skills.

27. You Must Be Patient to Master Adventure Photography

Get used to being patient now. Adventure photography is all about timing and being in the right place. Weather, difficult locations, and distance can all make capturing the perfect shot time consuming.

Slow down and become aware of your surroundings. It is about looking around to find the right spot to shoot your subject when out on an adventure.

Small details can completely change your picture. Lighting, subjects, and the landscape can change quickly, so you must always be ready to get that 5-star photo. Patience is the king to creating stunning photos!

28. Expertise is More Important Than Camera Gear

Master your skills first. It does not matter how fancy your camera is if you do not know the fundamentals. In fact, you can have the best gear on the planet but that will not make your photography any better.

Expertise, skills, creativity, and dedication far outweigh the type of camera. If you really want to improve your photos, then make an investment in your photography skills. It will help more than the type of gear you have.

There is a time and place for expensive camera gear. Once you have the experience and knowledge, you can slowly start to upgrade your gear. This is because you reach a plateau. Only once you reach this time should you consider spending more money on your camera equipment. Otherwise, it will make no difference. Expensive cameras are great when trying to push the boundaries of photography. However, you must be patient, dedicated, and work hard to reach that level.

Adventure photography tips include to re-invest in your photography skills.

29. Re-Invest in Your Photography Skills

Consider taking an online photography course. You can never learn too much. So, investing in a course, or constantly seeking to learn new skills is a necessity for creating stunning travel images.

Always seek out to challenge yourself. There are so many different photography niches and a ton of information to learn. You can always use tips from another travel photographer. The more niches of photography you challenge yourself to learn, the more resourceful you become as an adventure photographer.

Additionally, go out and practice on a regular basis. It is hard to expect to create perfect images if you only use your camera when you travel.

30. Improve Your Editing Skills

Now you have learned how to take amazing adventure photos. You already use an editing software, like Lightroom, to edit all your travel pictures. The best way to keep improving your photos is to invest in your editing skills.

There are several ways to improve. You could start by watching some videos on Youtube to learn about more tools and advanced edit techniques. However, it can become overwhelming as there are so many skills to learn.

A higher level course could be the perfect answer to take your editing skills to the next level. However, do your research and find a course that suits your needs.

Post-processing is a crucial part to your photography. In fact, having great editing skills is more important than the camera gear you use. It can boost your photos from decent to exceptional with the right skills.

Time to Use These 30 Adventure Photography Tips For Your Next Adventure

These adventure photography tips are geared towards helping you improve your travel photos on your next trip. When traveling, documenting your trip should be a priority. You must practice and take a lot of photos to get the perfect shot. After all, taking stunning travel photos does take time and discipline.

Remember to tell a unique and captivating story that leaves your audience wanting more. Head off the normal path and go beyond what others have done before. Additionally, always be open to trying something new. The art of creating stunning travel photos requires you to be different.

Adventure photography is incredible. In fact, you are creating lasting memories for the rest of your life and telling a personal story of your journey. All these adventure photography tips will help you create stunning photos for you to share with everyone around you! After all, if you are ready to put in the work than you will succeed.

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25 Brilliant Tips For Travel Photography

sure travel photos

Written by BELLA FALK

Travel photography tips for beginners: Cygnet Bay, Australia

Let me guess: you love travel, but while you want to enjoy your holidays and make the most of the beautiful destination , you’re also a keen photographer and want to capture stunning images that you can look back on and share with your family and friends.

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That’s why you’re looking for tips for travel photography. But travel photography is hard! What gear should you take? How do you know where to go and when to go there? What about the weather? Photographing strangers is scary! Places are often crowded! There are so many questions and challenges that it can be quite intimidating to even start.

But as they say, a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. And you’ve taken that first step by coming here to read my easy travel photography tips for beginners. Hopefully all this advice will help inspire you to get your camera out and start improving your travel photography so you can create beautiful images of your holidays to enjoy for years to come.

Pin this for later: Travel Photography Tips for Beginners

Tips for Travel Photography: Planning

1/ do your research.

The best travel photography starts before you even leave home. To make the most of every destination , you first need to do your research. Look up the places you’re going to on Pinterest, Instagram, or your favourite travel blogs, find out where are the best places to go and the best time of day to go there, and get helpful advice on what gear to take. You can also search for images that inspire you and make a list of the sorts of themes and angles you’d like to get. That way, when you’re at the location, you won’t be wasting your precious holiday time searching for the right spot.

Travel photography tips for beginners: Oia in Santorini at sunset

2/ Know your camera

Another thing you need to make sure you do before leaving home is getting to know your camera. I rarely read instruction manuals, but when I buy a new camera, reading the manual is the first thing I do. Modern cameras are packed with amazing functions to help you take stunning images, so if you just stick yours on auto and hope for the best, you’re missing a great opportunity to get the most out of it.

If you’re a beginner travel photographer you don’t necessarily need to start learning all the manual settings, but even taking advantage of some of the different modes your camera offers – such as sports, nighttime or portrait – will really help take your travel photography to the next level.

Travel photography tips for beginners: Batwa tribeswoman, Uganda

Read more: The Rewards Of Visiting Uganda’s Batwa Tribe

3/ Travel as light as you possibly can

Don’t weigh yourself down with endless lenses, bodies, tripods and other paraphernalia. Yes it’s great to have lots of gear to choose from, but especially when you’re a beginner the key to great travel photography is freedom and flexibility. If you’re lugging a heavy backpack full of stuff, chances are most of it will end up staying in the bag, or by the time you’ve rummaged through it to find the thing you want the moment will have been lost.

This image was taken on Day 5 of climbing Kilimanjaro with a little Fuji X100T compact I bought specifically so I wouldn’t have to lug a DSLR up the mountain. I’m sure I got more and better shots with this because I could have it in my hand so it was ready to go every time I saw something interesting.

Travel photography tips for beginners: Karanga Camp on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

Read more: Climbing The 8 Days Lemosho Route On Kilimanjaro

4/ Bring the camera you have, and always have it with you

The old tip, ‘the best camera is the one you have with you’ is absolutely true. There’s no point splurging on a fancy camera if it’s so heavy you end up leaving it in the hotel. I love my Canon 5D Mark IV , but I have to admit it’s very bulky and heavy and there are lots of occasions when it’s not sensible or appropriate to bring it.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve ended up just using my phone because it’s quick and convenient – and you can take great travel photos with a smartphone! As a beginner, the number one best way you can improve your travel photography is by always having your camera close to hand so that when you spot that perfect moment, you’re ready to grab it.

Travel photography tips for beginners: you can take great travel photos with a smartphone.

Read more: An Unhelpful Guide To… Aztec Ruins In Mexico

Travel Photography Tips for Beginners: On Location

5/ prioritise your photography.

You may get lucky and spot a golden opportunity for the perfect photo, but if you’re really keen on taking the best travel images you can, you’re going to need to carve out time in your trip for photography. That’s what’s going to make the difference between a nice holiday snap and a professional-quality travel photograph.

When I’m travelling, I often plan mornings or afternoons just to explore a place with my camera; for me it’s a great way to really get to the heart of an area and spot things I’d never normally notice if I was just walking round as a tourist.

Travel photography tips for beginners: traffic in Havana, Cuba

Read more: Stunning Photography on the Streets of Cuba

6/ Get up early and stay out late

The best times to prioritise for travel photography are around sunrise and sunset. Not only will you get the nicest light – the hours just before and just after dawn and dusk (known as blue hour and golden hour) will give you the prettiest light and the most interesting skies, but you’ll also avoid the crowds and be more likely to get those gloriously empty images of your destination that you see on all the travel websites. Yes, it can be tough to drag yourself out of bed that early, but I promise you it’s worth it!

I took this image of our campsite in the Sahara Desert, Morocco , at blue hour, just after sunset, while the rest of my tour group were drinking wine round the campfire. I don’t regret it for a second, and of course I joined them as soon as I was done!

Travel photography tips for beginners: shoot your images at blue hour and golden hour.

7/ React to the moment

While it’s great to have a plan, sometimes it’s even better to just chuck that plan out of the window and go with the flow. So you’ve arrived somewhere and it’s really crowded? The weather is bad? That famous landmark you came to see is covered with scaffolding? Then you’ll need to adapt.

Travel photography is all about seeing what’s in front of you and capturing the spirit of the place, and if that spirit isn’t what you were expecting, just roll with it. When I was in India I found everywhere was really crowded, so instead of trying to take photos of landmarks (arguably quite boring anyway), I decided to capture the other people taking selfies and came back with some much more characterful travel images as a result.

Travel photography tips for beginners: go with the flow and shoot what you see

Read more: India: a Nation of Selfie-Lovers

8/ Set yourself a challenge

It can be all too easy to wander aimlessly with your camera, taking pot shots at random things and not really getting anything good. At times like these I find it’s really helpful to set myself a project. It might be to get ten really great photos of traders in a market, or to focus on doors, street dogs, or graffiti.

You could force yourself to shoot everything without using your zoom or set yourself a travel photography scavenger hunt with a list of 10 or 20 different things you want to capture that sum up the destination for you. Doing this will really force you to think about your photography and help you bring back much better images than if you just fire off your shutter at whatever happens to be in front of you.

In Trinidad, Cuba I spent about three hours wandering around just taking photos of people in doorways; this is one of my favourites.

Travel photography tip for beginners: a main painting a colourful doorway in Trinidad, Cuba

9/ Abandon your tour group…

If you’re taking a tour or travelling with a group, travel photography can be extra challenging. Getting stunning images takes time and patience, and if you’re always being told to keep up, or you’re worried about getting lost, that can really limit what you can achieve.

So wherever possible, I find the best solution to this is to ditch the group and do my own thing.  If you plan to do this, make sure you tell the guide so they’re not looking for you, get their number in case you do get lost, agree a time and place to meet later, and if you can, grab a friend for company and safety. I also always try to be one of the last back on the bus – not late, of course, so I’m delaying everyone, but not early either, so I’m not sitting in a half empty bus when I could still be out exploring.

In Chefchaouen, Morocco , I left the group and wandered off by myself to find interesting corners like this one.

Travel photography tip for beginners: don't be afraid to explore by yourself

10/ … but mine your guide for information

Taking a tour – even if it’s just a day trip or a guided visit to a site – does offer up one huge advantage for travel photography: local knowledge! Your guide should know all the best places to go, the key things to photograph, and the best times to go there. I always let the guide know that travel photography is my passion, and they will often give great advice and sometimes even adjust the itinerary to make sure I get extra opportunities to take amazing photos of the destination.

In Inle Lake, Myanmar we had a free day, and by chatting with the guide I learned it was possible to hire a private boat and go out on the lake before sunrise, which is how I got images like this one.

Travel photography tip for beginners: ask locals for advice on the best places to go and things to see

Read more: The Beautiful Leg-Rowing Inle Lake Fishermen, Myanmar

11/ Get lost on purpose

Sometimes the best images I’ve taken have been the unexpected ones, when you wander down a side street and discover a slice of local life that the guidebooks would never know about. If you stick to the beaten paths and follow the usual tourist trails, mostly what you will see is other tourists and the country’s polished public face.

It’s only when you dip a little behind the scenes that you find the really interesting stuff, the bits that haven’t already been photographed a million times. So be bold. Wander curiously and see where it takes you – and when you’ve had enough just ask for directions or let Google maps guide you back.

Travel photography tip for beginners: get lost on purpose. Local street, Trinidad, Cuba

Tips for Travel Photography: Composition

12 / use the rule of thirds.

If you’re a beginner travel photographer you may already be familiar with this concept. The rule of thirds states that if you imagine your image divided up into thirds horizontally and vertically, the most visually-pleasing composition is one where the subject of the image sits on one of the third lines. This draws the eye in and makes for a much more satisfying image than if you put the subject dead centre or too far off to one edge. It really works and it’s one of the easiest ways to make a huge difference to your photography in a single step.

In the image below, you can see the horizon sits nicely on the bottom third line, and the church tower and window are on the left third line.

Of course the rule of thirds is really a guideline more than a rule. Feel free to break it if you want to! If you scroll through the images in this post you’ll notice that the majority of them do follow the rule – but not all of them!

Travel photography tip for beginners: use the rule of thirds. Church by fjord at night, Norway

13/ Include people

While you probably want to avoid massive crowds of tourists, it’s a really great idea to try to capture individuals in your travel photos. Including a person can add a sense of scale to a beautiful landscape or give a focal point to wide shot of a landmark.

A street with a few traditionally-dressed locals walking through will always capture the essence of a destination more completely than an empty road, while a charming portrait of a local character always makes for an engaging image. So rather than waiting for people to walk OUT of your shots, why not think about waiting for them to walk IN?

Read more: 25 Spectacular Places To Visit For Travel Photography

Travel photography tip for beginners: include people in your images.

14/ Be patient

The best travel photographs rarely happen in an instant. Yes, it only takes a fraction of a second to click the shutter, but to get to that point you need not only planning, but also patience. Quite often I find I can see the potential shot, but the reality is not quite right. The sun needs to come out from behind a cloud, or I need the right sort of person to walk through the shot, or I want the market trader to hand over the money or the tourist to get out of the way.

Often I can be waiting for ages for the thing to happen; sometimes I lose patience and give up, but other times the farmer I’ve got my camera trained on looks up and laughs and it’s totally worth the wait.

Travel photography tip for beginners: be patient and wait for the perfect moment.

Read more: Taking Portraits in Myanmar (Burma)

15/ Think about what’s in the background

A common mistake that many beginner travel photographers make is that they’re so focussed on the subject of their image that they fail to notice what’s going on in the background. Is there a tree growing out of your subject’s head? Did a tourist just wander into the back of the shot? Is there a parked car or pile of rubbish spoiling the view?

When composing your image, ask yourself, ‘what is this photo actually OF?’ and then try to exclude anything that distracts from that, either by reframing, moving your position, moving the subject (if you can!) or waiting until the annoying person in the back of shot has moved away.

In this image of the Falkland Islands I chose to include the people as I wanted to show the juxtaposition of the group and the albatross colony, but if I’d wanted this to just be a photo of the colony I’d have needed to move or zoom in.

Travel photography tip for beginners: think carefully about what you want to include and what to leave out.

16/ Move your feet

Most modern cameras have huge zooms which allow you to get a variety of different shot sizes from a single standing point. But if you stay stuck in one place, you may be missing out on a better view of your subject just to one side. So don’t get too attached to one spot: get closer, get further away, find a vantage point… you might just stumble across something unexpected. And as an added bonus: photography is great for your daily step count!

While the rest of my group were all standing together over to the left, I explored a bit further round to the side and was able to get a much better angle on this chimpanzee.

Chimpanzee trekking Kibale Uganda

Read more: Chimpanzee Trekking In Uganda: A Breathtaking Wildlife Adventure

17/ Don’t copy Instagram

While it’s great to use Instagram for background research, once you’ve seen what’s out there try to think outside the box and do your own thing. No travel photographer ever won an award by taking the exact same picture as everyone else, and no one wants to look at hundreds of identical photos of the same place.

How many photos have you seen of a girl in a big hat with her back to the camera looking at a view? It’s so unoriginal! See what everyone else is doing, sure, but then use it as inspiration and move forward.

Street food market in Marrakech, Morocco

18/ Take the obvious shot, then take a better one

Each time you take a picture, instead of just taking one, take two. First, the standard one from the conventional viewpoint, and then do something different. Zoom in, crouch down, move closer, walk round the side, wait for someone to walk into the frame, look for a different vantage point, find some way to make your image a little bit less ordinary. This will set you apart from the masses and give you unique, more eye-catching images.

This first photo of the Duomo in Orvieto, Italy , is perfectly nice, but don’t you think the second one is far more interesting?

The standard shot of the Duomo in Orvieto, Italy

Read more: 30 Beautiful Pictures Of Guatemala And The Stories Behind Them

Traveller Photography: Best Practice

19/ be culturally aware.

There are many places in the world where photography is frowned upon. Some sites ban it, in other places local people just don’t like being constantly papped by passing tourists. Sadly with the rise of social media this is becoming more and more common, and it’s certainly something I’ve found frustrating in the past, but as a responsible traveller it’s your job to respect the locals and their customs.

So if you find yourself in a place where it’s not permitted or appropriate to take photos, don’t do it. Simply enjoy being in the moment and focus on making memories instead.

Read more: Ethical Travel Photography: How To Capture With A Conscience

Friendly local man at the market in Arusha, Tanzania

20/ Ask permission

It’s not necessary (and it would be impossible) to ask permission from every man or woman in the street before you take a photo, but if you want to take a close up of an individual it’s a good idea to get their consent first. Doing this shows respect and gives that person the chance to decide whether they want to be photographed or not. Don’t worry if you don’t speak the language, a simple smile and a gesture towards your camera is universally understood.

Sometimes, however, you may not want to interrupt the moment as this can often cause the person to stop what they were doing and ruin the shot. In this case you’ll need to make a decision. If you’re far enough away and can quickly take the photo without offending them, do that. If you want to get closer, the best strategy is to ask permission, take one or two photos, walk away a little and wait for them to forget about you and go back to what they were doing, then come back and get the shot you originally wanted.

Fishmonger at the Catania fish market, Catania, Sicily

21/ Be safe

Of course it should go without saying that while following all of these tips, it’s important to be sensible. Don’t go off alone if you’re not sure you’ll be able to find your way back. Don’t wander into a dodgy part of town with a big expensive camera hanging round your neck.

Make sure your money is secure and your backpack pockets are properly zipped and your passport is in the safe in your hotel so that someone can’t pickpocket you while you’re busy focussing on other things.

Watch where you’re putting your feet so you don’t fall off a cliff or step in front of a car. If possible, have someone with you so you can keep an eye on each other. Photography is enormous fun, but that fun will come to a swift end if you get robbed or worse, and no image is worth putting yourself in danger for.

Travel photography tips for beginners: be safe. Photographing in the Peak District, UK

Travel Photography Tips for Beginners: Technicalities

22/ bring enough memory and batteries.

You’ve spent all that money to go all that way, so the last thing you want is to miss out on bringing home some fantastic images just because you didn’t bring enough memory! Make sure you’ve got your charger, at least one spare battery and a big enough memory card or two. Imagine how annoyed you’d be if you spotted something astonishing and then couldn’t capture it because your card was full or your battery died!

25 Brilliant Tips For Travel Photography

23/ Backup backup

Whether you can do this depends on where you’re going and how light you plan to travel, but I never go away for more than a few days without taking a laptop and hard drives with me. At the end of every day I download the photos and back them up on two drives which I store separately, so that if ever my camera or a drive gets lost or broken, I won’t lose all my images.

This image of a penguin colony in Antarctica was just one of several thousand that I took. Losing them all would have been a disaster so I backed up my photos every day.

Gentoo penguin colony, Neko Harbour, Antarctica

24/ Learn some basic photo editing

If you really want to take your travel photography to the next level, you need to learn a little photo editing . No professional travel photograph you will ever see has come straight out of the camera; they have all been tweaked at least a bit.

I’m not talking about hours of colour correcting and photoshopping here, and if you’re a beginner I’m not suggesting you pay for pro editing software (at least for now, though you may want to later on), but there are plenty of free tools out there (including the one that probably came with your camera) that will allow you to make a few simple improvements. Things like cropping, levelling a wonky horizon, or adjusting white balance or exposure, are just small corrections that can really help to make each image just that little bit better.

Market trader in Mysore, India

25/ Practise at home

And finally – yes, it’s all about practice. No one ever got good at anything overnight, but if you’re passionate and you want to learn, you WILL get better! Why not try taking your camera out round your local area, for example? Practice street photography in your own town or shoot landscapes in your nearest bit of countryside. That way when you’ve splurged your savings on that trip of a lifetime, you won’t mess it up!

Improve your travel photography: practise at home

Further travel photography reading

Looking for more tips for travel photography? Why not try some of these:

  • 19 Wildlife Photography Tips for Beginners
  • 13 Top Tips For Photographing Markets
  • How To Take Great Photos Of The Northern Lights

70+ Stunning South Georgia Photography Tips

  • Photography on the streets of Cuba

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4 thoughts on “25 brilliant tips for travel photography”.

Amazing tips!! Your photos are always incredible!!

Thank you so much Melanie, you’ve really made me smile 🙂

Such a nice and interesting post for travel photography.

Excellent blog.keep updating us with your info..

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Intrepid Travel Blog

Intrepid’s photography experts share their best travel photo tips 

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It’s time to pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure and dust off that camera. We’re about to spill the beans on the best tips and tricks to take your travel pics from blah to brilliant.  

We’ve gathered all the best advice from our seasoned globetrotting photography experts, whether you’re a casual snapper or an at-home expert. From capturing that once-in-a-lifetime wildlife shot, spontaneous street shenanigans and even some gear advice to help you curate the perfect camera bag, you’ll find something for every photo goal.  

All that’s left is to make sure your batteries are charged. Happy snapping! 

Meet the experts  

At Intrepid, we’re lucky to have a whole bunch of talented photographers on staff who offered up their expertise. Meet Cliff Bielawski, digital creative manager; Leo Cheng, video coordinator; Mimi Field, video editor; Pat O’Neill, senior designer; Vanessa Ondrade, graphic designer and Jamie Bosanko, design lead. 

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Get wild with wildlife   

All about eyes – cliff  .

When shooting wildlife , the priority should be focusing on the animal’s eyes. Other parts of the animal can go out of focus, but if the eyes are in focus, you’ll have a much more engaging shot. 

Patience is a virtue – Cliff  

Be patient with wildlife and try to look for more interesting angles. Take some time to observe them for a bit, learn their movements and try to anticipate where they will be – then frame your shot. Wait for them to come into the frame instead of constantly trying to follow them. 

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Get up close and personal (from a distance) – Mimi  

Many of our trips offer opportunities to capture photos of wildlife. It’s important to note that if you’re aiming for close-ups of animals, a minimum focal length of 300mm is recommended. Anything beyond 400mm is fantastic for achieving even more detailed and captivating shots. 

Time to get framed   

Bigger is better – cliff  .

Ever notice how sometimes photos taken on your phone don’t look as big or impressive as they did in person? To emphasise scale, it’s sometimes better not to shoot wide and instead use a longer lens. Shooting with a longer lens more closely represents how your eyes see the world and having parts of the subject cut off by the frame creates the illusion that it’s too big to be captured by your camera.  

Get a new perspective – Cliff  

Shoot through something in the foreground to frame your subject for a more interesting angle. This can also make a moment feel more intimate and special because it’s a perspective that maybe no one else has seen before. 

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Tell your own tales – Leo  

You may have done extensive research before your trip and have a general impression of how a perfect angle can be achieved. Throw these images in your head away once you’re there and have fun exploring your composition and placement to create a story you want to share with your friends.  

How to travel like an expert   

Less is more – jamie  .

While it’s good to be prepared for everything, travelling light can be the difference between a great day out and a miserable time lugging a heavy bag. Before you head out for the day, think carefully about what you’ll be shooting that day and which lens would be most appropriate. If you’re not sure, try an all-round mid-range zoom lens to give yourself some versatility.  

Travel as lightly as possible – Pat  

Don’t bring your whole kit! Study your itinerary and make the call on what lenses you may need. If you’re hiking in the Himalayas or the Andes, you’ll need a wide lens so a 24-70mm would be ideal. If you’re doing a safari, then you want to bring a 70-200mm or something even longer. 

Don’t say phooey to your phone   

Don’t doubt the smartphone – pat  .

These days, the cameras in phones are ridiculously good, and the shots you get out of them will be good enough for however you choose to use them. Just don’t forget to shoot in landscape as well as portrait. These days people tend to blast away in portrait as that’s how most images are shared online. Landscape gives you more versatility and just looks better.  

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Keep it moving – Vanessa  

If you’re using an iPhone to shoot pictures, shoot in Live mode. That way, you can choose different frames from the one shot in case the original looks bad. You could also take short videos and pull stills from there, just try to hold your phone as steady as possible!  

Getting the shot   

The perfect time is now – leo  .

While there’s a general rule of thumb for the ideal lighting or environment to take photos, this should not keep you from pressing the shutter. Don’t let the rain, mist or low light stop you from capturing the photo you want. You may even create unique vibes for your photo from different weather conditions. Besides, photo editing apps are so accessible that you’ll be amazed by what you can do with just a few clicks and slides from your phone. 

Get snap happy – Mimi  

Capturing multiple shots may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. The reality is that taking as many shots as possible in a single moment increases your chances of getting a good pose or capturing the perfect expression. This is particularly crucial in wildlife photography, where it’s impossible to predict the next move of an animal. Having 20 images to choose from will better your chances of getting the shot you were hoping for. 

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Crouch, crawl, climb! – Jamie  

Don’t be afraid to move around while shooting to get the perfect angle. Sometimes, getting a little higher up or closer to the ground is the difference between a good shot and a great shot. Just be absolutely certain you’re being respectful of other people’s space, the local culture and safety. No shot is worth it if you get run over or fall out of a tree! 

Have faith – Cliff  

Know when you got the shot and move on. It doesn’t mean you need to stop taking pictures of whatever you’re shooting, but once you think you have a good shot move on to experimenting with more creative angles instead of wasting time getting a bunch more of the same.  

Early bird catches the shot – Cliff  

Get up early. The busiest cities in the world can be completely empty if you get up early enough. The light is also better at this time. 

Catching the light – Cliff  

Magic hour (about one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset) is typically the best light, but midday light is ideal when shooting underwater. Water absorbs a lot of light, so the harsher sunlight penetrates more to better light your subject and create more vibrant colours. Try to position the sun behind or perpendicular to your subject for more dramatic shots with stronger contrast and visible light rays. Setting your white balance around 4500K will also help with capturing the blue colour of the water better. 

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All the gear – some ideas   

Keep your camera dry – cliff .

A cheap dry bag is better than no dry bag. If you ever find yourself airborne in a boat, a dry bag increases the chances of you still owning a camera when the boat lands. It’s also a great place to store an extra shirt or towel so there is extra padding when you sandwich the bag between your body and the bottom of the boat as you hold on for dear life.  

Pro tip: Fill the dry bag with a little water, clothes and detergent and shake it for easy laundry on the go.

Know your camera – Mimi  

Familiarise yourself with your camera to the extent that you could shoot with your eyes closed. This familiarity becomes crucial in capturing moments you don’t want to miss, like the sudden appearance of a rare bird. In such instances, having the ability to swiftly turn on the camera and adjust the settings within a short three-second window can make all the difference. 

Silica gel saves the day – Jamie  

Travelling somewhere hot and humid? Be careful of moisture! While it won’t necessarily damage your gear, there’s nothing worse than opening your camera bag and discovering you’ve missed the shot because your lens was fogged up from the humidity. This can be easily avoided by putting a couple of small silica gel packs in your camera bag to absorb excess moisture. 

Small but mighty – Cliff  

If you’re on a budget and want to take wildlife photos, consider buying a camera with an APS-C or Micro 4/3 sensor. These cameras introduce a crop factor on the lenses they use which extends the range. A 400mm lens on a Micro 4/3 camera can be the equivalent of 800mm. Lenses for these cameras are often smaller and more affordable than full frame. 

What’s been your favourite place to take photos so far? 

Cliff:  Galapagos Mimi:  Borneo Leo:   California Vanessa:  Japan Jamie:  Japan Pat:  Nepal

Find the perfect place to put these tips into action on a small group adventure with Intrepid.

Feeling inspired?

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Rianna Manuel

Rianna Manuel is a global copywriter for Intrepid. When she was 11 years old, while exploring Europe and the UK with her family, Rianna fell asleep with a pen in her hand, writing about their visit to Venice and how she wanted to be a travel writer someday. Rianna says somehow, she has bamboozled people into letting her do just that.

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100 Incredible Travel Photo Ideas to Inspire Your Next Adventure

By: Author Valerie Forgeard

Posted on Published: December 28, 2022  - Last updated: July 31, 2023

Categories Travel

Are you looking for creative ways to capture your travel memories? Whether you’re an experienced photographer or just starting, plenty of unique photo ideas will make your travel photos stand out from the rest.

From shooting at unusual angles and playing with perspective to finding exciting subjects, here are some great ideas and tips for taking beautiful and eye-catching vacation photos. So get ready to explore the world through your lens!

Landscape photography is an easy way to capture your travels and the beauty of nature.

When traveling, it can be difficult to find the time (or energy) to take a landscape photo. But if you have the opportunity, don’t miss it! Landscape photos are a great way to capture your trip’s incredible memories. Here are some great photo ideas that will help you keep fond memories of the different landscapes you encounter:

  • Sunset over the sea
  • Lighthouses
  • The view from the top of a mountain
  • Sunrise over the mountains
  • Misty morning shots of a city skyline or a mountainside
  • A rainbow after a thunderstorm
  • The view from your hotel window
  • A tree with leaves changing color in the fall
  • An old building or structure that has been around for years
  • A photo of a city skyline at sunset
  • A picture with a landmark or other famous place in the background
  • A full moon over a lake
  • A street in a new city
  • An old building with character that has been around for hundreds of years
  • The landscape
  • A lush green forest in spring
  • A film location

When you’re traveling, don’t be afraid to take a selfie. It’s a great way to document your experiences and share them with everyone back home. Try out some of these photography ideas:

  • A photo of you with a local friend
  • A photo of the view outside your window
  • Yourself at a tourist spot
  • A photo of your reflection in the mirror
  • A photo of you eating
  • A selfie with a foreign language sign
  • A photo of you in front of your window seat on an airplane
  • A selfie with a statue of someone you admire
  • A photo of yourself in front of a famous painting or sculpture
  • A selfie with your favorite piece of street art or graffiti
  • A selfie of you walking on the beach
  • A selfie of you jumping into the water
  • A photo of you having a drink at the airport
  • A photo of you and your suitcase
  • Selfie with a famous person you met on your trip
  • Selfie in your hotel room
  • Selfie while walking on the street
  • A picture of you in front of a famous landmark
  • Selfie with your favorite tourist attraction
  • Selfie on a boat
  • Selfie of you at a local event or concert
  • Selfie with traditional clothes

Local Culture

Local culture is an essential indicator of a country’s identity. It’s essentially the way of life and habits of the people. It’s their way of thinking and acting that makes their country unique. Here are some ideas for travel photos that you can use to document the cultural side of your trip.

  • The local color
  • A poster of a local celebrity
  • Architecture
  • A photo in a museum or art gallery
  • An animal you don’t see every day
  • A photo of a local product purchased
  • A local delicacy
  • A selfie with a local statue
  • A photo from a local market
  • A photo of a festival or parade in the city
  • A religious building
  • A religious ritual or ceremony (if allowed)
  • A local place to relax after a long day
  • Local people in traditional dress (if approved)
  • Local food stalls
  • A local dance performance
  • A local sports team playing a game
  • Local transportation
  • A game popular with the locals
  • Cultural symbols

Capturing Moments

Capturing moments in photos is something I love to do. It’s a great way to express your feelings and emotions without having to say anything.

I used to make the mistake of not taking photos to live better in the present, but now I know that memory can fade, and now I love capturing moments in photos because it brings back all the beautiful memories from the past.

  • Sailing and boating
  • A photo of your tour guide showing you something
  • A photo of a map (or screenshot of Google Maps) or directions that help you reach your destination
  • Your plane is making its way through the clouds to your destination
  • A surfer riding the waves at sunset
  • Trying to catch a wave
  • A hike in the rainforest
  • A photo of you or friends jumping into a pool
  • A photo of something that represents what it means to be from where you’re from
  • A photo from inside a vehicle
  • Photos while riding in cabs or busses
  • A photo with someone who makes you happy, such as a friend, family member, or even your pet!
  • A photo of your feet in the sand
  • A photo of a street performer
  • Your going away party
  • The reflection of something in the water, like an animal or a tree
  • An empty bus stop on a rainy day
  • An empty street in the rain
  • The terrace of a café on a sunny day

Creating a Social Impact

Traveling is about more than just seeing the sights and taking selfies. It’s about taking in your surroundings, learning about other cultures, and connecting with the people around you. And when you travel to a place that needs more attention, it’s even more important to spread that awareness. After all, travel isn’t just about exploring new places – it’s also an opportunity to contribute to the lives of the people you meet.

  • A place destroyed by natural disasters.
  • Plastic bottles on the beach
  • Taking a photo of an endangered species
  • A national park
  • Unusual weather
  • The local school that needs help
  • Local charity (make sure the organization is reputable)
  • Photo of your donation
  • The entrance to an orphanage (don’t take pictures of children unless you have official permission to do so)
  • A picture of an abandoned building or house
  • An animal shelter
  • Local vegetarian or vegan food
  • Local wildlife
  • Take a picture of yourself holding up a handwritten sign that says, “I believe in peace.”
  • A CO2-reduced mode of transportation

What Makes a Good Travel Photo?

Whether you’re traveling alone or with friends, taking photos is a great way to document your trip.

The best travel photos are those that capture the natural beauty of your surroundings. Whether you’re traveling alone or with friends, taking photos on the road is a great way to document your trip.

Here are a few photography tips on how to capture beautiful images and make sure they look their best:

Shoot in Color Instead of Black and White

Color is more than just a pretty face. It’s also your best friend when it comes to travel photography, helping you capture the vibrancy of your surroundings and giving your vacation pictures a time frame as technology advances.

When you shoot in color, you have the ability to capture every detail and texture of a scene. You don’t have to worry about getting the perfect exposure or how the image will look on paper – you can just focus on capturing what you have in front of you and worry about the rest later.

Black and white photography, on the other hand, requires you to think about what makes an image work, because there’s no color to cover imperfections or distract from flaws in composition or subject matter. Rather than focusing on getting everything right in every shot, black-and-white photography requires you to analyze every element in the image to ensure that everything fits together seamlessly for maximum impact – whether it’s making sure that each subject is sufficiently separated from the others, or ensuring that there is enough contrast between light sources and shadows within a scene so that there are no unwanted distractions from what should be the focus of the image.

What makes black and white photos special is that black and white photos are timeless, while color photos can quickly look dated as technology advances. Some photographers even choose to convert their images to black and white after the fact, believing that it gives them more creative freedom than shooting in color.

Color is vibrant and eye-catching, but black and white can be just as impressive – if not more so – than its counterpart.

When Possible, Use Natural Light

When traveling and taking photos, it’s easy to get into the habit of shooting only when the sun is shining. But if you have the time, you should shoot with natural light as much as possible.

Natural light is softer than artificial light and gives your photos a more flattering look. It also makes your subjects look more natural and less posed.

If you don’t have much time or access to natural light, find a place with good artificial lighting. If you’re at a restaurant, ask if there are any empty seats where the light isn’t too bright or harsh. If there isn’t, move outside or around the corner to another area where the lighting is better than your current spot.

Experiment With Angles and Perspectives

Photography is about capturing the world around you. It’s not just about taking a photo, it’s about conveying your feelings and emotions. The best travel photos are the ones that show you a place from an angle or perspective you’ve never seen before. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to make your photos even more interesting – you may discover something new about a place that no one has noticed!

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your camera. Using filters and other effects can add life to your images, but remember that these are just tools, not rules. If something doesn’t work for you, don’t use it again!

A photo should tell a good story. When choosing where to shoot, look for areas where there are lots of exciting objects that you can include in the shot – a fountain or sculpture would be ideal. If there are no apparent subjects, look for patterns in architecture or street signs; these can make great subjects for photos!

Get Up Close and Personal With Your Subject

Zoom in to see the details of a flower, or zoom out to capture the scene of a busy cityscape.

Zooming in allows you to focus on one part of the image while leaving other parts out of focus. This can be very effective at isolating your subject from its surroundings and focusing the viewer’s attention on what matters most to you.

When photographing landscapes and scenery, use a wide-angle lens that shows large areas of the landscape in one shot. If you’re photographing small objects like flowers or insects, you should use a macro lens that allows you to take extreme close-ups that show intricate details of small objects like petals and leaves.

How to Share Your Travel Photos

We used to organize an evening with family and friends to share our travel experiences. Nowadays, everything is shared instantly. So if you’re a photography enthusiast, it’s time to start thinking about your next trip.

There are many ways to share your photos online. Here are some tips on how to show off your travel photos online:

Set Up an Online Gallery

Setting up an online gallery is the easiest way to show off your travel pictures. There are many services on the Internet, including Flickr and SmugMug. You can also use your website or blog to showcase your photos.

The purpose of an online gallery is to share your best shots with friends and family, as well as potential clients and employers. If you’re serious about becoming a professional photographer, it’s a good idea to create such a gallery, even if you don’t plan to charge money to view photos.

Use Social Media

If you don’t have much time and don’t mind strangers seeing your pictures, you can post them on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are easy ways to share photos with friends. You can also post them on travel forums or blogs if you want feedback and advice from other travelers.

  • On Facebook, simply upload your favorite travel photos to your Timeline and tag them with where they were taken. Your friends will see them in their news feeds over time – some may even like them or comment on them!
  • On Instagram, use hashtags to link your Instagram photo to other images from the exact location (e.g., “#paris”). This way, people can search for images related to their destination and find yours too!
  • If you use Snapchat, create a story that lasts 24 hours so people can view a series of snaps together without having to keep going back to old snaps. If you’re on Twitter or Tumblr, try posting updates in real time by sharing photos with your followers every few minutes (or seconds!). This is fun for both sides because it creates a sense of excitement for what’s happening!

Create a Blog

A blog is one of the most effective ways to show off your travel memories of the best places you’ve been and the amazing people you’ve met, while detailing your trip. Nowadays, blogs are easy and intuitive to create and can be used to showcase your best shots from around the world.

Blogs are also great for sharing your experiences with others, such as advice on what to do or not do when visiting a particular place or region. For example, if you’ve been to Australia several times and know the best places to go, why not share some tips about those places on your blog? You might even want to share some stories about your experiences there!

Another reason blogging can be beneficial is the opportunity to connect with people who have traveled to similar places. This is especially important if you want to connect with like-minded people from around the world with similar interests.

The first step is to choose a platform on which to create your blog. There are many options, like WordPress or Tumblr, but they all offer similar features. The next step is to choose a template that fits your style and needs.

You can also use free websites like Weebly or Squarespace, which allow you to create a beautiful website without any coding knowledge.

A great way to showcase your photos is to use a grid layout, where each image fills an entire column or row. This way, users can see each travel photo without having to scroll down a lot, which makes browsing photos much easier.

Another good option is to add captions under each travel photo so viewers can read what’s happening in each image or why you chose it as one of your favorites.

Create a Physical Travel Photo Album With Your Favorite Photos

A physical travel photo album of your favorite photos is a great way to showcase your photos, especially for those who don’t use the internet, like older people.

It’s also a great way to preserve your memories and share them with family and friends. Or maybe you want to stay offline to protect your privacy.

You can create a photo book at home or hire someone to create it. Many companies offer a photo book service where the book is designed and printed for you.

You can also design a photo book yourself at home or hire someone to create it. Many companies offer a photo book service where they design and print the book for you.

Here are some tips on how to create a physical photo album:

  • Select your favorite travel photos from your collection . It’s better to start with fewer photos than too many, because it can be difficult to choose which vacation photos to put in an album.
  • Select your favorite photos in terms of quality and content – this will ensure that all the images go well together. For example, if you’re creating a vacation album, all the pictures should have been taken during that road trip so they have similar backgrounds and lighting conditions.
  • Create a theme for your album (e.g., “vacation,” “family portrait,” “friends”). If you give yourself guidelines for what kind of photos you need, it’ll be easier for you to choose good photos from your collection.
  • Consider adding captions or short descriptions next to each photo . These little extras make the album more personal and interactive – perfect if it’s intended as a gift!

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Experiencing Nature's Thrill: The Best Lake Sports

Are you a water sports lover? We have prepared a list of lake sports you are sure to enjoy on your next lake visit. Let's jump right in:

Emmanuel Desouza • May 31, 2024

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Lakes are natural facilities for outdoor water sports . They are picturesque, serene and exist as solid playgrounds for recreation, leisure and a variety of thrilling sports. However, not all lakes are suitable for sports . Lakes must be able to withstand recreational impact and be broad enough to contain a recreation zone to be deemed fit for sporting activities. Fun fact: a lake’s age and size determine its sustainability for sports or recreation. Most high-speed water sports require at least a 10-foot-deep lake.

If you’re reading this, you are probably a water sports lover yourself or want to explore its vast world. Therefore, we’ve prepared a list of lake sports you’ll surely to enjoy on your next lake visit. Let’s jump right in.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Want A Little "Me Time" On A Group Trip? I Vacationed With Intrepid Travel

Kayaking and canoeing are excellent ways to explore the calm waters of a lake while getting a good workout. These activities allow you to paddle at your own pace, whether you’re looking to cruise leisurely along the shoreline or challenge yourself with a more intense paddle. Kayaks and canoes come in various styles to suit different skill levels and preferences, from solo and tandem options to sit-on-top and enclosed designs.

Water Skiing and Wakeboarding

For those seeking a bit more adrenaline, water skiing and wakeboarding are thrilling options. These sports involve being towed behind a boat at high speeds, allowing you to glide across the water’s surface and perform jumps and tricks. While they require some initial practice and balance, the excitement and sense of accomplishment make them well worth the effort.

Jet skiing offers the excitement of high-speed water travel and is a favorite for thrill-seekers. These personal watercrafts are easy to maneuver and can reach impressive speeds, making them ideal for exploring larger lakes or just enjoying a fast ride. Many lakes have rental facilities that provide jet skis, making it an accessible option for visitors.

Swimming and Snorkeling

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Sometimes the simplest activities are the most enjoyable. Swimming in a lake’s cool, clear waters can be incredibly refreshing, especially on a hot summer day. For those interested in exploring beneath the surface, snorkeling allows you to observe fish, plants, and other aquatic life up close.

Rowing and Sculling

Rowing and sculling are traditional water sports that provide a fantastic workout while allowing you to glide smoothly across the lake. These activities can be done solo or with a team, making them a great choice for both individual and group exercise. Many lakes have rowing clubs or rental options for those interested in trying this classic sport.

For a fun and less strenuous water activity, tubing is a great choice. Simply climb onto an inflatable tube and let a boat tow you around the lake. It’s a favorite among families and groups of friends, providing plenty of laughs and splashes.

Wind Surfing and Kiteboarding

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Combining elements of surfing and sailing, windsurfing and kiteboarding are exciting ways to enjoy the wind and water. These sports require some skill and practice but offer an exhilarating experience once mastered. With the right conditions, you can glide across the lake and even catch some air.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Stand-up paddleboarding has grown in popularity in recent years, and for a good reason. It’s easy to learn, provides a full-body workout, and offers a unique perspective of the lake. SUP lovers can paddle at their own pace, practice yoga on the board, or simply relax and take in the scenery. Many lakes have rental shops that offer boards and paddles, making it accessible for beginners and experienced paddlers alike.

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80 Gorgeous Travel Photos from Around the World

L et’s begin our world tour with one of the most magnificent and mysterious wonders of the world: The Sphynx, also known as the Sphynx of Giza. Located near Cairo, Egypt and not far from the Nile River, the Sphynx is an enormous limestone statue of the mythical creature that has the head of a human and the body of a lion. No one really can say what it’s meant to depict or even how old it actually is. Here are 10 more ancient mysteries researchers still haven’t been able to solve.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Built as burial shrine to the Pharaoh Khufu (who reigned from 2589 to 2566 B.C.), the oldest and largest of Egypt’s great pyramids (located within sight distance of the Sphynx) is the Great Pyramid of Giza. Its sheer enormity is mysterious enough, but it continues to astound in new ways as more archeological discoveries about it are made. The Great Pyramid ranks as one of Earth’s most mysterious archeological treasures.

The Acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous ancient archaeological sites in the world. Located on a limestone hill high above Athens, Greece, the Acropolis has been a home to kings (as well as the mythological home to Greek gods), a citadel, and the Parthenon temple, which still stands today. Sadly, it’s also been a target of vandalism, but it still stands, reminding the world of Greece’s rich ancient history. Don’t miss these jaw-dropping photos of the world’s most beautiful countries .

Nemea, Greece

The ancient Greek stadium of Nemea, southwest of Athens, is another remarkable ancient site. It’s home to the Sanctuary of Zeus.  Experts swear by these travel pillows–  buy one before your next flight.

Mount Nemrut, Eastern Turkey

Crowning one of the highest peaks of the Eastern Taurus mountain range in southeastern Turkey, Nemrut Dağ is the tomb built in the 1st century B.C. by King Antiochus I of Commagene as a monument to himself, according to the United Nation’s World Heritage Convention .

Machu Picchu

Another of the world’s manmade wonders, Machu Picchu, located in Peru, is believed to have been a royal estate or sacred religious site for Inca leaders, according to History.com . After the Incan civilization was destroyed by the Spanish in the 1500s, Machu Picchu lay undiscovered and unknown except by locals until 1911, despite that this monument to ancient life in Peru stretches over five miles and features more than 3,000 stone steps. Some say it’s “overrated,” but we’re guessing it’s worth your time, and here are 49 other contenders for the world’s most overrated tourist attraction.

Easter Island

Easter Island covers roughly 64 square miles in the South Pacific and is located some 2,300 miles from Chile’s west coast and 2,500 miles east of Tahiti, explains History.com . Although it was known as Rapa Nui to its earliest inhabitants, the island became known as “Easter Island” after Dutch explorers discovered it on Easter of 1722. Annexed by Chile in the late 19th century, it’s famous for its 900 some-odd giant stone carvings—buried up to their necks in the ground. Why that is, and how they got there, remains a mystery, although scientists have theories.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is not a single wall, but rather a series of walls and forts, totaling 13,000 miles in length. Located in northern China, it’s one of China’s most iconic and recognized symbols. Ordered to be built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the third century B.C., the wall was intended to prevent invasions, according to History.com . The best-preserved section was built between the 14th and 17th centuries A.D. during the Ming Dynasty.

The Roman Colosseum

Also known as the Roman Coliseum, or Flavian Amphitheater, this massive stone amphitheater is believed to have been commissioned by Emporer Vespasian as a gift to the Roman people in the first century A.D. It was first used for watching gladiators in combat. Having fallen into disrepair by the 5th century, it was used as a source of building materials in the 1700s. Although a full two-thirds of the Colosseum was destroyed over time, the amphitheater remains an iconic symbol of the Roman Empire.

Citadel of Qaitbay

The Citadel of Qaitbay is a fort that was built to protect from invasion by the Sultan Qaitbay in the late 15th century in Alexandria, Egypt. It’s adjacent to the lighthouse of Alexandria, another wonder of the ancient world. Buried beneath the sea nearby is the sunken palace of Cleopatra, one of the creepiest things found at the bottom of the world’s oceans .

Althorp Estate, England

The Althorp Estate, sitting on 13,000 acres of Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, and Norfolk, in England is the ancestral home of the Princess Diana’s family, the Spencers. After Princess Diana’s tragic death in 1997, she was buried on a tiny island in a lake on the property.

The Western Wall of Jerusalem

The Western Wall , located in Jerusalem, is also known as the Wailing Wall and is one of the last remaining walls of the ancient Jewish Temple , which was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. Although the wall itself wasn’t originally a particularly important part of the temple, it’s now considered a holy place by Jews and non-Jews alike, who come from all over the world to pray, meditate, and leave handwritten prayers in crevices of the wall.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral, is one of the world’s most famous cathedrals. It was designed and built during the Middle Ages on the ruins of two earlier churches and is considered one of the greatest examples of French Gothic architecture. On April 15, 2019, a fire broke out in the cathedral, damaging its famed latticework roof and spire. The process to rebuild it is underway. Along with the Eiffel Tower, it’s one of Paris’s most well-known landmarks—here are 19 mind-blowing facts about the Eiffel Tower.

Hazrat Sultan Mosque, Kazakhstan

The Hazrat Sultan Mosque is the second largest mosque in all of East Asia. It was completed in 2012 and is designed in classic Islamic style with traditional Kazakh ornaments and decorative elements.

The Erta Ale Volcano

Discovered in the 1960s and still active, the Erta Ale volcano is known for its persistent lava lake. Although visitor numbers have increased significantly over the past years, the volcano is considered a risky travel destination both because of volcanic activity and political unrest in the area. Don’t be disappointed, you can still visit these 13 active volcanos around the globe.

Hot spring in Iceland

This hot spring near Eyja- og Miklaholtshreppur in Iceland is a prime example of the almost unfathomable and peculiar beauty of hot springs (springs made of water that’s been heated by subterranean volcanic activity). Iceland’s also home to the Blue Lagoon hot spring, which is incredibly beautiful, and in fact, one of the world’s most beautiful hot springs .

A beach in Sweden

If you’ve never been to Sweden, you might be surprised to find solid rock rather than sand beneath your feet. Go in the summer and you’ll be able to enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight.

Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland lies on the edge of the Antrim Plateau between Causeway Head and Benbane Head (northeast of Londonderry). Here you’ll find some 40,000 of these naturally-formed basalt pillars, some as tall as 82 feet high, each jutting out of the cliff faces, forming what looks like a staircase into the sea.

Mount Everest

In this photo, a Nepalese man runs with his national flag during a marathon race commemorating the first successful ascent up Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay in May of 1953.

Ice formation in the mountains of Slovenia

This photo shows the effects of an ice storm on a perfectly ordinary pine tree in the Dinaric Alps in Slovenia. The Dinaric Alps are a mountain range in Southern and Southeastern Europe, separating the Balkan Peninsula from the Adriatic Sea. They stretch all the way from Italy through Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Albania.

Slovenia’s heart-shaped road

Herzerlstraße’—a heart-shaped road amidst lush vineyards—is a man-made wonder in the tiny country of Slovenia.

White Cliffs of Dover

Around 70 million years ago, the part of Great Britain known now as the White Cliffs of Dover was submerged beneath a shallow sea whose bottom was made of chalk, according to the Dover Museum . “Since the time of the chalk sea, the chalk has been lifted out of the water by movements of the earth’s crust.” The White Cliffs of Dover are now an iconic sight along England’s eastern shoreline.

Dragonsblood Trees in Socotra

According to the Global Trees Campaign , Dragonsblood Trees grow in only one place in the world: the island of Socotra, 250 miles off the coast of Yemen. The otherworldy tree is revered for its red resin, also known as “cinnabar.” Like these trees, these 20 arrestingly beautiful photos have stood the test of time .

Turquoise blue with salt crystals jutting out of it, the Dead Sea , located in both Jordan and Israel, is the lowest point on earth. The Dead Sea’s extremely salty waters and mineral-rich mud are world famous for being therapeutic, and the water’s so buoyant, it’s almost impossible not to float.

Great Barrier Reef

Visit Queensland, Australia to see this view of the breakwaters rising near the edge of the continental shelf of the Agincourt Reefs in person. The coral reef is endangered; here are 14 more places to visit before they disappear .

Niagara Falls

Niagra Falls is always spectacular, but not always as deserted as on this winter morning when this photo was taken.

Gocta Waterfall

This Peruvian waterfall, known as Gocta Waterfall , is 2,529 feet high—at one point it was considered the third highest waterfall in the world, but it’s now ranked as 15th. It was discovered only recently, in 2002, by the German explorer Stefan Ziemendorff.

Loch Ard Gorge

The Loch Ard Gorge in Victoria, Australia was named for a ship that sank nearby, according to Visit Melbourne . The Loch Ard was a clipper ship bound for Melbourne from England that sailed on March 2, 1878, and sank three months later. Only two people survived, a 15-year-old boy named Tom and a 17-year-old girl named Eva, and the two rock pillars are named for them.

Shipwreck of the Elviscot

The Elviscot sank in the 1970s near Pomente, Elba Island, Italy. It’s not far from the beach, in water that’s only 52 feet deep, making it a popular diving destination. Discover the most incredible undersea treasures ever found.

Shipwreck of the SS Thistlegorm

Another shipwreck, the SS Thistlegorm, which sank in 1941 in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt, has become a favorite of aquatic life—swimming inside the cargo hold is a school of Vanikoro Sweepers.

Penguins in Antarctica

The Adelie penguins might be clumsy on land, but when hunting—or being hunted—in the water, they can swim up to 9.3 miles per hour. These 15 adorable photos of penguins will melt your heart .

Bats in Indonesia

Here we see hundreds of bats sleeping in a cave above the altar of what is appropriately known as the Temple of Bats in Bali, Indonesia.

Zebras and ostriches in Namibia

This photo of zebras drinking with ostriches at a waterhole was taken in Etosha National Park in Namibia. These 60 cute photos of animals will make your day.

Whale in Argentina

This whale gliding in the waters of the Peninsula Valdez, in Patagonia, Argentina is a Southern Right Whale that migrates each year from Antarctica to give birth and feed its young.

Red Kangaroo in New South Wales

Here, a young red kangaroo stands at the edge of a watering hole in New South Wales, Australia. Red kangaroos hop on their hind legs at speeds of over 35 miles per hour. They are native to Australia’s deserts and grasslands, and when they gather, it’s a “mob.” Literally. Check these other hilariously names for groups of animals.

Ayers Rock in Australia

Ayers Rock is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, which is part of the Australian Outback (the remote parts of Australia that are largely unpopulated except by native tribes). The Aboriginals call the rock “Uluru” and believe it is magical. Surprisingly, it’s not one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia.

A lone cable drum on a remote beach in Norway

About 600 miles south of the North Pole, Northern Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago known for its rugged, remote terrain of glaciers, frozen tundra, reindeer, arctic fox, and polar bears. Here is an incredibly lonely and haunting photo of a lone cable drum that somehow washed ashore on a Northern Svalbard beach.

Ndebele woman

Traveling the world, you’ll come across people who look completely different from the people you know. For example, this photo, taken in South Africa, is of a woman from the Ndebele tribe  wearing her tribe’s traditional dress and neckwear.

A reveler at the Cologne Carnival in Germany

A traditional reveler at the traditional Cologne Carnival  in Cologne Germany celebrates in front of the Cologne Cathedral.

Carnival, Les Cayes, Haiti

Carnival performers parade in the streets of Les Cayes, during Haiti’s three-day Carnival festivities. Check out these hidden gems in every state .

The Ganges River

The Hindu culture sees the Ganges River, which flows through India and Bangladesh, as a holy place. Here, a couple performs a ritual on the first day of the nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri.

A Buddhist monk in Myanmar

Buddhism in Myanmar (formerly, Burma) is practiced by 90 percent of the country’s population. Pictured here is a Buddhist monk at a Myanmar monastery.

Maori man in New Zealand

Descended from Polynesian settlers who arrived in New Zealand before 1,000 AD, the Maoris had formed a unique culture by the end of the 1800s. One facet of that culture is body art. Maori tattoos are called moko and are known for their fine artistry.

Children playing in South Sudan

South Sudan, located in East-Central Africa, was formed in 2011 from the Republic of Sudan, making it the youngest officially recognized country in the world. Here, children from the village of Torit, South Sudan are shown at play. These are the most colorful natural wonders on earth .

Nuiqsut boy

Nuiqsut, Alaska, is a tiny city in northeastern Alaska that was incorporated in 1975. Its population was just under 450 in 2015, and its economy is based primarily on subsistence hunting, fishing, and whaling.

Pygmy woman holding a young child

This Pygmy woman and child were photographed in the Central African Republic. Pygmies are traditionally hunter-gatherers living in the rainforests throughout central Africa.

The Meeting of the Waters

Called the Encontro das Aguas , the Meeting of Waters goes on for several miles outside the Brazilian city of Manaus. The phenomenon happens as the warm waters of the Rio Negro combine with the cool water of the Rio Solimões. Don’t miss these 15 unexplained mysteries of the Amazon River.

Sunrise at Stonehenge

Stonehenge is one of the world’s most mysterious archeological treasures, which makes it a magical, albeit crowded, place to celebrate the summer solstice. Go a month later, and you’ll have the whole place to yourself.

Burning Man

Burning Man is a massive art festival that takes place annually in the Nevada desert. Every year, thousands gather to create “Black Rock City,” a temporary city devoted to “radical self-expression.”

Israel Midburn Festival

The Israeli version of Burning Man is the Israel Midburn Festival in the Negev Desert.

One of the world’s largest saunas, Norway

Who doesn’t love a good sauna? And in case you need a reason to go to one, here are the health benefits of sauna-ing . But did you know that one of the world’s largest saunas sits on a beach in Sandhornøya, Norway?

Ice hotel, Sweden

The Icehotel in Norrbotten County, Sweden is open year-round, even in summer.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

These “supertrees” can be found in Gardens by the Bay,  Singapore’s huge botanical garden that is one of Asia’s foremost garden destinations.

Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia

Pictured is the incredible canopy walk in the rainforest at Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Malaysia. It’s one of the world’s longest canopy walks.

The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark

At Langelinje Pier you will find one of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions: The sculpture of The Little Mermaid, according to Visit Copenhagen . Unveiled in August 1913, the statue was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen and was inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the same name.

Ophelia sculpture, Melbourne

This unique and colorful artwork in Victoria, Austalia is a depiction of the Shakespeare character, Ophelia.

The Iditarod dog sled race

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is a 1,049-mile trek through some of the most extreme wilderness in the nation. The first one was held in 1973. This photo was taken during this year’s race and shows the dogs of Montana musher Brett Bruggeman.

Illulisat, Greenland

Illulisat is the home of the Jakobshavn Glacier , which is the largest glacier outside Antarctica. Many people assume that Greenland is nothing more than a sheet of ice. But this adorable home says otherwise.

Irish farmland

A lot of the Irish countryside looks like an elaborate patchwork quilt of green, like this view of the coastline along the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. The “striping” you see are stone walls that mark off what were once property lines between farms.

Cottage, County Clare, Ireland

This thatched-roof cottage can be seen in County Clare, Ireland.

Cape Cod Cottage, in North Truro, Massachusetts

The classic “Cape Cod”-style house, a small, wood-shingled structure with a steeply gabled roof and dormer windows, originated in where else? Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Cape Cod is instantly recognizable to anyone who’s ever been there by its incredible sweeping sand dunes.

Tromso Norway

Here’s a view of traditional wooden Norwegian huts along in Tromso, Norway.

Houses in Nyhavn, Denmark

These houses along the Nyhavn waterfront of Copenhagen are decorated for Christmas. Stay for December 31 and experience Denmark’s “lucky” New Year’s tradition.

The Breakers mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

If you’re thinking of visiting iconic homes from around the world, you won’t want to miss The Breakers, the mansion built for the Vanderbilt family in Newport, Rhode Island. The Breakers is the most famous home in Rhode Island—find out the most famous house in your state .

Imperial Palace, Beijing, China

The Imperial Palace, located in Beijing China, is the largest palace in the world.

Château de Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France

Just a few hours drive from Paris, the Loire Valley offers numerous castles and vineyards. This 16th-century castle spans the River Cher and in 1560 was home to the first every fireworks display in France. The structure is one of the three castles you can tour with European day tour operator City Wonders on their Loire Valley Castles & Wine Tasting from Paris .

Istana Nurul Iman Palace, Brunei

The largest residential palace in the world is the Istana Nurul Iman Palace, which is the home of the Sultan of Brunei.

The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Italy

As far as art destinations go, the Sistine Chapel may very well be the jewel on the crown of our planet. Michelangelo’s ceiling fresco, painted for Pope Julius II between 1508 and 1512, famously depicts the Creation of the World and the Fall of Man.

Trafalgar, Santorini, Greece

The picture-perfect island of Santorini is nicknamed the “precious gem of the Aegean.” You can explore this paradise on your own or sign up with a guided vacation company like Trafalgar, which stops here on its 12-day Best of Greece trip. Either way, you’ll love the iconic whitewashed villages, swimming in the glistening blue waters and gazing at unforgettable Greek sunsets.

Venice, Italy

This photo is of San Marco Canal with the Campanile on San Marco Square in Venice. Nearby, you’ll find the village of Burano, one of the 11 most colorful towns in the world.

Wuzhen Water Town, Zhejiang Province, China

The Wuzhen Water Town of the Zhejiang Province in China is dubbed “The Venice of China” because of its graceful water town scenery.

Cathedral Square, Havana, Cuba

Tourists visit Cathedral Square as a cat lays under the sun in Havana, Cuba.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union, and the historical capital of what was once the country of Bohemia.

The New York City skyline

This view of New York City’s famous skyline is seen from across the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey. Discover the hidden New York City gems that even New Yorkers don’t know about.

The Bean, Chicago

Let’s not forget Chicago’s magnificent skyline, which is uniquely reflected here in Chicago’s Bean sculpture, officially called Cloud Gate.

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada

We’re not in the city anymore as we visit Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada. This fishing village (notice the lobster traps) stands on the province’s Lighthouse Route and is a popular tourist destination.

Champillon, Champagne, France

France’s celebrated Champagne region is a UNESCO World Heritage site; the structures belong to the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa , where you can take in views of the vineyards that stripe the hills of Épernay and the villages of Champillon and Hauviller. It’s all just 45 minutes by train from Paris.

Tuna Auction in Tokyo, Japan

Speaking of fish, pictured here is a Tuna Auction taking place at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. The tuna in the photo is priced at ¥30.4 million, or over $270,000!

Signs in Key West, Florida

This “intersection” is at the southernmost point in the entire United States, and the signs provide “directions” and actual distances to many other locales all over the world. These are ten more of the craziest, most extreme travel destinations on the planet.

This unpronounceable sign

“Llanfynydd” is a village in Wales whose name you might be able to pronounce if you’re actually from there. Otherwise, best of luck. Still, it’s worth a visit. Try your luck pronouncing the most difficult to pronounce town in every state.

80 Gorgeous Travel Photos from Around the World

Essential Preparations For Traveling To Italy

  • Last updated May 31, 2024
  • Difficulty Intemediate

Duke Trotter

  • Category Travel

what to do before traveling to italy

Italy is a country that captivates travelers with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. From the ancient ruins of Rome to the picturesque canals of Venice, Italy offers a myriad of experiences to be discovered. However, before embarking on your Italian adventure, it is essential to make some preparations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. From learning a few basic phrases in Italian to understanding the local customs and traditions, these essential preparations will help you make the most out of your time in Italy. So grab your passport and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the enchanting land of pasta, pizza, and gelato.

What You'll Learn

Researching top tourist destinations and attractions in italy, planning your itinerary and booking accommodations in advance, familiarizing yourself with italian culture, customs, and basic phrases, checking passport and visa requirements, as well as travel insurance coverage.

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Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for good reason. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine, Italy has something to offer everyone. However, to make the most of your trip to Italy, it is important to do some research and plan ahead. Here are some steps to take before traveling to Italy:

  • Decide on a budget: Italy can be an expensive destination, so it is important to determine how much you are willing and able to spend on your trip. This will help you decide on the length of your trip, the type of accommodation you can afford, and the activities you can participate in.
  • Learn about the regions: Italy is divided into 20 regions, each with its own unique culture, attractions, and cuisine. Researching the different regions will help you decide which ones you want to visit based on your interests. For example, if you are interested in art and history, you might want to visit Tuscany and Rome. If you are a food lover, you might want to explore the culinary delights of Emilia-Romagna.
  • Create an itinerary: Once you have chosen the regions you want to visit, it is time to create an itinerary. Look for the top tourist destinations and attractions in each region and decide how much time you want to spend in each place. It is also important to include travel time between destinations in your itinerary to ensure that you have enough time to explore each place.
  • Check the weather: Italy has a Mediterranean climate, but the weather can vary significantly from region to region. Check the weather forecast for the time of your visit to pack appropriate clothing. For example, if you are visiting in the summer, you will need light clothing, sunscreen, and a hat, while in the winter, you will need warm clothing and a coat.
  • Learn some basic Italian phrases: While many Italians speak English, it is always helpful to learn some basic Italian phrases. This will not only make it easier to communicate with locals but will also be appreciated by the locals. Learn simple phrases like "hello," "goodbye," "please," "thank you," and "where is the bathroom?" as a starting point.
  • Check visa requirements: Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter Italy. Check the visa requirements well in advance and make sure to apply for the visa if necessary. It is also a good idea to ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of departure.
  • Research transportation options: Italy has an excellent public transportation system, including trains, buses, and ferries. Research the transportation options in the regions you plan to visit and consider purchasing tickets in advance to save time and money. If you are planning to rent a car, make sure to research the driving rules and regulations in Italy.
  • Book accommodation: Italy offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget hostels and everything in between. Research the different options in the places you plan to visit and book accommodation in advance to secure the best deals and availability.
  • Pack appropriately: Finally, make a packing list based on the activities you plan to participate in and the weather forecast. Don't forget essentials like comfortable walking shoes, a hat, and sunglasses. It is also a good idea to pack a power adapter for your electronics and a travel guidebook for reference.

By taking these steps before traveling to Italy, you can ensure that you make the most of your trip and have a memorable experience exploring this beautiful country. Happy travels!

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Italy is a beautiful country that offers so much to see and do. Whether you're planning a short trip or a longer vacation, it's important to plan your itinerary and book accommodations in advance to make the most of your time in this breathtaking country. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Decide on your must-visit destinations: Italy offers a variety of stunning cities and regions, each with its own unique charm. From the historical treasures of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice and the countryside of Tuscany, there's something for everyone. Research the different cities and regions to decide which ones you absolutely cannot miss.
  • Determine the duration of your stay: Once you have decided on the destinations you want to visit, consider how much time you have for your trip. Italy has so much to offer that it's easy to get carried away and try to cover too much ground in a short amount of time. It's better to spend more time in fewer locations to truly experience and appreciate the culture, history, and cuisine.
  • Research transportation options: Italy has an excellent transportation system, making it relatively easy to get around. Consider whether you'll be traveling by train, renting a car, or taking internal flights. Look up the schedules, ticket prices, and travel times to help you determine the most efficient and cost-effective mode of transport for your itinerary.
  • Plan your daily activities: Once you have a rough idea of the cities and regions you'll be visiting, start planning your daily activities. Make a list of the major attractions and landmarks you want to see in each location, and consider any special events or festivals that may be happening during your visit. It's also a good idea to leave some time for exploring without a set itinerary, allowing you to stumble upon hidden gems and soak up the local atmosphere.
  • Book accommodations in advance: Italy is a popular tourist destination, so it's important to book your accommodations well in advance to secure the best options. Look for hotels, bed and breakfasts, or vacation rentals that suit your budget and preferences. Consider the location, amenities, and customer reviews to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
  • Consider guided tours: If you're short on time or prefer a more structured experience, consider booking guided tours for some of the major attractions. A knowledgeable guide can provide valuable insights, skip the lines, and help you make the most of your visit.
  • Keep a flexible mindset: While it's important to plan your itinerary and book accommodations in advance, it's equally important to stay flexible and open to unexpected discoveries. Leave room for spontaneity and be willing to adjust your plans as you go along. Sometimes the best experiences happen when you least expect them.

By planning your itinerary and booking accommodations in advance, you'll be able to make the most of your trip to Italy. Remember to do your research, stay organized, and leave some room for spontaneity. This way, you'll be able to create lasting memories and have a truly unforgettable experience in this magnificent country.

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If you are planning a trip to Italy, it's important to familiarize yourself with the Italian culture, customs, and basic phrases. This will not only make your travel experience more enjoyable but also show respect for the local traditions. Here are some things to consider:

Learn basic Italian greetings and phrases:

  • Buongiorno (Good morning/afternoon)
  • Buonasera (Good evening)
  • Grazie (Thank you)
  • Per favore (Please)
  • Scusa (Excuse me)
  • Mi scusi (Formal apology)
  • Parla inglese? (Do you speak English?)

Understand the concept of "la bella figura":

Italians place a strong emphasis on appearance and presentation. It's important to dress neatly and appropriately, especially when visiting churches or other religious sites. Avoid wearing revealing or beach attire in public places.

Respect local customs and traditions:

  • When entering someone's home, it's customary to bring a small gift such as a bottle of wine or flowers.
  • Italians are known for their food culture, so take the time to appreciate and enjoy meals. Avoid rushing through your meals and try to experience the local cuisine.
  • When visiting religious sites, dress modestly, avoid loud conversations, and turn off your phone.

Be aware of the local greeting etiquette:

Italians often greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks. However, this is mostly done between friends and acquaintances of the same gender. If you are unsure, a handshake is always appropriate.

Understand the concept of "piano, piano":

Italians have a more relaxed approach to time and schedules. Don't be surprised if things start a bit late or if plans change suddenly. Embrace the "piano, piano" (slowly, slowly) mentality and go with the flow.

Be mindful of table manners:

  • In Italy, it is considered rude to start eating before everyone is served and the host says "buon appetito."
  • Do not ask for additional cheese to add to your pasta or pizza as it is seen as a disrespect to the chef.
  • It's customary to leave a small tip, called a "coperto," in restaurants, but this is not mandatory as service charges are often included in the bill.

Visit local markets and shops:

Immersing yourself in the local culture includes exploring the vibrant markets and boutique shops. Try to interact with locals and practice your Italian while shopping for souvenirs or fresh produce.

By familiarizing yourself with Italian culture, customs, and basic phrases, you'll not only show respect but also have a more enriching travel experience in Italy. Remember to embrace the Italian way of life with open arms and experience everything the country has to offer. Buon viaggio!

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Traveling to Italy is an exciting adventure that requires some careful planning beforehand. One of the most important things to do before your trip is to check your passport and visa requirements, as well as your travel insurance coverage. These steps will ensure that you have all the necessary documentation and protection for a smooth and enjoyable journey.

First, check the expiration date of your passport. Make sure it is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. Some countries, including Italy, require your passport to be valid for a certain period of time upon arrival. If your passport is set to expire soon, it's a good idea to renew it before you travel. Contact your local passport office or embassy for information on how to renew your passport.

Next, verify if you need a visa to enter Italy. Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality and the purpose and duration of your visit. As a tourist visiting Italy for less than 90 days, most nationalities do not require a visa. However, it's important to double-check the specific requirements for your country. You can consult the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or contact your local embassy or consulate for accurate and up-to-date information.

Once you've sorted out your passport and visa requirements, it's time to consider travel insurance. While travel insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, it can provide crucial protection in case of unforeseen events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost luggage. Before purchasing travel insurance, review your existing insurance policies to check if you already have coverage for certain aspects of your trip, such as medical expenses or lost baggage. Some credit cards also offer travel insurance as a perk, so check with your credit card issuer to see if you’re already covered.

If you determine that additional travel insurance is needed, research and compare different policies to find the one that best suits your needs. Look for coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellation or interruption, emergency evacuation, and lost or delayed baggage. Don't forget to check the policy's exclusions and limitations, as well as any deductibles or excess amounts.

When purchasing travel insurance, pay attention to the policy terms and conditions. Ensure that it provides coverage for Italy specifically, as well as any other countries you plan to visit during your trip. Keep a copy of your travel insurance policy, including emergency contact numbers, with you during your travels, and share the details with a trusted person back home.

In conclusion, before traveling to Italy, it's crucial to check your passport and visa requirements, as well as your travel insurance coverage. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date and research whether you need a visa to enter Italy. Additionally, assess your travel insurance needs and purchase a policy that provides adequate coverage for your trip. Taking these steps will give you peace of mind and help ensure a stress-free and enjoyable journey.

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Duke Trotter

  • Duke Trotter Author Editor Reviewer Traveller

Julia May

  • Julia May Author Editor Reviewer Traveller

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California, colorado and utah are the most picturesque hiking destinations in the world, according to a new study from explore worldwide..

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Experts from an adventure travel company have analyzed data to find the most picturesque trail destinations around the world which have “captivated the imagination of photographers worldwide.”

Explore Worldwide — which has led “adventure trips” since 1981, according to the company — searched photos tagged with "walking trail" or "hiking trail" on shutterstock.com and unsplash.com to find the most photographed (and therefore the most picturesque) hiking trails in the world, according to how many photos of each were uploaded in the area. The data was also analyzed to reveal which regions and mountain ranges around the world have the highest number of walking trail photos linked to them.

As of July 2023, over 1.7 million stock images in total were counted from over 414 countries, regions, cities, states, 63 mountain ranges.

If you’re an enthusiast who’s looking for inspiration on where to go next, see the most photographed destinations in the world, according to Explore Worldwide.

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Top 10 most photographed walking and hiking trails

  • GR20 - Corsico, France (45,187 photos)
  • Everest Base Camp Trek - Himalayas, Nepal (13,711 photos)
  • The Westweg - Black Forest, Germany (13,105 photos)
  • Camino de Santiago - Northern Spain, Spain (10,738 photos)
  • Inca Trail - Andes, Peru (10,170 photos)
  • Appalachian Trail - Eastern United States (9,754 photos)
  • The Jordan Trail - Jordan (9,343 photos)
  • West Coast Trail - Vancouver Island, Canada (8,700 photos)
  • Laugavegur Trail - Iceland (5,992 photos)
  • The Lycian Way - Turkey (5,945 photos)

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Top 10 most picturesque trail destinations

  • California - U.S. ( 123,036 photos )
  • Utah - U.S.  ( 118,769 photos )
  • Colorado - U.S. (89,966 photos)
  • Arizona - U.S. (85,127 photos)
  • England - United Kingdom (63,407 photos)
  • Georgia - U.S. (54,339 photos)
  • Canary Islands - Spain (51,126 photos)
  • Scotland U.K. (48,048 photos)
  • Patagonia - Chile (4,364 photos)
  • Nevada - U.S. (39,158 photos)

AAA advises checking your car ahead of warmer weather

Aaa says there are a couple of things you can do ahead of hotter temperatures to prevent car problems later this summer..

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ( WBRC ) - While you might be enjoying the warmer temperatures, your car might not. Between flat tires and overheated engines, the heat can impact anything from your commute to work to your big summer trip.

Roadside assistance agency AAA wants you to make sure your ride is ready ahead of hitting the road.

AAA says they’re expecting the busiest travel year of all time for 2024, and with all that travel comes lots of calls for roadside assistance. Officials say there are a couple of things you can do ahead of hotter temperatures to prevent problems later this summer.

“Check all your fluids on a regular basis, check your oil, transmission fluid, check your engine coolant/antifreeze, to be sure that your vehicle is not overheating, " says AAA spokesperson Clay Ingram.

Ingram says lots of problems this time of year can come from tires.

“Lot of people are driving around on under inflated tires and don’t realize it and that’s a problem because it makes you more likely to have a problem in other words a blowout or a flat or something like that,” Ingram says.

Checking your tires yourself is a must, don’t rely on your car to tell you whether you have low pressure.

“Even if you have the sensors in your vehicle that lets you know when you have a low tire sometimes, those sensors don’t work exactly right so take a few minutes to check that tire pressure once a month,” said Ingram.

Ingram also recommends having an emergency roadside kit in your car and to personalize it with things you need.

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    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ( WBRC) - While you might be enjoying the warmer temperatures, your car might not. Between flat tires and overheated engines, the heat can impact anything from your commute to work to your big summer trip. Roadside assistance agency AAA wants you to make sure your ride is ready ahead of hitting the road.