5 essential travel photography tips for planning and preparing for your holidays

by gregor

Last Updated on April 26, 2022 by gregor

Planning and preparing for your holidays, wherever  you may go, make sure you read these 5 essential travel photography tips with crucial advice on everything from exploring the location to packing tips

Build and refresh your photographic  skills

Improving your photographic skills is a constant process.  Especially before going on vacation, it is a good opportunity to lift your knowledge. Depending on your preferences I recommend “The Photographer’s Eye”, a great book by the amazing photographer Michael Freeman. It is about design and composition which for me are the most important aspects of photography. Almost everything else can be corrected by photo editing Apps or Photoshop, but if the composition is wrong no chance for post-adaptation is left!

Additionally, there are tons of videos about photography available on YouTube. Here is my personal YouTube photography video list   –  select the ones you value the most.

Room with a view!

Choose hotels, apartments, or villas because of their location or the view they offer. Why travel to scenic viewpoints, when you can shoot right from your window?  Ask peers who have been there, use tripadvisor.com or other review platforms to get honest reviews of the accommodations –  often they even recommend the best rooms regarding their views.

Explore the location and hidden gems

Find out as much as you can about your destination through,  practical guidebooks, such as “Lonely Planet” or “Rough Guides”. The internet is also valuable, with many specific websites giving in-depth information about the most off-the-beaten-track locations. Read forums about other people’s first-hand experiences, especially on how to access hidden areas for photography and about the best time in the year to visit.

Easy ways to find out about interesting locations and their hidden gems

  • city maps – give the most detailed information for finding locations.
  • The internet – tells you everything you want to know about a holiday location and more…..
  • Local postcards – point you in the direction of lesser-known places and iconic travel locations.
  • Tourist information – local people are sharing insider knowledge!
  • Google Earth – is great for finding out how to reach locations and discover viewpoints.

 Pack only what you really need

Only take the equipment that you’ll need for your chosen destination. With stricter weight restrictions by airlines, packing what is essential for that very trip gets more and more important.

Keep in mind……….

  • Don’t forget battery chargers for your camera and mobile phone – and a travel adaptor.
  • A notebook is great for backing up images, keeping in contact via Skype or email, as well as rudimentary image editing.
  • A portable hard drive is essential for a secondary backup, in case the laptop gets

Beat the rush!

Plan the best moments! While most tourists are still asleep, get out and make the most of the great morning light – and because most people are still in bed you won’t have coach-loads of people jumping in your photos and spoiling your shots! Capturing villages, towns, and cities in the early morning makes the photographic experience more enjoyable.

Late afternoon  – right until the sun sets below the horizon – is another ideal time to take pictures. In the so-called ‘golden hour’ – when the sun is just above the horizon, either in the morning or in the evening – the scenery is illuminated with a wonderfully warm, golden glow.

The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE ) App (iOS and Android) tells me exactly where the sun will rise and set, anywhere, at any time of the year!

So, what are your tips for travel photography? Let me know – you can use the comment field below or send me an email!

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