Travel Photography is a passion, rather an addiction with me. Wandering to unknown new places gives me a thrill that nothing else possibly can. With Travelling comes the need to take those amazing photographs, of the dancers you met in Prague or the amazing landscapes of Norway. Some of us take the photos to document the journey and nothing else while others want to show it to the world. Travel Photography is not easy, time on hand is limited and lots of uncontrollable factors tend to come into play. To ensure that I have the best photographs possible, I go by the following steps.
Research. Research. Research. Then Travel.
The more you know about the place you’re going to, the easier it is to make a list of shots or atleast have an idea about the kind of shots you want to bring back home. You should do this even if you’re on a guided tour. Learn about the country, its culture and its people. Find out if it is generally acceptable to photograph the monuments or the streets.
Find out about any monuments or festivals happening there at that time. Use the internet to do a search of the photographs of the places taken by others. This gives you a general idea about the place and also tells you about the stereotypical images that you can then avoid.
Experience and then Photograph
If you start looking at the place from the word Go through your camera’s viewfinder, you will never get to experience tha place beforehand. Travel Photograpy is not just about capturing beautiful things but also about integrating your own personal experience with all that you see.
Think about the place and see what catches your attention. After you have an idea of the picture you want in your head you must do the most important thing. Wait. Wait for the perfect moment, otherwise you will have just another postcard image that will soon be forgotten by your viewers.
Talk and then Photograph
The people are as interesting as the vistas when you visit a new place. Establish contact, talk to them and know their story before you photograph them. The difference is between taking a blank portrait of a person and one that talks to you.
Since we all shoot digital nowadays, always show the photograph to the person you are photographing. It does two things, it gives you consent and also it lets you know how they feel about their own photograph from noticing their reaction.
Be Aware of the Light
We all know that when it comes to photography, light is everything. If you have a location in your mind try to imagine the time of the day and the kind of light that would do justice to it. Early morning and late evening light is definately a safe bet but sometimes you have locations that work amazingly well and sometimes even better with jagged and harsh shadows.
If you try to control everything, everything would go wrong. Travel photography requires you to give up the control and just go with the flow of things. Bad weather, moody people and faulty equipment are inevitable, just try to look past it.
Travel Photography required you to have tenacity, flexibility and most of all the creativity to turn a foul situation on its head and make the best of it.
Hope you take some amazing travel photographs and all the best in all your endeavors.