21 TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS (For Beginners and Pros)

Here are our favourite travel photography tips for beginners and intermediates, based on our experience of going from complete beginners to professional travel photographers, and now working in the industry for 8 years.

Picture this.

You finally book a trip to your ultimate bucket list destination.

Antarctica, Iceland, Namibia, Bali, seeing the Aurora Borealis – wherever it is, you’ve waited your whole life to finally visit.

Naturally you are going to want to capture the best travel photos possible of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure to share with your friends and family members, on social media, and maybe even print on the wall at home.

Moments in time or a travel experience that you always want to cherish.

So you’ve splashed out on a new camera based on expert recommendations, and you’re keen to hit the road.

But here’s the problem – you don’t have the faintest idea how to get the same kinds of images you see in postcards or on the internet.

The kinds of travel photos that just pop, stand out from the rest, inspire you to book a flight immediately.

Luckily that’s where we come in.

We’ve been fortunate enough to work as professional travel photographers for almost a decade now, being paid to fly around the world, running photography workshops, take pictures for the tourism industry and tell stories.

And now we want to share our knowledge, secrets and insights from our travel photography journey with you so you can take better travel photos.

In this post you’ll find many of our favourite travel photography tips you need to know to come home with shots you will be proud to show off.

Today is the time to learn. Let’s begin.

Burana Tower Travel Photography Tips
The Burana Tower in Kyrgyzstan. A simple image, but one of my favourite travel photos.

General Travel Photography Tips for Beginners

To start with let me talk about the general travel photography tips that I feel are not only the most important, but also the most difficult to master.

Developing an eye for photography takes time. Years in fact. It’s a never-ending learning process, but I promise you with practice you will get much better.

And once you start to get the skills for framing and composing a shot, the rest is easy.

1) Know Your Camera

Whether you shoot on a dSLR, mirrorless, smartphone or an old film unit, the first travel photography tip is to get to know your camera equipment.

Whatever you have in your camera bag, take the time to read the instructions, play around with all the buttons and camera settings, and spend hours with it in your hand so that it becomes a part of you.

Study the menu so that if you need to change camera settings in the field you’re not spending minutes scrolling through it when timing is critical.

Also don’t forget to learn your camera’s limitations.

Does it perform well in low-light or does the image fall apart? Is it sharp wide open, or do you need to stop down to get the best clarity? Does it have inbuilt image stabilisation?

Ultimately when you pick up your camera you want to feel comfortable and know exactly how it works. Then getting better pictures will come faster and easier.

Armadillo
Knowing your camera allows you to capture those moments that happen quickly, like when this armadillo wandered into our campsite in Torres del Paine.

2) Focus on the Golden and Blue Hours

Light is everything when it comes to travel photography images, and there’s a good chance you’ve already heard about the golden and blue hours.

The Golden Hour is that time when the sun is low in the sky and it throws a magical, warm glow across the scene.

Think the first hour after the sun peaks in the morning, and the last hour or two before the sun drops over the horizon in the afternoon.

The Blue Hour is when the sun is below the horizon and the sky gives off a beautiful blue hue.

If you really want better travel photos, one of the best travel photography tips we can give is to get used to waking up early and stay out late to make the most of these two times of day.

If you’re not a morning person, get used to setting an alarm. Many of the great travel photos of the Taj Mahal and other tourist sites with no one in them for example were taken by people who got there early.

Taking photos in the middle of the day can still result in great shots, but in general you’ll find the blue sky too blown out unless there are some interesting clouds, and on a sunny day you’ll find the lighting conditions can be a bit harsh.

Instead use the middle of the day to get street photography, or scout out photo locations and a vantage point for your sunrise and sunset photos to come back later.

Bonus Tip – Even if it looks like the sunrise or sunset might not be so beautiful, wait around. You never know when the clouds might break or the sky randomly lights up in brilliant colours.

Fitz Roy Sunrise
We woke up early for sunrise and Mt Fitz Roy was covered in clouds. Still we stayed for a while, and the clouds eventually broke just as the sun was casting a gorgeous red glow on the mountains.

3) Plan Your Shots

Before you arrive in your tourist destinations, spend a few hours planning out your shot list of images you want to photograph.

You can get inspiration from Instagram, Google Maps, travel guides, magazines and more.

Make a note of these pictures, and then plan your day around the optimum time to shoot (sunrise or sunset for example).

Doing this will help you nail the shots you want to go, and give you more purpose and direction.

You need to know that all of the best photographers use tools like Google Maps or social media to form a shot list, and you should get used to it too.

Travel Photography Tips
Make sure you plan out your shots before you arrive to a destination.

4) Learn About Composition

You’ve probably heard about how important it is to compose a shot properly, and I bet if you’ve ever read a photography manual you would have come across the ‘rule of thirds‘.

Good composition can be the difference between an average shot and award-winning travel photos.

There’s all kinds of ‘rules’ that theoretically make a photo look nicer, such as not putting your subject in the middle of the shot, don’t cut elements out of the frame, etc.

But right now let’s go a bit into the Rule of Thirds.

This concept is where you divide your image into 9 even squares (many cameras actually have this grid line feature built into their display options).

Then what you do is you place the subjects and points of interest such as a human element along those lines and squares.

Here’s an example of how this looks:

Khongor Sand Dunes Rule Of Thirds
This very simple shot of the Khongor sand dunes in Mongolia uses the rule of thirds method to give it an interesting composition.

The idea of the rule of thirds is that this is a mathematical idea of what our eyes naturally find pleasing. So it’s good practice to incorporate this method into your shots.

Another thing to look for is leading lines that naturally draw your eye around the photo, as well as different angles and shapes.

Have a river flowing from the side of the shot up to a waterfall on the top left for example, or the foreground bending around, leading the eye towards a church at the top of the photo.

This is a skill that you’ll learn with more practice.

An important thing to remember is that rules are meant to be broken.

Get used to analysing your shots with the rule of thirds, but please don’t use it as gospel if you think a different composition would work.

Adding a human element also brings a lot of interest to a good shot, so place people in your frame.

Street Art Leading Lines
Besides being a nice, colourful photo of street art in Valparaiso, Chile, the different angles in this shot leads your eye deeper into it the image.

5) Framing, Framing and More Framing

When you look through the viewfinder or LCD screen, don’t just focus on the subject.

Make sure you run your eyes around the entire frame to make sure you’re not accidentally cutting off something important.

Double-check that the top of a mountain is fully inside the frame, or that your friend’s whole body is in the shot as an example.

This isn’t gospel, because sometimes having something cut off from the frame can be good for composition, but you’ll have to be the judge of that.

Also check to see if you can use something natural in the scene to create a frame inside your picture.

Think of looking out a window at a building, or a bent-over tree surrounding a pretty lake.

These can all help make better travel photos.

Framing Tips
Here I used the shrubs in the foreground and the tree on the right side of the image to frame the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in a natural way. The green also contrasts nicely with the blue and white.

6) Move Your Feet

This is one of the most important travel photography tips I can give – Move your feet.

Don’t just arrive to a scene and take a shot from the place you’re standing.

Instead take a few minutes to walk around and see if there is a better frame or composition.

Go closer, move back, step to the side, consider your lens’ focal length, etc.

Imagine trying to take that iconic Taj Mahal photo, only to find out later that you were 2m to the left of centre, throwing off that perfect symmetry.

Or maybe if you walk to the river’s edge you’ll be able to incorporate some interesting rocks into the scene instead of just water.

Better yet, take multiple travel photos and fill up those memory cards from the same photo locations so you have lots of options when you get home to see which is your favourite.

Angle Travel Photography Tips
When I was photographing the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan I was trying to get a lot of amazing people photos. I saw this group of people in traditional dress outside a yurt, and after saying hello I walked around looking for different angles until I found one I like. See how the out-of-focus man in the front appears to be staring at the old man in the centre?

7) Ask People for Permission

Travel photography isn’t all about capturing the most beautiful sunsets and gorgeous architecture around the world.

Travel photography is also about the people you meet. But if you’re a bit shy like me, how do you get those amazing portrait photos without feeling rude?

Simple – just ask for permission.

Asking someone for permission to take their photo is polite and respectful.

If you have had a great encounter with someone, or you just see a great opportunity and want to capture a wonderful portrait, give them a big smile and ask if it’s ok to take their photo.

You’ll find many people are more than happy to pose for a photo if you just ask (just make sure you respect them if they say no).

Silk Travel Photography Tips For Beginners
A great trick is to ask someone for permission to take their photo, and if they agree take one and then wait for them to come back to what they were doing. This lady in Uzbekistan was extracting silk from worms, and after taking a portrait shot I stood around chatting, taking a few pictures while she got back to work.

But what if you want to get a candid shot, with the subject looking natural?

There’s always another way to get these without annoying the person.

Don’t make it obvious that you are taking their photo. Act natural and take lots of photos of the environment around them.

You can also keep your camera down by your side and point the lens in their direction.

If you have a zoom lens, use it. This was you can be on the other side of the street or market and still photograph the person.

READ MORE: Interested in learning more? Join one of our exclusive photography workshops in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan or Mongolia!

Make Them Feel Comfortable

Another one of my favourite travel photography tips for portraits is to bring in another element to the shot.

Some people will feel uncomfortable posing for a stranger, but if you can make it about something else they will feel much more at ease.

As an example, maybe ask if they can pose with something in their store like a rug, or ask them to show you their wedding ring.

This way they’ll realise there is more to your photo than just them. This will also add a lot more interesting elements to the shot!

Mongol Man Travel Photography Tips
Even though I didn’t buy anything from this man in the Gobi Desert, I joked around with him enough that he felt quite comfortable to pose for a photo for me. By having his motorbike in the frame as well it tells the story of how he travelled to find us.

8) Use a Tripod

A tripod is one of the best camera accessories you can have in your camera bag, and really essential for travel photography.

This will allow you to get excellent shots in low light, as well as get creative with your images (like taking long exposures).

These days you don’t always need a massive tripod to travel around with, especially if you want to travel light and are a hobbyist photographer. Look at some of the Joby Gorillapods.

Another good thing about using a tripod is that it will force you to slow down with your photography and put more thought into each shot.

Rather than just pointing and shooting, you will think carefully about where you want to set up your tripod and how you want to compose your shot.

Honestly if you want to become a better travel photographer, you’ll need to invest in at least a small tripod.

Use A Tripod Travel Photography Tips For Beginners
Using a tripod allowed Jarryd to take this long-exposure photo of a waterfall in El Chalten, Argentina.

9) Find the Right Travel Photography Gear

You don’t need to go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on new travel photography gear to get the best shots.

In fact chances are you already have a perfectly adequate camera right next to you (your phone).

Instead just get what you an afford, and as you grow with your photography style, post production, etc, you’ll learn what camera gear you need as well.

Things like filters, tripods, flashes, prime lenses, zoom lenses, etc will come in time.

For now, all you really need is a camera, memory card and enthusiasm!

10) Be Unique

There’s nothing wrong with getting those iconic shots of the Eiffel Tower or Machu Picchu to share on social media.

They’re beautiful and are often amazing camera angles of famous places that everyone wants to visit.

But don’t forget to be unique as well! Find a different perspective that hasn’t been photographed a million times.

In fact make it your goal to get a few unique shots that you can be proud of.

Over-expose, under-expose, incorporate motion blue – the only limitation is your imagination!

Be Unique Travel Photography Tips
This photo follows absolutely no rules, but I really like it because it stands out as something different to every other photo I tend to take.

11) Find Your Voice as a Photographer

Just like a writer or musician finds a particular style they like, as a photographer you need to discover your ‘voice’.

Travel photography is such a broad term that can cover just about anything.

Really just taking any travel photos will fit the description, whether it is landscape photography, wildlife photography, architecture, portraits, food or whatever.

Just find a style you love most, and focus on getting better at it.

If you really like black and white photography, then start shooting in black and white! Love taking images of crazy street markets? Then get out there and find them!

Experiment, learn, discover and nurture!

Find Your Voice Travel Photography Tips For Beginners
Just keep taking photos until you find your style!

Technical Travel Photography Tips

While the technical side of using a camera is usually the most overwhelming thing for a new photographer to think about, it’s actually one of the easiest things to master. All it takes is a bit of study and practice.

If you’ve never looked into getting out of ‘Auto mode’ on your camera, then terms like ISO, aperture, white balance and shutter speed will seem completely foreign.

READ MORE: Check out our great article and blog posts featuring our best landscape photography tips!

12) Exposure Triangle of Photography

The Exposure Triangle is a metaphor to explain the 3 elements that allow light onto a sensor.

A camera captures light, and the right amount is needed so that your image isn’t too bright or too dark.

The 3 parts of the Exposure Triangle are aperture, ISO and shutter.

Each one affects how light reaches the sensor in different ways, and getting this combination right is essential to capturing a beautiful image.

Exposure Triangle Travel Photography Tips
The Exposure Triangle.

I’ll explain these three things briefly now, and how they relate to taking better travel photographs.

13) Aperture

Aperture is how wide, or small, the blades in your lens are and how much light goes through the lens.

The aperture size is measured in ‘F Stops’, and displayed as numbers. f5.6, f8, f11, f16, etc

A wide aperture (small number – f1.8) lets in more light than a low aperture (big number – f22).

A wide aperture also has a shallowed depth of field than a low aperture. I know it can be a little confusing, but you’ll pick it up the more you play around with it.

If you want the background blurry in your photo, you’ll want a wide aperture. If you want everything in focus, you’ll want a low aperture.

Aperture Travel Photography Tips
I used a wider aperture for this photo so that the focus would be on the young girl, and the background would be slightly blurry without losing enough detail to be able to tell that it’s a rural environment.

14) ISO

ISO is how sensitive your camera sensor is to light. A small number, such as 100, means it’s not very sensitive and therefore needs more light to leave an impression.

A high number, like 6400, means it’s very sensitive and needs only a little bit of light to show up on the sensor.

The higher the ISO, the more noise shows up in a photo. Noise lowers the quality of your image, so in a perfect world you’ll want to keep this as low as possible (unless you’re going to stay out late doing astro and night photography).

It’s also necessary to raise your ISO if you’re shooting moving subjects (or handheld) indoors.

Milky Way Antarctica Iso Travel Photography Tips
There are times where having a higher ISO is actually better for the photo. When Jarryd took this photo of the Milky Way in Antarctica he had the ISO at 2000 so the sensor would capture more stars.

15) Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is pretty straight forward – how long it takes for your shutter to open and close. This allows you to freeze a frame, or introduce motion blur.

Want to capture a bird in flight? You’ll want to have a fast shutter (1/4000th of a second for example).

Want to make a waterfall look silky smooth, like you see in so much Iceland photography? Go for slow shutter speeds (3 seconds for example).

Keep in mind that if you are holding your camera equipment rather than using a tripod, you’ll need to have a fast enough shutter to eliminate your own hand movement.

As a general rule 1/60 of a second is the slowest you should go so your picture doesn’t pick up hand movement. Any slower than that and you’ll probably need a tripod.

Whales Travel Photography Tips
When Jarryd took this photo he needed to have very specific settings to get it right. He chose an aperture around f7.1 to make sure he could get the image quite sharp, but because the whales were moving he needed a high shutter. He kept the ISO down to 100, which kept it clean, and he could go for a shutter of 1/800.

16) Combining All Three for Perfect Exposure

There is no ‘perfect setting’ for aperture, ISO and shutter. It all depends on what you are trying to photograph and the style you’re going for.

Luckily most decent digital cameras have two little tools that will let you play around figure out how all three work together – manual mode and histograms.

Manual gives you complete control over your camera’s ISO, aperture and shutter.

If you change one, nothing else will change, unlike in ‘aperture priority’ mode or ‘shutter priority’ mode.

The histogram is a visual display of light. When the bars are all the way to the left, the image is darker. When they are all the way to the right, the image is lighter.

When most of the bars are in the centre, this is perfectly exposed.

Histogram
This is a histogram. The left side are your blacks, or shadows, and the right hand side are your whites, or highlights. For ‘perfect exposure’ you ideally want your histogram to be in the middle, not all pushed to one side.

The best way to figure out what combinations work best when you’re a complete amateur is to put your camera on “manual” mode, activate the histogram, and play around with the settings.

Pick an aperture (f/8 for example) and point it at the scene. Now look at the histogram.

If the image is too dark, then you’ll need to let more light in. Let’s make the speed slower. See a change?

Now put the shutter back to where it was and instead change the ISO. Make the ISO higher. Is the image getting lighter?

Spend an hour or two playing around with different apertures, ISO and shutter so you get an idea of how each one affects the light hitting the display.

Take note at how drastically things can change if a cloud goes in front of the sun, or you take the camera inside.

This just comes with practice of course, and knowing what settings you want for a particular scene will become second nature

Keep in mind that not all travel photos needs to be perfectly exposed. Sometimes having a darker image looks much better than having one that is nice and bright. You can use your judgement for this.

Low Exposure Travel Photography Tips For Beginners
Not every shot has to have perfect exposure to be beautiful.

17) Bonus – General Ideas For Camera Equipment Settings

This is very, very basic and by no means should be read as gospel. There are a million different things that can affect why you would want a faster shutter, or wider aperture. But if you are confused about what to pick for what here’s a quick idea.

  • Landscapes – You’ll want your aperture around f8-f11. You’ll also want your ISO as low as possible. Slow down the shutter accordingly.
  • Portraits – You’ll probably want to photograph your subject to be sharp, but the background blurry to bring focus on the person. Have a wider aperture (say f2.8 for example), and a faster shutter (around 1/160 at the absolute slowest) to freeze the subject. Adjust ISO accordingly.
  • Indoors – Because it is darker inside than outside, you’ll need to let a lot more light into the sensor. Unless you’re using a tripod, keep the speed at around 1/60 as the slowest, and the aperture around f5.6 to start with. Adjust ISO and aperture accordingly.

Of course there’s a bunch of other styles of travel photography that would use different settings, such as astrophotography, architecture, street scenes photography, wildlife photography, etc.

In time you’ll learn what settings work best for each scene.

18) Use Manual Mode

The best way to get to know your camera and how light works is to have complete control over what settings you choose.

The only way to do this is to shoot in manual mode (shown by the letter M on most cameras).

It will take months of practice, but I promise you that in time you’ll be able to look at a scene and instantly know what aperture, ISO and shutter to use to get the exact style of image you’re looking for.

You can also use aperture priority mode (the letter A on your camera) if you don’t want to make the big leap to manual just yet.

This way you can lock in the aperture you want (f8 for landscape photography, f2.8 for portraits, etc) and the camera will automatically adjust the ISO (although you can control this part too) and shutter to get perfect exposure.

I highly recommend focusing on learning manual settings though until you have it perfected.

Manual Travel Photography Tips For Beginners
Capturing this shot of a sunbeam breaking into the world’s largest cave would not have been possible unless shooting in manual.

19) Shoot in RAW (if available)

When you take a photo on your digital camera, the computer chip inside it takes what you captured on the sensor and converts it into a format that can be easily read. For most cameras, these two formats are RAW and JPEG.

JPEG is a compressed format that the camera creates to save on space. In doing so it ‘locks in’ all the data that it picked up such as the colour and white balance.

RAW files actually saves all the data of what you took and doesn’t compress it.

Most decent digital cameras will give you the menu option of shooting in RAW, and I recommend you use it if you ever plan on editing your photos.

Keep in mind that the file sizes will be a lot bigger (for example on one of our cameras a RAW is 42, while a JPEG is just 20), so you’ll need to have extra memory cards and external hard drive storage.

If you have no plans on editing your photos then shoot in JPEG.

Raw Travel Photography Tips
Shooting in RAW really allows you to push the dynamic range of your photo.

20) Learn About Post Processing

Some people think that editing your photo is ‘cheating’. But the truth is photographers have been editing their photos ever since photography was invented.

Yes, even your favourite photos in National Geographic have been manipulated in some way.

99% of photos you see in your favourite travel magazines have been edited. Every professional photographer edits their photos to some degree.

The reason is that not all cameras are great at capturing exactly what the eye saw in terms of colour and light.

If you really want to get the most out of your professional travel photography business, you should start playing around with post processing.

Many people have heard of Adobe Photoshop, but it’s a pretty advanced tool that most people wouldn’t ever need to use (until you get more experience).

To start with look at the free apps that you can get on your phone, such as Snapseed, or free editing programs on your computer, like iPhoto or GIMP.

Once you get serious about travel photography and you want to start editing all of your photos that are filling up your memory cards and external hard drive, we recommend purchasing Adobe Lightroom.

If you’re ready to make the jump to using Lightroom and Photoshop, Adobe have a great ‘Creative Cloud’ package, which is what we use for only $10 a month. You can buy it here with a 7-day free trial

Before Editing Travel Photography Tips For Beginners
One of my photos before editing in Lightroom.
After Editing Travel Photography Tips For Beginners
The same photo after making some adjustments in Lightroom. You can see I didn’t edit the image so much that it isn’t a true representation of what the scene looked like that morning.

21) Practice, Practice, Practice

Just like anything, becoming a great travel photographer takes time, and a lot of practice. The only way you can get better is by getting out there taking travel photos!

You don’t even have to travel the world to tourist destinations or have the most travel camera available to be a great photographer.

Borrow some family members to take their portraits, get a friend who is also interested in photography and push each other, or grab your smartphone and go shoot sunset.

Buy whatever you can afford, go for a walk around your city and snap away.

We hope that this general guide on travel photography tips for beginners has been helpful.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other questions. We have a lot of experience working with tourism boards, and would be happy to help you too.

Good luck on your photographic journey, and maybe we’ll see you in National Geographic one day!

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

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About the Author - Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

61 thoughts on “21 TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS (For Beginners and Pros)”

  1. Great article with great tips and i also like the pictures

  2. Thank you so much Alesha and Jarryd for these amazing photography tips! I look forward to putting into practice some of your wonderful ideas and tips! I do so appreciate any tips that I can get to improve my photography. :))
    Cheers,
    Marilyn

  3. I absolutely loved this article! Like you I received my first β€˜proper’ camera at 14 and since then have been hooked. I recently purchased a Nikon D750 and am absolutely loving it. Although at the moment I only have two lenses for it I am hoping to be able to afford more soon. What are your favourite lenses?

    In my photography I love capturing candid portraits of people I encounter during my travels. I always struggle with the dilemma of getting the perfect candid shot and feeling compelled to ask permission before taking the shot. As a very shy person directing people in images is daunting, but it is something I am striving to work on. It’s nice to read that you are also shy yet manage to capture such incredible images of people.

    As I am mostly self-taught, I always love to read technical tips to improve my images. I found the technical side of your post incredibly helpful and wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed post. I believe it really helps and inspires amateur photographers like myself.

    • Glad you liked the article. Thank you for your comment. Keep photographying Caitlyn πŸ™‚

  4. Great tips and awesome photos! I always tell people if they aren’t comfortable with their settings, the #1 way to make sure their images aren’t blurry is to shoot in TV/S (shutter) priority. That way you can prioritize having no hand shake.

    • Thank you so much. Great advice. Thanks for your comment. πŸ™‚

  5. Awesome tips for everyone and specially to me who loves capturing photos everytime i travel.This one also help me and give me more knowledge on how to make awesome photos and its good because you don’t need to buy expensive camera to have a good quality photos, just your iPhone or smartphone you can make a great photos.

    • Hi, you are so right. You can take great photos with your phone. Glad the article could help you.

  6. Great article! Do you even bother carrying your camera with you during the day in broad sunlight? I find it’s not worth the hassle for such poor shooting conditions.

    • Hi Scott, It all depends what we are doing. If we are on a job, we always carry our cameras with us. The midday sun is harsh but you get used to working with it. Especially indoors with the sun coming through the cracks, it can work out really lovely sometimes. When we are travelling on our own time, we don’t usually carry the camera. Happy travels

  7. I really enjoyed reading this post, as I am a beginner in photography as well and it’s always interesting to see what gear other people are using!

    I have the Canon Rebel as well, and also love the 50mm lens. It’s just great and is so versatile!

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Glad we could help. Thank you for your comment. Happy photographing,

  8. Great tips guys! Photography is an art so it must be learned properly. A good guide can teach art in a great way. This article is similar to a guide because it is an eye-opener for blooming photographers and travel lovers.

    Thank you so much!

    • Thank you for your comment Glorias. Glad the article could help.

  9. Hello Alesha and Jarryd, not sure to whom I adresse the message to, but I’m guessing Jarryd took the pictures and Alesha wrote about it :p

    Anyway, do you guys use any customized Firmware on your DSLR? like the CHDK or Magic Lantern. That’s one question, the other one will be: can’t find any Mobile Phone photography on your blog? can you please refer me to any article that provide valuable info around Mobile phone photography?

    • Hi Ayoub, The photos and words in the article are a combination of both of us. Usually Alesha is the photographer and Jarryd is the writer.

      We use use no customise firmware at all. We haven’t ventured this way as it voids our warranty.

      As for phone photography, maybe this is an article we should write. With our phone photos, we do use Snapseed to edit them. But do not take any photos through any apps. All the best

      • Thank you for the tip regarding phone photography, I mostly use the customized firmware to do timelaps and edit directly on the camera, keep me posted after publishing the new article. (Already subscribed to the weekly newsletter)

        • Definitely will do. Thank you so much. Happy photographing. πŸ™‚

  10. you are doing a great job

    • Thank you so much. πŸ™‚

  11. This was really an amazing list of tips, I am a hobbyist photographer and this would really helps me a lot

    • Glad we could help. Keep up the photographing. πŸ™‚

  12. Great tips Alesha and Jarred.
    I really liked your golden and blue hours tip. Will try it soon and hope get amazing pics πŸ™‚

    • Glad we could help. Practise will get you on the right track and before you know it you will be taking amazing shots. We are still learning about photography everyday. We love that you can never stop learning. Thanks Linda.

  13. Some of the best tips I have read so far. Amazing post and captures so much detail. Worth the read for every travel photographer. πŸ™‚ Keep it up.

    • Thank you so much,. We really appreciate it. πŸ™‚

  14. Priceless tips for amateurs like me. Thanks for sharing.
    For a long while, I’ve tried to follow the rule of thirds, but the best shots came out when I finally dared to break it. You’re absolutely right about the rules are meant to be broken.
    Regarding the camera, I agree it doesn’t have to be the most expensive. But sometimes I have a feeling my shots would have been better had I owned a proper camera. What device is the best balance between price and quality?

  15. Thanks a lot for the great advise! I especially like your explanations about the exposure triangle. I was a bit aware of it before, but never played around with it unless I wanted to change the depth of field (and even then, I did this very rarely). But thanks to focusing more on it, I am starting to get the hang of it. I have taken some very good hummingbird pictures, for example, which never would have been possible if I hadn’t raised the ISO so I can keep the shutter speed fast. Those birds zip around like crazy!

    Also, I think one of the most important pieces of advise, and the one I’m struggling with most, is to always look at the whole frame. I am guilty of looking at the main subject and later finding out that I cut off important things on the side or that something weird is in the photo that shouldn’t have been there.

    • Hi Ilona, so happy the article could help you. That’s amazing you experiment with your hummingbird shots. They are fast birds. By practising photography, you will get better and better. No matter how experienced you are, there are always things to learn. When you come to a scene you want to photograph, stop for a minute look around, walk around and think about what shots you want to take. Obviously this is hard when the subject is moving but great for landscape and street photography. All the best and keep up the awesome work. πŸ™‚

      • Hi, I took around 500 shots on a trip to Kyrgyzstan recently, some I think are pretty good, but now after reading your tips, I think I will make another trip to that part of the world again soon!

  16. what a great tips especially the lighting part – i also agree that getting up earlier and shooting in the natural sunlight is so great for your photos. talking to the locals and knowing your camera, You guys covered it all

    • Thank you so much for reading Shama. Glad you liked our article. Natural lighting is the best. Even though sometimes that early morning is hard it is worth it. πŸ™‚

  17. u are absolutely right u don’t need an expensive camera or go to Bali ( although it’s a good idea) to get great photos. it’s just simple common sense and a good eye and you can master photography

    • Well said. Thank you for your comment and reading Shama. Have a great week.

  18. Thanks a lot for the helpful tips on holiday photos. My partner and I are in Easter Island, irresistible place for photo opportunity. My Nikon D7000 will keep on taking photos on auto mode for the time being until I have had enough practice following your guidelines and the who knows what photos I might produce! Thanks.

    • Glad we could help Balu. Definitely when you have time, go out and take some photos on manual. Play with the different settings. Before you know it, you’ll only be on manual. At the beginning when I was still learning, I would take a shot on the manual settings I thought and then a shot of the same view on auto in case I messed up. Better safe than sorry. Have a great time in Easter Island. There is so much to do there and learning about the history is amazing. Take care.
      Alesha

  19. Guys your advice are completely helped me. I was stressed before, i want to travelling at the moment but i hope i can take a good picture cause you know how annoying it will be when we take a picture and then when we are home they are completely bad. So then you have to comeback at the same place again just to take a picture.
    But this one is helpfull

    • Hi Fabio, Don’t stress. You are going to bring back amazing photos from your travels. It is all overwhelming at the beginning but it gets easy. When you are shooting, put some time aside and concentrate on what you have learned. It doesn’t matter if it takes you 20 minutes to an hour to get your shot. If their are other photographers around, most of the time that are happy to give you some advice. Let them know you are new. Maybe they will let you know their settings for ISO, aperture and shutter. When it comes to editing, take your time as well. There are many You Tube videos that can help you for free. Have a great time on your trip. Happy travels

  20. Hey Guys, very useful tips especially the Bonus tips.

    Keep Sharing!!!

    • Glad we could help. Thanks for reading.

  21. P(Program) you set either the aperture or shutter and the camera adjusts the other one accordingly to maintain the right exposure. Thanks

    • Thanks Rezan

  22. I love traveling around the world. I wish to capture some of the beautiful places that I enjoyed. The above tips helped me to improve my travel photography skills. It also helped me to click some of the memorable moments of my travel with my friends and relatives.

    • Hi Vivek, Glad we could help. It is all about practise. We love having a day to ourselves and just getting out and shooting anything – landscape, cityscape, people or animals. We try to give ourselves a challenge sometimes. It makes it interesting and we are enjoying ourselves. πŸ™‚

  23. Great tips to help out beginners like me. I need to work on to ask people for permission as I get shy sometimes. I love the quote “rules are meant to be broken”!

    • Thank you Mao. Don’t worry, “asking” will come. Alesha was so shy and I used to take all the people shots. Now she is more confident and really enjoys shooting people. All the best.

  24. THANK YOU . Your very easy to read starter guide to photography was AMAZEBALLS I learnt so much .cheers
    LIZY

    • Thank you. Glad we could help. Happy shooting and get creative. πŸ™‚

  25. Hey guys, this is an amazing guide, thanks for writing this up in such detail. As an amateur, I always look for good travel photography tips from other travellers. I left my tripod behind in Thailand and I think this was a huge mistake, I need to get a new one, urgently πŸ™‚

    By the way, really enjoy your photos on your blog and Instagram, they are amazing! πŸ™‚

    • Glad we could help guys. We never used to use a tripod in our early years until we discovered how amazing the shots can be with one in low light and now we have 3. You can rest your camera on something to get a shot but you are limited to positions. Thanks for reading guys. πŸ™‚

  26. thanks for the tips. i’d make one edit: instead of ‘move your feet’ i’d say “don’t be lazy”…move left or right. move forward or back. climb up on something or get down on your knees.

    • Love it Aaron. You are so right. A little to the left might be the perfect shot or a little to the right and crouching might be the perfect shot. thanks for the input. Have a good one.

  27. I love this post. It is incredibly helpful to all beginner travel photographers like myself! I have only been shooting in manual mode for the past 5 months and have already seen a huge increase in the quality of my photos! But I am always looking to improve. Will definitely be sharing your post

    • It is crazy how you improve when you start shooting manual. I know Alesha did also. You learn so much about the camera and what it can do, it is incredible. Thank you for reading and all the best with your photography Hayley. πŸ™‚

  28. Hey guys,

    this guide is amazing, thank you so much for explaining everything in a way an amateur can understand πŸ™‚

    Bookmarking the post for future reference!

    Cheers,
    Naddya

    • Thank you guys. We are glad it is useful for you. πŸ™‚

  29. Wow! Amazing Tips. These tips will help a lot to click great pictures with your camera. Love the point of Shutter Speed. and about RAW.

    Thanks for Sharing Helpful Post.

    • Thank you so much Nitin. Glad we can help. Thank you for reading.

    • Yeah I agree with you buddy.

      • Thank you πŸ™‚

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