5 Tips to Help Improve Your Travel Photographs

Have you ever got home from your holiday, looked back over your holiday snaps and been just a little bit disappointed?

Here are 5 tips that might help you to improve those holiday photographs.

Tip 1:  Look for a different angle

Rather than taking a photograph from directly in front, think about different angles to capture the image.

The image of the London Eye below was taken from across the Thames and I added in the tree branches to give the image a different feel.

Travel photography

This is an photograph of the Eiffel Tower from across the Seine.  I thought the carousel provided a nice addition to the image.  I also thought that by tilting the image and converting it to black and white provided a different perspective.

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Another angle of the Eiffel Tower.

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Tip 2:  Look behind you

It is so easy to become totally enthralled with the amazing site in front of you that sometimes you don’t look around.  The amazing sights may not just be in front of you.  They may be behind you as well.

This is a photograph of Davidson Glacier, Alaska.  The Glacier is the reason we travelled for hours and it was truly amazing to see.

Davidson Glacier, Alaska

But when we turned around, the scenery behind us was also stunning.

Davidson Glacier

Sometimes looking down can also provide a different perspective.  There are engravings of different words in the footpath / pavement along the main street of Waikiki.  I really liked the meaning of Aloha.

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Tip 3:  Look for the detail

Sometimes showing specific detail can ignite emotion more than the whole scene.

This photograph is of the “lock bridge” in Paris.  It shows the scene as it is, but it really doesn’t engender any emotion.

Travel Photography

Rather, we can look for specific detail.  In the above scene, we can do that by looking for specific locks that show some form of meaning or emotion.

This photograph, tells a story of two people who planned to place this pink, engraved lock on the bridge while on their honeymoon in Paris.  We don’t need to know who these people are to have an understanding of the emotion of the scene.

Travel Photography

Detail can be found in other scenes also.  Take, for example, these candles burning in Notre Dame in Paris.

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Or this beautiful water lily we found in Samoa.

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Tip 4:  Try converting your photographs to black and white

Changing a photograph from colour to black and white can really change the “look and feel” of the photograph.

The following photograph is of some bikes in Amsterdam.  The photograph has not be adjusted in any way.  The second photograph has simply been changed from colour to black and white.  When I took this photograph, I thought that it might be a nicer image in black and white rather than colour.  What do you think?

Travel photography

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There are a number of programs and apps that are free that allow you to convert jpg files from colour to black and white (eg. paint.net).

Tip 5:  Get to know the locals

One of the best things about travelling is meeting new people.  It’s amazing being able to talk to locals even if it is only for a short time.

We stayed on Lake Titicaca in Peru for a night at a farm stay.  The following morning this little girl came down from the house just up the hill to meet us.  She was a very inquisitive little girl and loved having her photo taken.  She loved even more being able to see her photo when we showed her the preview on the screen on the back of the camera.

Travel Photography

The locals don’t have to be human.  We got to know this cute little girl (yes the cat) at the pub that we frequented most nights while in Amsterdam.

Travel Photography

Summary

There are not set rules on how you “have” to take travel photographs.  But next time you are on holidays, think about these tips and see if they can help you take travel photographs that are a bit different.

For more great photography tips, head over to Rapunzel’s Passport for her fantastic article How to Take a Good Photograph.