There are many genres within the field of photography, and one that interests most people is travel photography. Since it is the documentation of sceneries and landscapes from different parts of the world, it is considered an activity that anyone can partake in.
Many photography beginners and enthusiasts make this essential every time they travel. With that, let’s discuss more this genre.
What is travel photography?
Generally, travel photography is defined as capturing images when traveling. These images serve as documentation of different places, cultures, peoples, and experiences. Compared to other genres in photography, travel photography isn’t strict and specific to the subject.
Any aspect of and encountered during travel can be the focal point of an image. This also means that the setting is also flexible, with natural lighting utilized as the main source of illumination.
A Genre for the Books
Travel photography used to be recognized mainly as a profession, and these photographs would usually be published in travel publications and journals. So, in a way, it was used to promote local and international tourism.
It was as well used for academic purposes as a way to educate about the differences present in various parts of the world. Some prolific travel photographers have made a name through this genre, a few of which are Steve McCurry, Ansel Adams, Margaret Bourke-White, and Art Wolfe.
Now a Hobby for All
Because travel has become more accessible to more people from all walks of life, so has this activity. In fact, many people incorporate this as a hobby or a personal tradition when traveling.
The genre has also become more prevalent as we are becoming more immersed in social media. Images of every place you’ve been are staples to an online presence, and outputs can range from amateur to professional within the same platform.
How do I become a travel photographer?
These days, there are more photographers taking travel photography than any other genre. This means that if you look up travel photography on the internet, you are most likely to find many ideas.
Given that, there are many ways you can become a travel photographer, and here are some tips to get you started.
Learn how to take a photograph.
First things first, if you want to be a travel photographer, you need to know how to take a picture. This doesn’t mean that you just aim and take the shot. You need to be aware of the basics so you can at least capture an image you and others can appreciate.
Make it a goal to take pictures wherever you go
It can be on your mobile phone, with a point-and-shoot, or a professional rangefinder. The goal is simple. You should make photography a part of the journey.
Develop a Distinct Style
Most think that photography is just taking a photo but it’s more than that. Every photographer, like an artist, has a perspective of the experience in front of him/her.
It’s all about framing the image to create a story and all the processes involved in completing that narrative. Post-processing and editing techniques can also help in this regard.
Build a Visual Portfolio
If you want to take this venture a step further, you can compile your best shots and create a portfolio. This can be done in print or with a website. You can even start a blog so you can write paragraphs to match your albums. This way, many more can appreciate your traveling experience.
Create an Online Presence
One way you can improve upon your craft is to garner a following, join a network of like-minded travel photographers, and invite discussions of improvement and critique. You can do so by creating a social media presence.
If you want people to look at you, you need to let people know you are there, doing what you do. Also, always make room for improvement as your network grows larger.
What gears should I take for the trip?
What is a warrior without his weapons, right? If you want to be a travel photographer, you will need to gear up with these essentials.
We compiled a list of items that you should take with you on any trip, especially if you want to take great pictures while having a good experience. Don’t worry, though! These are basics that work for both beginners and experts.
Camera with strap
Make sure that the strap can be securely fastened, especially when traveling in areas you are yet to be familiar with.
This equipment can come in handy when taking pictures in low light settings.
Batteries, chargers, and portable power sources
Bring extra batteries as back-up.
SD memory cards
Bring extras for these as well. You can never tell if you run out of file space.
Camera cleaning kit
This is especially recommended if you’re out to travel for quite some time.
Prime lenses and speedlights
If you want to go extra on the set-up, using a different lens for your mirrorless camera or DSLR may give you better shots. Speedlights or external flashes can come in handy when you need to take pictures at night or in the dark.
How should I pack my stuff?
Since you will be carrying rather fragile equipment for this venture, investing in more protective and ergonomic bags is a must. You must allot a particular case for each of your equipment to avoid scratches or cracks due to impact.
If multiple bags are too bulky, multiple compartments can do the trick. Another great feature for your bag of choice is a completely waterproof design. This way you won’t have to worry about any changes in the weather.
Travel Photography Ideas
There is no doubt that there are plenty of travel photography ideas on the Internet. Given that almost everyone is taking a shot at the activity, you can find heaps of these travel photographs on social media pages, both personal and commercial.
Here are a few of what you should try for yourself.
Try different editing finishes
You can go for gritty, or unfocused, or blurry, or grainy, or sharpened. There are many ways you can fix a photo’s finish, and it can tell so much with the perspective you want to share.
All of these can be achieved through post-processing techniques using Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. However, colors can contribute greatly to the narrative you are trying to share with your photos. Find the colors that will help you tell your story better.
Master the selfie
You may think that selfies are for teenagers, but this can come in handy as a traveling photographer.
Not everyone can pull off a selfie shot that includes a great, let alone decent, view of the scenery behind the camera holder. Master this skill and you’ll find yourself enjoying the photos you take as you travel, especially when you do so alone.
In this day and age, the opportunity just presents itself. You will be presented with many travel photography ideas and chances to try it. However, it will be up to you. The great thing about travel photography is that it can be approached in a variety of ways.
You can just have it as a hobby, or you can develop your skills and make it a profession. There is no judgment, less pressure, and more inspiration in this venture. Also, you have the entire world to photograph, so the opportunities are endless. You really should give it a shot.