Home How-To Shooting 10 Tips For Better Travel Photos
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

10 Tips For Better Travel Photos

Bring home great shots of your once-in-a-lifetime adventures

This Article Features Photo Zoom


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3. Make Pictures
When I first saw this ’57 Chevy, it was parked on a different street in harsh sunlight. To make this picture, I asked the owner to drive his car onto a different street to a spot I had picked out before. I asked him to pop the hood and trunk. I snapped off a shot, making one of my favorite city photographs. In other words, don’t be afraid to orchestrate a shot if you get a good idea.


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4. Look for Creative Angles
When you’re out and about, look for creative and unique angles, using foreground elements as important subjects in a scene, rather than simply including a foreground element to add a sense of depth to a scene. Here I used the interior of a car as an important foreground element, and a city scene as the background. Without the foreground, the scene would have been pretty boring.

5. Don’t Be Shy
Simply put, you can’t be shy if you want to get great shots of people when traveling. As your parents probably told you, it never hurts to ask.


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When I saw this couple hop in the back seat of a car, I knew I had to get a shot: She was cute, and he had on this great red shirt, which I knew would look cool in the blue car. I ran up to the driver and asked if I could hop in the front seat for a quick shot. I snapped off two shots, and hopped back out. For sure, this is one of my favorite fun people pictures.

6. You Snooze, You Lose
You’ll find great light throughout the day in a city, especially plenty of shade created by tall buildings. But, as always, you’ll get more dramatic light (low-angle sidelight) in the early-morning and late-afternoon hours. Get up early and skip the late-afternoon nap. My philosophy: You snooze, you lose—lose out on the most dramatic light of the day. Put yet another way, I tell people, “I can sleep when I’m dead!”

7. Get Everything in Focus
When I shoot city scenes, I usually like the picture to look as it looks to my eyes—everything in focus. To accomplish that goal, here’s what I recommend: Use a wide-angle setting on your zoom lens (here I set my 25-105mm lens at the 24mm setting); set small aperture (here I used ƒ/16); and set the focus 1⁄3 into the scene (here it’s slightly past the bumper on the foreground car).

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