Basic Travel Photography Tips (Saltlick Lodge)

14 Basic travel photography tips that will save your day

Travel Photography.

I have been amateurish when it comes to travel photography until recently. I took the time to learn the essential and basic travel photography tips online.

The reason why I decided to take this step is, Travel Photography conjures up thoughts, feelings and eventually evokes the deepest emotions of your desired destination.

Then how could I afford not to be part of the game? Well, am no near a professional but these basic travel photography tips will get you started with your photography.

Before we dive into the basic Travel Photography tips. Here are a few things to remember.

You may have the best photography gear but still, kick in poxy and inauspicious photos. Size doesn`t matter but the skills.

Did you know you can still use your phone and beat someone with the right gear? It is all about skills.

The first 10,000 photographs will be your worst, meaning there is always room for improvement. It is unlikely to find a perfectionist when it comes to photography so be easy on yourself.

Photography can put in your story in a way that no words can explain. And finally, travel Photography is the only art that will always make your memories tangible. So, let’s embrace photography.

Now let’s dive in and see the basic travel photography tips I learned online.

1.) Rule of thirds.

This caught my attention since I don`t really like rules even though I never break them. So, what is the Rule of thirds in Photography?

This is a type of composition in photography whereby the image is divided into 3 equal parts as is explained in the video above. It could be horizontally, Vertically or both.

Why is this travel photography tip so important? It draws you as the viewer into the targeted subject.

Placing the subjects on the intersecting points will naturally draw your eye’s attention to the portrait.

Unfortunately, the rule of thirds doesn`t always work but it does most of the time

2.) Leading Lines.

The rails are the leading lines to the subject
The rails are the leading lines to the subject

In the simplest terms possible. These are lines in the background of the subject that draw the interest of the viewer in a specific direction.

What are the examples of Leading Lines? Well, it could be the Roads, Rails, paths, Pavements or Shorelines.

Limbs- arms pointing or legs. It could be buildings pattern boards or anything directional in a photograph.

Why is this basic travel photography tip important? I believe you want to make your image interactive, these elements that draw the eye then back to the subject create interaction and an interactive photo composition that will stand out than a solid centred image.

3.) Colour Theory.

This is a technique of combining different colours in photography to create a harmonious look or simply look amazing all together.

Why is colour theory important in Photography?

Colours are an essential factor in art and photography is no different, they can make or break your photography.

Colours can be used to draw a focused image to viewer attention and direct the eyes to different directions of interest set by the photographer depending on the image goal.

Photos can also influence the viewer’s mood.

4.) Pattern and Repetition of Photography.

Repeatitive making a Pattern.
Repetitive making a Pattern.

This is the use of two or more like elements in a composition. The systematic elements of shapes create an eye-catching pattern that is irresistible to the eye.

This is one of the basic travel photography tips that create a rhythm that is harmonious and takes the viewer to the photographer idea.

Ever seen a dazzle of Zebras in a straight line? They even use this technique to confuse their predators on which one to pick.

The repetitive pattern of the wildebeest migration? A field of some flowers or even a forest? All these images create a catchy story in form of an image. Always look out for patterns to get an incredible photograph.

5.) Balance in Photography.

This is the state of equilibrium, having equal weight in a photo. When different parts of the photo command attention equally then the balance is achieved.

The only downside of an unbalanced photo is, it can be a turn off to the viewer. We Humans like symmetrical and that is why many photographers make sure they achieve this for an incredible shot.

Balancing can sometimes be contrasting with the rule of thirds since we are advised to frame the subject on the right or left side.

When there are no supporting images, the image can look unbalanced, disorganized and unappealing. Always try to find something to fill up left space to avoid leaving empty space.

6.) Shoot in Manuel Mode.

I know, when I was learning basic travel photography tips online. This was the last tip I thought someone would bump in to.

I mean it is 2021 and probably everything by now should be Auto, from Vehicles to Cameras.

As much as an Automatic car is less stressful. Someone would feel better and content in a Manuel car especially a sporty car for the obvious reasons.

Now, when it comes to photography, if you need not only a good but incredibly stunning photo, learn how to tune your camera settings manually.

You should mostly learn about, IOS, Aperture and shutter speed if you need the best photos and know the relationship between them and how to adjust settings accordingly on your own. Do you want to learn more? Here is a free Manual Mode Course.

7.) Get Lost on Purpose.

They say get lost on purpose so that you don’t get lost by accident. This is true because every time I am at a destination.

I always find myself breaking away from the crowd and wandering in the opposite direction.

I have gotten lost so many times that I lost count but always get to where they never reached. I usually get the usual pictures whereby everyone has but always emerge with unique stunning photos of where everyone couldn`t access.

What you should know about getting lost on Purpose.

  • Make sure you write or memorize your hotel address.
  • Befriend and mingle with the locals to avoid yourself in dangerous places.
  • Behave like you`re not a tourist even though you obviously look new in the area.
  • Capture your moments, create your story and let the wandering be worthwhile.

8.) Timing.

Basic Travel Photography- I could only achieve this art early in the morning before everyone could wake up
Basic Travel Photography- I could only achieve to shoot this art early in the morning before everyone could wake up

This is one of my all-time basic travel photography tips known to me even before the online study.

Wake up early in the morning and stay late at night. The last time I was on the beach, Diani.

I woke up early enough and since I was staying in Whitesands. A few meters to the beach, I felt like I owned the beach since I was the only one.

I took all my desired pics by myself without anyone interrupting and went back to my room. Only to come later and found that the beach was full one can’t even get a clear shot.

In times of Safaris, I wake up early enough and since I cannot go game drives by myself. I make sure I capture the hotel images without prior interruption of whosoever.

9.) Destination Pre-Tip.

Basic Travel Photography, If you are going hiking to Mount Longonot, Why would you miss to take such a shot, Image CreditTravel with a Pen
Basic Travel Photography, If you are going hiking to Mount Longonot, Why would you miss taking such a shot, Image CreditTravel with a Pen

I learned this recently if you are going to a destination you have never been to or just a repeat.

Do this, make google your friend. For example, let’s say you`re visiting Naivasha crater lake. Key in those keywords and select images.

Here you will meet the professional photographer’s clicks of the said destination. Pick out the outstanding pictures, study and learn the angles used to capture such pictures.

Once you`re at your destination try and make yours better. Use professionals to give you basic travel photography tips.

10.) Human Element is Crucial.

Power of Human Element
Power of Human Element

I call it the human touch, two great pictures of the same destination. One with human presence and the other without. Which one do you think outshines the other?

Of course, the one with a human element, such pictures gives the viewer the power to envision they were the ones on the picture especially when they have hidden face or too tiny to identify the person in the picture. These ones are popular in cases of a little person in a giant incredible landscape.

12.) Ask Permission.

This is more of photography morals than basic travel photography tips. It is offensive to take someone’s photo without their permission. So, have the courtesy to always ask before shooting.

Well, some may charge you depending on how you approach them while others may just say a cold no!

Locals to a destination for example Masai Mara they know you should give them something must you take a photo or pose with them.

Though not all will demand so, I find it courteous if you have something to give out to motivate them. After all, it is their destination and they out to make an income from their touristic region.

13.) Patience.

This Image by Paul at Nairobi National Park, defines patience in Photography, Getting a lion in such a backdrop
This Image by Paul at Nairobi National Park, defines patience in Photography, Getting a lion in such a backdrop

Travel photography needs patience. Personally, am not blessed with patience but passion surpasses patience.

For the love of wildlife, I will be patient and stay in the same place for hours just waiting for that one shot. For instance, Nairobi National Park breeds patience.

Do you know those Incredible shots of rhinos or lions images with a sky scrapper backdrop? One can stay for hours waiting for such an incredible shot.

14.) Make use of reflections.

The sky and Subject incredibly reflect on the swimming pool. Image Credit Pam
The sky and Subject incredibly reflect on the swimming pool. Image Credit Pam

This is another basic travel photography tips that play a major role in spicing your travel photography.

You can use reflections, for example in Rivers, lakes or just any stagnant water near a subject.

The only downside of water it can be tricky when windy. You still have the options though, of using mirrors or any shiny objects. The main goal is to be creative and stand out from the rest. Don’t be normal, be different try out something new. Don`t be cliche in photography.

If you want to take your game a notch higher, you can purchase Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Photography on Amazon. or The basics of the photography course on Udemy.

Also, Read-:

21 hacks on How to reduce cost while travelling.

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