Tips for Travel Photography Part 1

[twocol_one] Tip 1: Plan when and where to photograph

My first tip and by far my most important tip is to decide when to photograph and when to just enjoy. Honestly, think of all the times you have got out the camera, or your phone and photographed something. Now, think about how many times you have looked at those photos, How many times you have printed those photos? How many times you have relived those moments? Sometimes we need to choose to be present in the moment, and often that means not taking a picture or a video.As a professional photographer I find it sad that at every event I see so many people trying to capture the moment on their phones when really what they are actually doing is missing the moment. I have heard social scientists talk about, ‘the need to post’, to validate that an experience actually happened by showing others. But that is a another story for a later post…

So, my first tip is to choose when to take out the camera and when to just enjoy your holiday!

[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]

Czech Republic

[/twocol_one_last] [twocol_one] TIP 2: Take a power board!

When you have decided to allocate some for photography, the worst thing that can happen is a flat battery. These days we use a lot of electronic devices; phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, video cameras etc. When I travel I buy one travel adapter and then use it on a power board from home to charge all my devices at once.

This isn’t specifically a photography tip, but it means you can charge your batteries while still writing that email home on your laptop.

[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]

Italian landscape

[/twocol_one_last] [twocol_one] TIP 3: Take a spare battery and a backup memory card.

Linked to tip 2, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to photograph a new place or event due to running out of space on your memory card or a flat battery. If you know your gear, then you should know how much life you get out of a battery, remember that the battery life can be greatly diminished in cold weather. So if you are going on a ski holiday or somewhere especially cold then a second battery is a must. Charging your battery each night should suffice for most photographers. The professional cameras we use sometimes have an adapter that you can put AA batteries in. I usually take this empty just to have as a backup. On my recent trip to France, I had not used my Canon 5Dmk2 for about a week, (the weather was not great so we just enjoyed and I used our little point and shoot for memories) the sun came out and we headed to a castle. I took the camera out and the battery light was flashing! So I went to the gift shop, paid a bit too much for the AA batteries and was still able to take my photos.

A spare memory card is a must, even if it is just a small one. I usually have an 8 or 16GB in the camera and for a day’s shooting that is usually heaps even on RAW, but I always carry an additional 2GB. Memory cards do sometimes corrupt, if that occurs then having a spare gives you piece of mind. (Corrupted memory cards can often be recovered, just take it out of the camera and take it to your camera shop on your return home.)

[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]

Bicycle in Paris

[/twocol_one_last] [twocol_one] TIP 4: Traveling with a non photographer.

Just like tip #1 planning when to shoot will not only put you in the right place at the right time, it might just save your relationship. I have an agreement with my wife when we travel, we designate shooting times and non-shooting times. When we start to plan our trip I say, ‘I would love to do a sunset here, or a sunrise there.’ Then we can plan around those times. She can stay in bed, I get up and shoot the sunrise and then we meet for breakfast. Or, we plan for a late dinner after I photograph sunset at the Eifel Tower for example.

Trying to capture everything can really slow down how much you can see in a day. Though experience, and some degree of marital strain, I have learnt this lesson. Trying to photograph everything means you are often shooting in the middle of the day, not the best light, and realistically what do you want to do with the photos anyway. Trying for an award winning travel or landscape shot around every corner certainly slows you down and frustrates your travel companions. Ok there are moments that just happen! And not carrying your camera means you will miss it. Yes, but refer to tip 1. Take time and make memories. My photography mentor would say, “Lets go and make some pictures” so I challenge you think about the difference between “Taking travel pictures’ and ‘Making travel pictures”

So by thinking about what you want to shoot and what you want to do with the photos you can plan shooting times and non-shooting times. Times to ‘Make Pictures’. So if you particularly want a shot for your wall of a certain land mark or land scape then you can plan that into your travel itinerary. I have found this really works for us. I get to shoot in the best light, without being hurried and she knows I won’t hold her up on other days of the trip. It also means I don’t have to carry the heavy camera bag and tripod everywhere we go. I just use the her little point and shoot. (I still get in trouble for changing the setting to manual all the time though.)

[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]

Eiffel Tower Travel photo

[/twocol_one_last] [twocol_one]

Stay tuned for more travel photography tips in mid January 2015!

[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]

Autumn in the Black Forrest