Top Tips for Travel Photography

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Most of us take a vacation at one time or another. If you also like taking pictures to document your travels here are a few tips to make this experience even better and they are not difficult to adhere to if you have the will, and in some cases , the patience to learn from your mistakes.

First of all get to kpwn your camera inside and out. You need to know what all the buttons do and how to use them to your advantage.

The last thing that you want to do while snapping your travel pictures is to begin to fumble with your camera because you don't know what this or that button does.

If you come upon an interesting scene that you must take a picture off, you need to set your controls almost automatically without even thinking about what you are doing. Get creative and set the controls to fit what you intend to show with each picture.

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Start your picture taking adventure early in the day. If you wait for the rest of the world to wake up you may end missing scenes that are not commonly seen by anyone not living there. Pay attention to how the light works the scenery and capture moments of locals as they get busy with the morning duties.

Do not take the same pictures that everyone has taken countless times. Let's say that you are in England.There have been a lot of photos depicting London Bridge. If you end taking the same photos with the same angles and the same perspectives then you are just mimicking a photo op. Get creative and look for new ways of photographing a subject

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Do not follow the customary or tourist recommended paths. Take unexpected turns, go where others may not regularly go.

Some of the best shots can actually happen when you go in a different location and se unexpected sights. Keep in mind that most likely you have a limited amount of time in this location and if you stick to the common tourist path you will probably see the same sights that have been photographed hundreds of times.

With this said, use common sense and do not go into locations that may not be safe. You are not a local so observe your surroundings carefully before venturing into them.

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Try to interact with the locals, even if you do not master the language. Often showing them your intentions to take a picture by pointing to them and the camera works.A

Ask before you take their picture. If they declined then move on with a polite smile and a thank you.

Locals can not only suggest good places to photograph but you may also be able to incorporate parts of their surroundings to tell a better story which is the main point in doing travel photography and that is the telling of a story.

I once befriended some locals in a small street in Segovia, Spain to the point that they not only let me take as many pictures as I wanted but treated me to some of their local cuisine (callos) and wine (chato). Off course it helped that they were already in a "cafe" looking at a football (balonpie) game and that I spoke Spanish.

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Make sure to do some research on the location that yo are going to. Find out details about the best places, any upcoming events like festivals, best places to meet and eat, local customs like what to do and especially what not to do.

Keep an open mind and expect the unexpected. Things happen and you must be prepared for eventualities. Have fun and take plenty of shots.

Do capture images of the usual tourist attractions but look for new ways of doing so. Take a picture of the Eiffel Tower or the London Tower but make them your own by infusing the images with your personal touch and creativity.

Take your time and look for good shots so being patience in this case is a virtue. You are not going to get great shots all of the time. Waiting and observing your surroundings can often lead you to a better shot than if you just started taking photos of everything .

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Observe and observe some more. Paying attention to what's going on around you lets you understand the location, the people and the customs better.

Don't be afraid of asking questions. Many locals all over the world are more than happy to provide you with helpful information, especially since you are visiting their "home".

A sense of pride usually develops in the locals if you are seen as taking an interest in the place and the people.

Show respect, learn as much about the locale as you can, try to learn at least how to say thank you and be creative. You will be surprised how these simple things can take you a long way.

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© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez

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