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Travel Photography at Its Best

Updated on June 1, 2015

How to create travel images that are amongst the very best.

Welcome! Travel Photography is something many of us do. So, why treat it as a special topic?

Because there are many constraints and limitations, as well as opportunities, that we encounter during travel photography. Some of these are considered here. Thinking about these issues can seriously improve the images that we carry home with us.

This will include: examples of the techniques that will get us there, books that have been written about it, equipment that will help us to improve, and anything else that is relevant to taking great photographs of people and places - photographs that we will be proud to show our friends or even enter into a photographic competition.

I will lead the way, but you must contribute as well if we are to meet the needs of the many who are fed up with the average (or less) and want the very best.

(All images Copyright: John C Doornkamp)

My background in photography

For many years I took photographs as a part of my professional life as a Physical Geographer. Now I am taking photographs for entirely aesthetic reasons. "Why the change?" you may ask. This change was stimulated by an invitation to join a photographic society. The images that I saw there were mind-glowingly stunning. Here were ordinary people, just like me, taking photographs that brought the beauty and wonder of the world to life. I knew straightaway this was for me - so long as I could master the skills and have the "eye" to see the "really stunning picture".

Very quickly I learned my limitations. The only route to greater success was practice, advice, practice, advice, and yet more practice and advice.

Now, after 20 years of practicing and hearing advised I want to try to pass some of that on to others.

For those of you interested on flower photography this is the place where that will happen. For those interested in other aspects of photography I have prepared other lenses (just refer to the list of my lenses elsewhere on this screen).

I want all of you to enrich your photography by feeling more and more in control of what you are doing. Just keep practicing, and don't be resistant to taking advice.

Soon it may be your turn to try to inspire others. In the meantime - good photography!

PHOTO GALLERY - FROM AROUND THE WORLD - These images will change about once a month. (Images Copyright: John C Doornkamp)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lonely places can be beautiful places. Just us and the natural world.  Wherever our travels take us so our experiences will change. Woolacombe, UK.Though some are harder to get to than others! Fox Glacier, South island, New Zealand.Some places are further away than others. Alice Springs, Australia.There are remarkable places. (Crater Lake, Oregon)There are pictorial landscapes (Rockies, Canada)There are places where people carry out traditional activities. (Italy)
Lonely places can be beautiful places. Just us and the natural world.  Wherever our travels take us so our experiences will change. Woolacombe, UK.
Lonely places can be beautiful places. Just us and the natural world. Wherever our travels take us so our experiences will change. Woolacombe, UK.
Though some are harder to get to than others! Fox Glacier, South island, New Zealand.
Though some are harder to get to than others! Fox Glacier, South island, New Zealand.
Some places are further away than others. Alice Springs, Australia.
Some places are further away than others. Alice Springs, Australia.
There are remarkable places. (Crater Lake, Oregon)
There are remarkable places. (Crater Lake, Oregon)
There are pictorial landscapes (Rockies, Canada)
There are pictorial landscapes (Rockies, Canada)
There are places where people carry out traditional activities. (Italy)
There are places where people carry out traditional activities. (Italy)

Photo Tips 1: Travelling Light

How much do we need to carry?

The equipment you take when you are travelling will depend on the amount and nature of the equipment that you have available to you. So, this question becomes more and more relevant the more (and the heavier) the equipment that you possess.

This is where the owner of one small camera with a built in everything is laughing. It is also where the owner of an extensive DSLR system faces problems. On the other hand, the DSLR owner may claim that they will take the better quality images, and the compact camera owner relies that they can be more agile when taking pictures during fleeting moments and opportunities.

So, where do we go from here? The answer has to be that you take the amount and type of equipment that you need for your purposes, being mindful of the means of travel and environments into which you will be travelling.

Once you have decided on this it may well be that the quality of the photography will depend as much on the photographer as on the equipment - so long as your equipment can meet all of the technical needs required by the purpose of your photography.

Photo Tips 2: Tripods

The TRIPOD issue

A tripod can improve your travel photographs. Using a tripod slows you down, and you think more about what you are taking. A tripod stabilises your image (perversely you have to remember to turn OFF the stabiliser on your camera lens). A tripod is invaluable when faced with low-light conditions.

However, it can get in the way, it always wraps itself around other people's anatomy, it needs luggage space and so on.

Nevertheless take one if you can. Go for a compact light-weight one if you really must, but do take one.

Photo Tips 3: Save your imagers as you go along.

Don't loose your precious images.

Accidents do happen. Memory cards do get full. Memory cards do get lost or damaged.

The last place you want any of this to happen is when you are on that once in a life-time trip.

The answer is to routinely back-up your images to another device (other than relying entirely on your memory card(s).

I have a hard-drive viewer that will read and store the images on my card. At the end of each day I upload the images to this hard-drive, giving me a second (and hopefully secure) copy.

Alternatively you could transfer copies to your portable computer/tablet/portable hard-drive - whichever is your preference.

Above all else, however, make sure you have a second copy on a separate storage device.

If an accident does happen you know that all is not lost.

Travel Photography Books on Amazon - The Best in eBooks - Amazon Kindle Books

AmazonKindle is a great source for books on photography.

One of the most popular of the eBooks (Kindle Book Store) that I have published so far has been that on Travel Photography. I have not pushed it or made a special feature of it, yet it has been taken up by interested photographers. So thank you to them. For those of you who would like to join them here is the link directly to that volume.

Remember, although these books are on the Kindle site they can be read on (almost) every digital medium (including computers, Kindle Reader, and other hand-held electronic devices).


Places or people?

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