How to Make the Most of Your Trips Through Photography

by Aswini Vadapalli

As vaccines and stringent safety measures are rolled out, travel experts predict that travel could pick up again by spring. CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency Paul Charles, expresses his confidence in how it’ll be a much better situation for the travel industry by the first of May onwards, given that there’s greater consistency and coordination across borders.

If you’re itching to travel again, you’re not alone. After a year of being holed up at home, you can bet that every trip will be more meaningful than ever. Travel will become a novel experience again, so make sure you appreciate every trip and document them so you can revisit and relive each valuable moment. That said, here are some tips to take the best possible photos on your trips:

Scout for Locations Beforehand

Taking a stroll and wandering around isn’t a bad idea, but you also want to have specific areas to visit. This saves you precious time and lets you plan how your shots are going to look like, too.

You can either read travel guides, comb through social media, or even read through our guides here on View Traveling. Create a “shot list” which you can also use as your own itinerary, and make sure to research the best times to visit and look for the instructions on how to get there.

Bring the Right Equipment

A smartphone may be enough for casual pictures to upload on social media. Several definitely have good enough cameras, but nothing compares to the quality of full HD cameras.

With the right gear, you’ll be able to capture everything from the frothing waves to a landscape in the distance. Plus, there are a lot of options to choose from as demonstrated by Adorama’s selection of photography gear. Several brands and accessories offer a variety of equipment that produce different types of photographs. For landscape photography, opt for cameras with good ISO and dynamic range capabilities like the Nikon Z7, which also has great image stabilization. But if you’re planning to take more portraits and selfies, then the Fujifilm X-T200 may be better suited for you, as this has a superb autofocus function, and a front-facing LCD to boot! These cameras capture high-definition images that let you see all the details, not to mention, you’ll need HD photos if you’re looking to print them out.

Pack a Tripod

Tripods give you more options when shooting. You can set your camera in position and take the time to perfect the composition. Plus, you’ll be able to shoot with slower shutter speeds (for low-light and nighttime photography) without worrying about shaky photos. With a tripod, you have more creative control.

There are many tripods available depending on your needs. Topping the New York Times’ list of the best tripods is the Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB100. The paper states that despite its size it only weights 15.5-pounds. For a lighter model try the 3 Legged Thing Punks Travis, AirHed Neo Ballhead. Folded, it comes up to only 45cm, perfect for storage; it also has a detachable center column which can be converted into a handheld monopod. Another great option on the list is the Sirui T-005, which has a dual-section telescopic build that allows you to play around with the height, perfect for both high- and low-level shooting — and for only $90.

Be Polite and Ask for Permission

Photographing locals in a foreign country may be difficult. Language barriers and cultural differences may hinder you from taking the photos you want. However, it’s not impossible.

Needless to say, it’s a good practice to always research about the local culture, as photographers at the National Geographic suggest. And always to talk to people first. Say hello, ask for permission, or even try to learn how to say “can I take your picture?” in their language. They’ll appreciate the effort, and, who knows, you may even make a new friend.

Your next trip may very well be your first taste of travel again after a difficult year of quarantines and social isolation, so make it count.

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