Traveling around the world is one of the best and most fulfilling privileges you can enjoy. When you travel to another country, you experience fascinating facets of the world. You immerse yourself in another culture, savor the flavors of foreign cuisines, and take in the beauty of their natural attractions or historic landmarks.
Of course, you’ll want to document every beautiful moment through photographs. And these photos should evoke the wonder of these moments.
But most people don’t have the training and instinct of a skilled photographer. Whereas travel-related brands are likely to use high-end photo retouching services for their ads, you can turn to photography hacks to capture magical moments from around the world. So let me walk you through my 12 Photography Hacks for Taking Amazing World Travel Pics.
But first, learn the Golden Rule of Photography.
The Golden Rule of Travel Photography
The Golden Rule doesn’t have anything to do with the technical side of photography. Rather, it’s about respect. When you’re traveling the world, before you take a photograph, ask yourself, “Should I be taking this shot right now?”
Photo by Pexels
Before you take a snapshot, ask yourself if it’s appropriate to do so. You should try to find whoever is in charge and ask them if you can take a photograph of the event or place.
For example, you should always practice discretion when visiting places of worship because some religions believe it’s disrespectful to take photographs of their iconography or sacred spaces. This is also true of some rituals and ceremonies. Asking for permission to take photographs helps you prevent misunderstandings and avoid accidentally offending people.
Now that you’re familiar with the Golden Rule, here’s a few tricks that’ll help you take amazing photographs in exotic locales around the world.
Tips for Taking Awesome Beach Photos
Whether you’re surfing on the waves of the Balinese coast or sipping Mai Tais on the shores of Phuket, beaches are among the most dramatic and prevalent subjects of world travel photography. Use the following tips to upgrade your beach photographs from cool to awesome:
- Avoid the tourist crowds: Unless you specifically want to capture the local flavor or bustling tourist energy, find ways to avoid the beach crowd. Head for the coast before dawn and you can take some truly dramatic photos of the sunrise without running children and people lounging to ruin your shots.
- Emphasize textures: The beach is full of interesting shapes and fascinating textures. The roughness of the sand, the smoothness of sea glass, the huskiness of coconuts. Zoom in on the exquisite details that make these objects so interesting to the touch for photos you see and feel.
- Freeze the water: Waves are the most dynamic components of a beach. No two waves are the same curl or color, and once they smash upon the shore, they’re gone forever. Play with the shutter speed of your camera to capture individual waves and preserve the raw power or the subtle gracefulness of the water in your photo forever.
Photo by The PaperBoat Creative
Tips for Taking Brilliant Snowscape Photos
Snow adds an element of majesty and cold beauty to landscapes, but it also imposes some challenges to your constitution and photography skills. The following tips for cold weather photography can help you take exquisite snapshots in the frigid glaciers of Norway or the sleek icy heights of Hokkaido.
- Shoot in manual mode: The whiteness of snow reflects light in a brilliant glare. This causes digital cameras to compensate and darken any photograph you take, potentially obscuring minute details. Shooting in manual mode lets you disable these features and adjust your camera settings accordingly, resulting in well-lit and dazzling shots of the snow.
- Mind your footsteps: If you don’t want your shots of unbroken white landscapes ruined by snow turned to slush by your feet or revealing the dry winter soil and detritus, mind your footsteps and consider where you’re walking before snapping a shot. Although footprints in the snow can be a dramatic element if you’d rather emphasize the cold beauty of winter, be mindful of where you tread.
- Don’t just focus on the snow: There’s a lot more to explore and capture on camera than the cold whiteness of snow. Examine the resilient flora and fauna that dwell in the harsh temperature, look for inspiration in the frost-fractured rocks and ice-laden sky. The cold beauty of cold temperatures sometimes hides underneath the snow, waiting for discovery.
Tips for Taking Evocative Desert Photos
Few environments are as punishing as the arid air of desert landscapes. Just like tundra, deserts and dry and desolate locales can be a challenge to the traveler. So when you’re trekking by camel across the Tunisian sands or watching the sunrise over the dunes of fabled Samarkand, keep these tips for exquisite desert photography in mind:
- Watch out for the sand: The longer you stay near the desert, the more chances sand gets to wreck your photography equipment. Not only can the desert sand and heat irritate your eyes they also cause irreparable damage to your camera’s delicate mechanisms. Invest in dust cloths to insulate it from sand and cheap filters to protect your lenses from scratching.
- Capture the patterns of the sand: Desert dunes move slower than ocean waves, but they are just as ephemeral. Dunes contain such wonderful patterns, from their graceful curves to their elegant contours. Try to capture these timeless yet short-lived patterns of the desert for evocative but bleak imagery.
- Harness the light: Taking photographs in the middle of the day is not advisable in the desert. The intense heat roasts your camera’s internal wiring and have severe impacts on your health. Most photographs you’ll take will have flat, uninteresting lighting. The desert is perhaps the best place to wait for the “golden hours” of sunset and sunrise. During these times, the desert air would be cool enough for you to take as many photographs as you want, and the light will be more aesthetically pleasing.
Photo from Pexels
Traveling around the world gives you the luxury to see and immortalize sights that you won’t be able to find at home. Although capturing these images is an important part of international travel, never forget that looking at the photographs is nothing without experiences backing them up.
For every photo you take, you must have a dozen memories to go along with them. Because what are photographs for if not to open doors to cherished memories? So what do you think about these 12 Photography Hacks for Taking Amazing World Travel Pics? Did they sound good and useful for your upcoming World Tour? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.
Rebecca Van Ommen is the Executive Creative Director of Paper Boat Creative, a creative agency that specializes in high-end photo retouching, photo editing, and more. She was one of the youngest Art Directors for Getty Images in London. Her work has been published through some of the world’s largest advertising agencies including Mother, AKQA and BBDO London. Rebecca loves to exercise in her spare time. She also enjoys bringing her daughter to photoshoots for inspiration