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8 Beginner Travel Photography Tips

Last updated on March 2, 2021

Ready to start your travel photography journey from beginner to professional? These quick and easy beginner travel photography tips are sure to help you take better photos. 

1. Master the Art of Storytelling with Your Travel Photography

Barcelona Street and Travel Photography by Ben Holbrook from
Barcelona gelato lovers – by Ben Holbrook.

Always think about the story you are trying to capture and convey with your camera.

What are the subjects and elements necessary to tell this story?

Try to go beyond a two-dimensional reflection of reality and find the perfect moment, angle and emotion to take your shots.

And remember, you don’t have to tell a complete story. Like poetry, your photos can be enigmatic and tell only half a story (or less!). Allow people to look at your images and make up their own stories in their own imaginations.

2. Learn the Basics of Composition

Rollerblading on the rule of thirds – by Ben Holbrook.

Setting up your composition can be tricky and sometimes tedious, and mastering the “rule of thirds” can take you years of practice.

However, while you are learning, there is no need to throw away perfectly good photos with small issues in composition.

You can adjust your composition with a beginner-friendly photo editing program like PhotoWorks.

Why not Photoshop? If you’re a beginner, you will spend too much time on learning the basics of it, whereas PhotoWorks is quicker to get to grips with and won’t cost you as much.

You can save your photos with one of the popular crop types or fix image distortion. The software is easy to run on any PC and allows you to learn quickly thanks to the simple navigation. 

3. Learn the Power of Leading Lines

Rhossili Wales, UK - Travel Photography by Ben Holbrook from
Leading lines of Rhossili – by Ben Holbrook.

Leading lines – both natural and man-made – guide your viewer through your image and to the focal point of your picture.

It could be a trail that leads to a mountain, or a railway track that disappears into a forest.

The eye of your viewer will naturally follow leading lines and bring them to the main object in your photo. 

4. Understand Foreground, Midground, and Background

Israel Travel Photography by Ben Holbrook from
Layers of Israel – by Ben Holbrook

The secret approach to a seemingly three-dimensional photograph is to use something in the foreground – a colorful rock as an entry point for the viewer, another object in the midground – like a lake or a meadow to hold the viewer’s interest, and finally something in the background – a majestic mountain to complete the photograph.

The combination of the three will add a sense of depth to your image, especially if it’s a landscape photo.

These three layers create dimensions for the viewer and ensure harmony and balance of the composition.

5. Utilize Framing

Rhossili Wales, UK - Travel Photography by Ben Holbrook from
A natural picture frame – by Ben Holbrook.

Framing is another way to draw the viewer’s attention to the main subject.

You could use arches to create frames, trees in the forest, or even bridges.

Their reflection in the water creates a resemblance of a frame and drives the viewer’s focus to the object in the lake – for example, a boat. 

6. Emphasize Your Subject by Blurring Out Everything Else

Placa Reial, Barcelona, Spain - by Ben Holbrook from
Barcelona rose seller – by Ben Holbrook.

This technique will prove to be extremely helpful, especially in a crowded place.

Use a wide aperture on your lens, such as f/1.8 or even f/1.2 if you have a really fantastic prime lens, to keep your subject in focus while blurring out the background.

7. Shoot Portraits

Israel Travel Photography by Ben Holbrook from
A portrait in Israel – by Ben Holbrook.

It is not easy but portraits are a fantastic way to tell better stories about a place. 

Don’t be afraid of rejection, just be polite and friendly and try to make the model as comfortable as possible.

Ask them about their country, give them compliments, and tell funny stories. If you are nice and respectful, no one is going to refuse a brief photoshoot. 

8. Choose and Pack Your Gear Wisely

Fuji XT3 with Fujinon 23mm f2 Camera Setup and Photos Samples by Ben Holbrook from
Ben’s beloved Fuji XT3.

Pack a light camera and don’t forget your lenses (and lens caps!).

Take a tripod to reduce camera movement and enhance picture quality when shooting in low-light conditions (or at night).

Don’t overlook small details like batteries, a powerbank and memory cards. There’s nothing worse that missing the photo of a lifetime because you have run out of battery power or space on your SD card.

There are many more travel photography tips that you can familiarize yourself with.

More Photography Talk 

Get the Analogue Film Photo Look in Lightroom with the Earth Preset Pack (+ Sample Images)

Canon 50mm f/1.8 with Fuji XT3 ~ Manual Focus for Analog Style Digital Photography

Sarah Drove ~ A Photo Journal (Fuji XT3 + 23mm F2)

In Deep at La Mercè’s Surreal Correfoc (Fire Run) ~ A Photo Journal (Barcelona)

Photo Journal: Escaping Barcelona ~ A Day at Vilassar de Mar

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