Travel Photography Tips & My Favorite Shots

One of the best parts of traveling, for me, is bringing home great photos.  I have turned one room in my home into a personally gallery that features some of my favorite pictures.

So how can you take great photos?  Well, I’m certainly not an expert, but I love photography and have picked up a lot of tips along the way.  Here are a few:

  • Focus on something specific – find an item of interest and look for interesting ways to feature it
  • Don’t center everything.  Photos are more interesting when they show contrast, dimension, texture and perspective
  • Take lots of shots. You never know which one will be “the shot”
  • Photograph what you’re interested in.  I usually take better pictures of things I like.
I focus my gallery on similar photos and create a “theme”.   I created two focus areas in this room, one focused on snow/ice and pictures taken in Alaska and another area focused on warmer pictures, in this case, from both Alaska and Hawaii.
Here’s some of my photography
Photographing interesting architecture and famous landmarks makes great pictures
I like taking photos from many different angles
Sometimes I try to focus on a theme – this one was a series of shots of the sun
Wildlife is always fun to shoot and it really does take some luck to get a shots like these
This is a shot I took in Hawaii on a whale watching tour.  I had no idea that I even had the shot until we were headed back into the dock.  The professional photographer on board actually bought this shot from me.
This picture is from Alaska. Again, a whale watching tour (do you get the idea that I love whale watching? Yes, I do!). Again, a lucky shot and a once in a lifetime shot.  I shared this story in a recent Million Miles Secret Interview as one of my favorite memories.  A pod of Killer Whales was toying with a sea lion and preparing to make it an afternoon snack!  Three humpback whales entered the scene and tried to protect the sea lion. It worked for a while, but in the end, the killer whales won and got the sea lion.
Sometimes a lack of color can create interest. These pictures are from Bar Harbor Maine.
These pictures are Bar Harbor in the winter – so much snow!
And here’s Bar Harbor in the summer.
On the left, I wanted to focus on the drift wood in the foreground.
On the right, I was focusing on the small stream of water that was cutting through the sand and into the ocean.
In this photo, taken after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans’ Seventh Ward, I was focused on the lace curtains.  They’re just hanging there while so much brick and structure is missing.
You may recognize this photo from Twitter or Facebook as I often use it as my profile shot.
To me, this represents a “post card” picture.   A beautiful scene where the focus is not centered.  What is your eye drawn to? Mine is drawn to the small boat in the middle right side of the shot.  These next two photos are taken in the Phi Phi Islands Thailand
Again, I like the fact that noting is centered
Another thing that makes photography fun are the shadows.  Here are some of my favorite photos with great shadow
This photo was taken in Fiji just before the sun went down.
This photo of a light house was taken in Australia.  The light was coming towards me and the shadow is on the structure.
I love fireworks!! So whenever I see them, I take a ton of photos.  I find taking photos of fireworks at a slight angle really helps.  Don’t shoot straight on.
I don’t take a ton of photos of people.  The tip I gave earlier – take pictures of what interests you – is a great example here.  I’m not really interested in the people, but they add to the shot.  So instead of the typical face shot, I’ve focused on the lanterns and made the people the background.
So my question for you is, can you tell which photos above are taken with an actual camera and which are taken with an iPhone?
What tips do you have to share for taking great travel photos?

2 Comments on "Travel Photography Tips & My Favorite Shots"

  1. An easy one: use good lightning (natural light is best), and double check to make sure the picture isn’t blurry! Discovering a picture is blurry once you are home and on a big computer screen is a sure buzzkill.

  2. Grant Thomas | August 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |

    iPhone, all of them 🙂

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.