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Rules of Travel Photography

Rules of Travel Photography

Some people collect souvenirs when they travel, photographers collect beautiful images with a camera from These images are used to tell powerful stories to create awareness and understanding across cultures, communities, and countries. Here are some of the rules to live by if you want to bring back powerful, story-telling images from your next travel adventure. Early bird gets the worm The best light to capture most kinds of subjects is during the golden hours, one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. Waking up early also means you’ll have to deal with fewer tourists and other photographers. Want an epic shot of a famous landmark like the Taj Mahal? Just get there right when it opens and you’ll pretty much have the place to yourself. Sunsets also tend to make ideal photos as well.  Imagine the Grand Canyon just as the sun is setting.  When visiting a big city, don’t forget about photographing during the blue hour, the hour after sunset, or before sunrise, when the sky is still blue. This is the ideal time to capture the lights of the city or a particular building like the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Pre-trip research Read everything you can about the place you'll be visiting, especially local newspapers and social media. One of the best tools for researching iconic locations is Instagram. Use a tripod A lightweight Vanguard Aluminum Travel Tripod from allows you to set your camera position and keep it there. You can then take your time to arrange the perfect composition, adjust exposure settings, focus points, and really spend time paying attention to the image you want to create. Tripods give you the ability to shoot much slower shutter speeds to capture waterfalls and stars without worrying about hand-held camera shake. You don’t need to carry a tripod with you everywhere you go, but for sharp landscapes, low-light photography, self-portraits, flowing water shots, and sunsets or sunrises, a travel tripod makes a huge difference. Get off the beaten path Tell something fresh and new with your images. Share your own point of view of the place. If you want to get images no one else has, you need to wander more. The best way to do this is on foot, without knowing exactly where you’re going. Grab your camera, and head out into the unknown. Check with locals to make sure you’re not heading somewhere dangerous, and wander down alleys, to the top of a mountain, and around the next bend. In many places, locals tend to avoid tourist spots. So if you want to capture the true nature of a destination and its people, you’ll need to get away from the crowd and go exploring on your own. Getting the shot is important.  Just make sure you take it all in and enjoy the moment.  Your images and stories will be better if you do.
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