Timeless Travel Photography Tips

Have you always wondered why your travel photos from some of the most breathtaking places always end up looking average? If you routinely feel disappointed with your travel photos, you’re probably not doing it right. These tips from Mango Street could be what you need:

These tips are inspired by the works of Chris Burkard. Burkard is a travel and adventure photographer who uses timelessness and intentionality to produce captivating images.

Avoid showing brands and logos

Popular outdoor brand logos tend to timestamp your photos. It’s difficult to avoid with the kind of branded gear that we use on an everyday basis. But not entirely impossible. Choose solid colors over graphic tees for the best look.

how to make a captivating travel photo

Another useful way to make sure that your photos stand the test of time is to hide your subject’s face. Ensure that it is as far away from the camera as possible. When the subject of your photo is not identifiable, you create an “everyman” persona.

Make your subject pop

If you’re a nature or a landscape photographer you probably don’t usually include a human subject in your photos. And that’s the difference between someone who is a nature photographer and someone who is shooting vacation photos. Someone shooting vacation photos might want that all important human element in their photos.

tips for travel photography

Now that you have the human element in your composition, make sure the subject is wearing solid colors that separate them from the background. The best colors for this purpose are red, blue, and yellow.

Let’s say that the environment is dominated by darker greys, browns, or blues, try having the subject wear bright yellow to help them stand out from the background.

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You can see another example of this technique in this photo (above) by Burkard. The sea-plane was deliberately chosen because of its color as Burkard knew full well the dominating colors in the scene he would be shooting in.

These images rarely happen by chance. As the photographer, you have to put a lot of thought into the process.

Utilize blues and yellows

The colors that you use in your palette will have a huge psychological impact on your viewers. One of Burkard’s favorite ways to push and pull viewers from his photos is using the colors blue and yellow in his compositions.

The color blue is usually associated with a sense of calmness and isolation. Yellow, on the other hand, is associated with joy and energy. These colors can immediately grab the viewer’s attention.

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The best ways to incorporate blues and yellows in your images is to shoot during the golden hour. You can also incorporate the missing color in your photos by asking the subject to wear a blue jacket, perhaps, or use a yellow umbrella as a prop.

Try these tips out on your next trip and see if you can give your photos that extra edge!

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