Travel Photography Tips You Probably Haven’t Heard Before

It’s a golden age for budding photographers. Learning resources are plenty, and most of them are free. The internet is full of tutorials. However, most of them offer pretty similar tips. Photographer Mitchell Kanashkevich shares some unusual photography tips that you don’t hear every day:

Allow Yourself to be Naive

When photographing people, it’s best to throw out what you know and get into an innocent state of mind. By being genuinely fascinated by what happens in front of you, and what people do, you can develop a sense for portrait photography. If you get too self-conscious and start to wonder about what they might think of you taking their photographs, it may even prevent you from taking your camera out of your bag.

be naive as a travel photographer

However, if you feel that there is strong negativity, then it’s best to not to take photographs. This especially applies to places where people aren’t too friendly with photographers.

The Main Event is Often Not the Main Thing Photographically

When traveling, you sometimes come across local festivals and events. While the main event may be important for the people there, photographically speaking, it may not always be interesting.

Try photographing the events that happen prior to or following the main event. Scenes like preparations for an event and practice sessions can be far more visually compelling.

“Even if the main event is what’s most amazing, most incredible, photographically by shooting around it, you end up with more interesting images. And there might be more photographic opportunities and sometimes more freedom too.”

preparation for indian wrestling

There Won’t Be a Next Time

Photographers on-the-go are presented with many photographic opportunities. Too many photo opportunities can make you make excuses not to take the photograph immediately. But, the next time you try to recreate the image, things may not work out the same way. The lighting, the scene, the colors, and the people’s mood may not work out the same way next time.

photograph of a fish seller

You will never regret stopping and taking the time to take a photo. Even if you don’t end up getting an amazing photo, you’ll often walk away with a pleasant memory or even a valuable life lesson.

When the Weather is Bad, Run for Your Camera

How often do we associate travel photography with cloudy skies and rainy conditions? Rarely, right? Rather than keeping your gear somewhere safe during bad weather, it can be a good idea to take your camera out. Cloudy skies and foggy weather can add drama to images. Instead of trying to avoid such conditions, see how you can take advantage of them.

“They show a side of life and travel which isn’t represented anywhere nearly as often as scenes shot during beautiful sunsets or sunrises.”

However, while doing so, be wary of the limitations of your camera.

child being bathed in rain water

Embrace the Ugliness

When starting out, it’s common for photographers to look for subjects that are visually appealing. Learn to step out of your comfort zone and photograph subjects that are far from beautiful. Subjects that have a grieving story behind them, places that have been abandoned, and architecture in its ugliest stages can be great subjects. Make a genuine effort to find beauty in the ugliness. Sometimes, the ugliness tells more of a story than the beauty.

“By embracing and photographing what you would consider ugly, what you wouldn’t usually shoot, you are expanding your creative horizon. You are adding variety to your work. You are also likely showing a different side of the places that you visit. And in our world which is so full of stereotypes, this can be incredibly fascinating.”

embrace the ugliness while travelling

Be Skeptical About Local Advice on Places to Go to

You didn’t expect this tip, did you? This tip does not apply to famous places and landmarks. You’re better off visiting them. This is more about rushing to decisions before following the locals’ advice.

Before you visit those places that the locals suggest, search for images from those places on the web. If you feel that it’s your thing, then you can include that in your schedule.

“…they mostly try to recommend what they think is beautiful, what they’re proud of. They have no idea what you’re into.”

Aim to Have the Action on Your Doorstep

Stay close to the place where the action you want to photograph happens. You can get to the location early, shoot the entire day, and get back to your room for some rest. Also, you don’t have to spend most of your time traveling to and fro. Even if you may have to pay a bit more, staying close to the location is still worth it.

a fish market

Do you have any unusual tips to share?

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