Travel Photography Tips and Techniques – Really simple and easy for all

With travel photography you want to convey not only the scenes you have seen but also the feelings and emotions associated with the locations. The unexpected is always around the corner when you travel and with some careful preparation and a keen photographic eye you can produce some memorable results.

Good travel photography starts at home or the office before you leave for the airport and weeks in advance of your trip. Here’s how capture great travel images.

1. Research before you leave

Purchase the best travel guide you can afford and find out everything about the locations you will be visiting. Find out about the natural beauty, tourist sites, and the culture. Look at the images in the guides and see what the important areas are and what you need to record.

Learn about local transportation and distances as well as timing to reach the areas you want to visit. Learn about the culture and find out what you can photograph and what is taboo, what the dress codes are and any local laws or rules. Buy a phrase book and learn some of the key phrases to communicate when photographing. You will be amazed at how this will open doors for you.

2. Prepare a checklist

Essential for any photographer is a checklist of everything you will need for the trip, photographically as well as you normal travel needs. Check that all your gear is covered by insurance and that it is up to date. Take proof that you purchased your equipment at home and not abroad so you don’t get landed with customs duty on your return.

3. Avoid cliches

Don’t return with all of the images that are in the guide books which everyone has seen. Use new angles and try get to viewpoints that are not traditionally used for photos. Leave the tourist path and get away from the bus. If you can afford it, hire a private guide to take you off the beaten track.

4. Photograph local life

Local life in foreign countries is rich with sights and scenes that are brand new to you. You’ll often find that you will experience your photography much more by getting to know the local folk and seeing just what their daily life is like. By capturing the essence of their lives and homes you will experience the journey and capture memories that are unique and far more interesting.

5. Make yourself the subject

As the photographer you probably find that in all aspects of your life there are few images of you in front of the camera. So go out of your way to include yourself in photos while touring. Ask a travel companion, a guide or another tourist to take photos of you experiencing the local life. With digital you can see immediately the results of their work and whether you’ll need to reshoot it.

6. Take portraits

By respecting the local culture and as I mentioned learning a few of the most important phrases most locals will allow you to shoot their portraits. When photographing them close-ups are great and reveal character and the beauty of people you aren’t familiar with. But, this is the time to photograph portraits of people within their environments so shoot fewer head and shoulders and more with some of the background. Use wide angle lenses more often for great shots.

7. Shoot candids

With a longer lens and the ability to stay in the background and keep your distance you are able to photography people without them knowing. Unposed photos have people behaving totally naturally in their environments without the pressure to pose. The key here is to remain unobserved. Reveal yourself only once you have your shots. Look for opportunities that will reflect the local culture and people naturally.

8. Look for detail

By getting in closer and photographing the traditional clothes and jewelry you will see details in the color and styles. Look for details in the architecture, transport and local costumes that reveal something more than a traditional shot. A macro or telephoto is great for this type of shot.

9. Tell a story

By shooting a series of shots at a location you will be able to tell a story of the life of the local people. How they dress, work, have fun and where they live and relax. Select a theme or shoot at a market and try to think about the end result and how you will tell friends and family about your trip in just pictures. Maybe shoot a day in the life of a local you have befriended from morning till bedtime.

10. Take lots of photos

Work out how many images you think you should shoot and then double it. And then double it again. You can never take too many images. This may be the only opportunity for you to see this country and rather edit later than lose the memories by shooting too little. Not every picture will be perfect but it will be a memory. You are not just looking to create perfect photos but also great memories. Digital film is inexpensive so take lots of memory cards with you.

Travel is often a once in a lifetime opportunity for many people so go well prepared and come back with memories that will last a lifetime. Happy shooting!

About the Author:
Wayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years. Passionate about photography, radio and video. He is a Radio CCFm producer and presenter in Cape Town.

The Most Photogenic Clouds and Where to Find Them

Clouds are nature’s masterpiece on the canvas of the sky. Their constantly evolving forms and ethereal presence create some of the most captivating images for photographers. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, capturing clouds can elevate your photography game. Here’s a guide to the most interesting types of clouds to photograph and the best places to find them.

1. Cumulus Clouds:

  • Appearance: These are the classic, fluffy white clouds that often resemble cotton balls. They are relatively low in the sky and have well-defined edges.
  • Best for: Daytime landscapes, creating contrast against a deep blue sky.
  • Where to find them: Almost everywhere, especially in fair weather. Mid-day is often a good time.
  • Formation: Cumulus clouds form due to vertical convection currents caused by warming at the Earth’s surface. As warm air rises, it cools and condenses into these puffy clouds.

2. Cirrus Clouds:

  • Appearance: Wispy and thin, cirrus clouds often look like feathery strokes painted high in the sky.
  • Best for: Sunsets and sunrises, as their ice crystals can reflect vibrant colors.
  • Where to find them: They are high-altitude clouds, so they are pretty much everywhere. Look up on clear days.
  • Formation: Cirrus clouds form at high altitudes where the atmospheric pressure is low. Here, water vapor freezes into ice crystals. They are often formed from the outflow of other clouds or can be remnants of cumulonimbus clouds.

3. Stratus Clouds:

  • Appearance: These clouds form uniform layers, often covering the sky like a blanket, leading to overcast conditions.
  • Best for: Creating moody, atmospheric shots. Great for black and white photography.
  • Where to find them: Common in coastal areas or during foggy mornings inland.
  • Formation: Stratus clouds are typically formed through the gentle lifting of a large, relatively flat air mass. This lifting can be due to subtle features in the landscape or even an incoming weather front. They can also form from fog lifting off the ground.

4. Cumulonimbus Clouds:

  • Appearance: Towering giants, they can develop anvil tops and can produce severe weather, including thunderstorms.
  • Best for: Capturing dramatic weather events like lightning or a storm’s approach.
  • Where to find them: Regions with frequent thunderstorms, like the American Midwest or tropical areas during the monsoon.
  • Formation: Cumulonimbus clouds are the result of vigorous convection currents. These are initiated by intense heating at the Earth’s surface. The warm air rises rapidly, and as it does, it cools and condenses. If the rising air is moist and unstable enough, it can lead to the formation of these towering storm clouds.

5. Mammatus Clouds:

  • Appearance: They are bubble-like pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud, often associated with severe weather.
  • Best for: Adding drama and intrigue to your photos.
  • Where to find them: Often seen after severe thunderstorms have passed.
  • Formation: The exact cause is still debated, but one theory suggests that they form when cold air sinks down, creating pockets contrary to the usual puffy cloud formation. They’re often associated with severe weather and can appear after a storm.

6. Lenticular Clouds:

  • Appearance: They resemble UFOs or lens shapes and form over mountains or other geographical features that disrupt the flow of the air.
  • Best for: Surreal landscapes, especially during sunset or sunrise when they can take on brilliant hues.
  • Where to find them: Mountainous regions like the Rockies or the Andes.
  • Formation: These form when moist air flows along the surface of the Earth and encounters obstructions like mountains or hills. These obstructions force the air to rise, and lenticular clouds form at the crest of the wave of rising air. Once the air passes over the obstruction and descends again, the cloud dissipates.

7. Nacreous (Mother of Pearl) Clouds:

  • Appearance: They shimmer with iridescent colors and form in the lower stratosphere over polar regions.
  • Best for: Ethereal, other-worldly shots.
  • Where to find them: Polar regions during winter, especially after sunset or before sunrise.
  • Formation: They form in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 meters (49,000–82,000 ft). They’re made up mostly of ice crystals. The clouds’ iridescence is due to the diffraction of sunlight around the ice crystals.

Tips for Cloud Photography:

  • Golden Hour Glory: The time just after sunrise or before sunset provides a soft, golden light that can make clouds look especially breathtaking.
  • Use Filters: Polarizing filters can enhance the contrast between clouds and the sky.
  • Patience Pays: Cloud formations can change rapidly. Waiting can sometimes reward you with a magical shot.

General Principles of Cloud Formation:

The foundation of cloud formation is the Water Cycle. Here’s a brief overview:

  1. Evaporation: Sun heats the Earth’s surface, causing water to evaporate from oceans, lakes, and rivers into the atmosphere.
  2. Condensation: As the warm, moist air rises, it cools. When the air temperature drops to its dew point, the water vapor condenses into tiny droplets around particulates in the air, forming clouds.
  3. Precipitation: When these water droplets combine and become heavy enough, they fall as precipitation.

In essence, clouds form when warm, moist air rises and cools, causing the water vapor in the air to condense around tiny particles, such as dust or smoke. Different atmospheric conditions, temperatures, altitudes, and more can result in the various cloud formations we see in the sky.

The world is full of breathtaking cloudscapes waiting to be captured. With patience, the right timing, and a bit of luck, photographers can capture the ethereal beauty of clouds in all their glory. So the next time you’re looking up, remember, the sky isn’t the limit—it’s the canvas!

Shutter Speed Determination for Hand-held Landscape Photos

Now generally I recommend a tripod for landscape photography, however, I do shoot a fair bit of hand-held landscapes too and trust me, I have had more than my share of blurry photos in my 15 odd years of photography.

Is there anything worse than a Blurry Masterpiece?

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than zooming into the best shot of the day, the miracle shot that captured the moment perfectly, only to discover it’s blurry.

Ok, so how do we shoot hand-held in tough conditions and make sure our photos have a good chance of being sharp?

Shutter speed is critical when shooting without a tripod. We need to shoot fast enough so that any camera shake is not visible in our final photo.

But what shutter speed is fast enough to avoid camera shake?

Interestingly, it varies depending on the focal length of the lens you are shooting with.

Wide-angle lenses are much easier to get sharp hand-held photos than telephoto, as you will see below

The rule of thumb that I use is:

2 times the focal length you are shooting is a good minimum shutter speed as a guide. Of course, the faster – the better chance of a good result.

You may find that with modern stabilized cameras and lenses that you can go even lower, however, I feel that 2x the focal length is a good minimum to start at.

Now you might be thinking, “what on earth is he talking about”.

Hopefully, this clears it up:

  • 20mm lens: 2 x 20 = 1/40th of a second as your minimum shutter speed for a 20mm lens.
  • 50mm lens: 2 x 50 = 1/100th of a second as your minimum shutter speed for a 50mm lens.
  • 100mm lens: 2 x 100 = 1/200th of a second as your minimum shutter speed for a 100mm lens
  • 400mm lens: 2 x 400 = 1/800th of a second as your minimum shutter speed for a 400mm lens.

Of course, the faster the better, if you can.

This won’t guarantee sharp photos every time but it will get you on the right track as far as shutter speed is concerned.

Below are further tips for the perfect hand-held Landscape photo.

• Raise your ISO to achieve at least the minimum shutter speed above.
• Brace yourself against a solid object to reduce camera shake.
• Choose a lens or camera with Image Stabilization.
• Set your camera to multiple shot mode and fire 3-4 consecutive shots. Generally, camera shake is at its highest on the first photo as we press the shutter and will settle down in the 2nd-3rd-4th shots of the sequence.

Capturing Motion: The Art of Sports Photography

Sports photography is an exciting genre that allows photographers to freeze moments of
intense action and capture the raw emotions of athletes in motion. From the thrill of a
winning goal to the power of a perfectly executed slam dunk, sports photography
presents unique challenges and opportunities. In this article, we will explore the art of
sports photography and provide valuable tips to help you capture the essence of athletic
motion in your images.

To effectively capture motion in sports photography, a fast shutter speed is essential. Set
your camera to a high shutter speed to freeze the action and capture sharp images. A
shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second or faster is typically recommended, but adjust it
based on the specific sport and level of action you’re photographing.

Anticipating the action is key to capturing the peak moments. Familiarize yourself with the
sport you’re photographing, study the athletes’ techniques, and predict their
movements. By understanding the flow of the game or event, you’ll be better prepared
to capture those decisive moments.

Utilize burst mode or continuous shooting mode to capture a rapid series of images with a
single press of the shutter button. This increases your chances of getting the perfect
shot and ensures you don’t miss any critical moments. However, be mindful of your
memory card capacity and shoot in bursts wisely to avoid overwhelming yourself with
too many similar shots during post-processing.

Focusing on the eyes of the athletes adds depth and connection to your images. Set your
camera’s autofocus point to the athlete’s eyes or face to ensure they remain in sharp
focus. This technique draws viewers into the action and allows them to feel the intensity
of the moment.

Experiment with different angles to capture the dynamic energy and movement of the
athletes. Get low to the ground for a dramatic ground-level perspective or shoot from a
higher vantage point for a bird’s-eye view. Varying your shooting angles adds visual
interest and a unique perspective to your sports images.

Panning is a technique that involves tracking the subject’s movement while keeping it in
focus, resulting in a sharp subject against a blurred background. This technique adds a
sense of speed and motion to your images. Practice panning by following the athletes’
movement with your camera while using a slower shutter speed, usually around 1/60th
of a second or slower, depending on the speed of the subject.

Composition plays a crucial role in sports photography. Use the rule of thirds, leading lines,
and framing techniques to create visually engaging and balanced images. Position the
athletes off-center to allow space for them to move within the frame. Consider the
background and foreground elements to add depth and context to your shots.

Capturing the emotions of the athletes is equally important. Look for moments of
celebration, determination, or even disappointment. These emotional moments bring a
human element to your images and make them more relatable and impactful.

sports photography requires a combination of technical skill, anticipation, and
creativity to capture the essence of athletic motion. By mastering fast shutter speeds,
anticipating the action, using burst mode, focusing on the eyes, experimenting with
angles, utilizing panning, and paying attention to composition and emotion, you can
freeze the thrill and excitement of sports in captivating images. So, grab your camera,
head to the field, and embark on an exhilarating photographic journey to capture the art
of motion in sports photography.

DPC Spiti Trip Photo Review Session and Members Meetup

This give us immense pleasure to Invite you all DPC members for the DPC Spiti Trip Photo Review Session and Members Meetup this Saturday .

Spiti Travellers: Please get photos that you want to review and share with us in Pen drive, Selected pictures will also be featured on DPC website and DPC social Media posts .
Date : 23rd April 2022 
Time : 4 pm to 6 pm

Venue: DPC Lounge Shahpur Jat

For more info call
8826712162 or DM if interested!
For any queries:
hi@delhiphotographyclub.com