Over the next few weeks we're going to be adding some new posts with practical and technical photography advice and tips! Hopefully you'll find something useful amongst them. We're always open to ideas and suggestions for future posts and happy to answer questions too. So if there's something you'd like to know about, drop us a message and we'll answer or post it in a future blog post.
Travel and Street Photography Tips
Travel and Street Photography go hand-in-hand, as unless you’re on a specific landscape, wildlife or nature holiday, the chances are you’ll be out and about exploring, meeting people and taking in the sights and sounds of your destination, so we’ve put together some hints to get you started and help you make sure you’re ready to get out there and capture some incredible images…
1/ Start Early / Finish Late - The Golden Hours
I love the way pre-dawn light changes everything, those fleeting moments just before sunrise when the colours are still tinged with darkness can give a wonderful ethereal feel to your photographs.
Sunrise and Sunset similarly create some absolutely magical opportunities; the light and colours constantly changing, creating and moving shadows, there really is nothing quite like it.
Just after sunset is often referred to as “the blue hour” that moment before dark when everything gets a soft blue tinge is well worth waiting for.
2/ Get There Early or Know Your Location
Whenever you get the opportunity, scout out your location beforehand; look to see where the light is and how it changes, is there a time when it’s quieter or busier, when the light and shadows are more interesting? If you can’t get to your location in advance, spend some time researching on the web, reading travel guides or blogs before you go. It’s always good to take advantage of the knowledge and resources available to you. If you can ask a local, or get a local guide to show you around; the chances are they’ll be able to show you to places that you won’t find alone.
3/ Talk to the Locals
Whilst we’re on the subject of asking locals for good places to shoot, also remember to ask to photograph them. It’s the people who make a place what it is and can also be the difference between a good picture and a great image, especially when we’re talking about travel photography.
Approaching people on the street and asking to take their picture can be a bit daunting, even more so if you don’t speak the same language, but breaking out of your comfort zone and capturing an image you wouldn’t have got otherwise will make it even more special.
4/ Travel Light
I can’t stress this one enough; remember you’re a photographer, not a pack horse! The more you take, the more you have to carry, the harder it can be to get to places and the more work you’re creating for yourself. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I’ve seen people miss a great image because they were busy changing lenses or setting up a tripod! Our motto at Revolution Photography is “one camera, one lens”. A good travel telephoto lens, along the lines of 24-70mm will see you through pretty much every scenario and there’s almost always something you can rest your camera on in place of a tripod if you have the need for a longer exposure than you can achieve handheld.
Personally, I’m a big fan of working with only a 35mm lens; if the only way to zoom is physically getting closer you uncover much more than standing at a distance and zooming in with your lens.
5/ Change the Angle
A lot of times I see people walking around with the camera, bringing it to their face, shooting and moving on. The end result is every shot they produce is taken at their eye level and that doesn’t lead to much variation.
Instead try kneeling, crouching, climbing up; vary the angle and perspective you’re shooting from.
Also, move around your subject; look at where the light falls, where are the shadows? As you move around, you’ll see the picture differently and possibly find a much better angle.
I’ll often try the same image from a number of different positions just to see which one I like the most.
6/ The Decisive Moment
Watch and wait! The time you spend with your camera away from your eye is as important, if not more important than the time you spend looking through the viewfinder.
Keep an eye on what’s going on around you; look for where people will interact with each other, or points of interest and be ready to capture it. Try to anticipate what will happen next; play through those scenarios is your mind and imagine which will be the most exciting.
7/ Stay Still
One of my favourite things to do when photographing is simply wait. Find an interesting background, of scene and a place to wait where you’re out of the way and observe people coming and going. Look at the points of entry to your scene and who’s coming along; be ready to capture the moment when someone or something interesting crosses the path in front of your chosen background. Look for contrasting or complimentary colours, patterns or textures, or a juxtaposition of styles, for example someone in a business suit stood in front of a graffiti covered wall.
8/ Know your camera
As I said above, I’m a big fan of keeping things simple. Contrary to what you may have thought or read elsewhere, there’s nothing wrong with using the Auto mode on your camera, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s much better to focus on your composition and actually capturing the image than it is to spend all your time fiddling with the buttons and dials on your camera.
That said, if you are shooting with a D-SLR or other camera that lets you manipulate the settings, spend some time understanding them, getting to know what they do and what impact or effect changing them has on an image. Once you are more familiar with those settings, you’ll be comfortable changing them quickly in the field and can become more creative with your photography.
Look out for our upcoming technical posts where we'll be going into more detail about camera functions!
9/ Leave your camera behind
It’s all too easy to get bogged down with thinking about everything as a photo opportunity. Sometimes it’s more important to put the camera down and just spend some time walking around, meeting people, interacting and finding out more about the place or country you’re visiting.
The chances are you’ll have a phone in your pocket with a really good camera built into it, if you see something that you have to photograph, just use that.
10/ Go with a Pro
Ok, Ok, it’s another blatant plug… But, we’ve been there and done it, we know the locations we’re visiting, the best times and places to be to capture great images, and… we really want to help you create the best possible pictures and memories. Tuition and expertise are core to all of our trips, so why not take advantage of our knowledge!
We've got two upcoming trips and more planned as soon as restrictions are eased, so now you're finished reading this, head straight over to our contact page and request a brochure or subscribe to our newsletter