Tap here to plan your post-Covid trip!
Ready to travel? Click here to plan your post-Covid trip!
Robert Schrader in Finland

5 Practical Travel Photography Tips

Typically, when I offer travel photography advice, it’s creative in nature, such as the post I made for the fracture blog just this week. On the other hand, today’s tips are just as much about making your life easier as making your travel photography better.

Although some of these may seem obvious for frequent photographers, other might feel counterintuitive, or even wrong. But trust me—I do this for a living!

Shoot in RAW—But Only Store JPEGs

I’ve recently become a big advocate for shooting in RAW, a format that allows you to make big edits to your pictures with only a small change in their quality. Unfortunately, the edits you can make to RAW files aren’t the only thing “big” about them: They can easily exceed 50 MB in size, each. (By contrast, average JPEGs tend to come out of the camera around 5 MB or so.)

You’ll need to shoot with a high-quality camera, such as a DSLR, in order to capture RAW files to work with. For me, this is a Nikon D750 DSLR camera. You might initially find it tiresome to carry such a bulky camera with you, the quality of your images will more than make up for the hassle.

Speaking of bulk, unless you carry an extra hard drive with you (more on that in a second), these files will overload your computer extremely fast, so delete them from your machine after you’re done editing. Reduce the burden of your travel photos on your hard drive even further by using an image resizer, which doesn’t necessarily reduce their physical dimensions, but removes unnecessary information within the file and, thus, reduces the file size, optimizing them for online sharing.

Back-up Your Photos in Multiple Places

Of course, deleting your RAW files outright precludes you from going back, in the future, and re-editing them if necessary. Instead, delete them from your computer itself only after you’ve backed them (and the JPEGs themselves) up to an external hard drive or even an auxiliary memory card. Additionally, back the contents of your computer up to the cloud so that you have your travel photos in three places, decreasing the likelihood that they’ll ever be “gone for good.”

Go Through Your Photos Daily

Speaking of memory cards, you’ve probably noticed that you can store tens of thousands of images on them, slightly less if you shoot in RAW. Although this feature of modern digital storage is attractive on paper, it can be disastrous for your sanity—can you imagine getting back from two weeks in Cuba and suddenly having 20,000 photos to edit? Go through your photos as you take them.

And Delete Your Memory Card Every Day, Too

Remember how I promised this post would be more practical in nature than esoteric? Well, I just can’t keep myself from going all New-Agey. Indeed, deleting your memory card every day might seem counterintuitive, practically-speaking, unless of course you’ve taken my back-up advice above. But I find that deleting old images, and in particular those who didn’t make the “final cut” onto your computer, frees you up creatively, allowing each day to truly embody a unique expression.

Remember That Less is More

Yes, I did just suggest that only a certain percentage of your photos should ever make it onto your computer. And I do believe that only a certain percentage of those should be seen by other people. In fact, although I advocate taking as many photos as possible during a given trip, I would say that realistically, only about 1-2% of them should ever see the light of day. Harsh? Maybe. But it’s downright humane compared to how it would’ve been back in the film days.

What about you? Can you think of any additional travel photography tips? If so, share them in the “Comments” section. Or, head on over to my Travel Photography page to check out some of my favorite images.


About The Author

is the author of 1154 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!


informs, inspires, entertains and empowers travelers like you. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here!


Get Email Updates

Like what you're reading? Sign up to receive my weekly email newsletter – it's like a trip around the world to end every week!

Upcoming Trips

  • I plan to spend the first half of 2021 in Kyoto, Japan, where I'll be taking a Japanese course. While I intend to publish some posts about my travels around Japan here, I encourage you to visit Japan Starts Here for my most up-to-date and in-depth Japan travelogues.

Previous post:

Next post: