Travel photography has been a passion of mine since long before I was a travel blogger—even before I had a real camera. In the late 1990s, my father and I went on a trip to Southern California, and he frequently chided me for paying more attention to my disposable Kodak than I did to him. “What’s the point of taking photos if you’re not in them?” I remember him asking me on several occasions.
Ironically, my work over the past decade and a half (both here on my travel photo blog and elsewhere) has both answered his rhetorical question and invalidated it. I’ve become a master at using a tripod and remote (or self-timer) to take stunning self portraits—I compose landscapes that would be poignant all on their own, then literally walk into them. I’m not the best travel photographer in the world—and I’m the first to admit it—but no one can deny my travel selfie game.
Which is not to say this page only exists as a vanity project, even if I will expound more upon my own journey as a travel photographer, and link to some of the favorite collections I’ve shot around the world. I’ll share tips with you on how to take better travel photos, recommend a camera (or two) and a few pieces of equipment and hopefully, above all, encourage and inspire you.
My Travel Photography Story
Long before I ever thought I could start a travel photography blog, I was fascinated by the idea of using my own images to document and interpret the visual world. During my first several trips to Europe in the late 2000s, I did my best with a cheap Sony point-and-shoot, but realized as I began exploring more exotic destinations (and certainly, once I started this blog) that I needed more serious equipment if I was going to take a more serious stab at this.
The funny thing is that if someone asked me how to be a travel photographer my answer would still be rather vague, since I’m not sure travel photography is something you ever master; I’m not sure you can ever really become a travel photographer, rather than a person who simply wants to share how he or she sees the world. I’ll leave it to you to judge what I’ve created and how I’ve evolved—I hope, at the very least, that the brush I’ve cleared inspires you to take your own trek through the jungle.
My Favorite Travel Photos from Around the World
The entirety of this post will focus on more than just my own travel photography, but humor me for a moment. Here are some of my collections I really think you’re going to enjoy:
Still don’t think I’m one of the best travel photographers you’ve ever seen? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And even if you don’t love my work, you can still benefit from some of the photography advice I’m about to dole out.
Travel Photography Tips & Tricks
Buy a Real Camera
What is the best camera for travel photography? Different photographers have different preferences, but I can tell you one thing: It’s not a smartphone, and never will be. As of September 2019 I use the full-frame Nikon D750; I’ve been using Nikon products since early 2010, when I purchased my own DSLR. As for mirrorless cameras, I might eventually upgrade to one, though I’m still put off by the price and comparative lack of features and accessories as compared to my trusty D750.
Travel (and Shoot) With Several Lenses
As you look through the work of others (including me) for inspiration, many travel photography ideas can at first seem inconceivable, from fitting massive mountains in a single shot, to taking portraits with perfectly blurred backgrounds. If you want to improve your range as a travel photographer, investing in multiple lenses is a must. The core of my kit is a versatile 28-300mm zoom lens, though I also have two primes (35mm and 50mm) and a 16-28mm wide-angle lens.
Get a Tripod (and a Remote!)
Another best travel photography secret? You can’t create an incredible portfolio without crystal-clear night shots, and the only way to do this is for your camera to stay perfectly still during long exposures. In other words, you need to get a tripod (and a remote, which will allow you to shoot without touching your camera—this can also cause it to move). Having a remote will also allow you to take your own selfies. Take my word for it: You can photograph yourself better than 99% of strangers on the street.
Shoot Exclusively in Manual—and RAW
The last of my travel photography tips, at least for now, is to shoot in manual mode. This means you select the appropriate aperture, shutter speed, ISO settings and even white balance to get the perfect shot. Don’t know what these terms mean? Learn them fast! Another term to look up is “RAW,” which refers to an image file (also known as .NEF) that essentially allows you to “develop” a photo you took according to a wide range of specifications, with minimal impact on quality as you edit.
Purchase the Rights to My Travel Photography
Have you been perusing stock travel photography, but find it too utilitarian for your purposes? Maybe you need photos related to a specific or even obscure destination, and mine as the only ones you’ve managed to find. No matter why you think you might want to buy the rights to use my travel photos, or what sort of project you’re planning, I’m open to negotiating a deal that will be lucrative for both of us.
The Bottom Line
Whether you read this far because you were interested in my travel photography or simply want to learn how to improve your own, you’re in the right place. My captivating travel photos (and travel selfies) from around the world convey countless emotions and capture priceless moments, but above all I hope they inspire you to create—be that your own travel photography, or publications and other projects you enhance using mine. Need help planning the ultimate travel photography trip? Learn more about how many Travel Coaching service can help.