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Like many bloggers, I have a serious inability to put down my camera. Being in new environments while travelling is the perfect opportunity to flex my photography skills on things other than self-timer outfit shots, food, and flatlays. Here are a couple of things I’ve learned about travel photography over the years.
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The best camera is the one you have and will use

A phone, a point and shoot, or a full frame DSLR – they’re all good options for taking photos, depending on what you’re comfortable with. There’s no point splashing out on a big fancy camera if it means it’s too heavy to carry every day or you’re too self conscious to use it.

Don’t stress about the landmarks

I’m rarely ever satisfied with my photos of famous landmarks or monuments. Firstly, those places are usually crawling with people, getting in the way. Secondly, it’s very likely that I’ve seen much better photos of the place already, which I feel like my own pictures can’t measure up to. So don’t be too concerned about getting the perfect shot – someone’s probably already taken the exact same photo. Snap a quick one to send to your mum and move on.

It’s in the details

One of the things I try to do is capture the atmosphere of a place at that specific moment in time. The smallest things contribute to that – the angle of the sunlight, paint peeling off a corner of the wall, reflections in a window. Some of the favourite photos I’ve taken come from noticing the details, because they represent my experience of a place, not just the place itself.

Be considerate

Don’t hold up traffic or get in people’s way just to take a shot. If you’re travelling with friends and everyone’s in a foul mood trying to work out where to go for lunch, it might not be the best time to stop for a photoshoot. And lastly, people are not animals in a zoo. If someone is going to be the main subject of your photo, particularly if they’re going to be identifiable, it’s nice to ask first.

Stay safe

Some places are not the best places to have your camera hanging off your shoulder while you walk around. It might be better to just take it out of your bag when you want to use it, or not flash it around at all. Trust your gut. It’s also a good idea to take note of your belongings (or ask a friend to) while your eye is glued to the viewfinder.

Don’t worry if you can’t get the picture you want

There are a lot of beautiful places and things in the world that can’t be replicated through a camera. Just enjoy being there and seeing it with your own eyes. One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in my life was when I was on a bus driving through the Guatemalan highlands – I didn’t even bother trying to get a photo through the window, because I knew it wouldn’t measure up to the real thing. Likewise, don’t beat yourself up if you miss the perfect photo op. Remember, even if you didn’t take a photo – it still happened.

Photography: Jane

Post-Processing: Rae Tashman

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Jane

Jane is a junior doctor from Sydney who blogs at Deluminators. She loves travelling, food, clothes, and spending entire afternoons reading. Her favourite hobby is to photograph and blog about the above.

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  • I hadn’t known that LFB was transitioning to a more magazine-like format (?) and that Jane would be a writer. Her travel photos (and blog posts) are some of my favorites.

    • Thanks Lulu, you’re way too kind!

  • mariel

    i love this post Rae, your tips are so handy and honest and the fact you mention that it’s okay if you dont get the right shot..I always feel like I miss out on sharing something when I didnt manage to capture it but its true, just because you didnt get to snap a photo of it doesnt mean it didnt happen, that just makes it even more special i suppose :) <3

    http://amelodyofdiaries.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Exactly! I love taking photos, but I always feel like I missed out on something if I didn’t get a shot.

      Jane / deluminators

  • I’m going on holiday this summer with some friends and I know I’ll be snapping photos all the time haha I need to learn how to live in the moment instead of seeing everything through my lenses! haha x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • Great read, i’m new with the camera so any info and help much appreciated :)

    Much love,

    HER FASTEST FASHION

    • Glad you liked it!

  • Great tips! I always neglect taking pictures as i stress about having them perfect xP

    • Haha that’s the trap!

  • Love these tips! One thing about the landmarks though. If you really want to photograph them, I suggest going very early in the morning to avoid the crowd. This has always worked for me :)

  • you don’t know how handy this is. thank you so so much, jane and rae! i always stressed out over the facts that i didn’t take photo of ‘important’ event/place but hey, as long as i actually experience it, i don’t think it would be a big deal.

    • Exactly, and I think it’s easy to forget these days.

      Jane / deluminators

  • Famous landmarks are pretty stressful to take pictures of, because there’s usually always other tourists around walking into frame! I completely agree with what you said about details. Also loooove that last line: “even if you didn’t take a photo — it still happened.” I think it’s so important to be present and enjoy your time whilst traveling! Photos are great, but experiences are better :) We use photography to capture our experiences, but we gotta have em first! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • Exactly! It feels like the other way around sometimes.

      Jane / deluminators

  • Elena

    This is a great post! Very useful tips, your points are all true! Thanks for sharing! And also, I love this new concept of a blogazine! I’ve never heard of it before (did you invent it?), but I find it really interesting and a great idea!
    love, elena

    outnaboutweb.wordpress.com

  • mary

    just found this blog and i’m in looooove!
    http://www.marylee31.blogspot.com

  • It’s all about the details! Haha! Personally, I try to take photos of places that genuinely interest me, not just landmarks. Can be the streets or graffiti, so long as it is from the place I’m visiting! <3

    xx   BASH   |   HEY BASH

    • I absolutely love taking photos of the streets and street art as well!

      Jane / deluminators

  • kandice

    I really find it hard to take pictures when I’m on holidays. The people + we are going as fast as we could. I wish I could just stop for 3 minutes and take pictures. I love this post! I will remember this :)

    • It’s kind of difficult isn’t it, you want to get the shots but don’t want to be annoying holding everyone up!

      Jane / deluminators

  • It’s so true about camera’s. I sometimes end up using my phone camera more than my regualr fuji camera. I’m still not a fan of big DSLR’s. Find it too bulky and heavy to carry around all day.

    • That’s why I went from a DSLR to smaller one, my back was killing me!

      Jane / deluminators

  • smoorelovin

    Love these tips! I have a terrible habit of not taking any pictures at all because I don’t want to be ‘that person’ (which is crazy coming from a fellow blogger) but I am always so disappointed when I get home and don’t have many photos to look back through later on.

    • I think there’s definitely a fine balance between getting shots you want and being “that person” haha.

      Jane / deluminators

  • That last tip was definitely meant for me! I go to places I see on Instagram and get bummed out when I don’t get the exact same picture I saw xD

    ☼ cabin twenty-four

    • I guess you can think of it as, you don’t need to be taking the same photo as someone else anyway!

      Jane / deluminators

  • Thank you for your tips. The details part definitely hit me. I usually like to concentrate on details and then wonder if I am the only one who will like that kind of a shot. And the last one is something I struggle with. I love watching sunsets and I can never catch that on a camera!

    Lii
    https://byliil.wordpress.com/

    • Some things a camera just can’t capture, and that’s fine!

      Jane / deluminators

  • I totally agree about taking photos of the landmarks. It’s one of those things that you have to do but sometimes, depending on the place, I just want to get it over and done with. Also it’s the bane of my existence while travelling trying to take photos without a bunch of people in them wearing ugly bright clothes that take all the attention away from what I’m trying to photograph!

    littlehenrylee.net

  • It’s all in the detail, I couldn’t agree more.